Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 13 out of 21

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 2.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

rawness is not the only foot he limps on, for he has greater schemes
rumbling in his bowels, as will be seen before many hours are over."

"There's no road so smooth but it has some hole or hindrance in it,"
said Sancho; "in other houses they cook beans, but in mine it's by the
potful; madness will have more followers and hangers-on than sound
sense; but if there be any truth in the common saying, that to have
companions in trouble gives some relief, I may take consolation from
you, inasmuch as you serve a master as crazy as my own."

"Crazy but valiant," replied he of the Grove, "and more roguish than
crazy or valiant."

"Mine is not that," said Sancho; "I mean he has nothing of the rogue
in him; on the contrary, he has the soul of a pitcher; he has no
thought of doing harm to anyone, only good to all, nor has he any
malice whatever in him; a child might persuade him that it is night at
noonday; and for this simplicity I love him as the core of my heart,
and I can't bring myself to leave him, let him do ever such foolish

"For all that, brother and senor," said he of the Grove, "if the
blind lead the blind, both are in danger of falling into the pit. It
is better for us to beat a quiet retreat and get back to our own
quarters; for those who seek adventures don't always find good ones."

Sancho kept spitting from time to time, and his spittle seemed
somewhat ropy and dry, observing which the compassionate squire of the
Grove said, "It seems to me that with all this talk of ours our
tongues are sticking to the roofs of our mouths; but I have a pretty
good loosener hanging from the saddle-bow of my horse," and getting up
he came back the next minute with a large bota of wine and a pasty
half a yard across; and this is no exaggeration, for it was made of
a house rabbit so big that Sancho, as he handled it, took it to be
made of a goat, not to say a kid, and looking at it he said, "And do
you carry this with you, senor?"

"Why, what are you thinking about?" said the other; "do you take
me for some paltry squire? I carry a better larder on my horse's croup
than a general takes with him when he goes on a march."

Sancho ate without requiring to be pressed, and in the dark bolted
mouthfuls like the knots on a tether, and said he, "You are a proper
trusty squire, one of the right sort, sumptuous and grand, as this
banquet shows, which, if it has not come here by magic art, at any
rate has the look of it; not like me, unlucky beggar, that have
nothing more in my alforjas than a scrap of cheese, so hard that one
might brain a giant with it, and, to keep it company, a few dozen
carobs and as many more filberts and walnuts; thanks to the
austerity of my master, and the idea he has and the rule he follows,
that knights-errant must not live or sustain themselves on anything
except dried fruits and the herbs of the field."

"By my faith, brother," said he of the Grove, "my stomach is not
made for thistles, or wild pears, or roots of the woods; let our
masters do as they like, with their chivalry notions and laws, and eat
what those enjoin; I carry my prog-basket and this bota hanging to the
saddle-bow, whatever they may say; and it is such an object of worship
with me, and I love it so, that there is hardly a moment but I am
kissing and embracing it over and over again;" and so saying he thrust
it into Sancho's hands, who raising it aloft pointed to his mouth,
gazed at the stars for a quarter of an hour; and when he had done
drinking let his head fall on one side, and giving a deep sigh,
exclaimed, "Ah, whoreson rogue, how catholic it is!"

"There, you see," said he of the Grove, hearing Sancho's
exclamation, "how you have called this wine whoreson by way of

"Well," said Sancho, "I own it, and I grant it is no dishonour to
call anyone whoreson when it is to be understood as praise. But tell
me, senor, by what you love best, is this Ciudad Real wine?"

"O rare wine-taster!" said he of the Grove; "nowhere else indeed
does it come from, and it has some years' age too."

"Leave me alone for that," said Sancho; "never fear but I'll hit
upon the place it came from somehow. What would you say, sir squire,
to my having such a great natural instinct in judging wines that you
have only to let me smell one and I can tell positively its country,
its kind, its flavour and soundness, the changes it will undergo,
and everything that appertains to a wine? But it is no wonder, for I
have had in my family, on my father's side, the two best
wine-tasters that have been known in La Mancha for many a long year,
and to prove it I'll tell you now a thing that happened them. They
gave the two of them some wine out of a cask, to try, asking their
opinion as to the condition, quality, goodness or badness of the wine.
One of them tried it with the tip of his tongue, the other did no more
than bring it to his nose. The first said the wine had a flavour of
iron, the second said it had a stronger flavour of cordovan. The owner
said the cask was clean, and that nothing had been added to the wine
from which it could have got a flavour of either iron or leather.
Nevertheless, these two great wine-tasters held to what they had said.
Time went by, the wine was sold, and when they came to clean out the
cask, they found in it a small key hanging to a thong of cordovan; see
now if one who comes of the same stock has not a right to give his
opinion in such like cases."

"Therefore, I say," said he of the Grove, "let us give up going in
quest of adventures, and as we have loaves let us not go looking for
cakes, but return to our cribs, for God will find us there if it be
his will."

"Until my master reaches Saragossa," said Sancho, "I'll remain in
his service; after that we'll see."

The end of it was that the two squires talked so much and drank so
much that sleep had to tie their tongues and moderate their thirst,
for to quench it was impossible; and so the pair of them fell asleep
clinging to the now nearly empty bota and with half-chewed morsels
in their mouths; and there we will leave them for the present, to
relate what passed between the Knight of the Grove and him of the
Rueful Countenance.



Among the things that passed between Don Quixote and the Knight of
the Wood, the history tells us he of the Grove said to Don Quixote,
"In fine, sir knight, I would have you know that my destiny, or,
more properly speaking, my choice led me to fall in love with the
peerless Casildea de Vandalia. I call her peerless because she has
no peer, whether it be in bodily stature or in the supremacy of rank
and beauty. This same Casildea, then, that I speak of, requited my
honourable passion and gentle aspirations by compelling me, as his
stepmother did Hercules, to engage in many perils of various sorts, at
the end of each promising me that, with the end of the next, the
object of my hopes should be attained; but my labours have gone on
increasing link by link until they are past counting, nor do I know
what will be the last one that is to be the beginning of the
accomplishment of my chaste desires. On one occasion she bade me go
and challenge the famous giantess of Seville, La Giralda by name,
who is as mighty and strong as if made of brass, and though never
stirring from one spot, is the most restless and changeable woman in
the world. I came, I saw, I conquered, and I made her stay quiet and
behave herself, for nothing but north winds blew for more than a week.
Another time I was ordered to lift those ancient stones, the mighty
bulls of Guisando, an enterprise that might more fitly be entrusted to
porters than to knights. Again, she bade me fling myself into the
cavern of Cabra- an unparalleled and awful peril- and bring her a
minute account of all that is concealed in those gloomy depths. I
stopped the motion of the Giralda, I lifted the bulls of Guisando, I
flung myself into the cavern and brought to light the secrets of its
abyss; and my hopes are as dead as dead can be, and her scorn and
her commands as lively as ever. To be brief, last of all she has
commanded me to go through all the provinces of Spain and compel all
the knights-errant wandering therein to confess that she surpasses all
women alive to-day in beauty, and that I am the most valiant and the
most deeply enamoured knight on earth; in support of which claim I
have already travelled over the greater part of Spain, and have
there vanquished several knights who have dared to contradict me;
but what I most plume and pride myself upon is having vanquished in
single combat that so famous knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, and made
him confess that my Casildea is more beautiful than his Dulcinea;
and in this one victory I hold myself to have conquered all the
knights in the world; for this Don Quixote that I speak of has
vanquished them all, and I having vanquished him, his glory, his fame,
and his honour have passed and are transferred to my person; for

The more the vanquished hath of fair renown,
The greater glory gilds the victor's crown.

Thus the innumerable achievements of the said Don Quixote are now
set down to my account and have become mine."

Don Quixote was amazed when he heard the Knight of the Grove, and
was a thousand times on the point of telling him he lied, and had
the lie direct already on the tip of his tongue; but he restrained
himself as well as he could, in order to force him to confess the
lie with his own lips; so he said to him quietly, "As to what you say,
sir knight, about having vanquished most of the knights of Spain, or
even of the whole world, I say nothing; but that you have vanquished
Don Quixote of La Mancha I consider doubtful; it may have been some
other that resembled him, although there are few like him."

"How! not vanquished?" said he of the Grove; "by the heaven that
is above us I fought Don Quixote and overcame him and made him
yield; and he is a man of tall stature, gaunt features, long, lank
limbs, with hair turning grey, an aquiline nose rather hooked, and
large black drooping moustaches; he does battle under the name of 'The
Countenance,' and he has for squire a peasant called Sancho Panza;
he presses the loins and rules the reins of a famous steed called
Rocinante; and lastly, he has for the mistress of his will a certain
Dulcinea del Toboso, once upon a time called Aldonza Lorenzo, just
as I call mine Casildea de Vandalia because her name is Casilda and
she is of Andalusia. If all these tokens are not enough to vindicate
the truth of what I say, here is my sword, that will compel
incredulity itself to give credence to it."

"Calm yourself, sir knight," said Don Quixote, "and give ear to what
I am about to say to you. you.I would have you know that this Don
Quixote you speak of is the greatest friend I have in the world; so
much so that I may say I regard him in the same light as my own
person; and from the precise and clear indications you have given I
cannot but think that he must be the very one you have vanquished.
On the other hand, I see with my eyes and feel with my hands that it
is impossible it can have been the same; unless indeed it be that,
as he has many enemies who are enchanters, and one in particular who
is always persecuting him, some one of these may have taken his
shape in order to allow himself to be vanquished, so as to defraud him
of the fame that his exalted achievements as a knight have earned
and acquired for him throughout the known world. And in confirmation
of this, I must tell you, too, that it is but ten hours since these
said enchanters his enemies transformed the shape and person of the
fair Dulcinea del Toboso into a foul and mean village lass, and in the
same way they must have transformed Don Quixote; and if all this
does not suffice to convince you of the truth of what I say, here is
Don Quixote himself, who will maintain it by arms, on foot or on
horseback or in any way you please."

And so saying he stood up and laid his hand on his sword, waiting to
see what the Knight of the Grove would do, who in an equally calm
voice said in reply, "Pledges don't distress a good payer; he who
has succeeded in vanquishing you once when transformed, Sir Don
Quixote, may fairly hope to subdue you in your own proper shape; but
as it is not becoming for knights to perform their feats of arms in
the dark, like highwaymen and bullies, let us wait till daylight, that
the sun may behold our deeds; and the conditions of our combat shall
be that the vanquished shall be at the victor's disposal, to do all
that he may enjoin, provided the injunction be such as shall be
becoming a knight."

"I am more than satisfied with these conditions and terms,"
replied Don Quixote; and so saying, they betook themselves to where
their squires lay, and found them snoring, and in the same posture
they were in when sleep fell upon them. They roused them up, and
bade them get the horses ready, as at sunrise they were to engage in a
bloody and arduous single combat; at which intelligence Sancho was
aghast and thunderstruck, trembling for the safety of his master
because of the mighty deeds he had heard the squire of the Grove
ascribe to his; but without a word the two squires went in quest of
their cattle; for by this time the three horses and the ass had
smelt one another out, and were all together.

