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Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 14 out of 21

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fields and woods in preference to towns, even were it under gilded
ceilings; and so turned aside a little out of the road, very much
against Sancho's will, as the good quarters he had enjoyed in the
castle or house of Don Diego came back to his mind.



Scarce had the fair Aurora given bright Phoebus time to dry the
liquid pearls upon her golden locks with the heat of his fervent rays,
when Don Quixote, shaking off sloth from his limbs, sprang to his feet
and called to his squire Sancho, who was still snoring; seeing which
Don Quixote ere he roused him thus addressed him: "Happy thou, above
all the dwellers on the face of the earth, that, without envying or
being envied, sleepest with tranquil mind, and that neither enchanters
persecute nor enchantments affright. Sleep, I say, and will say a
hundred times, without any jealous thoughts of thy mistress to make
thee keep ceaseless vigils, or any cares as to how thou art to pay the
debts thou owest, or find to-morrow's food for thyself and thy needy
little family, to interfere with thy repose. Ambition breaks not thy
rest, nor doth this world's empty pomp disturb thee, for the utmost
reach of thy anxiety is to provide for thy ass, since upon my
shoulders thou hast laid the support of thyself, the counterpoise
and burden that nature and custom have imposed upon masters. The
servant sleeps and the master lies awake thinking how he is to feed
him, advance him, and reward him. The distress of seeing the sky
turn brazen, and withhold its needful moisture from the earth, is
not felt by the servant but by the master, who in time of scarcity and
famine must support him who has served him in times of plenty and

To all this Sancho made no reply because he was asleep, nor would he
have wakened up so soon as he did had not Don Quixote brought him to
his senses with the butt of his lance. He awoke at last, drowsy and
lazy, and casting his eyes about in every direction, observed,
"There comes, if I don't mistake, from the quarter of that arcade a
steam and a smell a great deal more like fried rashers than
galingale or thyme; a wedding that begins with smells like that, by my
faith, ought to be plentiful and unstinting."

"Have done, thou glutton," said Don Quixote; "come, let us go and
witness this bridal, and see what the rejected Basilio does."

"Let him do what he likes," returned Sancho; "be he not poor, he
would marry Quiteria. To make a grand match for himself, and he
without a farthing; is there nothing else? Faith, senor, it's my
opinion the poor man should be content with what he can get, and not
go looking for dainties in the bottom of the sea. I will bet my arm
that Camacho could bury Basilio in reals; and if that be so, as no
doubt it is, what a fool Quiteria would be to refuse the fine
dresses and jewels Camacho must have given her and will give her,
and take Basilio's bar-throwing and sword-play. They won't give a pint
of wine at the tavern for a good cast of the bar or a neat thrust of
the sword. Talents and accomplishments that can't be turned into
money, let Count Dirlos have them; but when such gifts fall to one
that has hard cash, I wish my condition of life was as becoming as
they are. On a good foundation you can raise a good building, and
the best foundation in the world is money."

"For God's sake, Sancho," said Don Quixote here, "stop that
harangue; it is my belief, if thou wert allowed to continue all thou
beginnest every instant, thou wouldst have no time left for eating
or sleeping; for thou wouldst spend it all in talking."

"If your worship had a good memory," replied Sancho, "you would
remember the articles of our agreement before we started from home
this last time; one of them was that I was to be let say all I
liked, so long as it was not against my neighbour or your worship's
authority; and so far, it seems to me, I have not broken the said

"I remember no such article, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "and even if
it were so, I desire you to hold your tongue and come along; for the
instruments we heard last night are already beginning to enliven the
valleys again, and no doubt the marriage will take place in the cool
of the morning, and not in the heat of the afternoon."

Sancho did as his master bade him, and putting the saddle on
Rocinante and the pack-saddle on Dapple, they both mounted and at a
leisurely pace entered the arcade. The first thing that presented
itself to Sancho's eyes was a whole ox spitted on a whole elm tree,
and in the fire at which it was to be roasted there was burning a
middling-sized mountain of faggots, and six stewpots that stood
round the blaze had not been made in the ordinary mould of common
pots, for they were six half wine-jars, each fit to hold the
contents of a slaughter-house; they swallowed up whole sheep and hid
them away in their insides without showing any more sign of them
than if they were pigeons. Countless were the hares ready skinned
and the plucked fowls that hung on the trees for burial in the pots,
numberless the wildfowl and game of various sorts suspended from the
branches that the air might keep them cool. Sancho counted more than
sixty wine skins of over six gallons each, and all filled, as it
proved afterwards, with generous wines. There were, besides, piles
of the whitest bread, like the heaps of corn one sees on the
threshing-floors. There was a wall made of cheeses arranged like
open brick-work, and two cauldrons full of oil, bigger than those of a
dyer's shop, served for cooking fritters, which when fried were
taken out with two mighty shovels, and plunged into another cauldron
of prepared honey that stood close by. Of cooks and cook-maids there
were over fifty, all clean, brisk, and blithe. In the capacious
belly of the ox were a dozen soft little sucking-pigs, which, sewn
up there, served to give it tenderness and flavour. The spices of
different kinds did not seem to have been bought by the pound but by
the quarter, and all lay open to view in a great chest. In short,
all the preparations made for the wedding were in rustic style, but
abundant enough to feed an army.

Sancho observed all, contemplated all, and everything won his heart.
The first to captivate and take his fancy were the pots, out of
which he would have very gladly helped himself to a moderate
pipkinful; then the wine skins secured his affections; and lastly, the
produce of the frying-pans, if, indeed, such imposing cauldrons may be
called frying-pans; and unable to control himself or bear it any
longer, he approached one of the busy cooks and civilly but hungrily
begged permission to soak a scrap of bread in one of the pots; to
which the cook made answer, "Brother, this is not a day on which
hunger is to have any sway, thanks to the rich Camacho; get down and
look about for a ladle and skim off a hen or two, and much good may
they do you."

"I don't see one," said Sancho.

"Wait a bit," said the cook; "sinner that I am! how particular and
bashful you are!" and so saying, he seized a bucket and plunging it
into one of the half jars took up three hens and a couple of geese,
and said to Sancho, "Fall to, friend, and take the edge off your
appetite with these skimmings until dinner-time comes."

"I have nothing to put them in," said Sancho.

"Well then," said the cook, "take spoon and all; for Camacho's
wealth and happiness furnish everything."

While Sancho fared thus, Don Quixote was watching the entrance, at
one end of the arcade, of some twelve peasants, all in holiday and
gala dress, mounted on twelve beautiful mares with rich handsome field
trappings and a number of little bells attached to their petrals, who,
marshalled in regular order, ran not one but several courses over
the meadow, with jubilant shouts and cries of "Long live Camacho and
Quiteria! he as rich as she is fair; and she the fairest on earth!"

Hearing this, Don Quixote said to himself, "It is easy to see
these folk have never seen my Dulcinea del Toboso; for if they had
they would be more moderate in their praises of this Quiteria of

Shortly after this, several bands of dancers of various sorts
began to enter the arcade at different points, and among them one of
sword-dancers composed of some four-and-twenty lads of gallant and
high-spirited mien, clad in the finest and whitest of linen, and
with handkerchiefs embroidered in various colours with fine silk;
and one of those on the mares asked an active youth who led them if
any of the dancers had been wounded. "As yet, thank God, no one has
been wounded," said he, "we are all safe and sound;" and he at once
began to execute complicated figures with the rest of his comrades,
with so many turns and so great dexterity, that although Don Quixote
was well used to see dances of the same kind, he thought he had
never seen any so good as this. He also admired another that came in
composed of fair young maidens, none of whom seemed to be under
fourteen or over eighteen years of age, all clad in green stuff,
with their locks partly braided, partly flowing loose, but all of such
bright gold as to vie with the sunbeams, and over them they wore
garlands of jessamine, roses, amaranth, and honeysuckle. At their head
were a venerable old man and an ancient dame, more brisk and active,
however, than might have been expected from their years. The notes
of a Zamora bagpipe accompanied them, and with modesty in their
countenances and in their eyes, and lightness in their feet, they
looked the best dancers in the world.

Following these there came an artistic dance of the sort they call
"speaking dances." It was composed of eight nymphs in two files,
with the god Cupid leading one and Interest the other, the former
furnished with wings, bow, quiver and arrows, the latter in a rich
dress of gold and silk of divers colours. The nymphs that followed
Love bore their names written on white parchment in large letters on
their backs. "Poetry" was the name of the first, "Wit" of the
second, "Birth" of the third, and "Valour" of the fourth. Those that
followed Interest were distinguished in the same way; the badge of the
first announced "Liberality," that of the second "Largess," the
third "Treasure," and the fourth "Peaceful Possession." In front of
them all came a wooden castle drawn by four wild men, all clad in
ivy and hemp stained green, and looking so natural that they nearly
terrified Sancho. On the front of the castle and on each of the four
sides of its frame it bore the inscription "Castle of Caution." Four
skillful tabor and flute players accompanied them, and the dance
having been opened, Cupid, after executing two figures, raised his
eyes and bent his bow against a damsel who stood between the turrets
of the castle, and thus addressed her:

I am the mighty God whose sway
Is potent over land and sea.
The heavens above us own me; nay,
The shades below acknowledge me.
I know not fear, I have my will,
Whate'er my whim or fancy be;
For me there's no impossible,
I order, bind, forbid, set free.

Having concluded the stanza he discharged an arrow at the top of the
castle, and went back to his place. Interest then came forward and
went through two more figures, and as soon as the tabors ceased, he said:

But mightier than Love am I,
Though Love it be that leads me on,
Than mine no lineage is more high,
Or older, underneath the sun.
To use me rightly few know how,
To act without me fewer still,
For I am Interest, and I vow
For evermore to do thy will.

Interest retired, and Poetry came forward, and when she had gone
through her figures like the others, fixing her eyes on the damsel
of the castle, she said:

With many a fanciful conceit,
Fair Lady, winsome Poesy
Her soul, an offering at thy feet,
Presents in sonnets unto thee.
If thou my homage wilt not scorn,
Thy fortune, watched by envious eyes,
On wings of poesy upborne
Shall be exalted to the skies.

Poetry withdrew, and on the side of Interest Liberality advanced,
and after having gone through her figures, said:

To give, while shunning each extreme,
The sparing hand, the over-free,
Therein consists, so wise men deem,
The virtue Liberality.
But thee, fair lady, to enrich,
Myself a prodigal I'll prove,
A vice not wholly shameful, which
May find its fair excuse in love.

In the same manner all the characters of the two bands advanced
and retired, and each executed its figures, and delivered its
verses, some of them graceful, some burlesque, but Don Quixote's
memory (though he had an excellent one) only carried away those that
have been just quoted. All then mingled together, forming chains and
breaking off again with graceful, unconstrained gaiety; and whenever
Love passed in front of the castle he shot his arrows up at it,
while Interest broke gilded pellets against it. At length, after
they had danced a good while, Interest drew out a great purse, made of
the skin of a large brindled cat and to all appearance full of
money, and flung it at the castle, and with the force of the blow
the boards fell asunder and tumbled down, leaving the damsel exposed
and unprotected. Interest and the characters of his band advanced, and
throwing a great chain of gold over her neck pretended to take her and
lead her away captive, on seeing which, Love and his supporters made
as though they would release her, the whole action being to the
accompaniment of the tabors and in the form of a regular dance. The
wild men made peace between them, and with great dexterity
readjusted and fixed the boards of the castle, and the damsel once
more ensconced herself within; and with this the dance wound up, to
the great enjoyment of the beholders.