On the way, he of the Grove said to Sancho, "You must know, brother,
that it is the custom with the fighting men of Andalusia, when they
are godfathers in any quarrel, not to stand idle with folded arms
while their godsons fight; I say so to remind you that while our
masters are fighting, we, too, have to fight, and knock one another to

"That custom, sir squire," replied Sancho, "may hold good among
those bullies and fighting men you talk of, but certainly not among
the squires of knights-errant; at least, I have never heard my
master speak of any custom of the sort, and he knows all the laws of
knight-errantry by heart; but granting it true that there is an
express law that squires are to fight while their masters are
fighting, I don't mean to obey it, but to pay the penalty that may
be laid on peacefully minded squires like myself; for I am sure it
cannot be more than two pounds of wax, and I would rather pay that,
for I know it will cost me less than the lint I shall be at the
expense of to mend my head, which I look upon as broken and split
already; there's another thing that makes it impossible for me to
fight, that I have no sword, for I never carried one in my life."

"I know a good remedy for that," said he of the Grove; "I have
here two linen bags of the same size; you shall take one, and I the
other, and we will fight at bag blows with equal arms."

"If that's the way, so be it with all my heart," said Sancho, "for
that sort of battle will serve to knock the dust out of us instead
of hurting us."

"That will not do," said the other, "for we must put into the
bags, to keep the wind from blowing them away, half a dozen nice
smooth pebbles, all of the same weight; and in this way we shall be
able to baste one another without doing ourselves any harm or

"Body of my father!" said Sancho, "see what marten and sable, and
pads of carded cotton he is putting into the bags, that our heads
may not be broken and our bones beaten to jelly! But even if they
are filled with toss silk, I can tell you, senor, I am not going to
fight; let our masters fight, that's their lookout, and let us drink
and live; for time will take care to ease us of our lives, without our
going to look for fillips so that they may be finished off before
their proper time comes and they drop from ripeness."

"Still," returned he of the Grove, "we must fight, if it be only for
half an hour."

"By no means," said Sancho; "I am not going to be so discourteous or
so ungrateful as to have any quarrel, be it ever so small, with one
I have eaten and drunk with; besides, who the devil could bring
himself to fight in cold blood, without anger or provocation?"

"I can remedy that entirely," said he of the Grove, "and in this
way: before we begin the battle, I will come up to your worship fair
and softly, and give you three or four buffets, with which I shall
stretch you at my feet and rouse your anger, though it were sleeping
sounder than a dormouse."

"To match that plan," said Sancho, "I have another that is not a
whit behind it; I will take a cudgel, and before your worship comes
near enough to waken my anger I will send yours so sound to sleep with
whacks, that it won't waken unless it be in the other world, where
it is known that I am not a man to let my face be handled by anyone;
let each look out for the arrow- though the surer way would be to
let everyone's anger sleep, for nobody knows the heart of anyone,
and a man may come for wool and go back shorn; God gave his blessing
to peace and his curse to quarrels; if a hunted cat, surrounded and
hard pressed, turns into a lion, God knows what I, who am a man, may
turn into; and so from this time forth I warn you, sir squire, that
all the harm and mischief that may come of our quarrel will be put
down to your account."

"Very good," said he of the Grove; "God will send the dawn and we
shall be all right."

And now gay-plumaged birds of all sorts began to warble in the
trees, and with their varied and gladsome notes seemed to welcome
and salute the fresh morn that was beginning to show the beauty of her
countenance at the gates and balconies of the east, shaking from her
locks a profusion of liquid pearls; in which dulcet moisture bathed,
the plants, too, seemed to shed and shower down a pearly spray, the
willows distilled sweet manna, the fountains laughed, the brooks
babbled, the woods rejoiced, and the meadows arrayed themselves in all
their glory at her coming. But hardly had the light of day made it
possible to see and distinguish things, when the first object that
presented itself to the eyes of Sancho Panza was the squire of the
Grove's nose, which was so big that it almost overshadowed his whole
body. It is, in fact, stated, that it was of enormous size, hooked
in the middle, covered with warts, and of a mulberry colour like an
egg-plant; it hung down two fingers' length below his mouth, and the
size, the colour, the warts, and the bend of it, made his face so
hideous, that Sancho, as he looked at him, began to tremble hand and
foot like a child in convulsions, and he vowed in his heart to let
himself be given two hundred buffets, sooner than be provoked to fight
that monster. Don Quixote examined his adversary, and found that he
already had his helmet on and visor lowered, so that he could not
see his face; he observed, however, that he was a sturdily built
man, but not very tall in stature. Over his armour he wore a surcoat
or cassock of what seemed to be the finest cloth of gold, all
bespangled with glittering mirrors like little moons, which gave him
an extremely gallant and splendid appearance; above his helmet
fluttered a great quantity of plumes, green, yellow, and white, and
his lance, which was leaning against a tree, was very long and
stout, and had a steel point more than a palm in length.

Don Quixote observed all, and took note of all, and from what he saw
and observed he concluded that the said knight must be a man of
great strength, but he did not for all that give way to fear, like
Sancho Panza; on the contrary, with a composed and dauntless air, he
said to the Knight of the Mirrors, "If, sir knight, your great
eagerness to fight has not banished your courtesy, by it I would
entreat you to raise your visor a little, in order that I may see if
the comeliness of your countenance corresponds with that of your

"Whether you come victorious or vanquished out of this emprise,
sir knight," replied he of the Mirrors, "you will have more than
enough time and leisure to see me; and if now I do not comply with
your request, it is because it seems to me I should do a serious wrong
to the fair Casildea de Vandalia in wasting time while I stopped to
raise my visor before compelling you to confess what you are already
aware I maintain."

"Well then," said Don Quixote, "while we are mounting you can at
least tell me if I am that Don Quixote whom you said you vanquished."

"To that we answer you," said he of the Mirrors, "that you are as
like the very knight I vanquished as one egg is like another, but as
you say enchanters persecute you, I will not venture to say positively
whether you are the said person or not."

"That," said Don Quixote, "is enough to convince me that you are
under a deception; however, entirely to relieve you of it, let our
horses be brought, and in less time than it would take you to raise
your visor, if God, my lady, and my arm stand me in good stead, I
shall see your face, and you shall see that I am not the vanquished
Don Quixote you take me to be."

With this, cutting short the colloquy, they mounted, and Don Quixote
wheeled Rocinante round in order to take a proper distance to charge
back upon his adversary, and he of the Mirrors did the same; but Don
Quixote had not moved away twenty paces when he heard himself called
by the other, and, each returning half-way, he of the Mirrors said
to him, "Remember, sir knight, that the terms of our combat are,
that the vanquished, as I said before, shall be at the victor's

"I am aware of it already," said Don Quixote; "provided what is
commanded and imposed upon the vanquished be things that do not
transgress the limits of chivalry."

"That is understood," replied he of the Mirrors.

At this moment the extraordinary nose of the squire presented itself
to Don Quixote's view, and he was no less amazed than Sancho at the
sight; insomuch that he set him down as a monster of some kind, or a
human being of some new species or unearthly breed. Sancho, seeing his
master retiring to run his course, did not like to be left alone
with the nosy man, fearing that with one flap of that nose on his
own the battle would be all over for him and he would be left
stretched on the ground, either by the blow or with fright; so he
ran after his master, holding on to Rocinante's stirrup-leather, and
when it seemed to him time to turn about, he said, "I implore of
your worship, senor, before you turn to charge, to help me up into
this cork tree, from which I will be able to witness the gallant
encounter your worship is going to have with this knight, more to my
taste and better than from the ground."

"It seems to me rather, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou
wouldst mount a scaffold in order to see the bulls without danger."

"To tell the truth," returned Sancho, "the monstrous nose of that
squire has filled me with fear and terror, and I dare not stay near

"It is," said Don Quixote, "such a one that were I not what I am
it would terrify me too; so, come, I will help thee up where thou

While Don Quixote waited for Sancho to mount into the cork tree he
of the Mirrors took as much ground as he considered requisite, and,
supposing Don Quixote to have done the same, without waiting for any
sound of trumpet or other signal to direct them, he wheeled his horse,
which was not more agile or better-looking than Rocinante, and at
his top speed, which was an easy trot, he proceeded to charge his
enemy; seeing him, however, engaged in putting Sancho up, he drew
rein, and halted in mid career, for which his horse was very grateful,
as he was already unable to go. Don Quixote, fancying that his foe was
coming down upon him flying, drove his spurs vigorously into
Rocinante's lean flanks and made him scud along in such style that the
history tells us that on this occasion only was he known to make
something like running, for on all others it was a simple trot with
him; and with this unparalleled fury he bore down where he of the
Mirrors stood digging his spurs into his horse up to buttons,
without being able to make him stir a finger's length from the spot
where he had come to a standstill in his course. At this lucky
moment and crisis, Don Quixote came upon his adversary, in trouble
with his horse, and embarrassed with his lance, which he either
could not manage, or had no time to lay in rest. Don Quixote, however,
paid no attention to these difficulties, and in perfect safety to
himself and without any risk encountered him of the Mirrors with
such force that he brought him to the ground in spite of himself
over the haunches of his horse, and with so heavy a fall that he lay
to all appearance dead, not stirring hand or foot. The instant
Sancho saw him fall he slid down from the cork tree, and made all
haste to where his master was, who, dismounting from Rocinante, went
and stood over him of the Mirrors, and unlacing his helmet to see if
he was dead, and to give him air if he should happen to be alive, he
saw- who can say what he saw, without filling all who hear it with
astonishment, wonder, and awe? He saw, the history says, the very
countenance, the very face, the very look, the very physiognomy, the
very effigy, the very image of the bachelor Samson Carrasco! As soon
as he saw it he called out in a loud voice, "Make haste here,
Sancho, and behold what thou art to see but not to believe; quick,
my son, and learn what magic can do, and wizards and enchanters are
capable of."

Sancho came up, and when he saw the countenance of the bachelor
Carrasco, he fell to crossing himself a thousand times, and blessing
himself as many more. All this time the prostrate knight showed no
signs of life, and Sancho said to Don Quixote, "It is my opinion,
senor, that in any case your worship should take and thrust your sword
into the mouth of this one here that looks like the bachelor Samson
Carrasco; perhaps in him you will kill one of your enemies, the

"Thy advice is not bad," said Don Quixote, "for of enemies the fewer
the better;" and he was drawing his sword to carry into effect
Sancho's counsel and suggestion, when the squire of the Mirrors came
up, now without the nose which had made him so hideous, and cried
out in a loud voice, "Mind what you are about, Senor Don Quixote; that
is your friend, the bachelor Samson Carrasco, you have at your feet,
and I am his squire."

"And the nose?" said Sancho, seeing him without the hideous
feature he had before; to which he replied, "I have it here in my
pocket," and putting his hand into his right pocket, he pulled out a
masquerade nose of varnished pasteboard of the make already described;
and Sancho, examining him more and more closely, exclaimed aloud in
a voice of amazement, "Holy Mary be good to me! Isn't it Tom Cecial,
my neighbour and gossip?"

"Why, to be sure I am!" returned the now unnosed squire; "Tom Cecial
I am, gossip and friend Sancho Panza; and I'll tell you presently
the means and tricks and falsehoods by which I have been brought here;
but in the meantime, beg and entreat of your master not to touch,
maltreat, wound, or slay the Knight of the Mirrors whom he has at
his feet; because, beyond all dispute, it is the rash and
ill-advised bachelor Samson Carrasco, our fellow townsman."