Don Quixote asked one of the nymphs who it was that had composed and
arranged it. She replied that it was a beneficiary of the town who had
a nice taste in devising things of the sort. "I will lay a wager,"
said Don Quixote, "that the same bachelor or beneficiary is a
greater friend of Camacho's than of Basilio's, and that he is better
at satire than at vespers; he has introduced the accomplishments of
Basilio and the riches of Camacho very neatly into the dance."
Sancho Panza, who was listening to all this, exclaimed, "The king is
my cock; I stick to Camacho." "It is easy to see thou art a clown,
Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and one of that sort that cry 'Long life
to the conqueror.'"

"I don't know of what sort I am," returned Sancho, "but I know
very well I'll never get such elegant skimmings off Basilio's pots
as these I have got off Camacho's;" and he showed him the bucketful of
geese and hens, and seizing one began to eat with great gaiety and
appetite, saying, "A fig for the accomplishments of Basilio! As much
as thou hast so much art thou worth, and as much as thou art worth
so much hast thou. As a grandmother of mine used to say, there are
only two families in the world, the Haves and the Haven'ts; and she
stuck to the Haves; and to this day, Senor Don Quixote, people would
sooner feel the pulse of 'Have,' than of 'Know;' an ass covered with
gold looks better than a horse with a pack-saddle. So once more I
say I stick to Camacho, the bountiful skimmings of whose pots are
geese and hens, hares and rabbits; but of Basilio's, if any ever
come to hand, or even to foot, they'll be only rinsings."

"Hast thou finished thy harangue, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Of
course I have finished it," replied Sancho, "because I see your
worship takes offence at it; but if it was not for that, there was
work enough cut out for three days."

"God grant I may see thee dumb before I die, Sancho," said Don

"At the rate we are going," said Sancho, "I'll be chewing clay
before your worship dies; and then, maybe, I'll be so dumb that I'll
not say a word until the end of the world, or, at least, till the
day of judgment."

"Even should that happen, O Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thy
silence will never come up to all thou hast talked, art talking, and
wilt talk all thy life; moreover, it naturally stands to reason,
that my death will come before thine; so I never expect to see thee
dumb, not even when thou art drinking or sleeping, and that is the
utmost I can say."

"In good faith, senor," replied Sancho, "there's no trusting that
fleshless one, I mean Death, who devours the lamb as soon as the
sheep, and, as I have heard our curate say, treads with equal foot
upon the lofty towers of kings and the lowly huts of the poor. That
lady is more mighty than dainty, she is no way squeamish, she
devours all and is ready for all, and fills her alforjas with people
of all sorts, ages, and ranks. She is no reaper that sleeps out the
noontide; at all times she is reaping and cutting down, as well the
dry grass as the green; she never seems to chew, but bolts and
swallows all that is put before her, for she has a canine appetite
that is never satisfied; and though she has no belly, she shows she
has a dropsy and is athirst to drink the lives of all that live, as
one would drink a jug of cold water."

"Say no more, Sancho," said Don Quixote at this; "don't try to
better it, and risk a fall; for in truth what thou hast said about
death in thy rustic phrase is what a good preacher might have said.
I tell thee, Sancho, if thou hadst discretion equal to thy mother wit,
thou mightst take a pulpit in hand, and go about the world preaching
fine sermons." "He preaches well who lives well," said Sancho, "and
I know no more theology than that."

"Nor needst thou," said Don Quixote, "but I cannot conceive or
make out how it is that, the fear of God being the beginning of
wisdom, thou, who art more afraid of a lizard than of him, knowest
so much."

"Pass judgment on your chivalries, senor," returned Sancho, "and
don't set yourself up to judge of other men's fears or braveries,
for I am as good a fearer of God as my neighbours; but leave me to
despatch these skimmings, for all the rest is only idle talk that we
shall be called to account for in the other world;" and so saying,
he began a fresh attack on the bucket, with such a hearty appetite
that he aroused Don Quixote's, who no doubt would have helped him
had he not been prevented by what must be told farther on.



While Don Quixote and Sancho were engaged in the discussion set
forth the last chapter, they heard loud shouts and a great noise,
which were uttered and made by the men on the mares as they went at
full gallop, shouting, to receive the bride and bridegroom, who were
approaching with musical instruments and pageantry of all sorts around
them, and accompanied by the priest and the relatives of both, and all
the most distinguished people of the surrounding villages. When Sancho
saw the bride, he exclaimed, "By my faith, she is not dressed like a
country girl, but like some fine court lady; egad, as well as I can
make out, the patena she wears rich coral, and her green Cuenca
stuff is thirty-pile velvet; and then the white linen trimming- by
my oath, but it's satin! Look at her hands- jet rings on them! May I
never have luck if they're not gold rings, and real gold, and set with
pearls as white as a curdled milk, and every one of them worth an
eye of one's head! Whoreson baggage, what hair she has! if it's not
a wig, I never saw longer or fairer all the days of my life. See how
bravely she bears herself- and her shape! Wouldn't you say she was
like a walking palm tree loaded with clusters of dates? for the
trinkets she has hanging from her hair and neck look just like them. I
swear in my heart she is a brave lass, and fit 'to pass over the banks
of Flanders.'"

Don Quixote laughed at Sancho's boorish eulogies and thought that,
saving his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, he had never seen a more
beautiful woman. The fair Quiteria appeared somewhat pale, which
was, no doubt, because of the bad night brides always pass dressing
themselves out for their wedding on the morrow. They advanced
towards a theatre that stood on one side of the meadow decked with
carpets and boughs, where they were to plight their troth, and from
which they were to behold the dances and plays; but at the moment of
their arrival at the spot they heard a loud outcry behind them, and
a voice exclaiming, "Wait a little, ye, as inconsiderate as ye are
hasty!" At these words all turned round, and perceived that the
speaker was a man clad in what seemed to be a loose black coat
garnished with crimson patches like flames. He was crowned (as was
presently seen) with a crown of gloomy cypress, and in his hand he
held a long staff. As he approached he was recognised by everyone as
the gay Basilio, and all waited anxiously to see what would come of
his words, in dread of some catastrophe in consequence of his
appearance at such a moment. He came up at last weary and
breathless, and planting himself in front of the bridal pair, drove
his staff, which had a steel spike at the end, into the ground, and,
with a pale face and eyes fixed on Quiteria, he thus addressed her
in a hoarse, trembling voice:

"Well dost thou know, ungrateful Quiteria, that according to the
holy law we acknowledge, so long as live thou canst take no husband;
nor art thou ignorant either that, in my hopes that time and my own
exertions would improve my fortunes, I have never failed to observe
the respect due to thy honour; but thou, casting behind thee all
thou owest to my true love, wouldst surrender what is mine to
another whose wealth serves to bring him not only good fortune but
supreme happiness; and now to complete it (not that I think he
deserves it, but inasmuch as heaven is pleased to bestow it upon him),
I will, with my own hands, do away with the obstacle that may
interfere with it, and remove myself from between you. Long live the
rich Camacho! many a happy year may he live with the ungrateful
Quiteria! and let the poor Basilio die, Basilio whose poverty
clipped the wings of his happiness, and brought him to the grave!"

And so saying, he seized the staff he had driven into the ground,
and leaving one half of it fixed there, showed it to be a sheath
that concealed a tolerably long rapier; and, what may he called its
hilt being planted in the ground, he swiftly, coolly, and deliberately
threw himself upon it, and in an instant the bloody point and half the
steel blade appeared at his back, the unhappy man falling to the earth
bathed in his blood, and transfixed by his own weapon.

His friends at once ran to his aid, filled with grief at his
misery and sad fate, and Don Quixote, dismounting from Rocinante,
hastened to support him, and took him in his arms, and found he had
not yet ceased to breathe. They were about to draw out the rapier, but
the priest who was standing by objected to its being withdrawn
before he had confessed him, as the instant of its withdrawal would be
that of this death. Basilio, however, reviving slightly, said in a
weak voice, as though in pain, "If thou wouldst consent, cruel
Quiteria, to give me thy hand as my bride in this last fatal moment, I
might still hope that my rashness would find pardon, as by its means I
attained the bliss of being thine."

Hearing this the priest bade him think of the welfare of his soul
rather than of the cravings of the body, and in all earnestness
implore God's pardon for his sins and for his rash resolve; to which
Basilio replied that he was determined not to confess unless
Quiteria first gave him her hand in marriage, for that happiness would
compose his mind and give him courage to make his confession.

Don Quixote hearing the wounded man's entreaty, exclaimed aloud that
what Basilio asked was just and reasonable, and moreover a request
that might be easily complied with; and that it would be as much to
Senor Camacho's honour to receive the lady Quiteria as the widow of
the brave Basilio as if he received her direct from her father.

"In this case," said he, "it will be only to say 'yes,' and no
consequences can follow the utterance of the word, for the nuptial
couch of this marriage must be the grave."

Camacho was listening to all this, perplexed and bewildered and
not knowing what to say or do; but so urgent were the entreaties of
Basilio's friends, imploring him to allow Quiteria to give him her
hand, so that his soul, quitting this life in despair, should not be
lost, that they moved, nay, forced him, to say that if Quiteria were
willing to give it he was satisfied, as it was only putting off the
fulfillment of his wishes for a moment. At once all assailed
Quiteria and pressed her, some with prayers, and others with tears,
and others with persuasive arguments, to give her hand to poor
Basilio; but she, harder than marble and more unmoved than any statue,
seemed unable or unwilling to utter a word, nor would she have given
any reply had not the priest bade her decide quickly what she meant to
do, as Basilio now had his soul at his teeth, and there was no time
for hesitation.

On this the fair Quiteria, to all appearance distressed, grieved,
and repentant, advanced without a word to where Basilio lay, his
eyes already turned in his head, his breathing short and painful,
murmuring the name of Quiteria between his teeth, and apparently about
to die like a heathen and not like a Christian. Quiteria approached
him, and kneeling, demanded his hand by signs without speaking.
Basilio opened his eyes and gazing fixedly at her, said, "O
Quiteria, why hast thou turned compassionate at a moment when thy
compassion will serve as a dagger to rob me of life, for I have not
now the strength left either to bear the happiness thou givest me in
accepting me as thine, or to suppress the pain that is rapidly drawing
the dread shadow of death over my eyes? What I entreat of thee, O thou
fatal star to me, is that the hand thou demandest of me and wouldst
give me, be not given out of complaisance or to deceive me afresh, but
that thou confess and declare that without any constraint upon thy
will thou givest it to me as to thy lawful husband; for it is not meet
that thou shouldst trifle with me at such a moment as this, or have
recourse to falsehoods with one who has dealt so truly by thee."

While uttering these words he showed such weakness that the
bystanders expected each return of faintness would take his life
with it. Then Quiteria, overcome with modesty and shame, holding in
her right hand the hand of Basilio, said, "No force would bend my
will; as freely, therefore, as it is possible for me to do so, I
give thee the hand of a lawful wife, and take thine if thou givest
it to me of thine own free will, untroubled and unaffected by the
calamity thy hasty act has brought upon thee."

"Yes, I give it," said Basilio, "not agitated or distracted, but
with unclouded reason that heaven is pleased to grant me, thus do I
give myself to be thy husband."

"And I give myself to be thy wife," said Quiteria, "whether thou
livest many years, or they carry thee from my arms to the grave."

"For one so badly wounded," observed Sancho at this point, "this
young man has a great deal to say; they should make him leave off
billing and cooing, and attend to his soul; for to my thinking he
has it more on his tongue than at his teeth."