At this moment he of the Mirrors came to himself, and Don Quixote
perceiving it, held the naked point of his sword over his face, and
said to him, "You are a dead man, knight, unless you confess that
the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso excels your Casildea de Vandalia in
beauty; and in addition to this you must promise, if you should
survive this encounter and fall, to go to the city of El Toboso and
present yourself before her on my behalf, that she deal with you
according to her good pleasure; and if she leaves you free to do
yours, you are in like manner to return and seek me out (for the trail
of my mighty deeds will serve you as a guide to lead you to where I
may be), and tell me what may have passed between you and her-
conditions which, in accordance with what we stipulated before our
combat, do not transgress the just limits of knight-errantry."

"I confess," said the fallen knight, "that the dirty tattered shoe
of the lady Dulcinea del Toboso is better than the ill-combed though
clean beard of Casildea; and I promise to go and to return from her
presence to yours, and to give you a full and particular account of
all you demand of me."

"You must also confess and believe," added Don Quixote, "that the
knight you vanquished was not and could not be Don Quixote of La
Mancha, but some one else in his likeness, just as I confess and
believe that you, though you seem to be the bachelor Samson
Carrasco, are not so, but some other resembling him, whom my enemies
have here put before me in his shape, in order that I may restrain and
moderate the vehemence of my wrath, and make a gentle use of the glory
of my victory."

"I confess, hold, and think everything to be as you believe, hold,
and think it," the crippled knight; "let me rise, I entreat you; if,
indeed, the shock of my fall will allow me, for it has left me in a
sorry plight enough."

Don Quixote helped him to rise, with the assistance of his squire
Tom Cecial; from whom Sancho never took his eyes, and to whom he put
questions, the replies to which furnished clear proof that he was
really and truly the Tom Cecial he said; but the impression made on
Sancho's mind by what his master said about the enchanters having
changed the face of the Knight of the Mirrors into that of the
bachelor Samson Carrasco, would not permit him to believe what he
saw with his eyes. In fine, both master and man remained under the
delusion; and, down in the mouth, and out of luck, he of the Mirrors
and his squire parted from Don Quixote and Sancho, he meaning to go
look for some village where he could plaster and strap his ribs. Don
Quixote and Sancho resumed their journey to Saragossa, and on it the
history leaves them in order that it may tell who the Knight of the
Mirrors and his long-nosed squire were.



Don Quixote went off satisfied, elated, and vain-glorious in the
highest degree at having won a victory over such a valiant knight as
he fancied him of the Mirrors to be, and one from whose knightly
word he expected to learn whether the enchantment of his lady still
continued; inasmuch as the said vanquished knight was bound, under the
penalty of ceasing to be one, to return and render him an account of
what took place between him and her. But Don Quixote was of one
mind, he of the Mirrors of another, for he just then had no thought of
anything but finding some village where he could plaster himself, as
has been said already. The history goes on to say, then, that when the
bachelor Samson Carrasco recommended Don Quixote to resume his
knight-errantry which he had laid aside, it was in consequence of
having been previously in conclave with the curate and the barber on
the means to be adopted to induce Don Quixote to stay at home in peace
and quiet without worrying himself with his ill-starred adventures; at
which consultation it was decided by the unanimous vote of all, and on
the special advice of Carrasco, that Don Quixote should be allowed
to go, as it seemed impossible to restrain him, and that Samson should
sally forth to meet him as a knight-errant, and do battle with him,
for there would be no difficulty about a cause, and vanquish him, that
being looked upon as an easy matter; and that it should be agreed
and settled that the vanquished was to be at the mercy of the
victor. Then, Don Quixote being vanquished, the bachelor knight was to
command him to return to his village and his house, and not quit it
for two years, or until he received further orders from him; all which
it was clear Don Quixote would unhesitatingly obey, rather than
contravene or fail to observe the laws of chivalry; and during the
period of his seclusion he might perhaps forget his folly, or there
might be an opportunity of discovering some ready remedy for his
madness. Carrasco undertook the task, and Tom Cecial, a gossip and
neighbour of Sancho Panza's, a lively, feather-headed fellow,
offered himself as his squire. Carrasco armed himself in the fashion
described, and Tom Cecial, that he might not be known by his gossip
when they met, fitted on over his own natural nose the false
masquerade one that has been mentioned; and so they followed the
same route Don Quixote took, and almost came up with him in time to be
present at the adventure of the cart of Death and finally
encountered them in the grove, where all that the sagacious reader has
been reading about took place; and had it not been for the
extraordinary fancies of Don Quixote, and his conviction that the
bachelor was not the bachelor, senor bachelor would have been
incapacitated for ever from taking his degree of licentiate, all
through not finding nests where he thought to find birds.

Tom Cecial, seeing how ill they had succeeded, and what a sorry
end their expedition had come to, said to the bachelor, "Sure
enough, Senor Samson Carrasco, we are served right; it is easy
enough to plan and set about an enterprise, but it is often a
difficult matter to come well out of it. Don Quixote a madman, and
we sane; he goes off laughing, safe, and sound, and you are left
sore and sorry! I'd like to know now which is the madder, he who is so
because he cannot help it, or he who is so of his own choice?"

To which Samson replied, "The difference between the two sorts of
madmen is, that he who is so will he nil he, will be one always, while
he who is so of his own accord can leave off being one whenever he

"In that case," said Tom Cecial, "I was a madman of my own accord
when I volunteered to become your squire, and, of my own accord,
I'll leave off being one and go home."

"That's your affair," returned Samson, "but to suppose that I am
going home until I have given Don Quixote a thrashing is absurd; and
it is not any wish that he may recover his senses that will make me
hunt him out now, but a wish for the sore pain I am in with my ribs
won't let me entertain more charitable thoughts."

Thus discoursing, the pair proceeded until they reached a town where
it was their good luck to find a bone-setter, with whose help the
unfortunate Samson was cured. Tom Cecial left him and went home, while
he stayed behind meditating vengeance; and the history will return
to him again at the proper time, so as not to omit making merry with
Don Quixote now.



Don Quixote pursued his journey in the high spirits, satisfaction,
and self-complacency already described, fancying himself the most
valorous knight-errant of the age in the world because of his late
victory. All the adventures that could befall him from that time forth
he regarded as already done and brought to a happy issue; he made
light of enchantments and enchanters; he thought no more of the
countless drubbings that had been administered to him in the course of
his knight-errantry, nor of the volley of stones that had levelled
half his teeth, nor of the ingratitude of the galley slaves, nor of
the audacity of the Yanguesans and the shower of stakes that fell upon
him; in short, he said to himself that could he discover any means,
mode, or way of disenchanting his lady Dulcinea, he would not envy the
highest fortune that the most fortunate knight-errant of yore ever
reached or could reach.

He was going along entirely absorbed in these fancies, when Sancho
said to him, "Isn't it odd, senor, that I have still before my eyes
that monstrous enormous nose of my gossip, Tom Cecial?"

"And dost thou, then, believe, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that
the Knight of the Mirrors was the bachelor Carrasco, and his squire
Tom Cecial thy gossip?"

"I don't know what to say to that," replied Sancho; "all I know is
that the tokens he gave me about my own house, wife and children,
nobody else but himself could have given me; and the face, once the
nose was off, was the very face of Tom Cecial, as I have seen it
many a time in my town and next door to my own house; and the sound of
the voice was just the same."

"Let us reason the matter, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "Come now,
by what process of thinking can it be supposed that the bachelor
Samson Carrasco would come as a knight-errant, in arms offensive and
defensive, to fight with me? Have I ever been by any chance his enemy?
Have I ever given him any occasion to owe me a grudge? Am I his rival,
or does he profess arms, that he should envy the fame I have
acquired in them?"

"Well, but what are we to say, senor," returned Sancho, "about
that knight, whoever he is, being so like the bachelor Carrasco, and
his squire so like my gossip, Tom Cecial? And if that be
enchantment, as your worship says, was there no other pair in the
world for them to take the likeness of?"

"It is all," said Don Quixote, "a scheme and plot of the malignant
magicians that persecute me, who, foreseeing that I was to be
victorious in the conflict, arranged that the vanquished knight should
display the countenance of my friend the bachelor, in order that the
friendship I bear him should interpose to stay the edge of my sword
and might of my arm, and temper the just wrath of my heart; so that he
who sought to take my life by fraud and falsehood should save his own.
And to prove it, thou knowest already, Sancho, by experience which
cannot lie or deceive, how easy it is for enchanters to change one
countenance into another, turning fair into foul, and foul into
fair; for it is not two days since thou sawest with thine own eyes the
beauty and elegance of the peerless Dulcinea in all its perfection and
natural harmony, while I saw her in the repulsive and mean form of a
coarse country wench, with cataracts in her eyes and a foul smell in
her mouth; and when the perverse enchanter ventured to effect so
wicked a transformation, it is no wonder if he effected that of Samson
Carrasco and thy gossip in order to snatch the glory of victory out of
my grasp. For all that, however, I console myself, because, after all,
in whatever shape he may have been, I have victorious over my enemy."

"God knows what's the truth of it all," said Sancho; and knowing
as he did that the transformation of Dulcinea had been a device and
imposition of his own, his master's illusions were not satisfactory to
him; but he did not like to reply lest he should say something that
might disclose his trickery.

As they were engaged in this conversation they were overtaken by a
man who was following the same road behind them, mounted on a very
handsome flea-bitten mare, and dressed in a gaban of fine green cloth,
with tawny velvet facings, and a montera of the same velvet. The
trappings of the mare were of the field and jineta fashion, and of
mulberry colour and green. He carried a Moorish cutlass hanging from a
broad green and gold baldric; the buskins were of the same make as the
baldric; the spurs were not gilt, but lacquered green, and so brightly
polished that, matching as they did the rest of his apparel, they
looked better than if they had been of pure gold.

When the traveller came up with them he saluted them courteously,
and spurring his mare was passing them without stopping, but Don
Quixote called out to him, "Gallant sir, if so be your worship is
going our road, and has no occasion for speed, it would be a
pleasure to me if we were to join company."

"In truth," replied he on the mare, "I would not pass you so hastily
but for fear that horse might turn restive in the company of my mare."

"You may safely hold in your mare, senor," said Sancho in reply to
this, "for our horse is the most virtuous and well-behaved horse in
the world; he never does anything wrong on such occasions, and the
only time he misbehaved, my master and I suffered for it sevenfold;
I say again your worship may pull up if you like; for if she was
offered to him between two plates the horse would not hanker after

The traveller drew rein, amazed at the trim and features of Don
Quixote, who rode without his helmet, which Sancho carried like a
valise in front of Dapple's pack-saddle; and if the man in green
examined Don Quixote closely, still more closely did Don Quixote
examine the man in green, who struck him as being a man of
intelligence. In appearance he was about fifty years of age, with
but few grey hairs, an aquiline cast of features, and an expression
between grave and gay; and his dress and accoutrements showed him to
be a man of good condition. What he in green thought of Don Quixote of
La Mancha was that a man of that sort and shape he had never yet seen;
he marvelled at the length of his hair, his lofty stature, the
lankness and sallowness of his countenance, his armour, his bearing
and his gravity- a figure and picture such as had not been seen in
those regions for many a long day.

Don Quixote saw very plainly the attention with which the
traveller was regarding him, and read his curiosity in his
astonishment; and courteous as he was and ready to please everybody,
before the other could ask him any question he anticipated him by
saying, "The appearance I present to your worship being so strange and
so out of the common, I should not be surprised if it filled you
with wonder; but you will cease to wonder when I tell you, as I do,
that I am one of those knights who, as people say, go seeking
adventures. I have left my home, I have mortgaged my estate, I have
given up my comforts, and committed myself to the arms of Fortune,
to bear me whithersoever she may please. My desire was to bring to
life again knight-errantry, now dead, and for some time past,
stumbling here, falling there, now coming down headlong, now raising
myself up again, I have carried out a great portion of my design,
succouring widows, protecting maidens, and giving aid to wives,
orphans, and minors, the proper and natural duty of knights-errant;
and, therefore, because of my many valiant and Christian achievements,
I have been already found worthy to make my way in print to
well-nigh all, or most, of the nations of the earth. Thirty thousand
volumes of my history have been printed, and it is on the high-road to
be printed thirty thousand thousands of times, if heaven does not
put a stop to it. In short, to sum up all in a few words, or in a
single one, I may tell you I am Don Quixote of La Mancha, otherwise
called 'The Knight of the Rueful Countenance;' for though
self-praise is degrading, I must perforce sound my own sometimes, that
is to say, when there is no one at hand to do it for me. So that,
gentle sir, neither this horse, nor this lance, nor this shield, nor
this squire, nor all these arms put together, nor the sallowness of my
countenance, nor my gaunt leanness, will henceforth astonish you,
now that you know who I am and what profession I follow."

With these words Don Quixote held his peace, and, from the time he
took to answer, the man in green seemed to be at a loss for a reply;
after a long pause, however, he said to him, "You were right when
you saw curiosity in my amazement, sir knight; but you have not
succeeded in removing the astonishment I feel at seeing you; for
although you say, senor, that knowing who you are ought to remove
it, it has not done so; on the contrary, now that I know, I am left
more amazed and astonished than before. What! is it possible that
there are knights-errant in the world in these days, and histories
of real chivalry printed? I cannot realise the fact that there can
be anyone on earth now-a-days who aids widows, or protects maidens, or
defends wives, or succours orphans; nor should I believe it had I
not seen it in your worship with my own eyes. Blessed be heaven! for
by means of this history of your noble and genuine chivalrous deeds,
which you say has been printed, the countless stories of fictitious
knights-errant with which the world is filled, so much to the injury
of morality and the prejudice and discredit of good histories, will
have been driven into oblivion."

"There is a good deal to be said on that point," said Don Quixote,
"as to whether the histories of the knights-errant are fiction or

"Why, is there anyone who doubts that those histories are false?"
said the man in green.

"I doubt it," said Don Quixote, "but never mind that just now; if
our journey lasts long enough, I trust in God I shall show your
worship that you do wrong in going with the stream of those who regard
it as a matter of certainty that they are not true."

From this last observation of Don Quixote's, the traveller began
to have a suspicion that he was some crazy being, and was waiting
him to confirm it by something further; but before they could turn
to any new subject Don Quixote begged him to tell him who he was,
since he himself had rendered account of his station and life. To
this, he in the green gaban replied "I, Sir Knight of the Rueful
Countenance, am a gentleman by birth, native of the village where,
please God, we are going to dine today; I am more than fairly well
off, and my name is Don Diego de Miranda. I pass my life with my wife,
children, and friends; my pursuits are hunting and fishing, but I keep
neither hawks nor greyhounds, nothing but a tame partridge or a bold
ferret or two; I have six dozen or so of books, some in our mother
tongue, some Latin, some of them history, others devotional; those
of chivalry have not as yet crossed the threshold of my door; I am
more given to turning over the profane than the devotional, so long as
they are books of honest entertainment that charm by their style and
attract and interest by the invention they display, though of these
there are very few in Spain. Sometimes I dine with my neighbours and
friends, and often invite them; my entertainments are neat and well
served without stint of anything. I have no taste for tattle, nor do I
allow tattling in my presence; I pry not into my neighbours' lives,
nor have I lynx-eyes for what others do. I hear mass every day; I
share my substance with the poor, making no display of good works,
lest I let hypocrisy and vainglory, those enemies that subtly take
possession of the most watchful heart, find an entrance into mine. I
strive to make peace between those whom I know to be at variance; I am
the devoted servant of Our Lady, and my trust is ever in the
infinite mercy of God our Lord."

Sancho listened with the greatest attention to the account of the
gentleman's life and occupation; and thinking it a good and a holy
life, and that he who led it ought to work miracles, he threw
himself off Dapple, and running in haste seized his right stirrup
and kissed his foot again and again with a devout heart and almost
with tears.

Seeing this the gentleman asked him, "What are you about, brother?
What are these kisses for?"

"Let me kiss," said Sancho, "for I think your worship is the first
saint in the saddle I ever saw all the days of my life."

"I am no saint," replied the gentleman, "but a great sinner; but you
are, brother, for you must be a good fellow, as your simplicity

Sancho went back and regained his pack-saddle, having extracted a
laugh from his master's profound melancholy, and excited fresh
amazement in Don Diego. Don Quixote then asked him how many children
he had, and observed that one of the things wherein the ancient
philosophers, who were without the true knowledge of God, placed the
summum bonum was in the gifts of nature, in those of fortune, in
having many friends, and many and good children.

"I, Senor Don Quixote," answered the gentleman, "have one son,
without whom, perhaps, I should count myself happier than I am, not
because he is a bad son, but because he is not so good as I could
wish. He is eighteen years of age; he has been for six at Salamanca
studying Latin and Greek, and when I wished him to turn to the study
of other sciences I found him so wrapped up in that of poetry (if that
can be called a science) that there is no getting him to take kindly
to the law, which I wished him to study, or to theology, the queen
of them all. I would like him to be an honour to his family, as we
live in days when our kings liberally reward learning that is virtuous
and worthy; for learning without virtue is a pearl on a dunghill. He
spends the whole day in settling whether Homer expressed himself
correctly or not in such and such a line of the Iliad, whether Martial
was indecent or not in such and such an epigram, whether such and such
lines of Virgil are to be understood in this way or in that; in short,
all his talk is of the works of these poets, and those of Horace,
Perseus, Juvenal, and Tibullus; for of the moderns in our own language
he makes no great account; but with all his seeming indifference to
Spanish poetry, just now his thoughts are absorbed in making a gloss
on four lines that have been sent him from Salamanca, which I
suspect are for some poetical tournament."

To all this Don Quixote said in reply, "Children, senor, are
portions of their parents' bowels, and therefore, be they good or bad,
are to be loved as we love the souls that give us life; it is for
the parents to guide them from infancy in the ways of virtue,
propriety, and worthy Christian conduct, so that when grown up they
may be the staff of their parents' old age, and the glory of their
posterity; and to force them to study this or that science I do not
think wise, though it may be no harm to persuade them; and when
there is no need to study for the sake of pane lucrando, and it is the
student's good fortune that heaven has given him parents who provide
him with it, it would be my advice to them to let him pursue
whatever science they may see him most inclined to; and though that of
poetry is less useful than pleasurable, it is not one of those that
bring discredit upon the possessor. Poetry, gentle sir, is, as I
take it, like a tender young maiden of supreme beauty, to array,
bedeck, and adorn whom is the task of several other maidens, who are
all the rest of the sciences; and she must avail herself of the help
of all, and all derive their lustre from her. But this maiden will not
bear to be handled, nor dragged through the streets, nor exposed
either at the corners of the market-places, or in the closets of
palaces. She is the product of an Alchemy of such virtue that he who
is able to practise it, will turn her into pure gold of inestimable
worth. He that possesses her must keep her within bounds, not
permitting her to break out in ribald satires or soulless sonnets. She
must on no account be offered for sale, unless, indeed, it be in
heroic poems, moving tragedies, or sprightly and ingenious comedies.
She must not be touched by the buffoons, nor by the ignorant vulgar,
incapable of comprehending or appreciating her hidden treasures. And
do not suppose, senor, that I apply the term vulgar here merely to
plebeians and the lower orders; for everyone who is ignorant, be he
lord or prince, may and should be included among the vulgar. He, then,
who shall embrace and cultivate poetry under the conditions I have
named, shall become famous, and his name honoured throughout all the
civilised nations of the earth. And with regard to what you say,
senor, of your son having no great opinion of Spanish poetry, I am
inclined to think that he is not quite right there, and for this
reason: the great poet Homer did not write in Latin, because he was
a Greek, nor did Virgil write in Greek, because he was a Latin; in
short, all the ancient poets wrote in the language they imbibed with
their mother's milk, and never went in quest of foreign ones to
express their sublime conceptions; and that being so, the usage should
in justice extend to all nations, and the German poet should not be
undervalued because he writes in his own language, nor the
Castilian, nor even the Biscayan, for writing in his. But your son,
senor, I suspect, is not prejudiced against Spanish poetry, but
against those poets who are mere Spanish verse writers, without any
knowledge of other languages or sciences to adorn and give life and
vigour to their natural inspiration; and yet even in this he may be
wrong; for, according to a true belief, a poet is born one; that is to
say, the poet by nature comes forth a poet from his mother's womb; and
following the bent that heaven has bestowed upon him, without the
aid of study or art, he produces things that show how truly he spoke
who said, 'Est Deus in nobis,' &c. At the same time, I say that the
poet by nature who calls in art to his aid will be a far better
poet, and will surpass him who tries to be one relying upon his
knowledge of art alone. The reason is, that art does not surpass
nature, but only brings it to perfection; and thus, nature combined
with art, and art with nature, will produce a perfect poet. To bring
my argument to a close, I would say then, gentle sir, let your son
go on as his star leads him, for being so studious as he seems to
be, and having already successfully surmounted the first step of the
sciences, which is that of the languages, with their help he will by
his own exertions reach the summit of polite literature, which so well
becomes an independent gentleman, and adorns, honours, and
distinguishes him, as much as the mitre does the bishop, or the gown
the learned counsellor. If your son write satires reflecting on the
honour of others, chide and correct him, and tear them up; but if he
compose discourses in which he rebukes vice in general, in the style
of Horace, and with elegance like his, commend him; for it is
legitimate for a poet to write against envy and lash the envious in
his verse, and the other vices too, provided he does not single out
individuals; there are, however, poets who, for the sake of saying
something spiteful, would run the risk of being banished to the
coast of Pontus. If the poet be pure in his morals, he will be pure in
his verses too; the pen is the tongue of the mind, and as the thought
engendered there, so will be the things that it writes down. And when
kings and princes observe this marvellous science of poetry in wise,
virtuous, and thoughtful subjects, they honour, value, exalt them, and
even crown them with the leaves of that tree which the thunderbolt
strikes not, as if to show that they whose brows are honoured and
adorned with such a crown are not to be assailed by anyone."

He of the green gaban was filled with astonishment at Don Quixote's
argument, so much so that he began to abandon the notion he had taken
up about his being crazy. But in the middle of the discourse, it being
not very much to his taste, Sancho had turned aside out of the road to
beg a little milk from some shepherds, who were milking their ewes
hard by; and just as the gentleman, highly pleased, was about to renew
the conversation, Don Quixote, raising his head, perceived a cart
covered with royal flags coming along the road they were travelling;
and persuaded that this must be some new adventure, he called aloud to
Sancho to come and bring him his helmet. Sancho, hearing himself
called, quitted the shepherds, and, prodding Dapple vigorously, came
up to his master, to whom there fell a terrific and desperate



The history tells that when Don Quixote called out to Sancho to
bring him his helmet, Sancho was buying some curds the shepherds
agreed to sell him, and flurried by the great haste his master was
in did not know what to do with them or what to carry them in; so, not
to lose them, for he had already paid for them, he thought it best
to throw them into his master's helmet, and acting on this bright idea
he went to see what his master wanted with him. He, as he
approached, exclaimed to him:

"Give me that helmet, my friend, for either I know little of
adventures, or what I observe yonder is one that will, and does,
call upon me to arm myself."