Basilio and Quiteria having thus joined hands, the priest, deeply
moved and with tears in his eyes, pronounced the blessing upon them,
and implored heaven to grant an easy passage to the soul of the
newly wedded man, who, the instant he received the blessing, started
nimbly to his feet and with unparalleled effrontery pulled out the
rapier that had been sheathed in his body. All the bystanders were
astounded, and some, more simple than inquiring, began shouting, "A
miracle, a miracle!" But Basilio replied, "No miracle, no miracle;
only a trick, a trick!" The priest, perplexed and amazed, made haste
to examine the wound with both hands, and found that the blade had
passed, not through Basilio's flesh and ribs, but through a hollow
iron tube full of blood, which he had adroitly fixed at the place, the
blood, as was afterwards ascertained, having been so prepared as not
to congeal. In short, the priest and Camacho and most of those present
saw they were tricked and made fools of. The bride showed no signs
of displeasure at the deception; on the contrary, hearing them say
that the marriage, being fraudulent, would not be valid, she said that
she confirmed it afresh, whence they all concluded that the affair had
been planned by agreement and understanding between the pair,
whereat Camacho and his supporters were so mortified that they
proceeded to revenge themselves by violence, and a great number of
them drawing their swords attacked Basilio, in whose protection as
many more swords were in an instant unsheathed, while Don Quixote
taking the lead on horseback, with his lance over his arm and well
covered with his shield, made all give way before him. Sancho, who
never found any pleasure or enjoyment in such doings, retreated to the
wine-jars from which he had taken his delectable skimmings,
considering that, as a holy place, that spot would be respected.

"Hold, sirs, hold!" cried Don Quixote in a loud voice; "we have no
right to take vengeance for wrongs that love may do to us: remember
love and war are the same thing, and as in war it is allowable and
common to make use of wiles and stratagems to overcome the enemy, so
in the contests and rivalries of love the tricks and devices
employed to attain the desired end are justifiable, provided they be
not to the discredit or dishonour of the loved object. Quiteria
belonged to Basilio and Basilio to Quiteria by the just and beneficent
disposal of heaven. Camacho is rich, and can purchase his pleasure
when, where, and as it pleases him. Basilio has but this ewe-lamb, and
no one, however powerful he may be, shall take her from him; these two
whom God hath joined man cannot separate; and he who attempts it
must first pass the point of this lance;" and so saying he
brandished it so stoutly and dexterously that he overawed all who
did not know him.

But so deep an impression had the rejection of Quiteria made on
Camacho's mind that it banished her at once from his thoughts; and
so the counsels of the priest, who was a wise and kindly disposed man,
prevailed with him, and by their means he and his partisans were
pacified and tranquillised, and to prove it put up their swords again,
inveighing against the pliancy of Quiteria rather than the
craftiness of Basilio; Camacho maintaining that, if Quiteria as a
maiden had such a love for Basilio, she would have loved him too as
a married woman, and that he ought to thank heaven more for having
taken her than for having given her.

Camacho and those of his following, therefore, being consoled and
pacified, those on Basilio's side were appeased; and the rich Camacho,
to show that he felt no resentment for the trick, and did not care
about it, desired the festival to go on just as if he were married
in reality. Neither Basilio, however, nor his bride, nor their
followers would take any part in it, and they withdrew to Basilio's
village; for the poor, if they are persons of virtue and good sense,
have those who follow, honour, and uphold them, just as the rich
have those who flatter and dance attendance on them. With them they
carried Don Quixote, regarding him as a man of worth and a stout
one. Sancho alone had a cloud on his soul, for he found himself
debarred from waiting for Camacho's splendid feast and festival, which
lasted until night; and thus dragged away, he moodily followed his
master, who accompanied Basilio's party, and left behind him the
flesh-pots of Egypt; though in his heart he took them with him, and
their now nearly finished skimmings that he carried in the bucket
conjured up visions before his eyes of the glory and abundance of
the good cheer he was losing. And so, vexed and dejected though not
hungry, without dismounting from Dapple he followed in the footsteps
of Rocinante.


Many and great were the attentions shown to Don Quixote by the newly
married couple, who felt themselves under an obligation to him for
coming forward in defence of their cause; and they exalted his
wisdom to the same level with his courage, rating him as a Cid in
arms, and a Cicero in eloquence. Worthy Sancho enjoyed himself for
three days at the expense of the pair, from whom they learned that the
sham wound was not a scheme arranged with the fair Quiteria, but a
device of Basilio's, who counted on exactly the result they had
seen; he confessed, it is true, that he had confided his idea to
some of his friends, so that at the proper time they might aid him
in his purpose and insure the success of the deception.

"That," said Don Quixote, "is not and ought not to be called
deception which aims at virtuous ends;" and the marriage of lovers
he maintained to be a most excellent end, reminding them, however,
that love has no greater enemy than hunger and constant want; for love
is all gaiety, enjoyment, and happiness, especially when the lover
is in the possession of the object of his love, and poverty and want
are the declared enemies of all these; which he said to urge Senor
Basilio to abandon the practice of those accomplishments he was
skilled in, for though they brought him fame, they brought him no
money, and apply himself to the acquisition of wealth by legitimate
industry, which will never fail those who are prudent and persevering.
The poor man who is a man of honour (if indeed a poor man can be a man
of honour) has a jewel when he has a fair wife, and if she is taken
from him, his honour is taken from him and slain. The fair woman who
is a woman of honour, and whose husband is poor, deserves to be
crowned with the laurels and crowns of victory and triumph. Beauty
by itself attracts the desires of all who behold it, and the royal
eagles and birds of towering flight stoop on it as on a dainty lure;
but if beauty be accompanied by want and penury, then the ravens and
the kites and other birds of prey assail it, and she who stands firm
against such attacks well deserves to be called the crown of her
husband. "Remember, O prudent Basilio," added Don Quixote, "it was the
opinion of a certain sage, I know not whom, that there was not more
than one good woman in the whole world; and his advice was that each
one should think and believe that this one good woman was his own
wife, and in this way he would live happy. I myself am not married,
nor, so far, has it ever entered my thoughts to be so; nevertheless
I would venture to give advice to anyone who might ask it, as to the
mode in which he should seek a wife such as he would be content to
marry. The first thing I would recommend him, would be to look to good
name rather than to wealth, for a good woman does not win a good
name merely by being good, but by letting it he seen that she is so,
and open looseness and freedom do much more damage to a woman's honour
than secret depravity. If you take a good woman into your house it
will he an easy matter to keep her good, and even to make her still
better; but if you take a bad one you will find it hard work to mend
her, for it is no very easy matter to pass from one extreme to
another. I do not say it is impossible, but I look upon it as

Sancho, listening to all this, said to himself, "This master of
mine, when I say anything that has weight and substance, says I
might take a pulpit in hand, and go about the world preaching fine
sermons; but I say of him that, when he begins stringing maxims
together and giving advice not only might he take a pulpit in hand,
but two on each finger, and go into the market-places to his heart's
content. Devil take you for a knight-errant, what a lot of things
you know! I used to think in my heart that the only thing he knew
was what belonged to his chivalry; but there is nothing he won't
have a finger in."

Sancho muttered this somewhat aloud, and his master overheard him,
and asked, "What art thou muttering there, Sancho?"

"I'm not saying anything or muttering anything," said Sancho; "I was
only saying to myself that I wish I had heard what your worship has
said just now before I married; perhaps I'd say now, 'The ox that's
loose licks himself well.'"

"Is thy Teresa so bad then, Sancho?"

"She is not very bad," replied Sancho; "but she is not very good; at
least she is not as good as I could wish."

"Thou dost wrong, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "to speak ill of thy
wife; for after all she is the mother of thy children." "We are
quits," returned Sancho; "for she speaks ill of me whenever she
takes it into her head, especially when she is jealous; and Satan
himself could not put up with her then."

In fine, they remained three days with the newly married couple,
by whom they were entertained and treated like kings. Don Quixote
begged the fencing licentiate to find him a guide to show him the
way to the cave of Montesinos, as he had a great desire to enter it
and see with his own eyes if the wonderful tales that were told of
it all over the country were true. The licentiate said he would get
him a cousin of his own, a famous scholar, and one very much given
to reading books of chivalry, who would have great pleasure in
conducting him to the mouth of the very cave, and would show him the
lakes of Ruidera, which were likewise famous all over La Mancha, and
even all over Spain; and he assured him he would find him
entertaining, for he was a youth who could write books good enough
to be printed and dedicated to princes. The cousin arrived at last,
leading an ass in foal, with a pack-saddle covered with a
parti-coloured carpet or sackcloth; Sancho saddled Rocinante, got
Dapple ready, and stocked his alforjas, along with which went those of
the cousin, likewise well filled; and so, commending themselves to God
and bidding farewell to all, they set out, taking the road for the
famous cave of Montesinos.

On the way Don Quixote asked the cousin of what sort and character
his pursuits, avocations, and studies were, to which he replied that
he was by profession a humanist, and that his pursuits and studies
were making books for the press, all of great utility and no less
entertainment to the nation. One was called "The Book of Liveries," in
which he described seven hundred and three liveries, with their
colours, mottoes, and ciphers, from which gentlemen of the court might
pick and choose any they fancied for festivals and revels, without
having to go a-begging for them from anyone, or puzzling their brains,
as the saying is, to have them appropriate to their objects and
purposes; "for," said he, "I give the jealous, the rejected, the
forgotten, the absent, what will suit them, and fit them without fail.
I have another book, too, which I shall call 'Metamorphoses, or the
Spanish Ovid,' one of rare and original invention, for imitating
Ovid in burlesque style, I show in it who the Giralda of Seville and
the Angel of the Magdalena were, what the sewer of Vecinguerra at
Cordova was, what the bulls of Guisando, the Sierra Morena, the
Leganitos and Lavapies fountains at Madrid, not forgetting those of
the Piojo, of the Cano Dorado, and of the Priora; and all with their
allegories, metaphors, and changes, so that they are amusing,
interesting, and instructive, all at once. Another book I have which I
call 'The Supplement to Polydore Vergil,' which treats of the
invention of things, and is a work of great erudition and research,
for I establish and elucidate elegantly some things of great
importance which Polydore omitted to mention. He forgot to tell us who
was the first man in the world that had a cold in his head, and who
was the first to try salivation for the French disease, but I give
it accurately set forth, and quote more than five-and-twenty authors
in proof of it, so you may perceive I have laboured to good purpose
and that the book will be of service to the whole world."

Sancho, who had been very attentive to the cousin's words, said to
him, "Tell me, senor- and God give you luck in printing your books-
can you tell me (for of course you know, as you know everything) who
was the first man that scratched his head? For to my thinking it
must have been our father Adam."

"So it must," replied the cousin; "for there is no doubt but Adam
had a head and hair; and being the first man in the world he would
have scratched himself sometimes."

"So I think," said Sancho; "but now tell me, who was the first
tumbler in the world?"

"Really, brother," answered the cousin, "I could not at this
moment say positively without having investigated it; I will look it
up when I go back to where I have my books, and will satisfy you the
next time we meet, for this will not be the last time."

"Look here, senor," said Sancho, "don't give yourself any trouble
about it, for I have just this minute hit upon what I asked you. The
first tumbler in the world, you must know, was Lucifer, when they cast
or pitched him out of heaven; for he came tumbling into the bottomless

"You are right, friend," said the cousin; and said Don Quixote,
"Sancho, that question and answer are not thine own; thou hast heard
them from some one else."