He of the green gaban, on hearing this, looked in all directions,
but could perceive nothing, except a cart coming towards them with two
or three small flags, which led him to conclude it must be carrying
treasure of the King's, and he said so to Don Quixote. He, however,
would not believe him, being always persuaded and convinced that all
that happened to him must be adventures and still more adventures;
so he replied to the gentleman, "He who is prepared has his battle
half fought; nothing is lost by my preparing myself, for I know by
experience that I have enemies, visible and invisible, and I know
not when, or where, or at what moment, or in what shapes they will
attack me;" and turning to Sancho he called for his helmet; and
Sancho, as he had no time to take out the curds, had to give it just
as it was. Don Quixote took it, and without perceiving what was in
it thrust it down in hot haste upon his head; but as the curds were
pressed and squeezed the whey began to run all over his face and
beard, whereat he was so startled that he cried out to Sancho:

"Sancho, what's this? I think my head is softening, or my brains are
melting, or I am sweating from head to foot! If I am sweating it is
not indeed from fear. I am convinced beyond a doubt that the adventure
which is about to befall me is a terrible one. Give me something to
wipe myself with, if thou hast it, for this profuse sweat is
blinding me."

Sancho held his tongue, and gave him a cloth, and gave thanks to God
at the same time that his master had not found out what was the
matter. Don Quixote then wiped himself, and took off his helmet to see
what it was that made his head feel so cool, and seeing all that white
mash inside his helmet he put it to his nose, and as soon as he had
smelt it he exclaimed:

"By the life of my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, but it is curds thou
hast put here, thou treacherous, impudent, ill-mannered squire!"

To which, with great composure and pretended innocence, Sancho
replied, "If they are curds let me have them, your worship, and I'll
eat them; but let the devil eat them, for it must have been he who put
them there. I dare to dirty your helmet! You have guessed the offender
finely! Faith, sir, by the light God gives me, it seems I must have
enchanters too, that persecute me as a creature and limb of your
worship, and they must have put that nastiness there in order to
provoke your patience to anger, and make you baste my ribs as you
are wont to do. Well, this time, indeed, they have missed their aim,
for I trust to my master's good sense to see that I have got no
curds or milk, or anything of the sort; and that if I had it is in
my stomach I would put it and not in the helmet."

"May he so," said Don Quixote. All this the gentleman was observing,
and with astonishment, more especially when, after having wiped
himself clean, his head, face, beard, and helmet, Don Quixote put it
on, and settling himself firmly in his stirrups, easing his sword in
the scabbard, and grasping his lance, he cried, "Now, come who will,
here am I, ready to try conclusions with Satan himself in person!"

By this time the cart with the flags had come up, unattended by
anyone except the carter on a mule, and a man sitting in front. Don
Quixote planted himself before it and said, "Whither are you going,
brothers? What cart is this? What have you got in it? What flags are

To this the carter replied, "The cart is mine; what is in it is a
pair of wild caged lions, which the governor of Oran is sending to
court as a present to his Majesty; and the flags are our lord the
King's, to show that what is here is his property."

"And are the lions large?" asked Don Quixote.

"So large," replied the man who sat at the door of the cart, "that
larger, or as large, have never crossed from Africa to Spain; I am the
keeper, and I have brought over others, but never any like these. They
are male and female; the male is in that first cage and the female
in the one behind, and they are hungry now, for they have eaten
nothing to-day, so let your worship stand aside, for we must make
haste to the place where we are to feed them."

Hereupon, smiling slightly, Don Quixote exclaimed, "Lion-whelps to
me! to me whelps of lions, and at such a time! Then, by God! those
gentlemen who send them here shall see if I am a man to be
frightened by lions. Get down, my good fellow, and as you are the
keeper open the cages, and turn me out those beasts, and in the
midst of this plain I will let them know who Don Quixote of La
Mancha is, in spite and in the teeth of the enchanters who send them
to me."

"So, so," said the gentleman to himself at this; "our worthy
knight has shown of what sort he is; the curds, no doubt, have
softened his skull and brought his brains to a head."

At this instant Sancho came up to him, saying, "Senor, for God's
sake do something to keep my master, Don Quixote, from tackling
these lions; for if he does they'll tear us all to pieces here."

"Is your master then so mad," asked the gentleman, "that you believe
and are afraid he will engage such fierce animals?"

"He is not mad," said Sancho, "but he is venturesome."

"I will prevent it," said the gentleman; and going over to Don
Quixote, who was insisting upon the keeper's opening the cages, he
said to him, "Sir knight, knights-errant should attempt adventures
which encourage the hope of a successful issue, not those which
entirely withhold it; for valour that trenches upon temerity savours
rather of madness than of courage; moreover, these lions do not come
to oppose you, nor do they dream of such a thing; they are going as
presents to his Majesty, and it will not be right to stop them or
delay their journey."

"Gentle sir," replied Don Quixote, "you go and mind your tame
partridge and your bold ferret, and leave everyone to manage his own
business; this is mine, and I know whether these gentlemen the lions
come to me or not;" and then turning to the keeper he exclaimed, "By
all that's good, sir scoundrel, if you don't open the cages this
very instant, I'll pin you to the cart with this lance."

The carter, seeing the determination of this apparition in armour,
said to him, "Please your worship, for charity's sake, senor, let me
unyoke the mules and place myself in safety along with them before the
lions are turned out; for if they kill them on me I am ruined for
life, for all I possess is this cart and mules."

"O man of little faith," replied Don Quixote, "get down and
unyoke; you will soon see that you are exerting yourself for
nothing, and that you might have spared yourself the trouble."

The carter got down and with all speed unyoked the mules, and the
keeper called out at the top of his voice, "I call all here to witness
that against my will and under compulsion I open the cages and let the
lions loose, and that I warn this gentleman that he will be
accountable for all the harm and mischief which these beasts may do,
and for my salary and dues as well. You, gentlemen, place yourselves
in safety before I open, for I know they will do me no harm."

Once more the gentleman strove to persuade Don Quixote not to do
such a mad thing, as it was tempting God to engage in such a piece
of folly. To this, Don Quixote replied that he knew what he was about.
The gentleman in return entreated him to reflect, for he knew he was
under a delusion.

"Well, senor," answered Don Quixote, "if you do not like to be a
spectator of this tragedy, as in your opinion it will be, spur your
flea-bitten mare, and place yourself in safety."

Hearing this, Sancho with tears in his eyes entreated him to give up
an enterprise compared with which the one of the windmills, and the
awful one of the fulling mills, and, in fact, all the feats he had
attempted in the whole course of his life, were cakes and fancy bread.
"Look ye, senor," said Sancho, "there's no enchantment here, nor
anything of the sort, for between the bars and chinks of the cage I
have seen the paw of a real lion, and judging by that I reckon the
lion such a paw could belong to must be bigger than a mountain."

"Fear at any rate," replied Don Quixote, "will make him look
bigger to thee than half the world. Retire, Sancho, and leave me;
and if I die here thou knowest our old compact; thou wilt repair to
Dulcinea- I say no more." To these he added some further words that
banished all hope of his giving up his insane project. He of the green
gaban would have offered resistance, but he found himself
ill-matched as to arms, and did not think it prudent to come to
blows with a madman, for such Don Quixote now showed himself to be
in every respect; and the latter, renewing his commands to the
keeper and repeating his threats, gave warning to the gentleman to
spur his mare, Sancho his Dapple, and the carter his mules, all
striving to get away from the cart as far as they could before the
lions broke loose. Sancho was weeping over his master's death, for
this time he firmly believed it was in store for him from the claws of
the lions; and he cursed his fate and called it an unlucky hour when
he thought of taking service with him again; but with all his tears
and lamentations he did not forget to thrash Dapple so as to put a
good space between himself and the cart. The keeper, seeing that the
fugitives were now some distance off, once more entreated and warned
him as before; but he replied that he heard him, and that he need
not trouble himself with any further warnings or entreaties, as they
would be fruitless, and bade him make haste.

During the delay that occurred while the keeper was opening the
first cage, Don Quixote was considering whether it would not be well
to do battle on foot, instead of on horseback, and finally resolved to
fight on foot, fearing that Rocinante might take fright at the sight
of the lions; he therefore sprang off his horse, flung his lance
aside, braced his buckler on his arm, and drawing his sword,
advanced slowly with marvellous intrepidity and resolute courage, to
plant himself in front of the cart, commending himself with all his
heart to God and to his lady Dulcinea.

It is to be observed, that on coming to this passage, the author
of this veracious history breaks out into exclamations. "O doughty Don
Quixote! high-mettled past extolling! Mirror, wherein all the heroes
of the world may see themselves! Second modern Don Manuel de Leon,
once the glory and honour of Spanish knighthood! In what words shall I
describe this dread exploit, by what language shall I make it credible
to ages to come, what eulogies are there unmeet for thee, though
they be hyperboles piled on hyperboles! On foot, alone, undaunted,
high-souled, with but a simple sword, and that no trenchant blade of
the Perrillo brand, a shield, but no bright polished steel one,
there stoodst thou, biding and awaiting the two fiercest lions that
Africa's forests ever bred! Thy own deeds be thy praise, valiant
Manchegan, and here I leave them as they stand, wanting the words
wherewith to glorify them!"

Here the author's outburst came to an end, and he proceeded to
take up the thread of his story, saying that the keeper, seeing that
Don Quixote had taken up his position, and that it was impossible
for him to avoid letting out the male without incurring the enmity
of the fiery and daring knight, flung open the doors of the first
cage, containing, as has been said, the lion, which was now seen to be
of enormous size, and grim and hideous mien. The first thing he did
was to turn round in the cage in which he lay, and protrude his claws,
and stretch himself thoroughly; he next opened his mouth, and yawned
very leisurely, and with near two palms' length of tongue that he
had thrust forth, he licked the dust out of his eyes and washed his
face; having done this, he put his head out of the cage and looked all
round with eyes like glowing coals, a spectacle and demeanour to
strike terror into temerity itself. Don Quixote merely observed him
steadily, longing for him to leap from the cart and come to close
quarters with him, when he hoped to hew him in pieces.

So far did his unparalleled madness go; but the noble lion, more
courteous than arrogant, not troubling himself about silly bravado,
after having looked all round, as has been said, turned about and
presented his hind-quarters to Don Quixote, and very coolly and
tranquilly lay down again in the cage. Seeing this, Don Quixote
ordered the keeper to take a stick to him and provoke him to make
him come out.

"That I won't," said the keeper; "for if I anger him, the first
he'll tear in pieces will be myself. Be satisfied, sir knight, with
what you have done, which leaves nothing more to be said on the
score of courage, and do not seek to tempt fortune a second time.
The lion has the door open; he is free to come out or not to come out;
but as he has not come out so far, he will not come out to-day. Your
worship's great courage has been fully manifested already; no brave
champion, so it strikes me, is bound to do more than challenge his
enemy and wait for him on the field; if his adversary does not come,
on him lies the disgrace, and he who waits for him carries off the
crown of victory."

"That is true," said Don Quixote; "close the door, my friend, and
let me have, in the best form thou canst, what thou hast seen me do,
by way of certificate; to wit, that thou didst open for the lion, that
I waited for him, that he did not come out, that I still waited for
him, and that still he did not come out, and lay down again. I am
not bound to do more; enchantments avaunt, and God uphold the right,
the truth, and true chivalry! Close the door as I bade thee, while I
make signals to the fugitives that have left us, that they may learn
this exploit from thy lips."

The keeper obeyed, and Don Quixote, fixing on the point of his lance
the cloth he had wiped his face with after the deluge of curds,
proceeded to recall the others, who still continued to fly, looking
back at every step, all in a body, the gentleman bringing up the rear.
Sancho, however, happening to observe the signal of the white cloth,
exclaimed, "May I die, if my master has not overcome the wild
beasts, for he is calling to us."

They all stopped, and perceived that it was Don Quixote who was
making signals, and shaking off their fears to some extent, they
approached slowly until they were near enough to hear distinctly Don
Quixote's voice calling to them. They returned at length to the
cart, and as they came up, Don Quixote said to the carter, "Put your
mules to once more, brother, and continue your journey; and do thou,
Sancho, give him two gold crowns for himself and the keeper, to
compensate for the delay they have incurred through me."

"That will I give with all my heart," said Sancho; "but what has
become of the lions? Are they dead or alive?"

The keeper, then, in full detail, and bit by bit, described the
end of the contest, exalting to the best of his power and ability
the valour of Don Quixote, at the sight of whom the lion quailed,
and would not and dared not come out of the cage, although he had held
the door open ever so long; and showing how, in consequence of his
having represented to the knight that it was tempting God to provoke
the lion in order to force him out, which he wished to have done, he
very reluctantly, and altogether against his will, had allowed the
door to be closed.

"What dost thou think of this, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Are there
any enchantments that can prevail against true valour? The
enchanters may be able to rob me of good fortune, but of fortitude and
courage they cannot."

Sancho paid the crowns, the carter put to, the keeper kissed Don
Quixote's hands for the bounty bestowed upon him, and promised to give
an account of the valiant exploit to the King himself, as soon as he
saw him at court.

"Then," said Don Quixote, "if his Majesty should happen to ask who
performed it, you must say THE KNIGHT OF THE LIONS; for it is my
desire that into this the name I have hitherto borne of Knight of
the Rueful Countenance be from this time forward changed, altered,
transformed, and turned; and in this I follow the ancient usage of
knights-errant, who changed their names when they pleased, or when
it suited their purpose."

The cart went its way, and Don Quixote, Sancho, and he of the
green gaban went theirs. All this time, Don Diego de Miranda had not
spoken a word, being entirely taken up with observing and noting all
that Don Quixote did and said, and the opinion he formed was that he
was a man of brains gone mad, and a madman on the verge of
rationality. The first part of his history had not yet reached him,
for, had he read it, the amazement with which his words and deeds
filled him would have vanished, as he would then have understood the
nature of his madness; but knowing nothing of it, he took him to be
rational one moment, and crazy the next, for what he said was
sensible, elegant, and well expressed, and what he did, absurd,
rash, and foolish; and said he to himself, "What could be madder
than putting on a helmet full of curds, and then persuading oneself
that enchanters are softening one's skull; or what could be greater
rashness and folly than wanting to fight lions tooth and nail?"

Don Quixote roused him from these reflections and this soliloquy
by saying, "No doubt, Senor Don Diego de Miranda, you set me down in
your mind as a fool and a madman, and it would be no wonder if you
did, for my deeds do not argue anything else. But for all that, I
would have you take notice that I am neither so mad nor so foolish
as I must have seemed to you. A gallant knight shows to advantage
bringing his lance to bear adroitly upon a fierce bull under the
eyes of his sovereign, in the midst of a spacious plaza; a knight
shows to advantage arrayed in glittering armour, pacing the lists
before the ladies in some joyous tournament, and all those knights
show to advantage that entertain, divert, and, if we may say so,
honour the courts of their princes by warlike exercises, or what
resemble them; but to greater advantage than all these does a
knight-errant show when he traverses deserts, solitudes,
cross-roads, forests, and mountains, in quest of perilous
adventures, bent on bringing them to a happy and successful issue, all
to win a glorious and lasting renown. To greater advantage, I
maintain, does the knight-errant show bringing aid to some widow in
some lonely waste, than the court knight dallying with some city
damsel. All knights have their own special parts to play; let the
courtier devote himself to the ladies, let him add lustre to his
sovereign's court by his liveries, let him entertain poor gentlemen
with the sumptuous fare of his table, let him arrange joustings,
marshal tournaments, and prove himself noble, generous, and
magnificent, and above all a good Christian, and so doing he will
fulfil the duties that are especially his; but let the knight-errant
explore the corners of the earth and penetrate the most intricate
labyrinths, at each step let him attempt impossibilities, on
desolate heaths let him endure the burning rays of the midsummer
sun, and the bitter inclemency of the winter winds and frosts; let
no lions daunt him, no monsters terrify him, no dragons make him
quail; for to seek these, to attack those, and to vanquish all, are in
truth his main duties. I, then, as it has fallen to my lot to be a
member of knight-errantry, cannot avoid attempting all that to me
seems to come within the sphere of my duties; thus it was my bounden
duty to attack those lions that I just now attacked, although I knew
it to be the height of rashness; for I know well what valour is,
that it is a virtue that occupies a place between two vicious
extremes, cowardice and temerity; but it will be a lesser evil for him
who is valiant to rise till he reaches the point of rashness, than
to sink until he reaches the point of cowardice; for, as it is
easier for the prodigal than for the miser to become generous, so it
is easier for a rash man to prove truly valiant than for a coward to
rise to true valour; and believe me, Senor Don Diego, in attempting
adventures it is better to lose by a card too many than by a card
too few; for to hear it said, 'such a knight is rash and daring,'
sounds better than 'such a knight is timid and cowardly.'"

"I protest, Senor Don Quixote," said Don Diego, "everything you have
said and done is proved correct by the test of reason itself; and I
believe, if the laws and ordinances of knight-errantry should be lost,
they might be found in your worship's breast as in their own proper
depository and muniment-house; but let us make haste, and reach my
village, where you shall take rest after your late exertions; for if
they have not been of the body they have been of the spirit, and these
sometimes tend to produce bodily fatigue."

"I take the invitation as a great favour and honour, Senor Don
Diego," replied Don Quixote; and pressing forward at a better pace
than before, at about two in the afternoon they reached the village
and house of Don Diego, or, as Don Quixote called him, "The Knight
of the Green Gaban."



Don Quixote found Don Diego de Miranda's house built in village
style, with his arms in rough stone over the street door; in the patio
was the store-room, and at the entrance the cellar, with plenty of
wine-jars standing round, which, coming from El Toboso, brought back
to his memory his enchanted and transformed Dulcinea; and with a sigh,
and not thinking of what he was saying, or in whose presence he was,
he exclaimed-

"O ye sweet treasures, to my sorrow found!
Once sweet and welcome when 'twas heaven's good-will.

O ye Tobosan jars, how ye bring back to my memory the sweet object
of my bitter regrets!"

The student poet, Don Diego's son, who had come out with his
mother to receive him, heard this exclamation, and both mother and son
were filled with amazement at the extraordinary figure he presented;
he, however, dismounting from Rocinante, advanced with great
politeness to ask permission to kiss the lady's hand, while Don
Diego said, "Senora, pray receive with your wonted kindness Senor
Don Quixote of La Mancha, whom you see before you, a knight-errant,
and the bravest and wisest in the world."

The lady, whose name was Dona Christina, received him with every
sign of good-will and great courtesy, and Don Quixote placed himself
at her service with an abundance of well-chosen and polished
phrases. Almost the same civilities were exchanged between him and the
student, who listening to Don Quixote, took him to be a sensible,
clear-headed person.

Here the author describes minutely everything belonging to Don
Diego's mansion, putting before us in his picture the whole contents
of a rich gentleman-farmer's house; but the translator of the
history thought it best to pass over these and other details of the
same sort in silence, as they are not in harmony with the main purpose
of the story, the strong point of which is truth rather than dull

They led Don Quixote into a room, and Sancho removed his armour,
leaving him in loose Walloon breeches and chamois-leather doublet, all
stained with the rust of his armour; his collar was a falling one of
scholastic cut, without starch or lace, his buskins buff-coloured, and
his shoes polished. He wore his good sword, which hung in a baldric of
sea-wolf's skin, for he had suffered for many years, they say, from an
ailment of the kidneys; and over all he threw a long cloak of good
grey cloth. But first of all, with five or six buckets of water (for
as regard the number of buckets there is some dispute), he washed
his head and face, and still the water remained whey-coloured,
thanks to Sancho's greediness and purchase of those unlucky curds that
turned his master so white. Thus arrayed, and with an easy, sprightly,
and gallant air, Don Quixote passed out into another room, where the
student was waiting to entertain him while the table was being laid;
for on the arrival of so distinguished a guest, Dona Christina was
anxious to show that she knew how and was able to give a becoming
reception to those who came to her house.

While Don Quixote was taking off his armour, Don Lorenzo (for so Don
Diego's son was called) took the opportunity to say to his father,
"What are we to make of this gentleman you have brought home to us,
sir? For his name, his appearance, and your describing him as a
knight-errant have completely puzzled my mother and me."

"I don't know what to say, my son," replied. Don Diego; "all I can
tell thee is that I have seen him act the acts of the greatest
madman in the world, and heard him make observations so sensible
that they efface and undo all he does; do thou talk to him and feel
the pulse of his wits, and as thou art shrewd, form the most
reasonable conclusion thou canst as to his wisdom or folly; though, to
tell the truth, I am more inclined to take him to be mad than sane."

With this Don Lorenzo went away to entertain Don Quixote as has been
said, and in the course of the conversation that passed between them
Don Quixote said to Don Lorenzo, "Your father, Senor Don Diego de
Miranda, has told me of the rare abilities and subtle intellect you
possess, and, above all, that you are a great poet."

"A poet, it may be," replied Don Lorenzo, "but a great one, by no
means. It is true that I am somewhat given to poetry and to reading
good poets, but not so much so as to justify the title of 'great'
which my father gives me."

"I do not dislike that modesty," said Don Quixote; "for there is
no poet who is not conceited and does not think he is the best poet in
the world."

"There is no rule without an exception," said Don Lorenzo; "there
may be some who are poets and yet do not think they are."

"Very few," said Don Quixote; "but tell me, what verses are those
which you have now in hand, and which your father tells me keep you
somewhat restless and absorbed? If it be some gloss, I know
something about glosses, and I should like to hear them; and if they
are for a poetical tournament, contrive to carry off the second prize;
for the first always goes by favour or personal standing, the second
by simple justice; and so the third comes to be the second, and the
first, reckoning in this way, will be third, in the same way as
licentiate degrees are conferred at the universities; but, for all
that, the title of first is a great distinction."

"So far," said Don Lorenzo to himself, "I should not take you to
be a madman; but let us go on." So he said to him, "Your worship has
apparently attended the schools; what sciences have you studied?"

"That of knight-errantry," said Don Quixote, "which is as good as
that of poetry, and even a finger or two above it."