"Hold your peace, senor," said Sancho; "faith, if I take to asking
questions and answering, I'll go on from this till to-morrow
morning. Nay! to ask foolish things and answer nonsense I needn't go
looking for help from my neighbours."

"Thou hast said more than thou art aware of, Sancho," said Don
Quixote; "for there are some who weary themselves out in learning
and proving things that, after they are known and proved, are not
worth a farthing to the understanding or memory."

In this and other pleasant conversation the day went by, and that
night they put up at a small hamlet whence it was not more than two
leagues to the cave of Montesinos, so the cousin told Don Quixote,
adding, that if he was bent upon entering it, it would be requisite
for him to provide himself with ropes, so that he might be tied and
lowered into its depths. Don Quixote said that even if it reached to
the bottomless pit he meant to see where it went to; so they bought
about a hundred fathoms of rope, and next day at two in the
afternoon they arrived at the cave, the mouth of which is spacious and
wide, but full of thorn and wild-fig bushes and brambles and briars,
so thick and matted that they completely close it up and cover it

On coming within sight of it the cousin, Sancho, and Don Quixote
dismounted, and the first two immediately tied the latter very
firmly with the ropes, and as they were girding and swathing him
Sancho said to him, "Mind what you are about, master mine; don't go
burying yourself alive, or putting yourself where you'll be like a
bottle put to cool in a well; it's no affair or business of your
worship's to become the explorer of this, which must be worse than a
Moorish dungeon."

"Tie me and hold thy peace," said Don Quixote, "for an emprise
like this, friend Sancho, was reserved for me;" and said the guide, "I
beg of you, Senor Don Quixote, to observe carefully and examine with a
hundred eyes everything that is within there; perhaps there may be
some things for me to put into my book of 'Transformations.'"

"The drum is in hands that will know how to beat it well enough,"
said Sancho Panza.

When he had said this and finished the tying (which was not over the
armour but only over the doublet) Don Quixote observed, "It was
careless of us not to have provided ourselves with a small cattle-bell
to be tied on the rope close to me, the sound of which would show that
I was still descending and alive; but as that is out of the question
now, in God's hand be it to guide me;" and forthwith he fell on his
knees and in a low voice offered up a prayer to heaven, imploring
God to aid him and grant him success in this to all appearance
perilous and untried adventure, and then exclaimed aloud, "O
mistress of my actions and movements, illustrious and peerless
Dulcinea del Toboso, if so be the prayers and supplications of this
fortunate lover can reach thy ears, by thy incomparable beauty I
entreat thee to listen to them, for they but ask thee not to refuse me
thy favour and protection now that I stand in such need of them. I
am about to precipitate, to sink, to plunge myself into the abyss that
is here before me, only to let the world know that while thou dost
favour me there is no impossibility I will not attempt and
accomplish." With these words he approached the cavern, and
perceived that it was impossible to let himself down or effect an
entrance except by sheer force or cleaving a passage; so drawing his
sword he began to demolish and cut away the brambles at the mouth of
the cave, at the noise of which a vast multitude of crows and
choughs flew out of it so thick and so fast that they knocked Don
Quixote down; and if he had been as much of a believer in augury as he
was a Catholic Christian he would have taken it as a bad omen and
declined to bury himself in such a place. He got up, however, and as
there came no more crows, or night-birds like the bats that flew out
at the same time with the crows, the cousin and Sancho giving him
rope, he lowered himself into the depths of the dread cavern; and as
he entered it Sancho sent his blessing after him, making a thousand
crosses over him and saying, "God, and the Pena de Francia, and the
Trinity of Gaeta guide thee, flower and cream of knights-errant. There
thou goest, thou dare-devil of the earth, heart of steel, arm of
brass; once more, God guide thee and send thee back safe, sound, and
unhurt to the light of this world thou art leaving to bury thyself
in the darkness thou art seeking there;" and the cousin offered up
almost the same prayers and supplications.

Don Quixote kept calling to them to give him rope and more rope, and
they gave it out little by little, and by the time the calls, which
came out of the cave as out of a pipe, ceased to be heard they had let
down the hundred fathoms of rope. They were inclined to pull Don
Quixote up again, as they could give him no more rope; however, they
waited about half an hour, at the end of which time they began to
gather in the rope again with great ease and without feeling any
weight, which made them fancy Don Quixote was remaining below; and
persuaded that it was so, Sancho wept bitterly, and hauled away in
great haste in order to settle the question. When, however, they had
come to, as it seemed, rather more than eighty fathoms they felt a
weight, at which they were greatly delighted; and at last, at ten
fathoms more, they saw Don Quixote distinctly, and Sancho called out
to him, saying, "Welcome back, senor, for we had begun to think you
were going to stop there to found a family." But Don Quixote
answered not a word, and drawing him out entirely they perceived he
had his eyes shut and every appearance of being fast asleep.

They stretched him on the ground and untied him, but still he did
not awake; however, they rolled him back and forwards and shook and
pulled him about, so that after some time he came to himself,
stretching himself just as if he were waking up from a deep and
sound sleep, and looking about him he said, "God forgive you, friends;
ye have taken me away from the sweetest and most delightful
existence and spectacle that ever human being enjoyed or beheld. Now
indeed do I know that all the pleasures of this life pass away like
a shadow and a dream, or fade like the flower of the field. O
ill-fated Montesinos! O sore-wounded Durandarte! O unhappy Belerma!
O tearful Guadiana, and ye O hapless daughters of Ruidera who show
in your waves the tears that flowed from your beauteous eyes!"

The cousin and Sancho Panza listened with deep attention to the
words of Don Quixote, who uttered them as though with immense pain
he drew them up from his very bowels. They begged of him to explain
himself, and tell them what he had seen in that hell down there.

"Hell do you call it?" said Don Quixote; "call it by no such name,
for it does not deserve it, as ye shall soon see."

He then begged them to give him something to eat, as he was very
hungry. They spread the cousin's sackcloth on the grass, and put the
stores of the alforjas into requisition, and all three sitting down
lovingly and sociably, they made a luncheon and a supper of it all
in one; and when the sackcloth was removed, Don Quixote of La Mancha
said, "Let no one rise, and attend to me, my sons, both of you."



It was about four in the afternoon when the sun, veiled in clouds,
with subdued light and tempered beams, enabled Don Quixote to
relate, without heat or inconvenience, what he had seen in the cave of
Montesinos to his two illustrious hearers, and he began as follows:

"A matter of some twelve or fourteen times a man's height down in
this pit, on the right-hand side, there is a recess or space, roomy
enough to contain a large cart with its mules. A little light
reaches it through some chinks or crevices, communicating with it
and open to the surface of the earth. This recess or space I perceived
when I was already growing weary and disgusted at finding myself
hanging suspended by the rope, travelling downwards into that dark
region without any certainty or knowledge of where I was going, so I
resolved to enter it and rest myself for a while. I called out,
telling you not to let out more rope until I bade you, but you
cannot have heard me. I then gathered in the rope you were sending me,
and making a coil or pile of it I seated myself upon it, ruminating
and considering what I was to do to lower myself to the bottom, having
no one to hold me up; and as I was thus deep in thought and
perplexity, suddenly and without provocation a profound sleep fell
upon me, and when I least expected it, I know not how, I awoke and
found myself in the midst of the most beautiful, delightful meadow
that nature could produce or the most lively human imagination
conceive. I opened my eyes, I rubbed them, and found I was not
asleep but thoroughly awake. Nevertheless, I felt my head and breast
to satisfy myself whether it was I myself who was there or some
empty delusive phantom; but touch, feeling, the collected thoughts
that passed through my mind, all convinced me that I was the same then
and there that I am this moment. Next there presented itself to my
sight a stately royal palace or castle, with walls that seemed built
of clear transparent crystal; and through two great doors that
opened wide therein, I saw coming forth and advancing towards me a
venerable old man, clad in a long gown of mulberry-coloured serge that
trailed upon the ground. On his shoulders and breast he had a green
satin collegiate hood, and covering his head a black Milanese
bonnet, and his snow-white beard fell below his girdle. He carried
no arms whatever, nothing but a rosary of beads bigger than fair-sized
filberts, each tenth bead being like a moderate ostrich egg; his
bearing, his gait, his dignity and imposing presence held me
spellbound and wondering. He approached me, and the first thing he did
was to embrace me closely, and then he said to me, 'For a long time
now, O valiant knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, we who are here
enchanted in these solitudes have been hoping to see thee, that thou
mayest make known to the world what is shut up and concealed in this
deep cave, called the cave of Montesinos, which thou hast entered,
an achievement reserved for thy invincible heart and stupendous
courage alone to attempt. Come with me, illustrious sir, and I will
show thee the marvels hidden within this transparent castle, whereof I
am the alcaide and perpetual warden; for I am Montesinos himself, from
whom the cave takes its name.'

"The instant he told me he was Montesinos, I asked him if the
story they told in the world above here was true, that he had taken
out the heart of his great friend Durandarte from his breast with a
little dagger, and carried it to the lady Belerma, as his friend
when at the point of death had commanded him. He said in reply that
they spoke the truth in every respect except as to the dagger, for
it was not a dagger, nor little, but a burnished poniard sharper
than an awl."

"That poniard must have been made by Ramon de Hoces the
Sevillian," said Sancho.

"I do not know," said Don Quixote; "it could not have been by that
poniard maker, however, because Ramon de Hoces was a man of yesterday,
and the affair of Roncesvalles, where this mishap occurred, was long
ago; but the question is of no great importance, nor does it affect or
make any alteration in the truth or substance of the story."

"That is true," said the cousin; "continue, Senor Don Quixote, for I
am listening to you with the greatest pleasure in the world."

"And with no less do I tell the tale," said Don Quixote; "and so, to
proceed- the venerable Montesinos led me into the palace of crystal,
where, in a lower chamber, strangely cool and entirely of alabaster,
was an elaborately wrought marble tomb, upon which I beheld, stretched
at full length, a knight, not of bronze, or marble, or jasper, as
are seen on other tombs, but of actual flesh and bone. His right
hand (which seemed to me somewhat hairy and sinewy, a sign of great
strength in its owner) lay on the side of his heart; but before I
could put any question to Montesinos, he, seeing me gazing at the tomb
in amazement, said to me, 'This is my friend Durandarte, flower and
mirror of the true lovers and valiant knights of his time. He is
held enchanted here, as I myself and many others are, by that French
enchanter Merlin, who, they say, was the devil's son; but my belief
is, not that he was the devil's son, but that he knew, as the saying
is, a point more than the devil. How or why he enchanted us, no one
knows, but time will tell, and I suspect that time is not far off.
What I marvel at is, that I know it to be as sure as that it is now
day, that Durandarte ended his life in my arms, and that, after his
death, I took out his heart with my own hands; and indeed it must have
weighed more than two pounds, for, according to naturalists, he who
has a large heart is more largely endowed with valour than he who
has a small one. Then, as this is the case, and as the knight did
really die, how comes it that he now moans and sighs from time to
time, as if he were still alive?'

"As he said this, the wretched Durandarte cried out in a loud voice:

O cousin Montesinos!
'T was my last request of thee,
When my soul hath left the body,
And that lying dead I be,
With thy poniard or thy dagger
Cut the heart from out my breast,
And bear it to Belerma.
This was my last request.