"I do not know what science that is," said Don Lorenzo, "and until
now I have never heard of it."

"It is a science," said Don Quixote, "that comprehends in itself all
or most of the sciences in the world, for he who professes it must
be a jurist, and must know the rules of justice, distributive and
equitable, so as to give to each one what belongs to him and is due to
him. He must be a theologian, so as to be able to give a clear and
distinctive reason for the Christian faith he professes, wherever it
may be asked of him. He must be a physician, and above all a
herbalist, so as in wastes and solitudes to know the herbs that have
the property of healing wounds, for a knight-errant must not go
looking for some one to cure him at every step. He must be an
astronomer, so as to know by the stars how many hours of the night
have passed, and what clime and quarter of the world he is in. He must
know mathematics, for at every turn some occasion for them will
present itself to him; and, putting it aside that he must be adorned
with all the virtues, cardinal and theological, to come down to
minor particulars, he must, I say, be able to swim as well as Nicholas
or Nicolao the Fish could, as the story goes; he must know how to shoe
a horse, and repair his saddle and bridle; and, to return to higher
matters, he must be faithful to God and to his lady; he must be pure
in thought, decorous in words, generous in works, valiant in deeds,
patient in suffering, compassionate towards the needy, and, lastly, an
upholder of the truth though its defence should cost him his life.
Of all these qualities, great and small, is a true knight-errant
made up; judge then, Senor Don Lorenzo, whether it be a contemptible
science which the knight who studies and professes it has to learn,
and whether it may not compare with the very loftiest that are
taught in the schools."

"If that be so," replied Don Lorenzo, "this science, I protest,
surpasses all."

"How, if that be so?" said Don Quixote.

"What I mean to say," said Don Lorenzo, "is, that I doubt whether
there are now, or ever were, any knights-errant, and adorned with such

"Many a time," replied Don Quixote, "have I said what I now say once
more, that the majority of the world are of opinion that there never
were any knights-errant in it; and as it is my opinion that, unless
heaven by some miracle brings home to them the truth that there were
and are, all the pains one takes will be in vain (as experience has
often proved to me), I will not now stop to disabuse you of the
error you share with the multitude. All I shall do is to pray to
heaven to deliver you from it, and show you how beneficial and
necessary knights-errant were in days of yore, and how useful they
would be in these days were they but in vogue; but now, for the sins
of the people, sloth and indolence, gluttony and luxury are

"Our guest has broken out on our hands," said Don Lorenzo to himself
at this point; "but, for all that, he is a glorious madman, and I
should be a dull blockhead to doubt it."

Here, being summoned to dinner, they brought their colloquy to a
close. Don Diego asked his son what he had been able to make out as to
the wits of their guest. To which he replied, "All the doctors and
clever scribes in the world will not make sense of the scrawl of his
madness; he is a madman full of streaks, full of lucid intervals."

They went in to dinner, and the repast was such as Don Diego said on
the road he was in the habit of giving to his guests, neat, plentiful,
and tasty; but what pleased Don Quixote most was the marvellous
silence that reigned throughout the house, for it was like a
Carthusian monastery.

When the cloth had been removed, grace said and their hands
washed, Don Quixote earnestly pressed Don Lorenzo to repeat to him his
verses for the poetical tournament, to which he replied, "Not to be
like those poets who, when they are asked to recite their verses,
refuse, and when they are not asked for them vomit them up, I will
repeat my gloss, for which I do not expect any prize, having
composed it merely as an exercise of ingenuity."

"A discerning friend of mine," said Don Quixote, "was of opinion
that no one ought to waste labour in glossing verses; and the reason
he gave was that the gloss can never come up to the text, and that
often or most frequently it wanders away from the meaning and
purpose aimed at in the glossed lines; and besides, that the laws of
the gloss were too strict, as they did not allow interrogations, nor
'said he,' nor 'I say,' nor turning verbs into nouns, or altering
the construction, not to speak of other restrictions and limitations
that fetter gloss-writers, as you no doubt know."

"Verily, Senor Don Quixote," said Don Lorenzo, "I wish I could catch
your worship tripping at a stretch, but I cannot, for you slip through
my fingers like an eel."

"I don't understand what you say, or mean by slipping," said Don

"I will explain myself another time," said Don Lorenzo; "for the
present pray attend to the glossed verses and the gloss, which run

Could 'was' become an 'is' for me,
Then would I ask no more than this;
Or could, for me, the time that is
Become the time that is to be! -


Dame Fortune once upon a day
To me was bountiful and kind;
But all things change; she changed her mind,
And what she gave she took away.
O Fortune, long I've sued to thee;
The gifts thou gavest me restore,
For, trust me, I would ask no more,
Could 'was' become an 'is' for me.

No other prize I seek to gain,
No triumph, glory, or success,
Only the long-lost happiness,
The memory whereof is pain.
One taste, methinks, of bygone bliss
The heart-consuming fire might stay;
And, so it come without delay,
Then would I ask no more than this.

I ask what cannot be, alas!
That time should ever be, and then
Come back to us, and be again,
No power on earth can bring to pass;
For fleet of foot is he, I wis,
And idly, therefore, do we pray
That what for aye hath left us may
Become for us the time that is.

Perplexed, uncertain, to remain
'Twixt hope and fear, is death, not life;
'Twere better, sure, to end the strife,
And dying, seek release from pain.
And yet, thought were the best for me.
Anon the thought aside I fling,
And to the present fondly cling,
And dread the time that is to be."

When Don Lorenzo had finished reciting his gloss, Don Quixote
stood up, and in a loud voice, almost a shout, exclaimed as he grasped
Don Lorenzo's right hand in his, "By the highest heavens, noble youth,
but you are the best poet on earth, and deserve to be crowned with
laurel, not by Cyprus or by Gaeta- as a certain poet, God forgive him,
said- but by the Academies of Athens, if they still flourished, and by
those that flourish now, Paris, Bologna, Salamanca. Heaven grant
that the judges who rob you of the first prize- that Phoebus may
pierce them with his arrows, and the Muses never cross the
thresholds of their doors. Repeat me some of your long-measure verses,
senor, if you will be so good, for I want thoroughly to feel the pulse
of your rare genius."

Is there any need to say that Don Lorenzo enjoyed hearing himself
praised by Don Quixote, albeit he looked upon him as a madman? power
of flattery, how far-reaching art thou, and how wide are the bounds of
thy pleasant jurisdiction! Don Lorenzo gave a proof of it, for he
complied with Don Quixote's request and entreaty, and repeated to
him this sonnet on the fable or story of Pyramus and Thisbe.


The lovely maid, she pierces now the wall;
Heart-pierced by her young Pyramus doth lie;
And Love spreads wing from Cyprus isle to fly,
A chink to view so wondrous great and small.
There silence speaketh, for no voice at all
Can pass so strait a strait; but love will ply
Where to all other power 'twere vain to try;
For love will find a way whate'er befall.
Impatient of delay, with reckless pace
The rash maid wins the fatal spot where she
Sinks not in lover's arms but death's embrace.
So runs the strange tale, how the lovers twain
One sword, one sepulchre, one memory,
Slays, and entombs, and brings to life again.

"Blessed be God," said Don Quixote when he had heard Don Lorenzo's
sonnet, "that among the hosts there are of irritable poets I have
found one consummate one, which, senor, the art of this sonnet
proves to me that you are!"

For four days was Don Quixote most sumptuously entertained in Don
Diego's house, at the end of which time he asked his permission to
depart, telling him he thanked him for the kindness and hospitality he
had received in his house, but that, as it did not become
knights-errant to give themselves up for long to idleness and
luxury, he was anxious to fulfill the duties of his calling in seeking
adventures, of which he was informed there was an abundance in that
neighbourhood, where he hoped to employ his time until the day came
round for the jousts at Saragossa, for that was his proper
destination; and that, first of all, he meant to enter the cave of
Montesinos, of which so many marvellous things were reported all
through the country, and at the same time to investigate and explore
the origin and true source of the seven lakes commonly called the
lakes of Ruidera.

Don Diego and his son commended his laudable resolution, and bade
him furnish himself with all he wanted from their house and
belongings, as they would most gladly be of service to him; which,
indeed, his personal worth and his honourable profession made
incumbent upon them.

The day of his departure came at length, as welcome to Don Quixote
as it was sad and sorrowful to Sancho Panza, who was very well
satisfied with the abundance of Don Diego's house, and objected to
return to the starvation of the woods and wilds and the
short-commons of his ill-stocked alforjas; these, however, he filled
and packed with what he considered needful. On taking leave, Don
Quixote said to Don Lorenzo, "I know not whether I have told you
already, but if I have I tell you once more, that if you wish to spare
yourself fatigue and toil in reaching the inaccessible summit of the
temple of fame, you have nothing to do but to turn aside out of the
somewhat narrow path of poetry and take the still narrower one of
knight-errantry, wide enough, however, to make you an emperor in the
twinkling of an eye."

In this speech Don Quixote wound up the evidence of his madness, but
still better in what he added when he said, "God knows, I would gladly
take Don Lorenzo with me to teach him how to spare the humble, and
trample the proud under foot, virtues that are part and parcel of
the profession I belong to; but since his tender age does not allow of
it, nor his praiseworthy pursuits permit it, I will simply content
myself with impressing it upon your worship that you will become
famous as a poet if you are guided by the opinion of others rather
than by your own; because no fathers or mothers ever think their own
children ill-favoured, and this sort of deception prevails still
more strongly in the case of the children of the brain."

Both father and son were amazed afresh at the strange medley Don
Quixote talked, at one moment sense, at another nonsense, and at the
pertinacity and persistence he displayed in going through thick and
thin in quest of his unlucky adventures, which he made the end and aim
of his desires. There was a renewal of offers of service and
civilities, and then, with the gracious permission of the lady of
the castle, they took their departure, Don Quixote on Rocinante, and
Sancho on Dapple.



Don Quixote had gone but a short distance beyond Don Diego's
village, when he fell in with a couple of either priests or
students, and a couple of peasants, mounted on four beasts of the
ass kind. One of the students carried, wrapped up in a piece of
green buckram by way of a portmanteau, what seemed to be a little
linen and a couple of pairs of-ribbed stockings; the other carried
nothing but a pair of new fencing-foils with buttons. The peasants
carried divers articles that showed they were on their way from some
large town where they had bought them, and were taking them home to
their village; and both students and peasants were struck with the
same amazement that everybody felt who saw Don Quixote for the first
time, and were dying to know who this man, so different from
ordinary men, could be. Don Quixote saluted them, and after
ascertaining that their road was the same as his, made them an offer
of his company, and begged them to slacken their pace, as their
young asses travelled faster than his horse; and then, to gratify
them, he told them in a few words who he was and the calling and
profession he followed, which was that of a knight-errant seeking
adventures in all parts of the world. He informed them that his own
name was Don Quixote of La Mancha, and that he was called, by way of
surname, the Knight of the Lions.

All this was Greek or gibberish to the peasants, but not so to the
students, who very soon perceived the crack in Don Quixote's pate; for
all that, however, they regarded him with admiration and respect,
and one of them said to him, "If you, sir knight, have no fixed
road, as it is the way with those who seek adventures not to have any,
let your worship come with us; you will see one of the finest and
richest weddings that up to this day have ever been celebrated in La
Mancha, or for many a league round."