On hearing which, the venerable Montesinos fell on his knees before
the unhappy knight, and with tearful eyes exclaimed, 'Long since,
Senor Durandarte, my beloved cousin, long since have I done what you
bade me on that sad day when I lost you; I took out your heart as well
as I could, not leaving an atom of it in your breast, I wiped it
with a lace handkerchief, and I took the road to France with it,
having first laid you in the bosom of the earth with tears enough to
wash and cleanse my hands of the blood that covered them after
wandering among your bowels; and more by token, O cousin of my soul,
at the first village I came to after leaving Roncesvalles, I sprinkled
a little salt upon your heart to keep it sweet, and bring it, if not
fresh, at least pickled, into the presence of the lady Belerma,
whom, together with you, myself, Guadiana your squire, the duenna
Ruidera and her seven daughters and two nieces, and many more of
your friends and acquaintances, the sage Merlin has been keeping
enchanted here these many years; and although more than five hundred
have gone by, not one of us has died; Ruidera and her daughters and
nieces alone are missing, and these, because of the tears they shed,
Merlin, out of the compassion he seems to have felt for them,
changed into so many lakes, which to this day in the world of the
living, and in the province of La Mancha, are called the Lakes of
Ruidera. The seven daughters belong to the kings of Spain and the
two nieces to the knights of a very holy order called the Order of St.
John. Guadiana your squire, likewise bewailing your fate, was
changed into a river of his own name, but when he came to the
surface and beheld the sun of another heaven, so great was his grief
at finding he was leaving you, that he plunged into the bowels of
the earth; however, as he cannot help following his natural course, he
from time to time comes forth and shows himself to the sun and the
world. The lakes aforesaid send him their waters, and with these,
and others that come to him, he makes a grand and imposing entrance
into Portugal; but for all that, go where he may, he shows his
melancholy and sadness, and takes no pride in breeding dainty choice
fish, only coarse and tasteless sorts, very different from those of
the golden Tagus. All this that I tell you now, O cousin mine, I
have told you many times before, and as you make no answer, I fear
that either you believe me not, or do not hear me, whereat I feel
God knows what grief. I have now news to give you, which, if it serves
not to alleviate your sufferings, will not in any wise increase
them. Know that you have here before you (open your eyes and you
will see) that great knight of whom the sage Merlin has prophesied
such great things; that Don Quixote of La Mancha I mean, who has
again, and to better purpose than in past times, revived in these days
knight-errantry, long since forgotten, and by whose intervention and
aid it may be we shall be disenchanted; for great deeds are reserved
for great men.'

"'And if that may not be,' said the wretched Durandarte in a low and
feeble voice, 'if that may not be, then, my cousin, I say "patience
and shuffle;"' and turning over on his side, he relapsed into his
former silence without uttering another word.

"And now there was heard a great outcry and lamentation, accompanied
by deep sighs and bitter sobs. I looked round, and through the crystal
wall I saw passing through another chamber a procession of two lines
of fair damsels all clad in mourning, and with white turbans of
Turkish fashion on their heads. Behind, in the rear of these, there
came a lady, for so from her dignity she seemed to be, also clad in
black, with a white veil so long and ample that it swept the ground.
Her turban was twice as large as the largest of any of the others; her
eyebrows met, her nose was rather flat, her mouth was large but with
ruddy lips, and her teeth, of which at times she allowed a glimpse,
were seen to be sparse and ill-set, though as white as peeled almonds.
She carried in her hands a fine cloth, and in it, as well as I could
make out, a heart that had been mummied, so parched and dried was
it. Montesinos told me that all those forming the procession were
the attendants of Durandarte and Belerma, who were enchanted there
with their master and mistress, and that the last, she who carried the
heart in the cloth, was the lady Belerma, who, with her damsels,
four days in the week went in procession singing, or rather weeping,
dirges over the body and miserable heart of his cousin; and that if
she appeared to me somewhat ill-favoured or not so beautiful as fame
reported her, it was because of the bad nights and worse days that she
passed in that enchantment, as I could see by the great dark circles
round her eyes, and her sickly complexion; 'her sallowness, and the
rings round her eyes,' said he, 'are not caused by the periodical
ailment usual with women, for it is many months and even years since
she has had any, but by the grief her own heart suffers because of
that which she holds in her hand perpetually, and which recalls and
brings back to her memory the sad fate of her lost lover; were it
not for this, hardly would the great Dulcinea del Toboso, so
celebrated in all these parts, and even in the world, come up to her
for beauty, grace, and gaiety.'

"'Hold hard!' said I at this, 'tell your story as you ought, Senor
Don Montesinos, for you know very well that all comparisons are
odious, and there is no occasion to compare one person with another;
the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso is what she is, and the lady Dona
Belerma is what she is and has been, and that's enough.' To which he
made answer, 'Forgive me, Senor Don Quixote; I own I was wrong and
spoke unadvisedly in saying that the lady Dulcinea could scarcely come
up to the lady Belerma; for it were enough for me to have learned,
by what means I know not, that youare her knight, to make me bite my
tongue out before I compared her to anything save heaven itself.'
After this apology which the great Montesinos made me, my heart
recovered itself from the shock I had received in hearing my lady
compared with Belerma."

"Still I wonder," said Sancho, "that your worship did not get upon
the old fellow and bruise every bone of him with kicks, and pluck
his beard until you didn't leave a hair in it."

"Nay, Sancho, my friend," said Don Quixote, "it would not have
been right in me to do that, for we are all bound to pay respect to
the aged, even though they be not knights, but especially to those who
are, and who are enchanted; I only know I gave him as good as he
brought in the many other questions and answers we exchanged."

"I cannot understand, Senor Don Quixote," remarked the cousin
here, "how it is that your worship, in such a short space of time as
you have been below there, could have seen so many things, and said
and answered so much."

"How long is it since I went down?" asked Don Quixote.

"Little better than an hour," replied Sancho.

"That cannot be," returned Don Quixote, "because night overtook me
while I was there, and day came, and it was night again and day
again three times; so that, by my reckoning, I have been three days in
those remote regions beyond our ken."

"My master must be right," replied Sancho; "for as everything that
has happened to him is by enchantment, maybe what seems to us an
hour would seem three days and nights there."

"That's it," said Don Quixote.

"And did your worship eat anything all that time, senor?" asked
the cousin.

"I never touched a morsel," answered Don Quixote, "nor did I feel
hunger, or think of it."

"And do the enchanted eat?" said the cousin.

"They neither eat," said Don Quixote; "nor are they subject to the
greater excrements, though it is thought that their nails, beards, and
hair grow."

"And do the enchanted sleep, now, senor?" asked Sancho.

"Certainly not," replied Don Quixote; "at least, during those
three days I was with them not one of them closed an eye, nor did I

"The proverb, 'Tell me what company thou keepest and I'll tell
thee what thou art,' is to the point here," said Sancho; "your worship
keeps company with enchanted people that are always fasting and
watching; what wonder is it, then, that you neither eat nor sleep
while you are with them? But forgive me, senor, if I say that of all
this you have told us now, may God take me- I was just going to say
the devil- if I believe a single particle."

"What!" said the cousin, "has Senor Don Quixote, then, been lying?
Why, even if he wished it he has not had time to imagine and put
together such a host of lies."

"I don't believe my master lies," said Sancho.

"If not, what dost thou believe?" asked Don Quixote.

"I believe," replied Sancho, "that this Merlin, or those
enchanters who enchanted the whole crew your worship says you saw
and discoursed with down there, stuffed your imagination or your
mind with all this rigmarole you have been treating us to, and all
that is still to come."

"All that might be, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "but it is not so,
for everything that I have told you I saw with my own eyes, and
touched with my own hands. But what will you say when I tell you now
how, among the countless other marvellous things Montesinos showed
me (of which at leisure and at the proper time I will give thee an
account in the course of our journey, for they would not be all in
place here), he showed me three country girls who went skipping and
capering like goats over the pleasant fields there, and the instant
I beheld them I knew one to be the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, and
the other two those same country girls that were with her and that
we spoke to on the road from El Toboso! I asked Montesinos if he
knew them, and he told me he did not, but he thought they must be some
enchanted ladies of distinction, for it was only a few days before
that they had made their appearance in those meadows; but I was not to
be surprised at that, because there were a great many other ladies
there of times past and present, enchanted in various strange
shapes, and among them he had recognised Queen Guinevere and her
dame Quintanona, she who poured out the wine for Lancelot when he came
from Britain."

When Sancho Panza heard his master say this he was ready to take
leave of his senses, or die with laughter; for, as he knew the real
truth about the pretended enchantment of Dulcinea, in which he himself
had been the enchanter and concocter of all the evidence, he made up
his mind at last that, beyond all doubt, his master was out of his
wits and stark mad, so he said to him, "It was an evil hour, a worse
season, and a sorrowful day, when your worship, dear master mine, went
down to the other world, and an unlucky moment when you met with Senor
Montesinos, who has sent you back to us like this. You were well
enough here above in your full senses, such as God had given you,
delivering maxims and giving advice at every turn, and not as you
are now, talking the greatest nonsense that can be imagined."

"As I know thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "I heed not thy words."

"Nor I your worship's," said Sancho, "whether you beat me or kill me
for those I have spoken, and will speak if you don't correct and
mend your own. But tell me, while we are still at peace, how or by
what did you recognise the lady our mistress; and if you spoke to her,
what did you say, and what did she answer?"

"I recognised her," said Don Quixote, "by her wearing the same
garments she wore when thou didst point her out to me. I spoke to her,
but she did not utter a word in reply; on the contrary, she turned her
back on me and took to flight, at such a pace that crossbow bolt could
not have overtaken her. I wished to follow her, and would have done so
had not Montesinos recommended me not to take the trouble as it
would be useless, particularly as the time was drawing near when it
would be necessary for me to quit the cavern. He told me, moreover,
that in course of time he would let me know how he and Belerma, and
Durandarte, and all who were there, were to be disenchanted. But of
all I saw and observed down there, what gave me most pain was, that
while Montesinos was speaking to me, one of the two companions of
the hapless Dulcinea approached me on one without my having seen her
coming, and with tears in her eyes said to me, in a low, agitated
voice, 'My lady Dulcinea del Toboso kisses your worship's hands, and
entreats you to do her the favour of letting her know how you are;
and, being in great need, she also entreats your worship as
earnestly as she can to be so good as to lend her half a dozen
reals, or as much as you may have about you, on this new dimity
petticoat that I have here; and she promises to repay them very
speedily.' I was amazed and taken aback by such a message, and turning
to Senor Montesinos I asked him, 'Is it possible, Senor Montesinos,
that persons of distinction under enchantment can be in need?' To
which he replied, 'Believe me, Senor Don Quixote, that which is called
need is to be met with everywhere, and penetrates all quarters and
reaches everyone, and does not spare even the enchanted; and as the
lady Dulcinea del Toboso sends to beg those six reals, and the
pledge is to all appearance a good one, there is nothing for it but to
give them to her, for no doubt she must be in some great strait.' 'I
will take no pledge of her,' I replied, 'nor yet can I give her what
she asks, for all I have is four reals; which I gave (they were
those which thou, Sancho, gavest me the other day to bestow in alms
upon the poor I met along the road), and I said, 'Tell your
mistress, my dear, that I am grieved to the heart because of her
distresses, and wish I was a Fucar to remedy them, and that I would
have her know that I cannot be, and ought not be, in health while
deprived of the happiness of seeing her and enjoying her discreet
conversation, and that I implore her as earnestly as I can, to allow
herself to be seen and addressed by this her captive servant and
forlorn knight. Tell her, too, that when she least expects it she will
hear it announced that I have made an oath and vow after the fashion
of that which the Marquis of Mantua made to avenge his nephew Baldwin,
when he found him at the point of death in the heart of the mountains,
which was, not to eat bread off a tablecloth, and other trifling
matters which he added, until he had avenged him; and I will make
the same to take no rest, and to roam the seven regions of the earth
more thoroughly than the Infante Don Pedro of Portugal ever roamed
them, until I have disenchanted her.' 'All that and more, you owe my
lady,' the damsel's answer to me, and taking the four reals, instead
of making me a curtsey she cut a caper, springing two full yards
into the air."

"O blessed God!" exclaimed Sancho aloud at this, "is it possible
that such things can be in the world, and that enchanters and
enchantments can have such power in it as to have changed my
master's right senses into a craze so full of absurdity! O senor,
senor, for God's sake, consider yourself, have a care for your honour,
and give no credit to this silly stuff that has left you scant and
short of wits."

"Thou talkest in this way because thou lovest me, Sancho," said
Don Quixote; "and not being experienced in the things of the world,
everything that has some difficulty about it seems to thee impossible;
but time will pass, as I said before, and I will tell thee some of the
things I saw down there which will make thee believe what I have
related now, the truth of which admits of neither reply nor question."



He who translated this great history from the original written by
its first author, Cide Hamete Benengeli, says that on coming to the
chapter giving the adventures of the cave of Montesinos he found
written on the margin of it, in Hamete's own hand, these exact words:

"I cannot convince or persuade myself that everything that is
written in the preceding chapter could have precisely happened to
the valiant Don Quixote; and for this reason, that all the
adventures that have occurred up to the present have been possible and
probable; but as for this one of the cave, I see no way of accepting
it as true, as it passes all reasonable bounds. For me to believe that
Don Quixote could lie, he being the most truthful gentleman and the
noblest knight of his time, is impossible; he would not have told a
lie though he were shot to death with arrows. On the other hand, I
reflect that he related and told the story with all the
circumstances detailed, and that he could not in so short a space have
fabricated such a vast complication of absurdities; if, then, this
adventure seems apocryphal, it is no fault of mine; and so, without
affirming its falsehood or its truth, I write it down. Decide for
thyself in thy wisdom, reader; for I am not bound, nor is it in my
power, to do more; though certain it is they say that at the time of
his death he retracted, and said he had invented it, thinking it
matched and tallied with the adventures he had read of in his
histories." And then he goes on to say:

The cousin was amazed as well at Sancho's boldness as at the
patience of his master, and concluded that the good temper the
latter displayed arose from the happiness he felt at having seen his
lady Dulcinea, even enchanted as she was; because otherwise the
words and language Sancho had addressed to him deserved a thrashing;
for indeed he seemed to him to have been rather impudent to his
master, to whom he now observed, "I, Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha,
look upon the time I have spent in travelling with your worship as
very well employed, for I have gained four things in the course of it;
the first is that I have made your acquaintance, which I consider
great good fortune; the second, that I have learned what the cave of
Montesinos contains, together with the transformations of Guadiana and
of the lakes of Ruidera; which will be of use to me for the Spanish
Ovid that I have in hand; the third, to have discovered the
antiquity of cards, that they were in use at least in the time of
Charlemagne, as may be inferred from the words you say Durandarte
uttered when, at the end of that long spell while Montesinos was
talking to him, he woke up and said, 'Patience and shuffle.' This
phrase and expression he could not have learned while he was
enchanted, but only before he had become so, in France, and in the
time of the aforesaid emperor Charlemagne. And this demonstration is
just the thing for me for that other book I am writing, the
'Supplement to Polydore Vergil on the Invention of Antiquities;' for I
believe he never thought of inserting that of cards in his book, as
I mean to do in mine, and it will be a matter of great importance,
particularly when I can cite so grave and veracious an authority as
Senor Durandarte. And the fourth thing is, that I have ascertained the
source of the river Guadiana, heretofore unknown to mankind."

"You are right," said Don Quixote; "but I should like to know, if by
God's favour they grant you a licence to print those books of yours-
which I doubt- to whom do you mean dedicate them?"

"There are lords and grandees in Spain to whom they can be
dedicated," said the cousin.

"Not many," said Don Quixote; "not that they are unworthy of it, but
because they do not care to accept books and incur the obligation of
making the return that seems due to the author's labour and
courtesy. One prince I know who makes up for all the rest, and more-
how much more, if I ventured to say, perhaps I should stir up envy
in many a noble breast; but let this stand over for some more
convenient time, and let us go and look for some place to shelter
ourselves in to-night."

"Not far from this," said the cousin, "there is a hermitage, where
there lives a hermit, who they say was a soldier, and who has the
reputation of being a good Christian and a very intelligent and
charitable man. Close to the hermitage he has a small house which he
built at his own cost, but though small it is large enough for the
reception of guests."

"Has this hermit any hens, do you think?" asked Sancho.

"Few hermits are without them," said Don Quixote; "for those we
see now-a-days are not like the hermits of the Egyptian deserts who
were clad in palm-leaves, and lived on the roots of the earth. But
do not think that by praising these I am disparaging the others; all I
mean to say is that the penances of those of the present day do not
come up to the asceticism and austerity of former times; but it does
not follow from this that they are not all worthy; at least I think
them so; and at the worst the hypocrite who pretends to be good does
less harm than the open sinner."

At this point they saw approaching the spot where they stood a man
on foot, proceeding at a rapid pace, and beating a mule loaded with
lances and halberds. When he came up to them, he saluted them and
passed on without stopping. Don Quixote called to him, "Stay, good
fellow; you seem to be making more haste than suits that mule."

"I cannot stop, senor," answered the man; "for the arms you see I
carry here are to be used tomorrow, so I must not delay; God be with
you. But if you want to know what I am carrying them for, I mean to
lodge to-night at the inn that is beyond the hermitage, and if you
be going the same road you will find me there, and I will tell you
some curious things; once more God be with you;" and he urged on his
mule at such a pace that Don Quixote had no time to ask him what these
curious things were that he meant to tell them; and as he was somewhat
inquisitive, and always tortured by his anxiety to learn something
new, he decided to set out at once, and go and pass the night at the
inn instead of stopping at the hermitage, where the cousin would
have had them halt. Accordingly they mounted and all three took the
direct road for the inn, which they reached a little before nightfall.
On the road the cousin proposed they should go up to the hermitage
to drink a sup. The instant Sancho heard this he steered his Dapple
towards it, and Don Quixote and the cousin did the same; but it
seems Sancho's bad luck so ordered it that the hermit was not at home,
for so a sub-hermit they found in the hermitage told them. They called
for some of the best. She replied that her master had none, but that
if they liked cheap water she would give it with great pleasure.

"If I found any in water," said Sancho, "there are wells along the
road where I could have had enough of it. Ah, Camacho's wedding, and
plentiful house of Don Diego, how often do I miss you!"

Leaving the hermitage, they pushed on towards the inn, and a
little farther they came upon a youth who was pacing along in front of
them at no great speed, so that they overtook him. He carried a
sword over his shoulder, and slung on it a budget or bundle of his
clothes apparently, probably his breeches or pantaloons, and his cloak
and a shirt or two; for he had on a short jacket of velvet with a
gloss like satin on it in places, and had his shirt out; his stockings
were of silk, and his shoes square-toed as they wear them at court.
His age might have been eighteen or nineteen; he was of a merry
countenance, and to all appearance of an active habit, and he went
along singing seguidillas to beguile the wearisomeness of the road. As
they came up with him he was just finishing one, which the cousin
got by heart and they say ran thus-

I'm off to the wars
For the want of pence,
Oh, had I but money
I'd show more sense.

The first to address him was Don Quixote, who said, "You travel very
airily, sir gallant; whither bound, may we ask, if it is your pleasure
to tell us?"

To which the youth replied, "The heat and my poverty are the
reason of my travelling so airily, and it is to the wars that I am

"How poverty?" asked Don Quixote; "the heat one can understand."

"Senor," replied the youth, "in this bundle I carry velvet
pantaloons to match this jacket; if I wear them out on the road, I
shall not be able to make a decent appearance in them in the city, and
I have not the wherewithal to buy others; and so for this reason, as
well as to keep myself cool, I am making my way in this fashion to
overtake some companies of infantry that are not twelve leagues off,
in which I shall enlist, and there will be no want of baggage trains
to travel with after that to the place of embarkation, which they
say will be Carthagena; I would rather have the King for a master, and
serve him in the wars, than serve a court pauper."

"And did you get any bounty, now?" asked the cousin.

"If I had been in the service of some grandee of Spain or
personage of distinction," replied the youth, "I should have been safe
to get it; for that is the advantage of serving good masters, that out
of the servants' hall men come to be ancients or captains, or get a
good pension. But I, to my misfortune, always served place-hunters and
adventurers, whose keep and wages were so miserable and scanty that
half went in paying for the starching of one's collars; it would be
a miracle indeed if a page volunteer ever got anything like a
reasonable bounty."

"And tell me, for heaven's sake," asked Don Quixote, "is it
possible, my friend, that all the time you served you never got any

"They gave me two," replied the page; "but just as when one quits
a religious community before making profession, they strip him of
the dress of the order and give him back his own clothes, so did my
masters return me mine; for as soon as the business on which they came
to court was finished, they went home and took back the liveries
they had given merely for show."

"What spilorceria!- as an Italian would say," said Don Quixote; "but
for all that, consider yourself happy in having left court with as
worthy an object as you have, for there is nothing on earth more
honourable or profitable than serving, first of all God, and then
one's king and natural lord, particularly in the profession of arms,
by which, if not more wealth, at least more honour is to be won than
by letters, as I have said many a time; for though letters may have
founded more great houses than arms, still those founded by arms
have I know not what superiority over those founded by letters, and
a certain splendour belonging to them that distinguishes them above
all. And bear in mind what I am now about to say to you, for it will
be of great use and comfort to you in time of trouble; it is, not to
let your mind dwell on the adverse chances that may befall you; for
the worst of all is death, and if it be a good death, the best of
all is to die. They asked Julius Caesar, the valiant Roman emperor,
what was the best death. He answered, that which is unexpected,
which comes suddenly and unforeseen; and though he answered like a
pagan, and one without the knowledge of the true God, yet, as far as
sparing our feelings is concerned, he was right; for suppose you are
killed in the first engagement or skirmish, whether by a cannon ball
or blown up by mine, what matters it? It is only dying, and all is
over; and according to Terence, a soldier shows better dead in battle,
than alive and safe in flight; and the good soldier wins fame in
proportion as he is obedient to his captains and those in command over
him. And remember, my son, that it is better for the soldier to
smell of gunpowder than of civet, and that if old age should come upon
you in this honourable calling, though you may be covered with
wounds and crippled and lame, it will not come upon you without
honour, and that such as poverty cannot lessen; especially now that
provisions are being made for supporting and relieving old and
disabled soldiers; for it is not right to deal with them after the
fashion of those who set free and get rid of their black slaves when
they are old and useless, and, turning them out of their houses
under the pretence of making them free, make them slaves to hunger,
from which they cannot expect to be released except by death. But
for the present I won't say more than get ye up behind me on my
horse as far as the inn, and sup with me there, and to-morrow you
shall pursue your journey, and God give you as good speed as your
intentions deserve."

The page did not accept the invitation to mount, though he did
that to supper at the inn; and here they say Sancho said to himself,
"God be with you for a master; is it possible that a man who can say
things so many and so good as he has said just now, can say that he
saw the impossible absurdities he reports about the cave of
Montesinos? Well, well, we shall see."

And now, just as night was falling, they reached the inn, and it was
not without satisfaction that Sancho perceived his master took it
for a real inn, and not for a castle as usual. The instant they
entered Don Quixote asked the landlord after the man with the lances
and halberds, and was told that he was in the stable seeing to his
mule; which was what Sancho and the cousin proceeded to do for their
beasts, giving the best manger and the best place in the stable to



Don Quixote's bread would not bake, as the common saying is, until
he had heard and learned the curious things promised by the man who
carried the arms. He went to seek him where the innkeeper said be
was and having found him, bade him say now at any rate what he had
to say in answer to the question he had asked him on the road. "The
tale of my wonders must be taken more leisurely and not standing,"
said the man; "let me finish foddering my beast, good sir; and then
I'll tell you things that will astonish you."

"Don't wait for that," said Don Quixote; "I'll help you in
everything," and so he did, sifting the barley for him and cleaning
out the manger; a degree of humility which made the other feel bound
to tell him with a good grace what he had asked; so seating himself on
a bench, with Don Quixote beside him, and the cousin, the page, Sancho
Panza, and the landlord, for a senate and an audience, he began his
story in this way:

"You must know that in a village four leagues and a half from this
inn, it so happened that one of the regidors, by the tricks and
roguery of a servant girl of his (it's too long a tale to tell),
lost an ass; and though he did all he possibly could to find it, it
was all to no purpose. A fortnight might have gone by, so the story
goes, since the ass had been missing, when, as the regidor who had
lost it was standing in the plaza, another regidor of the same town
said to him, 'Pay me for good news, gossip; your ass has turned up.'
'That I will, and well, gossip,' said the other; 'but tell us, where
has he turned up?' 'In the forest,' said the finder; 'I saw him this
morning without pack-saddle or harness of any sort, and so lean that
it went to one's heart to see him. I tried to drive him before me
and bring him to you, but he is already so wild and shy that when I
went near him he made off into the thickest part of the forest. If you
have a mind that we two should go back and look for him, let me put up
this she-ass at my house and I'll be back at once.' 'You will be doing
me a great kindness,' said the owner of the ass, 'and I'll try to
pay it back in the same coin.' It is with all these circumstances, and
in the very same way I am telling it now, that those who know all
about the matter tell the story. Well then, the two regidors set off
on foot, arm in arm, for the forest, and coming to the place where
they hoped to find the ass they could not find him, nor was he to be
seen anywhere about, search as they might. Seeing, then, that there
was no sign of him, the regidor who had seen him said to the other,
'Look here, gossip; a plan has occurred to me, by which, beyond a
doubt, we shall manage to discover the animal, even if he is stowed
away in the bowels of the earth, not to say the forest. Here it is.
I can bray to perfection, and if you can ever so little, the thing's
as good as done.' 'Ever so little did you say, gossip?' said the
other; 'by God, I'll not give in to anybody, not even to the asses
themselves.' 'We'll soon see,' said the second regidor, 'for my plan
is that you should go one side of the forest, and I the other, so as
to go all round about it; and every now and then you will bray and I
will bray; and it cannot be but that the ass will hear us, and
answer us if he is in the forest.' To which the owner of the ass
replied, 'It's an excellent plan, I declare, gossip, and worthy of
your great genius;' and the two separating as agreed, it so fell out
that they brayed almost at the same moment, and each, deceived by
the braying of the other, ran to look, fancying the ass had turned
up at last. When they came in sight of one another, said the loser,
'Is it possible, gossip, that it was not my ass that brayed?' 'No,
it was I,' said the other. 'Well then, I can tell you, gossip,' said
the ass's owner, 'that between you and an ass there is not an atom
of difference as far as braying goes, for I never in all my life saw
or heard anything more natural.' 'Those praises and compliments belong
to you more justly than to me, gossip,' said the inventor of the plan;
'for, by the God that made me, you might give a couple of brays odds
to the best and most finished brayer in the world; the tone you have
got is deep, your voice is well kept up as to time and pitch, and your
finishing notes come thick and fast; in fact, I own myself beaten, and
yield the palm to you, and give in to you in this rare
accomplishment.' 'Well then,' said the owner, 'I'll set a higher value
on myself for the future, and consider that I know something, as I
have an excellence of some sort; for though I always thought I
brayed well, I never supposed I came up to the pitch of perfection you
say.' 'And I say too,' said the second, 'that there are rare gifts
going to loss in the world, and that they are ill bestowed upon
those who don't know how to make use of them.' 'Ours,' said the
owner of the ass, 'unless it is in cases like this we have now in
hand, cannot be of any service to us, and even in this God grant
they may be of some use.' So saying they separated, and took to
their braying once more, but every instant they were deceiving one
another, and coming to meet one another again, until they arranged
by way of countersign, so as to know that it was they and not the ass,
to give two brays, one after the other. In this way, doubling the
brays at every step, they made the complete circuit of the forest, but
the lost ass never gave them an answer or even the sign of one. How
could the poor ill-starred brute have answered, when, in the
thickest part of the forest, they found him devoured by wolves? As
soon as he saw him his owner said, 'I was wondering he did not answer,
for if he wasn't dead he'd have brayed when he heard us, or he'd
have been no ass; but for the sake of having heard you bray to such
perfection, gossip, I count the trouble I have taken to look for him
well bestowed, even though I have found him dead.' 'It's in a good
hand, gossip,' said the other; 'if the abbot sings well, the acolyte
is not much behind him.' So they returned disconsolate and hoarse to
their village, where they told their friends, neighbours, and
acquaintances what had befallen them in their search for the ass, each
crying up the other's perfection in braying. The whole story came to
be known and spread abroad through the villages of the
neighbourhood; and the devil, who never sleeps, with his love for
sowing dissensions and scattering discord everywhere, blowing mischief
about and making quarrels out of nothing, contrived to make the people
of the other towns fall to braying whenever they saw anyone from our
village, as if to throw the braying of our regidors in our teeth. Then
the boys took to it, which was the same thing for it as getting into
the hands and mouths of all the devils of hell; and braying spread
from one town to another in such a way that the men of the braying
town are as easy to be known as blacks are to be known from whites,
and the unlucky joke has gone so far that several times the scoffed
have come out in arms and in a body to do battle with the scoffers,
and neither king nor rook, fear nor shame, can mend matters. To-morrow
or the day after, I believe, the men of my town, that is, of the
braying town, are going to take the field against another village
two leagues away from ours, one of those that persecute us most; and
that we may turn out well prepared I have bought these lances and
halberds you have seen. These are the curious things I told you I
had to tell, and if you don't think them so, I have got no others;"
and with this the worthy fellow brought his story to a close.

Just at this moment there came in at the gate of the inn a man
entirely clad in chamois leather, hose, breeches, and doublet, who
said in a loud voice, "Senor host, have you room? Here's the
divining ape and the show of the Release of Melisendra just coming."

"Ods body!" said the landlord, "why, it's Master Pedro! We're in for
a grand night!" I forgot to mention that the said Master Pedro had his
left eye and nearly half his cheek covered with a patch of green
taffety, showing that something ailed all that side. "Your worship
is welcome, Master Pedro," continued the landlord; "but where are
the ape and the show, for I don't see them?" "They are close at hand,"
said he in the chamois leather, "but I came on first to know if
there was any room." "I'd make the Duke of Alva himself clear out to
make room for Master Pedro," said the landlord; "bring in the ape
and the show; there's company in the inn to-night that will pay to see
that and the cleverness of the ape." "So be it by all means," said the
man with the patch; "I'll lower the price, and he well satisfied if
I only pay my expenses; and now I'll go back and hurry on the cart
with the ape and the show;" and with this he went out of the inn.

Don Quixote at once asked the landlord what this Master Pedro was,
and what was the show and what was the ape he had with him; which
the landlord replied, "This is a famous puppet-showman, who for some
time past has been going about this Mancha de Aragon, exhibiting a
show of the release of Melisendra by the famous Don Gaiferos, one of
the best and best-represented stories that have been seen in this part
of the kingdom for many a year; he has also with him an ape with the
most extraordinary gift ever seen in an ape or imagined in a human
being; for if you ask him anything, he listens attentively to the
question, and then jumps on his master's shoulder, and pressing
close to his ear tells him the answer which Master Pedro then
delivers. He says a great deal more about things past than about
things to come; and though he does not always hit the truth in every
case, most times he is not far wrong, so that he makes us fancy he has
got the devil in him. He gets two reals for every question if the
ape answers; I mean if his master answers for him after he has
whispered into his ear; and so it is believed that this same Master
Pedro is very rich. He is a 'gallant man' as they say in Italy, and
good company, and leads the finest life in the world; talks more
than six, drinks more than a dozen, and all by his tongue, and his
ape, and his show."

Master Pedro now came back, and in a cart followed the show and
the ape- a big one, without a tail and with buttocks as bare as
felt, but not vicious-looking. As soon as Don Quixote saw him, he
asked him, "Can you tell me, sir fortune-teller, what fish do we
catch, and how will it be with us? See, here are my two reals," and he
bade Sancho give them to Master Pedro; but he answered for the ape and
said, "Senor, this animal does not give any answer or information
touching things that are to come; of things past he knows something,
and more or less of things present."

"Gad," said Sancho, "I would not give a farthing to be told what's
past with me, for who knows that better than I do myself? And to pay
for being told what I know would be mighty foolish. But as you know
things present, here are my two reals, and tell me, most excellent sir
ape, what is my wife Teresa Panza doing now, and what is she diverting
herself with?"

Master Pedro refused to take the money, saying, "I will not
receive payment in advance or until the service has been first
rendered;" and then with his right hand he gave a couple of slaps on
his left shoulder, and with one spring the ape perched himself upon
it, and putting his mouth to his master's ear began chattering his
teeth rapidly; and having kept this up as long as one would be
saying a credo, with another spring he brought himself to the
ground, and the same instant Master Pedro ran in great haste and
fell upon his knees before Don Quixote, and embracing his legs
exclaimed, "These legs do I embrace as I would embrace the two pillars
of Hercules, O illustrious reviver of knight-errantry, so long
consigned to oblivion! O never yet duly extolled knight, Don Quixote
of La Mancha, courage of the faint-hearted, prop of the tottering, arm
of the fallen, staff and counsel of all who are unfortunate!"

Don Quixote was thunderstruck, Sancho astounded, the cousin
staggered, the page astonished, the man from the braying town agape,
the landlord in perplexity, and, in short, everyone amazed at the
words of the puppet-showman, who went on to say, "And thou, worthy
Sancho Panza, the best squire and squire to the best knight in the
world! Be of good cheer, for thy good wife Teresa is well, and she
is at this moment hackling a pound of flax; and more by token she
has at her left hand a jug with a broken spout that holds a good
drop of wine, with which she solaces herself at her work."

"That I can well believe," said Sancho. "She is a lucky one, and
if it was not for her jealousy I would not change her for the giantess
Andandona, who by my master's account was a very clever and worthy
woman; my Teresa is one of those that won't let themselves want for
anything, though their heirs may have to pay for it."

"Now I declare," said Don Quixote, "he who reads much and travels
much sees and knows a great deal. I say so because what amount of
persuasion could have persuaded me that there are apes in the world
that can divine as I have seen now with my own eyes? For I am that
very Don Quixote of La Mancha this worthy animal refers to, though
he has gone rather too far in my praise; but whatever I may be, I
thank heaven that it has endowed me with a tender and compassionate
heart, always disposed to do good to all and harm to none."

"If I had money," said the page, "I would ask senor ape what will
happen me in the peregrination I am making."

To this Master Pedro, who had by this time risen from Don
Quixote's feet, replied, "I have already said that this little beast
gives no answer as to the future; but if he did, not having money
would be of no consequence, for to oblige Senor Don Quixote, here
present, I would give up all the profits in the world. And now,
because I have promised it, and to afford him pleasure, I will set
up my show and offer entertainment to all who are in the inn,
without any charge whatever." As soon as he heard this, the
landlord, delighted beyond measure, pointed out a place where the show
might be fixed, which was done at once.

Don Quixote was not very well satisfied with the divinations of
the ape, as he did not think it proper that an ape should divine
anything, either past or future; so while Master Pedro was arranging
the show, he retired with Sancho into a corner of the stable, where,
without being overheard by anyone, he said to him, "Look here, Sancho,
I have been seriously thinking over this ape's extraordinary gift, and
have come to the conclusion that beyond doubt this Master Pedro, his
master, has a pact, tacit or express, with the devil."

"If the packet is express from the devil," said Sancho, "it must
be a very dirty packet no doubt; but what good can it do Master
Pedro to have such packets?"

"Thou dost not understand me, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "I only
mean he must have made some compact with the devil to infuse this
power into the ape, that he may get his living, and after he has grown
rich he will give him his soul, which is what the enemy of mankind
wants; this I am led to believe by observing that the ape only answers
about things past or present, and the devil's knowledge extends no
further; for the future he knows only by guesswork, and that not
always; for it is reserved for God alone to know the times and the
seasons, and for him there is neither past nor future; all is present.
This being as it is, it is clear that this ape speaks by the spirit of
the devil; and I am astonished they have not denounced him to the Holy
Office, and put him to the question, and forced it out of him by whose
virtue it is that he divines; because it is certain this ape is not an
astrologer; neither his master nor he sets up, or knows how to set up,
those figures they call judiciary, which are now so common in Spain
that there is not a jade, or page, or old cobbler, that will not
undertake to set up a figure as readily as pick up a knave of cards
from the ground, bringing to nought the marvellous truth of the
science by their lies and ignorance. I know of a lady who asked one of
these figure schemers whether her little lap-dog would be in pup and
would breed, and how many and of what colour the little pups would be.
To which senor astrologer, after having set up his figure, made answer
that the bitch would be in pup, and would drop three pups, one
green, another bright red, and the third parti-coloured, provided
she conceived between eleven and twelve either of the day or night,
and on a Monday or Saturday; but as things turned out, two days
after this the bitch died of a surfeit, and senor planet-ruler had the
credit all over the place of being a most profound astrologer, as most
of these planet-rulers have."

"Still," said Sancho, "I would be glad if your worship would make
Master Pedro ask his ape whether what happened your worship in the
cave of Montesinos is true; for, begging your worship's pardon, I, for
my part, take it to have been all flam and lies, or at any rate
something you dreamt."

"That may be," replied Don Quixote; "however, I will do what you
suggest; though I have my own scruples about it."

At this point Master Pedro came up in quest of Don Quixote, to
tell him the show was now ready and to come and see it, for it was
worth seeing. Don Quixote explained his wish, and begged him to ask
his ape at once to tell him whether certain things which had
happened to him in the cave of Montesinos were dreams or realities,
for to him they appeared to partake of both. Upon this Master Pedro,
without answering, went back to fetch the ape, and, having placed it
in front of Don Quixote and Sancho, said: "See here, senor ape, this
gentleman wishes to know whether certain things which happened to
him in the cave called the cave of Montesinos were false or true."
On his making the usual sign the ape mounted on his left shoulder
and seemed to whisper in his ear, and Master Pedro said at once,
"The ape says that the things you saw or that happened to you in
that cave are, part of them false, part true; and that he only knows
this and no more as regards this question; but if your worship
wishes to know more, on Friday next he will answer all that may be
asked him, for his virtue is at present exhausted, and will not return
to him till Friday, as he has said."

"Did I not say, senor," said Sancho, "that I could not bring
myself to believe that all your worship said about the adventures in
the cave was true, or even the half of it?"

"The course of events will tell, Sancho," replied Don Quixote;
"time, that discloses all things, leaves nothing that it does not drag
into the light of day, though it be buried in the bosom of the
earth. But enough of that for the present; let us go and see Master
Pedro's show, for I am sure there must be something novel in it."

"Something!" said Master Pedro; "this show of mine has sixty
thousand novel things in it; let me tell you, Senor Don Quixote, it is
one of the best-worth-seeing things in the world this day; but
operibus credite et non verbis, and now let's get to work, for it is
growing late, and we have a great deal to do and to say and show."

Don Quixote and Sancho obeyed him and went to where the show was
already put up and uncovered, set all around with lighted wax tapers
which made it look splendid and bright. When they came to it Master
Pedro ensconced himself inside it, for it was he who had to work the
puppets, and a boy, a servant of his, posted himself outside to act as
showman and explain the mysteries of the exhibition, having a wand
in his hand to point to the figures as they came out. And so, all
who were in the inn being arranged in front of the show, some of
them standing, and Don Quixote, Sancho, the page, and cousin,
accommodated with the best places, the interpreter began to say what
he will hear or see who reads or hears the next chapter.



All were silent, Tyrians and Trojans; I mean all who were watching
the show were hanging on the lips of the interpreter of its wonders,
when drums and trumpets were heard to sound inside it and cannon to go
off. The noise was soon over, and then the boy lifted up his voice and
said, "This true story which is here represented to your worships is
taken word for word from the French chronicles and from the Spanish
ballads that are in everybody's mouth, and in the mouth of the boys
about the streets. Its subject is the release by Senor Don Gaiferos of
his wife Melisendra, when a captive in Spain at the hands of the Moors
in the city of Sansuena, for so they called then what is now called
Saragossa; and there you may see how Don Gaiferos is playing at the
tables, just as they sing it-

At tables playing Don Gaiferos sits,
For Melisendra is forgotten now.

And that personage who appears there with a crown on his head and a
sceptre in his hand is the Emperor Charlemagne, the supposed father of
Melisendra, who, angered to see his son-in-law's inaction and
unconcern, comes in to chide him; and observe with what vehemence
and energy he chides him, so that you would fancy he was going to give
him half a dozen raps with his sceptre; and indeed there are authors
who say he did give them, and sound ones too; and after having said
a great deal to him about imperilling his honour by not effecting
the release of his wife, he said, so the tale runs,

Enough I've said, see to it now.

Observe, too, how the emperor turns away, and leaves Don Gaiferos
fuming; and you see now how in a burst of anger, he flings the table
and the board far from him and calls in haste for his armour, and asks
his cousin Don Roland for the loan of his sword, Durindana, and how
Don Roland refuses to lend it, offering him his company in the
difficult enterprise he is undertaking; but he, in his valour and
anger, will not accept it, and says that he alone will suffice to
rescue his wife, even though she were imprisoned deep in the centre of
the earth, and with this he retires to arm himself and set out on
his journey at once. Now let your worships turn your eyes to that
tower that appears there, which is supposed to be one of the towers of
the alcazar of Saragossa, now called the Aljaferia; that lady who
appears on that balcony dressed in Moorish fashion is the peerless
Melisendra, for many a time she used to gaze from thence upon the road
to France, and seek consolation in her captivity by thinking of
Paris and her husband. Observe, too, a new incident which now
occurs, such as, perhaps, never was seen. Do you not see that Moor,
who silently and stealthily, with his finger on his lip, approaches
Melisendra from behind? Observe now how he prints a kiss upon her
lips, and what a hurry she is in to spit, and wipe them with the white
sleeve of her smock, and how she bewails herself, and tears her fair
hair as though it were to blame for the wrong. Observe, too, that
the stately Moor who is in that corridor is King Marsilio of Sansuena,
who, having seen the Moor's insolence, at once orders him (though
his kinsman and a great favourite of his) to be seized and given two
hundred lashes, while carried through the streets of the city
according to custom, with criers going before him and officers of
justice behind; and here you see them come out to execute the
sentence, although the offence has been scarcely committed; for
among the Moors there are no indictments nor remands as with us."

Here Don Quixote called out, "Child, child, go straight on with your
story, and don't run into curves and slants, for to establish a fact
clearly there is need of a great deal of proof and confirmation;"
and said Master Pedro from within, "Boy, stick to your text and do
as the gentleman bids you; it's the best plan; keep to your plain
song, and don't attempt harmonies, for they are apt to break down from
being over fine."

"I will," said the boy, and he went on to say, "This figure that you
see here on horseback, covered with a Gascon cloak, is Don Gaiferos
himself, whom his wife, now avenged of the insult of the amorous Moor,
and taking her stand on the balcony of the tower with a calmer and
more tranquil countenance, has perceived without recognising him;
and she addresses her husband, supposing him to be some traveller, and
holds with him all that conversation and colloquy in the ballad that runs-

If you, sir knight, to France are bound,
Oh! for Gaiferos ask-

which I do not repeat here because prolixity begets disgust; suffice
it to observe how Don Gaiferos discovers himself, and that by her
joyful gestures Melisendra shows us she has recognised him; and what
is more, we now see she lowers herself from the balcony to place
herself on the haunches of her good husband's horse. But ah! unhappy
lady, the edge of her petticoat has caught on one of the bars of the
balcony and she is left hanging in the air, unable to reach the
ground. But you see how compassionate heaven sends aid in our sorest
need; Don Gaiferos advances, and without minding whether the rich
petticoat is torn or not, he seizes her and by force brings her to the
ground, and then with one jerk places her on the haunches of his
horse, astraddle like a man, and bids her hold on tight and clasp
her arms round his neck, crossing them on his breast so as not to
fall, for the lady Melisendra was not used to that style of riding.
You see, too, how the neighing of the horse shows his satisfaction
with the gallant and beautiful burden he bears in his lord and lady.
You see how they wheel round and quit the city, and in joy and
gladness take the road to Paris. Go in peace, O peerless pair of
true lovers! May you reach your longed-for fatherland in safety, and
may fortune interpose no impediment to your prosperous journey; may
the eyes of your friends and kinsmen behold you enjoying in peace
and tranquillity the remaining days of your life- and that they may be
as many as those of Nestor!"

Here Master Pedro called out again and said, "Simplicity, boy!
None of your high flights; all affectation is bad."

The interpreter made no answer, but went on to say, "There was no
want of idle eyes, that see everything, to see Melisendra come down
and mount, and word was brought to King Marsilio, who at once gave
orders to sound the alarm; and see what a stir there is, and how the
city is drowned with the sound of the bells pealing in the towers of
all the mosques."

"Nay, nay," said Don Quixote at this; "on that point of the bells
Master Pedro is very inaccurate, for bells are not in use among the
Moors; only kettledrums, and a kind of small trumpet somewhat like our
clarion; to ring bells this way in Sansuena is unquestionably a
great absurdity."

On hearing this, Master Pedro stopped ringing, and said, "Don't look
into trifles, Senor Don Quixote, or want to have things up to a
pitch of perfection that is out of reach. Are there not almost every
day a thousand comedies represented all round us full of thousands
of inaccuracies and absurdities, and, for all that, they have a
successful run, and are listened to not only with applause, but with
admiration and all the rest of it? Go on, boy, and don't mind; for
so long as I fill my pouch, no matter if I show as many inaccuracies
as there are motes in a sunbeam."

"True enough," said Don Quixote; and the boy went on: "See what a
numerous and glittering crowd of horsemen issues from the city in
pursuit of the two faithful lovers, what a blowing of trumpets there
is, what sounding of horns, what beating of drums and tabors; I fear
me they will overtake them and bring them back tied to the tail of
their own horse, which would be a dreadful sight."

Don Quixote, however, seeing such a swarm of Moors and hearing

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