Don Quixote asked him if it was some prince's, that he spoke of it
in this way. "Not at all," said the student; "it is the wedding of a
farmer and a farmer's daughter, he the richest in all this country,
and she the fairest mortal ever set eyes on. The display with which it
is to be attended will be something rare and out of the common, for it
will be celebrated in a meadow adjoining the town of the bride, who is
called, par excellence, Quiteria the fair, as the bridegroom is called
Camacho the rich. She is eighteen, and he twenty-two, and they are
fairly matched, though some knowing ones, who have all the pedigrees
in the world by heart, will have it that the family of the fair
Quiteria is better than Camacho's; but no one minds that now-a-days,
for wealth can solder a great many flaws. At any rate, Camacho is
free-handed, and it is his fancy to screen the whole meadow with
boughs and cover it in overhead, so that the sun will have hard work
if he tries to get in to reach the grass that covers the soil. He
has provided dancers too, not only sword but also bell-dancers, for in
his own town there are those who ring the changes and jingle the bells
to perfection; of shoe-dancers I say nothing, for of them he has
engaged a host. But none of these things, nor of the many others I
have omitted to mention, will do more to make this a memorable wedding
than the part which I suspect the despairing Basilio will play in
it. This Basilio is a youth of the same village as Quiteria, and he
lived in the house next door to that of her parents, of which
circumstance Love took advantage to reproduce to the word the
long-forgotten loves of Pyramus and Thisbe; for Basilio loved Quiteria
from his earliest years, and she responded to his passion with
countless modest proofs of affection, so that the loves of the two
children, Basilio and Quiteria, were the talk and the amusement of the
town. As they grew up, the father of Quiteria made up his mind to
refuse Basilio his wonted freedom of access to the house, and to
relieve himself of constant doubts and suspicions, he arranged a match
for his daughter with the rich Camacho, as he did not approve of
marrying her to Basilio, who had not so large a share of the gifts
of fortune as of nature; for if the truth be told ungrudgingly, he
is the most agile youth we know, a mighty thrower of the bar, a
first-rate wrestler, and a great ball-player; he runs like a deer, and
leaps better than a goat, bowls over the nine-pins as if by magic,
sings like a lark, plays the guitar so as to make it speak, and, above
all, handles a sword as well as the best."

"For that excellence alone," said Don Quixote at this, "the youth
deserves to marry, not merely the fair Quiteria, but Queen Guinevere
herself, were she alive now, in spite of Launcelot and all who would
try to prevent it."

"Say that to my wife," said Sancho, who had until now listened in
silence, "for she won't hear of anything but each one marrying his
equal, holding with the proverb 'each ewe to her like.' What I would
like is that this good Basilio (for I am beginning to take a fancy
to him already) should marry this lady Quiteria; and a blessing and
good luck- I meant to say the opposite- on people who would prevent
those who love one another from marrying."

"If all those who love one another were to marry," said Don Quixote,
"it would deprive parents of the right to choose, and marry their
children to the proper person and at the proper time; and if it was
left to daughters to choose husbands as they pleased, one would be for
choosing her father's servant, and another, some one she has seen
passing in the street and fancies gallant and dashing, though he may
be a drunken bully; for love and fancy easily blind the eyes of the
judgment, so much wanted in choosing one's way of life; and the
matrimonial choice is very liable to error, and it needs great caution
and the special favour of heaven to make it a good one. He who has
to make a long journey, will, if he is wise, look out for some
trusty and pleasant companion to accompany him before he sets out.
Why, then, should not he do the same who has to make the whole journey
of life down to the final halting-place of death, more especially when
the companion has to be his companion in bed, at board, and
everywhere, as the wife is to her husband? The companionship of
one's wife is no article of merchandise, that, after it has been
bought, may be returned, or bartered, or changed; for it is an
inseparable accident that lasts as long as life lasts; it is a noose
that, once you put it round your neck, turns into a Gordian knot,
which, if the scythe of Death does not cut it, there is no untying.
I could say a great deal more on this subject, were I not prevented by
the anxiety I feel to know if the senor licentiate has anything more
to tell about the story of Basilio."

To this the student, bachelor, or, as Don Quixote called him,
licentiate, replied, "I have nothing whatever to say further, but that
from the moment Basilio learned that the fair Quiteria was to be
married to Camacho the rich, he has never been seen to smile, or heard
to utter rational word, and he always goes about moody and dejected,
talking to himself in a way that shows plainly he is out of his
senses. He eats little and sleeps little, and all he eats is fruit,
and when he sleeps, if he sleeps at all, it is in the field on the
hard earth like a brute beast. Sometimes he gazes at the sky, at other
times he fixes his eyes on the earth in such an abstracted way that he
might be taken for a clothed statue, with its drapery stirred by the
wind. In short, he shows such signs of a heart crushed by suffering,
that all we who know him believe that when to-morrow the fair Quiteria
says 'yes,' it will be his sentence of death."

"God will guide it better," said Sancho, "for God who gives the
wound gives the salve; nobody knows what will happen; there are a good
many hours between this and to-morrow, and any one of them, or any
moment, the house may fall; I have seen the rain coming down and the
sun shining all at one time; many a one goes to bed in good health who
can't stir the next day. And tell me, is there anyone who can boast of
having driven a nail into the wheel of fortune? No, faith; and between
a woman's 'yes' and 'no' I wouldn't venture to put the point of a pin,
for there would not be room for it; if you tell me Quiteria loves
Basilio heart and soul, then I'll give him a bag of good luck; for
love, I have heard say, looks through spectacles that make copper seem
gold, poverty wealth, and blear eyes pearls."

"What art thou driving at, Sancho? curses on thee!" said Don
Quixote; "for when thou takest to stringing proverbs and sayings
together, no one can understand thee but Judas himself, and I wish
he had thee. Tell me, thou animal, what dost thou know about nails
or wheels, or anything else?"

"Oh, if you don't understand me," replied Sancho, "it is no wonder
my words are taken for nonsense; but no matter; I understand myself,
and I know I have not said anything very foolish in what I have
said; only your worship, senor, is always gravelling at everything I
say, nay, everything I do."

"Cavilling, not gravelling," said Don Quixote, "thou prevaricator of
honest language, God confound thee!"

"Don't find fault with me, your worship," returned Sancho, "for
you know I have not been bred up at court or trained at Salamanca,
to know whether I am adding or dropping a letter or so in my words.
Why! God bless me, it's not fair to force a Sayago-man to speak like a
Toledan; maybe there are Toledans who do not hit it off when it
comes to polished talk."

"That is true," said the licentiate, "for those who have been bred
up in the Tanneries and the Zocodover cannot talk like those who are
almost all day pacing the cathedral cloisters, and yet they are all
Toledans. Pure, correct, elegant and lucid language will be met with
in men of courtly breeding and discrimination, though they may have
been born in Majalahonda; I say of discrimination, because there are
many who are not so, and discrimination is the grammar of good
language, if it be accompanied by practice. I, sirs, for my sins
have studied canon law at Salamanca, and I rather pique myself on
expressing my meaning in clear, plain, and intelligible language."

"If you did not pique yourself more on your dexterity with those
foils you carry than on dexterity of tongue," said the other
student, "you would have been head of the degrees, where you are now

"Look here, bachelor Corchuelo," returned the licentiate, "you
have the most mistaken idea in the world about skill with the sword,
if you think it useless."

"It is no idea on my part, but an established truth," replied
Corchuelo; "and if you wish me to prove it to you by experiment, you
have swords there, and it is a good opportunity; I have a steady
hand and a strong arm, and these joined with my resolution, which is
not small, will make you confess that I am not mistaken. Dismount
and put in practice your positions and circles and angles and science,
for I hope to make you see stars at noonday with my rude raw
swordsmanship, in which, next to God, I place my trust that the man is
yet to be born who will make me turn my back, and that there is not
one in the world I will not compel to give ground."

"As to whether you turn your back or not, I do not concern
myself," replied the master of fence; "though it might be that your
grave would be dug on the spot where you planted your foot the first
time; I mean that you would be stretched dead there for despising
skill with the sword."

"We shall soon see," replied Corchuelo, and getting off his ass
briskly, he drew out furiously one of the swords the licentiate
carried on his beast.

"It must not be that way," said Don Quixote at this point; "I will
be the director of this fencing match, and judge of this often
disputed question;" and dismounting from Rocinante and grasping his
lance, he planted himself in the middle of the road, just as the
licentiate, with an easy, graceful bearing and step, advanced
towards Corchuelo, who came on against him, darting fire from his
eyes, as the saying is. The other two of the company, the peasants,
without dismounting from their asses, served as spectators of the
mortal tragedy. The cuts, thrusts, down strokes, back strokes and
doubles, that Corchuelo delivered were past counting, and came thicker
than hops or hail. He attacked like an angry lion, but he was met by a
tap on the mouth from the button of the licentiate's sword that
checked him in the midst of his furious onset, and made him kiss it as
if it were a relic, though not as devoutly as relics are and ought
to he kissed. The end of it was that the licentiate reckoned up for
him by thrusts every one of the buttons of the short cassock he
wore, tore the skirts into strips, like the tails of a cuttlefish,
knocked off his hat twice, and so completely tired him out, that in
vexation, anger, and rage, he took the sword by the hilt and flung
it away with such force, that one of the peasants that were there, who
was a notary, and who went for it, made an affidavit afterwards that
he sent it nearly three-quarters of a league, which testimony will
serve, and has served, to show and establish with all certainty that
strength is overcome by skill.

Corchuelo sat down wearied, and Sancho approaching him said, "By
my faith, senor bachelor, if your worship takes my advice, you will
never challenge anyone to fence again, only to wrestle and throw the
bar, for you have the youth and strength for that; but as for these
fencers as they call them, I have heard say they can put the point
of a sword through the eye of a needle."

"I am satisfied with having tumbled off my donkey," said
Corchuelo, "and with having had the truth I was so ignorant of
proved to me by experience;" and getting up he embraced the
licentiate, and they were better friends than ever; and not caring
to wait for the notary who had gone for the sword, as they saw he
would be a long time about it, they resolved to push on so as to reach
the village of Quiteria, to which they all belonged, in good time.

During the remainder of the journey the licentiate held forth to
them on the excellences of the sword, with such conclusive
arguments, and such figures and mathematical proofs, that all were
convinced of the value of the science, and Corchuelo cured of his

It grew dark; but before they reached the town it seemed to them all
as if there was a heaven full of countless glittering stars in front
of it. They heard, too, the pleasant mingled notes of a variety of
instruments, flutes, drums, psalteries, pipes, tabors, and timbrels,
and as they drew near they perceived that the trees of a leafy
arcade that had been constructed at the entrance of the town were
filled with lights unaffected by the wind, for the breeze at the
time was so gentle that it had not power to stir the leaves on the
trees. The musicians were the life of the wedding, wandering through
the pleasant grounds in separate bands, some dancing, others
singing, others playing the various instruments already mentioned.
In short, it seemed as though mirth and gaiety were frisking and
gambolling all over the meadow. Several other persons were engaged
in erecting raised benches from which people might conveniently see
the plays and dances that were to be performed the next day on the
spot dedicated to the celebration of the marriage of Camacho the
rich and the obsequies of Basilio. Don Quixote would not enter the
village, although the peasant as well as the bachelor pressed him;
he excused himself, however, on the grounds, amply sufficient in his
opinion, that it was the custom of knights-errant to sleep in the

Book of the day: