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Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 18 out of 21

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of God and the king! Are men to he allowed to rob in the middle of
this town, and rush out and attack people in the very streets?"

"Be calm, my good man," said Sancho, "and tell me what the cause
of this quarrel is; for I am the governor."

Said the other combatant, "Senor governor, I will tell you in a very
few words. Your worship must know that this gentleman has just now won
more than a thousand reals in that gambling house opposite, and God
knows how. I was there, and gave more than one doubtful point in his
favour, very much against what my conscience told me. He made off with
his winnings, and when I made sure he was going to give me a crown
or so at least by way of a present, as it is usual and customary to
give men of quality of my sort who stand by to see fair or foul
play, and back up swindles, and prevent quarrels, he pocketed his
money and left the house. Indignant at this I followed him, and
speaking him fairly and civilly asked him to give me if it were only
eight reals, for he knows I am an honest man and that I have neither
profession nor property, for my parents never brought me up to any
or left me any; but the rogue, who is a greater thief than Cacus and a
greater sharper than Andradilla, would not give me more than four
reals; so your worship may see how little shame and conscience he has.
But by my faith if you had not come up I'd have made him disgorge
his winnings, and he'd have learned what the range of the steel-yard

"What say you to this?" asked Sancho. The other replied that all his
antagonist said was true, and that he did not choose to give him
more than four reals because he very often gave him money; and that
those who expected presents ought to be civil and take what is given
them with a cheerful countenance, and not make any claim against
winners unless they know them for certain to be sharpers and their
winnings to be unfairly won; and that there could be no better proof
that he himself was an honest man than his having refused to give
anything; for sharpers always pay tribute to lookers-on who know them.

"That is true," said the majordomo; "let your worship consider
what is to be done with these men."

"What is to be done," said Sancho, "is this; you, the winner, be you
good, bad, or indifferent, give this assailant of yours a hundred
reals at once, and you must disburse thirty more for the poor
prisoners; and you who have neither profession nor property, and
hang about the island in idleness, take these hundred reals now, and
some time of the day to-morrow quit the island under sentence of
banishment for ten years, and under pain of completing it in another
life if you violate the sentence, for I'll hang you on a gibbet, or at
least the hangman will by my orders; not a word from either of you, or
I'll make him feel my hand."

The one paid down the money and the other took it, and the latter
quitted the island, while the other went home; and then the governor
said, "Either I am not good for much, or I'll get rid of these
gambling houses, for it strikes me they are very mischievous."

"This one at least," said one of the notaries, "your worship will
not be able to get rid of, for a great man owns it, and what he
loses every year is beyond all comparison more than what he makes by
the cards. On the minor gambling houses your worship may exercise your
power, and it is they that do most harm and shelter the most barefaced
practices; for in the houses of lords and gentlemen of quality the
notorious sharpers dare not attempt to play their tricks; and as the
vice of gambling has become common, it is better that men should
play in houses of repute than in some tradesman's, where they catch an
unlucky fellow in the small hours of the morning and skin him alive."

"I know already, notary, that there is a good deal to he said on
that point," said Sancho.

And now a tipstaff came up with a young man in his grasp, and
said, "Senor governor, this youth was coming towards us, and as soon
as he saw the officers of justice he turned about and ran like a deer,
a sure proof that he must be some evil-doer; I ran after him, and
had it not been that he stumbled and fell, I should never have
caught him."

"What did you run for, fellow?" said Sancho.

To which the young man replied, "Senor, it was to avoid answering
all the questions officers of justice put."

"What are you by trade?"

"A weaver."

"And what do you weave?"

"Lance heads, with your worship's good leave."

"You're facetious with me! You plume yourself on being a wag? Very
good; and where were you going just now?"

"To take the air, senor."

"And where does one take the air in this island?"

"Where it blows."

"Good! your answers are very much to the point; you are a smart
youth; but take notice that I am the air, and that I blow upon you
a-stern, and send you to gaol. Ho there! lay hold of him and take
him off; I'll make him sleep there to-night without air."

"By God," said the young man, "your worship will make me sleep in
gaol just as soon as make me king."

"Why shan't I make thee sleep in gaol?" said Sancho. "Have I not the
power to arrest thee and release thee whenever I like?"

"All the power your worship has," said the young man, "won't be able
to make me sleep in gaol."

"How? not able!" said Sancho; "take him away at once where he'll see
his mistake with his own eyes, even if the gaoler is willing to
exert his interested generosity on his behalf; for I'll lay a
penalty of two thousand ducats on him if he allows him to stir a
step from the prison."

"That's ridiculous," said the young man; "the fact is, all the men
on earth will not make me sleep in prison."

"Tell me, you devil," said Sancho, "have you got any angel that will
deliver you, and take off the irons I am going to order them to put
upon you?"

"Now, senor governor," said the young man in a sprightly manner,
"let us be reasonable and come to the point. Granted your worship
may order me to be taken to prison, and to have irons and chains put
on me, and to be shut up in a cell, and may lay heavy penalties on the
gaoler if he lets me out, and that he obeys your orders; still, if I
don't choose to sleep, and choose to remain awake all night without
closing an eye, will your worship with all your power be able to
make me sleep if I don't choose?"

"No, truly," said the secretary, "and the fellow has made his

"So then," said Sancho, "it would be entirely of your own choice you
would keep from sleeping; not in opposition to my will?"

"No, senor," said the youth, "certainly not."

"Well then, go, and God be with you," said Sancho; "be off home to
sleep, and God give you sound sleep, for I don't want to rob you of
it; but for the future, let me advise you don't joke with the
authorities, because you may come across some one who will bring
down the joke on your own skull."

The young man went his way, and the governor continued his round,
and shortly afterwards two tipstaffs came up with a man in custody,
and said, "Senor governor, this person, who seems to be a man, is
not so, but a woman, and not an ill-favoured one, in man's clothes."
They raised two or three lanterns to her face, and by their light they
distinguished the features of a woman to all appearance of the age
of sixteen or a little more, with her hair gathered into a gold and
green silk net, and fair as a thousand pearls. They scanned her from
head to foot, and observed that she had on red silk stockings with
garters of white taffety bordered with gold and pearl; her breeches
were of green and gold stuff, and under an open jacket or jerkin of
the same she wore a doublet of the finest white and gold cloth; her
shoes were white and such as men wear; she carried no sword at her
belt, but only a richly ornamented dagger, and on her fingers she
had several handsome rings. In short, the girl seemed fair to look
at in the eyes of all, and none of those who beheld her knew her,
the people of the town said they could not imagine who she was, and
those who were in the secret of the jokes that were to be practised
upon Sancho were the ones who were most surprised, for this incident
or discovery had not been arranged by them; and they watched anxiously
to see how the affair would end.

Sancho was fascinated by the girl's beauty, and he asked her who she
was, where she was going, and what had induced her to dress herself in
that garb. She with her eyes fixed on the ground answered in modest
confusion, "I cannot tell you, senor, before so many people what it is
of such consequence to me to have kept secret; one thing I wish to
be known, that I am no thief or evildoer, but only an unhappy maiden
whom the power of jealousy has led to break through the respect that
is due to modesty."

Hearing this the majordomo said to Sancho, "Make the people stand
back, senor governor, that this lady may say what she wishes with less

Sancho gave the order, and all except the majordomo, the
head-carver, and the secretary fell back. Finding herself then in
the presence of no more, the damsel went on to say, "I am the
daughter, sirs, of Pedro Perez Mazorca, the wool-farmer of this
town, who is in the habit of coming very often to my father's house."

"That won't do, senora," said the majordomo; "for I know Pedro Perez
very well, and I know he has no child at all, either son or
daughter; and besides, though you say he is your father, you add
then that he comes very often to your father's house."

"I had already noticed that," said Sancho.

"I am confused just now, sirs," said the damsel, "and I don't know
what I am saying; but the truth is that I am the daughter of Diego
de la Llana, whom you must all know."

"Ay, that will do," said the majordomo; "for I know Diego de la
Llana, and know that he is a gentleman of position and a rich man, and
that he has a son and a daughter, and that since he was left a widower
nobody in all this town can speak of having seen his daughter's
face; for he keeps her so closely shut up that he does not give even
the sun a chance of seeing her; and for all that report says she is
extremely beautiful."

"It is true," said the damsel, "and I am that daughter; whether
report lies or not as to my beauty, you, sirs, will have decided by
this time, as you have seen me;" and with this she began to weep

On seeing this the secretary leant over to the head-carver's ear,
and said to him in a low voice, "Something serious has no doubt
happened this poor maiden, that she goes wandering from home in such a
dress and at such an hour, and one of her rank too." "There can be
no doubt about it," returned the carver, "and moreover her tears
confirm your suspicion." Sancho gave her the best comfort he could,
and entreated her to tell them without any fear what had happened her,
as they would all earnestly and by every means in their power
endeavour to relieve her.

"The fact is, sirs," said she, "that my father has kept me shut up
these ten years, for so long is it since the earth received my mother.
Mass is said at home in a sumptuous chapel, and all this time I have
seen but the sun in the heaven by day, and the moon and the stars by
night; nor do I know what streets are like, or plazas, or churches, or
even men, except my father and a brother I have, and Pedro Perez the
wool-farmer; whom, because he came frequently to our house, I took
it into my head to call my father, to avoid naming my own. This
seclusion and the restrictions laid upon my going out, were it only to
church, have been keeping me unhappy for many a day and month past;
I longed to see the world, or at least the town where I was born,
and it did not seem to me that this wish was inconsistent with the
respect maidens of good quality should have for themselves. When I
heard them talking of bull-fights taking place, and of javelin
games, and of acting plays, I asked my brother, who is a year
younger than myself, to tell me what sort of things these were, and
many more that I had never seen; he explained them to me as well as he
could, but the only effect was to kindle in me a still stronger desire
to see them. At last, to cut short the story of my ruin, I begged
and entreated my brother- O that I had never made such an entreaty-"
And once more she gave way to a burst of weeping.

"Proceed, senora," said the majordomo, "and finish your story of
what has happened to you, for your words and tears are keeping us
all in suspense."

"I have but little more to say, though many a tear to shed," said
the damsel; "for ill-placed desires can only be paid for in some
such way."

The maiden's beauty had made a deep impression on the
head-carver's heart, and he again raised his lantern for another
look at her, and thought they were not tears she was shedding, but
seed-pearl or dew of the meadow, nay, he exalted them still higher,
and made Oriental pearls of them, and fervently hoped her misfortune
might not be so great a one as her tears and sobs seemed to
indicate. The governor was losing patience at the length of time the
girl was taking to tell her story, and told her not to keep them
waiting any longer; for it was late, and there still remained a good
deal of the town to be gone over.

She, with broken sobs and half-suppressed sighs, went on to say, "My
misfortune, my misadventure, is simply this, that I entreated my
brother to dress me up as a man in a suit of his clothes, and take
me some night, when our father was asleep, to see the whole town;
he, overcome by my entreaties, consented, and dressing me in this suit
and himself in clothes of mine that fitted him as if made for him (for
he has not a hair on his chin, and might pass for a very beautiful
young girl), to-night, about an hour ago, more or less, we left the
house, and guided by our youthful and foolish impulse we made the
circuit of the whole town, and then, as we were about to return
home, we saw a great troop of people coming, and my brother said to
me, 'Sister, this must be the round, stir your feet and put wings to
them, and follow me as fast as you can, lest they recognise us, for
that would be a bad business for us;' and so saying he turned about
and began, I cannot say to run but to fly; in less than six paces I
fell from fright, and then the officer of justice came up and
carried me before your worships, where I find myself put to shame
before all these people as whimsical and vicious."

"So then, senora," said Sancho, "no other mishap has befallen you,
nor was it jealousy that made you leave home, as you said at the
beginning of your story?"

"Nothing has happened me," said she, "nor was it jealousy that
brought me out, but merely a longing to see the world, which did not
go beyond seeing the streets of this town."

The appearance of the tipstaffs with her brother in custody, whom
one of them had overtaken as he ran away from his sister, now fully
confirmed the truth of what the damsel said. He had nothing on but a
rich petticoat and a short blue damask cloak with fine gold lace,
and his head was uncovered and adorned only with its own hair, which
looked like rings of gold, so bright and curly was it. The governor,
the majordomo, and the carver went aside with him, and, unheard by his
sister, asked him how he came to be in that dress, and he with no less
shame and embarrassment told exactly the same story as his sister,
to the great delight of the enamoured carver; the governor, however,
said to them, "In truth, young lady and gentleman, this has been a
very childish affair, and to explain your folly and rashness there was
no necessity for all this delay and all these tears and sighs; for
if you had said we are so-and-so, and we escaped from our father's
house in this way in order to ramble about, out of mere curiosity
and with no other object, there would have been an end of the
matter, and none of these little sobs and tears and all the rest of

"That is true," said the damsel, "but you see the confusion I was in
was so great it did not let me behave as I ought."

"No harm has been done," said Sancho; "come, we will leave you at
your father's house; perhaps they will not have missed you; and
another time don't be so childish or eager to see the world; for a
respectable damsel should have a broken leg and keep at home; and
the woman and the hen by gadding about are soon lost; and she who is
eager to see is also eager to be seen; I say no more."

The youth thanked the governor for his kind offer to take them home,
and they directed their steps towards the house, which was not far
off. On reaching it the youth threw a pebble up at a grating, and
immediately a woman-servant who was waiting for them came down and
opened the door to them, and they went in, leaving the party
marvelling as much at their grace and beauty as at the fancy they
had for seeing the world by night and without quitting the village;
which, however, they set down to their youth.

The head-carver was left with a heart pierced through and through,
and he made up his mind on the spot to demand the damsel in marriage
of her father on the morrow, making sure she would not be refused
him as he was a servant of the duke's; and even to Sancho ideas and
schemes of marrying the youth to his daughter Sanchica suggested
themselves, and he resolved to open the negotiation at the proper
season, persuading himself that no husband could be refused to a
governor's daughter. And so the night's round came to an end, and a
couple of days later the government, whereby all his plans were
overthrown and swept away, as will be seen farther on.



Cide Hamete, the painstaking investigator of the minute points of
this veracious history, says that when Dona Rodriguez left her own
room to go to Don Quixote's, another duenna who slept with her
observed her, and as all duennas are fond of prying, listening, and
sniffing, she followed her so silently that the good Rodriguez never
perceived it; and as soon as the duenna saw her enter Don Quixote's
room, not to fail in a duenna's invariable practice of tattling, she
hurried off that instant to report to the duchess how Dona Rodriguez
was closeted with Don Quixote. The duchess told the duke, and asked
him to let her and Altisidora go and see what the said duenna wanted
with Don Quixote. The duke gave them leave, and the pair cautiously
and quietly crept to the door of the room and posted themselves so
close to it that they could hear all that was said inside. But when
the duchess heard how the Rodriguez had made public the Aranjuez of
her issues she could not restrain herself, nor Altisidora either;
and so, filled with rage and thirsting for vengeance, they burst
into the room and tormented Don Quixote and flogged the duenna in
the manner already described; for indignities offered to their
charms and self-esteem mightily provoke the anger of women and make
them eager for revenge. The duchess told the duke what had happened,
and he was much amused by it; and she, in pursuance of her design of
making merry and diverting herself with Don Quixote, despatched the
page who had played the part of Dulcinea in the negotiations for her
disenchantment (which Sancho Panza in the cares of government had
forgotten all about) to Teresa Panza his wife with her husband's
letter and another from herself, and also a great string of fine coral
beads as a present.

Now the history says this page was very sharp and quick-witted;
and eager to serve his lord and lady he set off very willingly for
Sancho's village. Before he entered it he observed a number of women
washing in a brook, and asked them if they could tell him whether
there lived there a woman of the name of Teresa Panza, wife of one
Sancho Panza, squire to a knight called Don Quixote of La Mancha. At
the question a young girl who was washing stood up and said, "Teresa
Panza is my mother, and that Sancho is my father, and that knight is
our master."

"Well then, miss," said the page, "come and show me where your
mother is, for I bring her a letter and a present from your father."

"That I will with all my heart, senor," said the girl, who seemed to
be about fourteen, more or less; and leaving the clothes she was
washing to one of her companions, and without putting anything on
her head or feet, for she was bare-legged and had her hair hanging
about her, away she skipped in front of the page's horse, saying,
"Come, your worship, our house is at the entrance of the town, and
my mother is there, sorrowful enough at not having had any news of
my father this ever so long."

"Well," said the page, "I am bringing her such good news that she
will have reason to thank God."

And then, skipping, running, and capering, the girl reached the
town, but before going into the house she called out at the door,
"Come out, mother Teresa, come out, come out; here's a gentleman
with letters and other things from my good father." At these words her
mother Teresa Panza came out spinning a bundle of flax, in a grey
petticoat (so short was it one would have fancied "they to her shame
had cut it short"), a grey bodice of the same stuff, and a smock.
She was not very old, though plainly past forty, strong, healthy,
vigorous, and sun-dried; and seeing her daughter and the page on
horseback, she exclaimed, "What's this, child? What gentleman is

"A servant of my lady, Dona Teresa Panza," replied the page; and
suiting the action to the word he flung himself off his horse, and
with great humility advanced to kneel before the lady Teresa,
saying, "Let me kiss your hand, Senora Dona Teresa, as the lawful
and only wife of Senor Don Sancho Panza, rightful governor of the
island of Barataria."

"Ah, senor, get up, do that," said Teresa; "for I'm not a bit of a
court lady, but only a poor country woman, the daughter of a
clodcrusher, and the wife of a squire-errant and not of any governor
at all."

"You are," said the page, "the most worthy wife of a most
arch-worthy governor; and as a proof of what I say accept this
letter and this present;" and at the same time he took out of his
pocket a string of coral beads with gold clasps, and placed it on
her neck, and said, "This letter is from his lordship the governor,
and the other as well as these coral beads from my lady the duchess,
who sends me to your worship."

Teresa stood lost in astonishment, and her daughter just as much,
and the girl said, "May I die but our master Don Quixote's at the
bottom of this; he must have given father the government or county
he so often promised him."

"That is the truth," said the page; "for it is through Senor Don
Quixote that Senor Sancho is now governor of the island of
Barataria, as will be seen by this letter."

"Will your worship read it to me, noble sir?" said Teresa; "for
though I can spin I can't read, not a scrap."

"Nor I either," said Sanchica; "but wait a bit, and I'll go and
fetch some one who can read it, either the curate himself or the
bachelor Samson Carrasco, and they'll come gladly to hear any news
of my father."

"There is no need to fetch anybody," said the page; "for though I
can't spin I can read, and I'll read it;" and so he read it through,
but as it has been already given it is not inserted here; and then
he took out the other one from the duchess, which ran as follows:

Friend Teresa,- Your husband Sancho's good qualities, of heart as
well as of head, induced and compelled me to request my husband the
duke to give him the government of one of his many islands. I am
told he governs like a gerfalcon, of which I am very glad, and my lord
the duke, of course, also; and I am very thankful to heaven that I
have not made a mistake in choosing him for that same government;
for I would have Senora Teresa know that a good governor is hard to
find in this world and may God make me as good as Sancho's way of
governing. Herewith I send you, my dear, a string of coral beads
with gold clasps; I wish they were Oriental pearls; but "he who
gives thee a bone does not wish to see thee dead;" a time will come
when we shall become acquainted and meet one another, but God knows
the future. Commend me to your daughter Sanchica, and tell her from me
to hold herself in readiness, for I mean to make a high match for
her when she least expects it. They tell me there are big acorns in
your village; send me a couple of dozen or so, and I shall value
them greatly as coming from your hand; and write to me at length to
assure me of your health and well-being; and if there be anything
you stand in need of, it is but to open your mouth, and that shall
be the measure; and so God keep you.

From this place.
Your loving friend,

"Ah, what a good, plain, lowly lady!" said Teresa when she heard the
letter; "that I may be buried with ladies of that sort, and not the
gentlewomen we have in this town, that fancy because they are
gentlewomen the wind must not touch them, and go to church with as
much airs as if they were queens, no less, and seem to think they
are disgraced if they look at a farmer's wife! And see here how this
good lady, for all she's a duchess, calls me 'friend,' and treats me
as if I was her equal- and equal may I see her with the tallest
church-tower in La Mancha! And as for the acorns, senor, I'll send her
ladyship a peck and such big ones that one might come to see them as a
show and a wonder. And now, Sanchica, see that the gentleman is
comfortable; put up his horse, and get some eggs out of the stable,
and cut plenty of bacon, and let's give him his dinner like a
prince; for the good news he has brought, and his own bonny face
deserve it all; and meanwhile I'll run out and give the neighbours the
news of our good luck, and father curate, and Master Nicholas the
barber, who are and always have been such friends of thy father's."

"That I will, mother," said Sanchica; "but mind, you must give me
half of that string; for I don't think my lady the duchess could
have been so stupid as to send it all to you."

"It is all for thee, my child," said Teresa; "but let me wear it
round my neck for a few days; for verily it seems to make my heart

"You will be glad too," said the page, "when you see the bundle
there is in this portmanteau, for it is a suit of the finest cloth,
that the governor only wore one day out hunting and now sends, all for
Senora Sanchica."

"May he live a thousand years," said Sanchica, "and the bearer as
many, nay two thousand, if needful."

With this Teresa hurried out of the house with the letters, and with
the string of beads round her neck, and went along thrumming the
letters as if they were a tambourine, and by chance coming across
the curate and Samson Carrasco she began capering and saying, "None of
us poor now, faith! We've got a little government! Ay, let the
finest fine lady tackle me, and I'll give her a setting down!"

"What's all this, Teresa Panza," said they; "what madness is this,
and what papers are those?"

"The madness is only this," said she, "that these are the letters of
duchesses and governors, and these I have on my neck are fine coral
beads, with ave-marias and paternosters of beaten gold, and I am a

"God help us," said the curate, "we don't understand you, Teresa, or
know what you are talking about."

"There, you may see it yourselves," said Teresa, and she handed them
the letters.

The curate read them out for Samson Carrasco to hear, and Samson and
he regarded one another with looks of astonishment at what they had
read, and the bachelor asked who had brought the letters. Teresa in
reply bade them come with her to her house and they would see the
messenger, a most elegant youth, who had brought another present which
was worth as much more. The curate took the coral beads from her
neck and examined them again and again, and having satisfied himself
as to their fineness he fell to wondering afresh, and said, "By the
gown I wear I don't know what to say or think of these letters and
presents; on the one hand I can see and feel the fineness of these
coral beads, and on the other I read how a duchess sends to beg for
a couple of dozen of acorns."

"Square that if you can," said Carrasco; "well, let's go and see the
messenger, and from him we'll learn something about this mystery
that has turned up."

They did so, and Teresa returned with them. They found the page
sifting a little barley for his horse, and Sanchica cutting a rasher
of bacon to be paved with eggs for his dinner. His looks and his
handsome apparel pleased them both greatly; and after they had saluted
him courteously, and he them, Samson begged him to give them his news,
as well of Don Quixote as of Sancho Panza, for, he said, though they
had read the letters from Sancho and her ladyship the duchess, they
were still puzzled and could not make out what was meant by Sancho's
government, and above all of an island, when all or most of those in
the Mediterranean belonged to his Majesty.

To this the page replied, "As to Senor Sancho Panza's being a
governor there is no doubt whatever; but whether it is an island or
not that he governs, with that I have nothing to do; suffice it that
it is a town of more than a thousand inhabitants; with regard to the
acorns I may tell you my lady the duchess is so unpretending and
unassuming that, not to speak of sending to beg for acorns from a
peasant woman, she has been known to send to ask for the loan of a
comb from one of her neighbours; for I would have your worships know
that the ladies of Aragon, though they are just as illustrious, are
not so punctilious and haughty as the Castilian ladies; they treat
people with greater familiarity."

In the middle of this conversation Sanchica came in with her skirt
full of eggs, and said she to the page, "Tell me, senor, does my
father wear trunk-hose since he has been governor?"

"I have not noticed," said the page; "but no doubt he wears them."

"Ah! my God!" said Sanchica, "what a sight it must be to see my
father in tights! Isn't it odd that ever since I was born I have had a
longing to see my father in trunk-hose?"

"As things go you will see that if you live," said the page; "by God
he is in the way to take the road with a sunshade if the government
only lasts him two months more."

The curate and the bachelor could see plainly enough that the page
spoke in a waggish vein; but the fineness of the coral beads, and
the hunting suit that Sancho sent (for Teresa had already shown it
to them) did away with the impression; and they could not help
laughing at Sanchica's wish, and still more when Teresa said, "Senor
curate, look about if there's anybody here going to Madrid or
Toledo, to buy me a hooped petticoat, a proper fashionable one of
the best quality; for indeed and indeed I must do honour to my
husband's government as well as I can; nay, if I am put to it and have
to, I'll go to Court and set a coach like all the world; for she who
has a governor for her husband may very well have one and keep one."

"And why not, mother!" said Sanchica; "would to God it were to-day
instead of to-morrow, even though they were to say when they saw me
seated in the coach with my mother, 'See that rubbish, that
garlic-stuffed fellow's daughter, how she goes stretched at her ease
in a coach as if she was a she-pope!' But let them tramp through the
mud, and let me go in my coach with my feet off the ground. Bad luck
to backbiters all over the world; 'let me go warm and the people may
laugh.' Do I say right, mother?"

"To be sure you do, my child," said Teresa; "and all this good luck,
and even more, my good Sancho foretold me; and thou wilt see, my
daughter, he won't stop till he has made me a countess; for to make
a beginning is everything in luck; and as I have heard thy good father
say many a time (for besides being thy father he's the father of
proverbs too), 'When they offer thee a heifer, run with a halter; when
they offer thee a government, take it; when they would give thee a
county, seize it; when they say, "Here, here!" to thee with
something good, swallow it.' Oh no! go to sleep, and don't answer
the strokes of good fortune and the lucky chances that are knocking at
the door of your house!"

"And what do I care," added Sanchica, "whether anybody says when
he sees me holding my head up, 'The dog saw himself in hempen
breeches,' and the rest of it?"

Hearing this the curate said, "I do believe that all this family
of the Panzas are born with a sackful of proverbs in their insides,
every one of them; I never saw one of them that does not pour them out
at all times and on all occasions."

"That is true," said the page, "for Senor Governor Sancho utters
them at every turn; and though a great many of them are not to the
purpose, still they amuse one, and my lady the duchess and the duke
praise them highly."

"Then you still maintain that all this about Sancho's government
is true, senor," said the bachelor, "and that there actually is a
duchess who sends him presents and writes to him? Because we, although
we have handled the present and read the letters, don't believe it and
suspect it to be something in the line of our fellow-townsman Don
Quixote, who fancies that everything is done by enchantment; and for
this reason I am almost ready to say that I'd like to touch and feel
your worship to see whether you are a mere ambassador of the
imagination or a man of flesh and blood."

"All I know, sirs," replied the page, "is that I am a real
ambassador, and that Senor Sancho Panza is governor as a matter of
fact, and that my lord and lady the duke and duchess can give, and
have given him this same government, and that I have heard the said
Sancho Panza bears himself very stoutly therein; whether there be
any enchantment in all this or not, it is for your worships to settle
between you; for that's all I know by the oath I swear, and that is by
the life of my parents whom I have still alive, and love dearly."

"It may be so," said the bachelor; "but dubitat Augustinus."

"Doubt who will," said the page; "what I have told you is the truth,
and that will always rise above falsehood as oil above water; if not
operibus credite, et non verbis. Let one of you come with me, and he
will see with his eyes what he does not believe with his ears."

"It's for me to make that trip," said Sanchica; "take me with you,
senor, behind you on your horse; for I'll go with all my heart to
see my father."

"Governors' daughters," said the page, "must not travel along the
roads alone, but accompanied by coaches and litters and a great number
of attendants."

"By God," said Sanchica, "I can go just as well mounted on a she-ass
as in a coach; what a dainty lass you must take me for!"

"Hush, girl," said Teresa; "you don't know what you're talking
about; the gentleman is quite right, for 'as the time so the
behaviour;' when it was Sancho it was 'Sancha;' when it is governor
it's 'senora;' I don't know if I'm right."

"Senora Teresa says more than she is aware of," said the page;
"and now give me something to eat and let me go at once, for I mean to
return this evening."

"Come and do penance with me," said the curate at this; "for
Senora Teresa has more will than means to serve so worthy a guest."

The page refused, but had to consent at last for his own sake; and
the curate took him home with him very gladly, in order to have an
opportunity of questioning him at leisure about Don Quixote and his
doings. The bachelor offered to write the letters in reply for Teresa;
but she did not care to let him mix himself up in her affairs, for she
thought him somewhat given to joking; and so she gave a cake and a
couple of eggs to a young acolyte who was a penman, and he wrote for
her two letters, one for her husband and the other for the duchess,
dictated out of her own head, which are not the worst inserted in this
great history, as will be seen farther on.



Day came after the night of the governor's round; a night which
the head-carver passed without sleeping, so were his thoughts of the
face and air and beauty of the disguised damsel, while the majordomo
spent what was left of it in writing an account to his lord and lady
of all Sancho said and did, being as much amazed at his sayings as
at his doings, for there was a mixture of shrewdness and simplicity in
all his words and deeds. The senor governor got up, and by Doctor
Pedro Recio's directions they made him break his fast on a little
conserve and four sups of cold water, which Sancho would have
readily exchanged for a piece of bread and a bunch of grapes; but
seeing there was no help for it, he submitted with no little sorrow of
heart and discomfort of stomach; Pedro Recio having persuaded him that
light and delicate diet enlivened the wits, and that was what was most
essential for persons placed in command and in responsible situations,
where they have to employ not only the bodily powers but those of
the mind also.

By means of this sophistry Sancho was made to endure hunger, and
hunger so keen that in his heart he cursed the government, and even
him who had given it to him; however, with his hunger and his conserve
he undertook to deliver judgments that day, and the first thing that
came before him was a question that was submitted to him by a
stranger, in the presence of the majordomo and the other attendants,
and it was in these words: "Senor, a large river separated two
districts of one and the same lordship- will your worship please to
pay attention, for the case is an important and a rather knotty one?
Well then, on this river there was a bridge, and at one end of it a
gallows, and a sort of tribunal, where four judges commonly sat to
administer the law which the lord of river, bridge and the lordship
had enacted, and which was to this effect, 'If anyone crosses by
this bridge from one side to the other he shall declare on oath
where he is going to and with what object; and if he swears truly,
he shall be allowed to pass, but if falsely, he shall be put to
death for it by hanging on the gallows erected there, without any
remission.' Though the law and its severe penalty were known, many
persons crossed, but in their declarations it was easy to see at
once they were telling the truth, and the judges let them pass free.
It happened, however, that one man, when they came to take his
declaration, swore and said that by the oath he took he was going to
die upon that gallows that stood there, and nothing else. The judges
held a consultation over the oath, and they said, 'If we let this
man pass free he has sworn falsely, and by the law he ought to die;
but if we hang him, as he swore he was going to die on that gallows,
and therefore swore the truth, by the same law he ought to go free.'
It is asked of your worship, senor governor, what are the judges to do
with this man? For they are still in doubt and perplexity; and
having heard of your worship's acute and exalted intellect, they
have sent me to entreat your worship on their behalf to give your
opinion on this very intricate and puzzling case."

To this Sancho made answer, "Indeed those gentlemen the judges
that send you to me might have spared themselves the trouble, for I
have more of the obtuse than the acute in me; but repeat the case over
again, so that I may understand it, and then perhaps I may be able
to hit the point."

The querist repeated again and again what he had said before, and
then Sancho said, "It seems to me I can set the matter right in a
moment, and in this way; the man swears that he is going to die upon
the gallows; but if he dies upon it, he has sworn the truth, and by
the law enacted deserves to go free and pass over the bridge; but if
they don't hang him, then he has sworn falsely, and by the same law
deserves to be hanged."

"It is as the senor governor says," said the messenger; "and as
regards a complete comprehension of the case, there is nothing left to
desire or hesitate about."

"Well then I say," said Sancho, "that of this man they should let
pass the part that has sworn truly, and hang the part that has lied;
and in this way the conditions of the passage will be fully complied

"But then, senor governor," replied the querist, "the man will
have to be divided into two parts; and if he is divided of course he
will die; and so none of the requirements of the law will be carried
out, and it is absolutely necessary to comply with it."

"Look here, my good sir," said Sancho; "either I'm a numskull or
else there is the same reason for this passenger dying as for his
living and passing over the bridge; for if the truth saves him the
falsehood equally condemns him; and that being the case it is my
opinion you should say to the gentlemen who sent you to me that as the
arguments for condemning him and for absolving him are exactly
balanced, they should let him pass freely, as it is always more
praiseworthy to do good than to do evil; this I would give signed with
my name if I knew how to sign; and what I have said in this case is
not out of my own head, but one of the many precepts my master Don
Quixote gave me the night before I left to become governor of this
island, that came into my mind, and it was this, that when there was
any doubt about the justice of a case I should lean to mercy; and it
is God's will that I should recollect it now, for it fits this case as
if it was made for it."

"That is true," said the majordomo; "and I maintain that Lycurgus
himself, who gave laws to the Lacedemonians, could not have pronounced
a better decision than the great Panza has given; let the morning's
audience close with this, and I will see that the senor governor has
dinner entirely to his liking."

"That's all I ask for- fair play," said Sancho; "give me my
dinner, and then let it rain cases and questions on me, and I'll
despatch them in a twinkling."

The majordomo kept his word, for he felt it against his conscience
to kill so wise a governor by hunger; particularly as he intended to
have done with him that same night, playing off the last joke he was
commissioned to practise upon him.

It came to pass, then, that after he had dined that day, in
opposition to the rules and aphorisms of Doctor Tirteafuera, as they
were taking away the cloth there came a courier with a letter from Don
Quixote for the governor. Sancho ordered the secretary to read it to
himself, and if there was nothing in it that demanded secrecy to
read it aloud. The secretary did so, and after he had skimmed the
contents he said, "It may well be read aloud, for what Senor Don
Quixote writes to your worship deserves to be printed or written in
letters of gold, and it is as follows."


When I was expecting to hear of thy stupidities and blunders, friend
Sancho, I have received intelligence of thy displays of good sense,
for which I give special thanks to heaven that can raise the poor from
the dunghill and of fools to make wise men. They tell me thou dost
govern as if thou wert a man, and art a man as if thou wert a beast,
so great is the humility wherewith thou dost comport thyself. But I
would have thee bear in mind, Sancho, that very often it is fitting
and necessary for the authority of office to resist the humility of
the heart; for the seemly array of one who is invested with grave
duties should be such as they require and not measured by what his own
humble tastes may lead him to prefer. Dress well; a stick dressed up
does not look like a stick; I do not say thou shouldst wear trinkets
or fine raiment, or that being a judge thou shouldst dress like a
soldier, but that thou shouldst array thyself in the apparel thy
office requires, and that at the same time it be neat and handsome. To
win the good-will of the people thou governest there are two things,
among others, that thou must do; one is to be civil to all (this,
however, I told thee before), and the other to take care that food
be abundant, for there is nothing that vexes the heart of the poor
more than hunger and high prices. Make not many proclamations; but
those thou makest take care that they be good ones, and above all that
they be observed and carried out; for proclamations that are not
observed are the same as if they did not exist; nay, they encourage
the idea that the prince who had the wisdom and authority to make them
had not the power to enforce them; and laws that threaten and are
not enforced come to he like the log, the king of the frogs, that
frightened them at first, but that in time they despised and mounted
upon. Be a father to virtue and a stepfather to vice. Be not always
strict, nor yet always lenient, but observe a mean between these two
extremes, for in that is the aim of wisdom. Visit the gaols, the
slaughter-houses, and the market-places; for the presence of the
governor is of great importance in such places; it comforts the
prisoners who are in hopes of a speedy release, it is the bugbear of
the butchers who have then to give just weight, and it is the terror
of the market-women for the same reason. Let it not be seen that
thou art (even if perchance thou art, which I do not believe)
covetous, a follower of women, or a glutton; for when the people and
those that have dealings with thee become aware of thy special
weakness they will bring their batteries to bear upon thee in that
quarter, till they have brought thee down to the depths of
perdition. Consider and reconsider, con and con over again the advices
and the instructions I gave thee before thy departure hence to thy
government, and thou wilt see that in them, if thou dost follow
them, thou hast a help at hand that will lighten for thee the troubles
and difficulties that beset governors at every step. Write to thy lord
and lady and show thyself grateful to them, for ingratitude is the
daughter of pride, and one of the greatest sins we know of; and he who
is grateful to those who have been good to him shows that he will be
so to God also who has bestowed and still bestows so many blessings
upon him.

My lady the duchess sent off a messenger with thy suit and another
present to thy wife Teresa Panza; we expect the answer every moment. I
have been a little indisposed through a certain scratching I came in
for, not very much to the benefit of my nose; but it was nothing;
for if there are enchanters who maltreat me, there are also some who
defend me. Let me know if the majordomo who is with thee had any share
in the Trifaldi performance, as thou didst suspect; and keep me
informed of everything that happens thee, as the distance is so short;
all the more as I am thinking of giving over very shortly this idle
life I am now leading, for I was not born for it. A thing has occurred
to me which I am inclined to think will put me out of favour with
the duke and duchess; but though I am sorry for it I do not care,
for after all I must obey my calling rather than their pleasure, in
accordance with the common saying, amicus Plato, sed magis amica
veritas. I quote this Latin to thee because I conclude that since thou
hast been a governor thou wilt have learned it. Adieu; God keep thee
from being an object of pity to anyone.

Thy friend,

Sancho listened to the letter with great attention, and it was
praised and considered wise by all who heard it; he then rose up
from table, and calling his secretary shut himself in with him in
his own room, and without putting it off any longer set about
answering his master Don Quixote at once; and he bade the secretary
write down what he told him without adding or suppressing anything,
which he did, and the answer was to the following effect.


The pressure of business is so great upon me that I have no time
to scratch my head or even to cut my nails; and I have them so long-
God send a remedy for it. I say this, master of my soul, that you
may not be surprised if I have not until now sent you word of how I
fare, well or ill, in this government, in which I am suffering more
hunger than when we two were wandering through the woods and wastes.

My lord the duke wrote to me the other day to warn me that certain
spies had got into this island to kill me; but up to the present I
have not found out any except a certain doctor who receives a salary
in this town for killing all the governors that come here; he is
called Doctor Pedro Recio, and is from Tirteafuera; so you see what
a name he has to make me dread dying under his hands. This doctor says
of himself that he does not cure diseases when there are any, but
prevents them coming, and the medicines he uses are diet and more diet
until he brings one down to bare bones; as if leanness was not worse
than fever.

In short he is killing me with hunger, and I am dying myself of
vexation; for when I thought I was coming to this government to get my
meat hot and my drink cool, and take my ease between holland sheets on
feather beds, I find I have come to do penance as if I was a hermit;
and as I don't do it willingly I suspect that in the end the devil
will carry me off.

So far I have not handled any dues or taken any bribes, and I
don't know what to think of it; for here they tell me that the
governors that come to this island, before entering it have plenty
of money either given to them or lent to them by the people of the
town, and that this is the usual custom not only here but with all who
enter upon governments.

Last night going the rounds I came upon a fair damsel in man's
clothes, and a brother of hers dressed as a woman; my head-carver
has fallen in love with the girl, and has in his own mind chosen her
for a wife, so he says, and I have chosen youth for a son-in-law;
to-day we are going to explain our intentions to the father of the
pair, who is one Diego de la Llana, a gentleman and an old Christian
as much as you please.

I have visited the market-places, as your worship advises me, and
yesterday I found a stall-keeper selling new hazel nuts and proved her
to have mixed a bushel of old empty rotten nuts with a bushel of
new; I confiscated the whole for the children of the charity-school,
who will know how to distinguish them well enough, and I sentenced her
not to come into the market-place for a fortnight; they told me I
did bravely. I can tell your worship it is commonly said in this
town that there are no people worse than the market-women, for they
are all barefaced, unconscionable, and impudent, and I can well
believe it from what I have seen of them in other towns.

I am very glad my lady the duchess has written to my wife Teresa
Panza and sent her the present your worship speaks of; and I will
strive to show myself grateful when the time comes; kiss her hands for
me, and tell her I say she has not thrown it into a sack with a hole
in it, as she will see in the end. I should not like your worship to
have any difference with my lord and lady; for if you fall out with
them it is plain it must do me harm; and as you give me advice to be
grateful it will not do for your worship not to be so yourself to
those who have shown you such kindness, and by whom you have been
treated so hospitably in their castle.

That about the scratching I don't understand; but I suppose it
must be one of the ill-turns the wicked enchanters are always doing
your worship; when we meet I shall know all about it. I wish I could
send your worship something; but I don't know what to send, unless
it be some very curious clyster pipes, to work with bladders, that
they make in this island; but if the office remains with me I'll
find out something to send, one way or another. If my wife Teresa
Panza writes to me, pay the postage and send me the letter, for I have
a very great desire to hear how my house and wife and children are
going on. And so, may God deliver your worship from evil-minded
enchanters, and bring me well and peacefully out of this government,
which I doubt, for I expect to take leave of it and my life
together, from the way Doctor Pedro Recio treats me.

Your worship's servant

The secretary sealed the letter, and immediately dismissed the
courier; and those who were carrying on the joke against Sancho
putting their heads together arranged how he was to be dismissed
from the government. Sancho spent the afternoon in drawing up
certain ordinances relating to the good government of what he
fancied the island; and he ordained that there were to be no provision
hucksters in the State, and that men might import wine into it from
any place they pleased, provided they declared the quarter it came
from, so that a price might be put upon it according to its quality,
reputation, and the estimation it was held in; and he that watered his
wine, or changed the name, was to forfeit his life for it. He
reduced the prices of all manner of shoes, boots, and stockings, but
of shoes in particular, as they seemed to him to run extravagantly
high. He established a fixed rate for servants' wages, which were
becoming recklessly exorbitant. He laid extremely heavy penalties upon
those who sang lewd or loose songs either by day or night. He
decreed that no blind man should sing of any miracle in verse,
unless he could produce authentic evidence that it was true, for it
was his opinion that most of those the blind men sing are trumped
up, to the detriment of the true ones. He established and created an
alguacil of the poor, not to harass them, but to examine them and
see whether they really were so; for many a sturdy thief or drunkard
goes about under cover of a make-believe crippled limb or a sham sore.
In a word, he made so many good rules that to this day they are
preserved there, and are called The constitutions of the great
governor Sancho Panza.



Cide Hamete relates that Don Quixote being now cured of his
scratches felt that the life he was leading in the castle was entirely
inconsistent with the order of chivalry he professed, so he determined
to ask the duke and duchess to permit him to take his departure for
Saragossa, as the time of the festival was now drawing near, and he
hoped to win there the suit of armour which is the prize at
festivals of the sort. But one day at table with the duke and duchess,
just as he was about to carry his resolution into effect and ask for
their permission, lo and behold suddenly there came in through the
door of the great hall two women, as they afterwards proved to be,
draped in mourning from head to foot, one of whom approaching Don
Quixote flung herself at full length at his feet, pressing her lips to
them, and uttering moans so sad, so deep, and so doleful that she
put all who heard and saw her into a state of perplexity; and though
the duke and duchess supposed it must be some joke their servants were
playing off upon Don Quixote, still the earnest way the woman sighed
and moaned and wept puzzled them and made them feel uncertain, until
Don Quixote, touched with compassion, raised her up and made her
unveil herself and remove the mantle from her tearful face. She
complied and disclosed what no one could have ever anticipated, for
she disclosed the countenance of Dona Rodriguez, the duenna of the
house; the other female in mourning being her daughter, who had been
made a fool of by the rich farmer's son. All who knew her were
filled with astonishment, and the duke and duchess more than any;
for though they thought her a simpleton and a weak creature, they
did not think her capable of crazy pranks. Dona Rodriguez, at
length, turning to her master and mistress said to them, "Will your
excellences be pleased to permit me to speak to this gentleman for a
moment, for it is requisite I should do so in order to get
successfully out of the business in which the boldness of an
evil-minded clown has involved me?"

The duke said that for his part he gave her leave, and that she
might speak with Senor Don Quixote as much as she liked.

She then, turning to Don Quixote and addressing herself to him said,
"Some days since, valiant knight, I gave you an account of the
injustice and treachery of a wicked farmer to my dearly beloved
daughter, the unhappy damsel here before you, and you promised me to
take her part and right the wrong that has been done her; but now it
has come to my hearing that you are about to depart from this castle
in quest of such fair adventures as God may vouchsafe to you;
therefore, before you take the road, I would that you challenge this
froward rustic, and compel him to marry my daughter in fulfillment
of the promise he gave her to become her husband before he seduced
her; for to expect that my lord the duke will do me justice is to
ask pears from the elm tree, for the reason I stated privately to your
worship; and so may our Lord grant you good health and forsake us

To these words Don Quixote replied very gravely and solemnly,
"Worthy duenna, check your tears, or rather dry them, and spare your
sighs, for I take it upon myself to obtain redress for your
daughter, for whom it would have been better not to have been so ready
to believe lovers' promises, which are for the most part quickly
made and very slowly performed; and so, with my lord the duke's leave,
I will at once go in quest of this inhuman youth, and will find him
out and challenge him and slay him, if so be he refuses to keep his
promised word; for the chief object of my profession is to spare the
humble and chastise the proud; I mean, to help the distressed and
destroy the oppressors."

"There is no necessity," said the duke, "for your worship to take
the trouble of seeking out the rustic of whom this worthy duenna
complains, nor is there any necessity, either, for asking my leave
to challenge him; for I admit him duly challenged, and will take
care that he is informed of the challenge, and accepts it, and comes
to answer it in person to this castle of mine, where I shall afford to
both a fair field, observing all the conditions which are usually
and properly observed in such trials, and observing too justice to
both sides, as all princes who offer a free field to combatants within
the limits of their lordships are bound to do."

"Then with that assurance and your highness's good leave," said
Don Quixote, "I hereby for this once waive my privilege of gentle
blood, and come down and put myself on a level with the lowly birth of
the wrong-doer, making myself equal with him and enabling him to enter
into combat with me; and so, I challenge and defy him, though
absent, on the plea of his malfeasance in breaking faith with this
poor damsel, who was a maiden and now by his misdeed is none; and
say that he shall fulfill the promise he gave her to become her lawful
husband, or else stake his life upon the question."

And then plucking off a glove he threw it down in the middle of
the hall, and the duke picked it up, saying, as he had said before,
that he accepted the challenge in the name of his vassal, and fixed
six days thence as the time, the courtyard of the castle as the place,
and for arms the customary ones of knights, lance and shield and
full armour, with all the other accessories, without trickery,
guile, or charms of any sort, and examined and passed by the judges of
the field. "But first of all," he said, "it is requisite that this
worthy duenna and unworthy damsel should place their claim for justice
in the hands of Don Quixote; for otherwise nothing can be done, nor
can the said challenge be brought to a lawful issue."

"I do so place it," replied the duenna.

"And I too," added her daughter, all in tears and covered with shame
and confusion.

This declaration having been made, and the duke having settled in
his own mind what he would do in the matter, the ladies in black
withdrew, and the duchess gave orders that for the future they were
not to be treated as servants of hers, but as lady adventurers who
came to her house to demand justice; so they gave them a room to
themselves and waited on them as they would on strangers, to the
consternation of the other women-servants, who did not know where
the folly and imprudence of Dona Rodriguez and her unlucky daughter
would stop.

And now, to complete the enjoyment of the feast and bring the dinner
to a satisfactory end, lo and behold the page who had carried the
letters and presents to Teresa Panza, the wife of the governor Sancho,
entered the hall; and the duke and duchess were very well pleased to
see him, being anxious to know the result of his journey; but when
they asked him the page said in reply that he could not give it before
so many people or in a few words, and begged their excellences to be
pleased to let it wait for a private opportunity, and in the
meantime amuse themselves with these letters; and taking out the
letters he placed them in the duchess's hand. One bore by way of
address, Letter for my lady the Duchess So-and-so, of I don't know
where; and the other To my husband Sancho Panza, governor of the
island of Barataria, whom God prosper longer than me. The duchess's
bread would not bake, as the saying is, until she had read her letter;
and having looked over it herself and seen that it might be read aloud
for the duke and all present to hear, she read out as follows.


The letter your highness wrote me, my lady, gave me great
pleasure, for indeed I found it very welcome. The string of coral
beads is very fine, and my husband's hunting suit does not fall
short of it. All this village is very much pleased that your
ladyship has made a governor of my good man Sancho; though nobody will
believe it, particularly the curate, and Master Nicholas the barber,
and the bachelor Samson Carrasco; but I don't care for that, for so
long as it is true, as it is, they may all say what they like; though,
to tell the truth, if the coral beads and the suit had not come I
would not have believed it either; for in this village everybody
thinks my husband a numskull, and except for governing a flock of
goats, they cannot fancy what sort of government he can be fit for.
God grant it, and direct him according as he sees his children stand
in need of it. I am resolved with your worship's leave, lady of my
soul, to make the most of this fair day, and go to Court to stretch
myself at ease in a coach, and make all those I have envying me
already burst their eyes out; so I beg your excellence to order my
husband to send me a small trifle of money, and to let it be something
to speak of, because one's expenses are heavy at the Court; for a loaf
costs a real, and meat thirty maravedis a pound, which is beyond
everything; and if he does not want me to go let him tell me in
time, for my feet are on the fidgets to he off; and my friends and
neighbours tell me that if my daughter and I make a figure and a brave
show at Court, my husband will come to be known far more by me than
I by him, for of course plenty of people will ask, "Who are those
ladies in that coach?" and some servant of mine will answer, "The wife
and daughter of Sancho Panza, governor of the island of Barataria;"
and in this way Sancho will become known, and I'll be thought well of,
and "to Rome for everything." I am as vexed as vexed can be that
they have gathered no acorns this year in our village; for all that
I send your highness about half a peck that I went to the wood to
gather and pick out one by one myself, and I could find no bigger
ones; I wish they were as big as ostrich eggs.

Let not your high mightiness forget to write to me; and I will
take care to answer, and let you know how I am, and whatever news
there may be in this place, where I remain, praying our Lord to have
your highness in his keeping and not to forget me.

Sancha my daughter, and my son, kiss your worship's hands.

She who would rather see your ladyship than write to you,

Your servant,

All were greatly amused by Teresa Panza's letter, but particularly
the duke and duchess; and the duchess asked Don Quixote's opinion
whether they might open the letter that had come for the governor,
which she suspected must be very good. Don Quixote said that to
gratify them he would open it, and did so, and found that it ran as


I got thy letter, Sancho of my soul, and I promise thee and swear as
a Catholic Christian that I was within two fingers' breadth of going
mad I was so happy. I can tell thee, brother, when I came to hear that
thou wert a governor I thought I should have dropped dead with pure
joy; and thou knowest they say sudden joy kills as well as great
sorrow; and as for Sanchica thy daughter, she leaked from sheer
happiness. I had before me the suit thou didst send me, and the
coral beads my lady the duchess sent me round my neck, and the letters
in my hands, and there was the bearer of them standing by, and in
spite of all this I verily believed and thought that what I saw and
handled was all a dream; for who could have thought that a goatherd
would come to be a governor of islands? Thou knowest, my friend,
what my mother used to say, that one must live long to see much; I say
it because I expect to see more if I live longer; for I don't expect
to stop until I see thee a farmer of taxes or a collector of
revenue, which are offices where, though the devil carries off those
who make a bad use of them, still they make and handle money. My
lady the duchess will tell thee the desire I have to go to the
Court; consider the matter and let me know thy pleasure; I will try to
do honour to thee by going in a coach.

Neither the curate, nor the barber, nor the bachelor, nor even the
sacristan, can believe that thou art a governor, and they say the
whole thing is a delusion or an enchantment affair, like everything
belonging to thy master Don Quixote; and Samson says he must go in
search of thee and drive the government out of thy head and the
madness out of Don Quixote's skull; I only laugh, and look at my
string of beads, and plan out the dress I am going to make for our
daughter out of thy suit. I sent some acorns to my lady the duchess; I
wish they had been gold. Send me some strings of pearls if they are in
fashion in that island. Here is the news of the village; La Berrueca
has married her daughter to a good-for-nothing painter, who came
here to paint anything that might turn up. The council gave him an
order to paint his Majesty's arms over the door of the town-hall; he
asked two ducats, which they paid him in advance; he worked for
eight days, and at the end of them had nothing painted, and then
said he had no turn for painting such trifling things; he returned the
money, and for all that has married on the pretence of being a good
workman; to be sure he has now laid aside his paint-brush and taken
a spade in hand, and goes to the field like a gentleman. Pedro
Lobo's son has received the first orders and tonsure, with the
intention of becoming a priest. Minguilla, Mingo Silvato's
granddaughter, found it out, and has gone to law with him on the score
of having given her promise of marriage. Evil tongues say she is
with child by him, but he denies it stoutly. There are no olives
this year, and there is not a drop of vinegar to be had in the whole
village. A company of soldiers passed through here; when they left
they took away with them three of the girls of the village; I will not
tell thee who they are; perhaps they will come back, and they will
be sure to find those who will take them for wives with all their
blemishes, good or bad. Sanchica is making bonelace; she earns eight
maravedis a day clear, which she puts into a moneybox as a help
towards house furnishing; but now that she is a governor's daughter
thou wilt give her a portion without her working for it. The
fountain in the plaza has run dry. A flash of lightning struck the
gibbet, and I wish they all lit there. I look for an answer to this,
and to know thy mind about my going to the Court; and so, God keep
thee longer than me, or as long, for I would not leave thee in this
world without me.

Thy wife,

The letters were applauded, laughed over, relished, and admired; and
then, as if to put the seal to the business, the courier arrived,
bringing the one Sancho sent to Don Quixote, and this, too, was read
out, and it raised some doubts as to the governor's simplicity. The
duchess withdrew to hear from the page about his adventures in
Sancho's village, which he narrated at full length without leaving a
single circumstance unmentioned. He gave her the acorns, and also a
cheese which Teresa had given him as being particularly good and
superior to those of Tronchon. The duchess received it with greatest
delight, in which we will leave her, to describe the end of the
government of the great Sancho Panza, flower and mirror of all
governors of islands.


To fancy that in this life anything belonging to it will remain
for ever in the same state is an idle fancy; on the contrary, in it
everything seems to go in a circle, I mean round and round. The spring
succeeds the summer, the summer the fall, the fall the autumn, the
autumn the winter, and the winter the spring, and so time rolls with
never-ceasing wheel. Man's life alone, swifter than time, speeds
onward to its end without any hope of renewal, save it be in that
other life which is endless and boundless. Thus saith Cide Hamete
the Mahometan philosopher; for there are many that by the light of
nature alone, without the light of faith, have a comprehension of
the fleeting nature and instability of this present life and the
endless duration of that eternal life we hope for; but our author is
here speaking of the rapidity with which Sancho's government came to
an end, melted away, disappeared, vanished as it were in smoke and
shadow. For as he lay in bed on the night of the seventh day of his
government, sated, not with bread and wine, but with delivering
judgments and giving opinions and making laws and proclamations,
just as sleep, in spite of hunger, was beginning to close his eyelids,
he heard such a noise of bell-ringing and shouting that one would have
fancied the whole island was going to the bottom. He sat up in bed and
remained listening intently to try if he could make out what could
be the cause of so great an uproar; not only, however, was he unable
to discover what it was, but as countless drums and trumpets now
helped to swell the din of the bells and shouts, he was more puzzled
than ever, and filled with fear and terror; and getting up he put on a
pair of slippers because of the dampness of the floor, and without
throwing a dressing gown or anything of the kind over him he rushed
out of the door of his room, just in time to see approaching along a
corridor a band of more than twenty persons with lighted torches and
naked swords in their hands, all shouting out, "To arms, to arms,
senor governor, to arms! The enemy is in the island in countless
numbers, and we are lost unless your skill and valour come to our

Keeping up this noise, tumult, and uproar, they came to where Sancho
stood dazed and bewildered by what he saw and heard, and as they
approached one of them called out to him, "Arm at once, your lordship,
if you would not have yourself destroyed and the whole island lost."

"What have I to do with arming?" said Sancho. "What do I know
about arms or supports? Better leave all that to my master Don
Quixote, who will settle it and make all safe in a trice; for I,
sinner that I am, God help me, don't understand these scuffles."

"Ah, senor governor," said another, "what slackness of mettle this
is! Arm yourself; here are arms for you, offensive and defensive; come
out to the plaza and be our leader and captain; it falls upon you by
right, for you are our governor."

"Arm me then, in God's name," said Sancho, and they at once produced
two large shields they had come provided with, and placed them upon
him over his shirt, without letting him put on anything else, one
shield in front and the other behind, and passing his arms through
openings they had made, they bound him tight with ropes, so that there
he was walled and boarded up as straight as a spindle and unable to
bend his knees or stir a single step. In his hand they placed a lance,
on which he leant to keep himself from falling, and as soon as they
had him thus fixed they bade him march forward and lead them on and
give them all courage; for with him for their guide and lamp and
morning star, they were sure to bring their business to a successful

"How am I to march, unlucky being that I am?" said Sancho, "when I
can't stir my knee-caps, for these boards I have bound so tight to
my body won't let me. What you must do is carry me in your arms, and
lay me across or set me upright in some postern, and I'll hold it
either with this lance or with my body."

"On, senor governor!" cried another, "it is fear more than the
boards that keeps you from moving; make haste, stir yourself, for
there is no time to lose; the enemy is increasing in numbers, the
shouts grow louder, and the danger is pressing."

Urged by these exhortations and reproaches the poor governor made an
attempt to advance, but fell to the ground with such a crash that he
fancied he had broken himself all to pieces. There he lay like a
tortoise enclosed in its shell, or a side of bacon between two
kneading-troughs, or a boat bottom up on the beach; nor did the gang
of jokers feel any compassion for him when they saw him down; so far
from that, extinguishing their torches they began to shout afresh
and to renew the calls to arms with such energy, trampling on poor
Sancho, and slashing at him over the shield with their swords in
such a way that, if he had not gathered himself together and made
himself small and drawn in his head between the shields, it would have
fared badly with the poor governor, as, squeezed into that narrow
compass, he lay, sweating and sweating again, and commending himself
with all his heart to God to deliver him from his present peril.
Some stumbled over him, others fell upon him, and one there was who
took up a position on top of him for some time, and from thence as
if from a watchtower issued orders to the troops, shouting out, "Here,
our side! Here the enemy is thickest! Hold the breach there! Shut that
gate! Barricade those ladders! Here with your stink-pots of pitch
and resin, and kettles of boiling oil! Block the streets with
feather beds!" In short, in his ardour he mentioned every little
thing, and every implement and engine of war by means of which an
assault upon a city is warded off, while the bruised and battered
Sancho, who heard and suffered all, was saying to himself, "O if it
would only please the Lord to let the island be lost at once, and I
could see myself either dead or out of this torture!" Heaven heard his
prayer, and when he least expected it he heard voices exclaiming,
"Victory, victory! The enemy retreats beaten! Come, senor governor,
get up, and come and enjoy the victory, and divide the spoils that
have been won from the foe by the might of that invincible arm."

"Lift me up," said the wretched Sancho in a woebegone voice. They
helped him to rise, and as soon as he was on his feet said, "The enemy
I have beaten you may nail to my forehead; I don't want to divide
the spoils of the foe, I only beg and entreat some friend, if I have
one, to give me a sup of wine, for I'm parched with thirst, and wipe
me dry, for I'm turning to water."

They rubbed him down, fetched him wine and unbound the shields,
and he seated himself upon his bed, and with fear, agitation, and
fatigue he fainted away. Those who had been concerned in the joke were
now sorry they had pushed it so far; however, the anxiety his fainting
away had caused them was relieved by his returning to himself. He
asked what o'clock it was; they told him it was just daybreak. He said
no more, and in silence began to dress himself, while all watched him,
waiting to see what the haste with which he was putting on his clothes

He got himself dressed at last, and then, slowly, for he was
sorely bruised and could not go fast, he proceeded to the stable,
followed by all who were present, and going up to Dapple embraced
him and gave him a loving kiss on the forehead, and said to him, not
without tears in his eyes, "Come along, comrade and friend and partner
of my toils and sorrows; when I was with you and had no cares to
trouble me except mending your harness and feeding your little
carcass, happy were my hours, my days, and my years; but since I
left you, and mounted the towers of ambition and pride, a thousand
miseries, a thousand troubles, and four thousand anxieties have
entered into my soul;" and all the while he was speaking in this
strain he was fixing the pack-saddle on the ass, without a word from
anyone. Then having Dapple saddled, he, with great pain and
difficulty, got up on him, and addressing himself to the majordomo,
the secretary, the head-carver, and Pedro Recio the doctor and several
others who stood by, he said, "Make way, gentlemen, and let me go back
to my old freedom; let me go look for my past life, and raise myself
up from this present death. I was not born to be a governor or protect
islands or cities from the enemies that choose to attack them.
Ploughing and digging, vinedressing and pruning, are more in my way
than defending provinces or kingdoms. 'Saint Peter is very well at
Rome; I mean each of us is best following the trade he was born to.
A reaping-hook fits my hand better than a governor's sceptre; I'd
rather have my fill of gazpacho' than be subject to the misery of a
meddling doctor who me with hunger, and I'd rather lie in summer under
the shade of an oak, and in winter wrap myself in a double sheepskin
jacket in freedom, than go to bed between holland sheets and dress
in sables under the restraint of a government. God be with your
worships, and tell my lord the duke that 'naked I was born, naked I
find myself, I neither lose nor gain;' I mean that without a
farthing I came into this government, and without a farthing I go
out of it, very different from the way governors commonly leave
other islands. Stand aside and let me go; I have to plaster myself,
for I believe every one of my ribs is crushed, thanks to the enemies
that have been trampling over me to-night."

"That is unnecessary, senor governor," said Doctor Recio, "for I
will give your worship a draught against falls and bruises that will
soon make you as sound and strong as ever; and as for your diet I
promise your worship to behave better, and let you eat plentifully
of whatever you like."

"You spoke late," said Sancho. "I'd as soon turn Turk as stay any
longer. Those jokes won't pass a second time. By God I'd as soon
remain in this government, or take another, even if it was offered
me between two plates, as fly to heaven without wings. I am of the
breed of the Panzas, and they are every one of them obstinate, and
if they once say 'odds,' odds it must be, no matter if it is evens, in
spite of all the world. Here in this stable I leave the ant's wings
that lifted me up into the air for the swifts and other birds to eat
me, and let's take to level ground and our feet once more; and if
they're not shod in pinked shoes of cordovan, they won't want for
rough sandals of hemp; 'every ewe to her like,' 'and let no one
stretch his leg beyond the length of the sheet;' and now let me
pass, for it's growing late with me."

To this the majordomo said, "Senor governor, we would let your
worship go with all our hearts, though it sorely grieves us to lose
you, for your wit and Christian conduct naturally make us regret
you; but it is well known that every governor, before he leaves the
place where he has been governing, is bound first of all to render
an account. Let your worship do so for the ten days you have held
the government, and then you may go and the peace of God go with you."

"No one can demand it of me," said Sancho, "but he whom my lord
the duke shall appoint; I am going to meet him, and to him I will
render an exact one; besides, when I go forth naked as I do, there
is no other proof needed to show that I have governed like an angel."

"By God the great Sancho is right," said Doctor Recio, "and we
should let him go, for the duke will be beyond measure glad to see

They all agreed to this, and allowed him to go, first offering to
bear him company and furnish him with all he wanted for his own
comfort or for the journey. Sancho said he did not want anything more
than a little barley for Dapple, and half a cheese and half a loaf
for himself; for the distance being so short there was no occasion for
any better or bulkier provant. They all embraced him, and he with
tears embraced all of them, and left them filled with admiration not
only at his remarks but at his firm and sensible resolution.



The duke and duchess resolved that the challenge Don Quixote had,
for the reason already mentioned, given their vassal, should be
proceeded with; and as the young man was in Flanders, whither he had
fled to escape having Dona Rodriguez for a mother-in-law, they
arranged to substitute for him a Gascon lacquey, named Tosilos,
first of all carefully instructing him in all he had to do. Two days
later the duke told Don Quixote that in four days from that time his
opponent would present himself on the field of battle armed as a
knight, and would maintain that the damsel lied by half a beard, nay a
whole beard, if she affirmed that he had given her a promise of
marriage. Don Quixote was greatly pleased at the news, and promised
himself to do wonders in the lists, and reckoned it rare good
fortune that an opportunity should have offered for letting his
noble hosts see what the might of his strong arm was capable of; and
so in high spirits and satisfaction he awaited the expiration of the
four days, which measured by his impatience seemed spinning themselves
out into four hundred ages. Let us leave them to pass as we do other
things, and go and bear Sancho company, as mounted on Dapple, half
glad, half sad, he paced along on his road to join his master, in
whose society he was happier than in being governor of all the islands
in the world. Well then, it so happened that before he had gone a
great way from the island of his government (and whether it was
island, city, town, or village that he governed he never troubled
himself to inquire) he saw coming along the road he was travelling six
pilgrims with staves, foreigners of that sort that beg for alms
singing; who as they drew near arranged themselves in a line and
lifting up their voices all together began to sing in their own
language something that Sancho could not with the exception of one
word which sounded plainly "alms," from which he gathered that it
was alms they asked for in their song; and being, as Cide Hamete says,
remarkably charitable, he took out of his alforias the half loaf and
half cheese he had been provided with, and gave them to them,
explaining to them by signs that he had nothing else to give them.
They received them very gladly, but exclaimed, "Geld! Geld!"

"I don't understand what you want of me, good people," said Sancho.

On this one of them took a purse out of his bosom and showed it to
Sancho, by which he comprehended they were asking for money, and
putting his thumb to his throat and spreading his hand upwards he gave
them to understand that he had not the sign of a coin about him, and
urging Dapple forward he broke through them. But as he was passing,
one of them who had been examining him very closely rushed towards
him, and flinging his arms round him exclaimed in a loud voice and
good Spanish, "God bless me! What's this I see? Is it possible that
I hold in my arms my dear friend, my good neighbour Sancho Panza?
But there's no doubt about it, for I'm not asleep, nor am I drunk just

Sancho was surprised to hear himself called by his name and find
himself embraced by a foreign pilgrim, and after regarding him
steadily without speaking he was still unable to recognise him; but
the pilgrim perceiving his perplexity cried, "What! and is it
possible, Sancho Panza, that thou dost not know thy neighbour
Ricote, the Morisco shopkeeper of thy village?"

Sancho upon this looking at him more carefully began to recall his
features, and at last recognised him perfectly, and without getting
off the ass threw his arms round his neck saying, "Who the devil could
have known thee, Ricote, in this mummer's dress thou art in? Tell
me, who bas frenchified thee, and how dost thou dare to return to
Spain, where if they catch thee and recognise thee it will go hard
enough with thee?"

"If thou dost not betray me, Sancho," said the pilgrim, "I am
safe; for in this dress no one will recognise me; but let us turn
aside out of the road into that grove there where my comrades are
going to eat and rest, and thou shalt eat with them there, for they
are very good fellows; I'll have time enough to tell thee then all
that has happened me since I left our village in obedience to his
Majesty's edict that threatened such severities against the
unfortunate people of my nation, as thou hast heard."

Sancho complied, and Ricote having spoken to the other pilgrims they
withdrew to the grove they saw, turning a considerable distance out of
the road. They threw down their staves, took off their pilgrim's
cloaks and remained in their under-clothing; they were all
good-looking young fellows, except Ricote, who was a man somewhat
advanced in years. They carried alforjas all of them, and all
apparently well filled, at least with things provocative of thirst,
such as would summon it from two leagues off. They stretched
themselves on the ground, and making a tablecloth of the grass they
spread upon it bread, salt, knives, walnut, scraps of cheese, and
well-picked ham-bones which if they were past gnawing were not past
sucking. They also put down a black dainty called, they say, caviar,
and made of the eggs of fish, a great thirst-wakener. Nor was there
any lack of olives, dry, it is true, and without any seasoning, but
for all that toothsome and pleasant. But what made the best show in
the field of the banquet was half a dozen botas of wine, for each of
them produced his own from his alforjas; even the good Ricote, who
from a Morisco had transformed himself into a German or Dutchman, took
out his, which in size might have vied with the five others. They then
began to eat with very great relish and very leisurely, making the
most of each morsel- very small ones of everything- they took up on
the point of the knife; and then all at the same moment raised their
arms and botas aloft, the mouths placed in their mouths, and all
eyes fixed on heaven just as if they were taking aim at it; and in
this attitude they remained ever so long, wagging their heads from
side to side as if in acknowledgment of the pleasure they were
enjoying while they decanted the bowels of the bottles into their
own stomachs.

Sancho beheld all, "and nothing gave him pain;" so far from that,
acting on the proverb he knew so well, "when thou art at Rome do as
thou seest," he asked Ricote for his bota and took aim like the rest
of them, and with not less enjoyment. Four times did the botas bear
being uplifted, but the fifth it was all in vain, for they were
drier and more sapless than a rush by that time, which made the
jollity that had been kept up so far begin to flag.

Every now and then some one of them would grasp Sancho's right
hand in his own saying, "Espanoli y Tudesqui tuto uno: bon compano;"
and Sancho would answer, "Bon compano, jur a Di!" and then go off into
a fit of laughter that lasted an hour, without a thought for the
moment of anything that had befallen him in his government; for
cares have very little sway over us while we are eating and
drinking. At length, the wine having come to an end with them,
drowsiness began to come over them, and they dropped asleep on their
very table and tablecloth. Ricote and Sancho alone remained awake, for
they had eaten more and drunk less, and Ricote drawing Sancho aside,
they seated themselves at the foot of a beech, leaving the pilgrims
buried in sweet sleep; and without once falling into his own Morisco
tongue Ricote spoke as follows in pure Castilian:

"Thou knowest well, neighbour and friend Sancho Panza, how the
proclamation or edict his Majesty commanded to be issued against those
of my nation filled us all with terror and dismay; me at least it did,
insomuch that I think before the time granted us for quitting Spain
was out, the full force of the penalty had already fallen upon me
and upon my children. I decided, then, and I think wisely (just like
one who knows that at a certain date the house he lives in will be
taken from him, and looks out beforehand for another to change
into), I decided, I say, to leave the town myself, alone and without
my family, and go to seek out some place to remove them to comfortably
and not in the hurried way in which the others took their departure;
for I saw very plainly, and so did all the older men among us, that
the proclamations were not mere threats, as some said, but positive
enactments which would be enforced at the appointed time; and what
made me believe this was what I knew of the base and extravagant
designs which our people harboured, designs of such a nature that I
think it was a divine inspiration that moved his Majesty to carry
out a resolution so spirited; not that we were all guilty, for some
there were true and steadfast Christians; but they were so few that
they could make no head against those who were not; and it was not
prudent to cherish a viper in the bosom by having enemies in the
house. In short it was with just cause that we were visited with the
penalty of banishment, a mild and lenient one in the eyes of some, but
to us the most terrible that could be inflicted upon us. Wherever we
are we weep for Spain; for after all we were born there and it is
our natural fatherland. Nowhere do we find the reception our unhappy
condition needs; and in Barbary and all the parts of Africa where we
counted upon being received, succoured, and welcomed, it is there they
insult and ill-treat us most. We knew not our good fortune until we
lost it; and such is the longing we almost all of us have to return to
Spain, that most of those who like myself know the language, and there
are many who do, come back to it and leave their wives and children
forsaken yonder, so great is their love for it; and now I know by
experience the meaning of the saying, sweet is the love of one's

"I left our village, as I said, and went to France, but though
they gave us a kind reception there I was anxious to see all I
could. I crossed into Italy, and reached Germany, and there it
seemed to me we might live with more freedom, as the inhabitants do
not pay any attention to trifling points; everyone lives as he
likes, for in most parts they enjoy liberty of conscience. I took a
house in a town near Augsburg, and then joined these pilgrims, who are
in the habit of coming to Spain in great numbers every year to visit
the shrines there, which they look upon as their Indies and a sure and
certain source of gain. They travel nearly all over it, and there is
no town out of which they do not go full up of meat and drink, as
the saying is, and with a real, at least, in money, and they come
off at the end of their travels with more than a hundred crowns saved,
which, changed into gold, they smuggle out of the kingdom either in
the hollow of their staves or in the patches of their pilgrim's cloaks
or by some device of their own, and carry to their own country in
spite of the guards at the posts and passes where they are searched.
Now my purpose is, Sancho, to carry away the treasure that I left
buried, which, as it is outside the town, I shall be able to do
without risk, and to write, or cross over from Valencia, to my
daughter and wife, who I know are at Algiers, and find some means of
bringing them to some French port and thence to Germany, there to
await what it may be God's will to do with us; for, after all, Sancho,
I know well that Ricota my daughter and Francisca Ricota my wife are
Catholic Christians, and though I am not so much so, still I am more
of a Christian than a Moor, and it is always my prayer to God that
he will open the eyes of my understanding and show me how I am to
serve him; but what amazes me and I cannot understand is why my wife
and daughter should have gone to Barbary rather than to France,
where they could live as Christians."

To this Sancho replied, "Remember, Ricote, that may not have been
open to them, for Juan Tiopieyo thy wife's brother took them, and
being a true Moor he went where he could go most easily; and another
thing I can tell thee, it is my belief thou art going in vain to
look for what thou hast left buried, for we heard they took from thy
brother-in-law and thy wife a great quantity of pearls and money in
gold which they brought to be passed."

"That may be," said Ricote; "but I know they did not touch my hoard,
for I did not tell them where it was, for fear of accidents; and so,
if thou wilt come with me, Sancho, and help me to take it away and
conceal it, I will give thee two hundred crowns wherewith thou
mayest relieve thy necessities, and, as thou knowest, I know they
are many."

"I would do it," said Sancho; "but I am not at all covetous, for I
gave up an office this morning in which, if I was, I might have made
the walls of my house of gold and dined off silver plates before six
months were over; and so for this reason, and because I feel I would
be guilty of treason to my king if I helped his enemies, I would not
go with thee if instead of promising me two hundred crowns thou wert
to give me four hundred here in hand."

"And what office is this thou hast given up, Sancho?" asked Ricote.

"I have given up being governor of an island," said Sancho, "and
such a one, faith, as you won't find the like of easily."

"And where is this island?" said Ricote.

"Where?" said Sancho; "two leagues from here, and it is called the
island of Barataria."

"Nonsense! Sancho," said Ricote; "islands are away out in the sea;
there are no islands on the mainland."

"What? No islands!" said Sancho; "I tell thee, friend Ricote, I left
it this morning, and yesterday I was governing there as I pleased like
a sagittarius; but for all that I gave it up, for it seemed to me a
dangerous office, a governor's."

"And what hast thou gained by the government?" asked Ricote.

"I have gained," said Sancho, "the knowledge that I am no good for
governing, unless it is a drove of cattle, and that the riches that
are to be got by these governments are got at the cost of one's rest
and sleep, ay and even one's food; for in islands the governors must
eat little, especially if they have doctors to look after their

"I don't understand thee, Sancho," said Ricote; "but it seems to
me all nonsense thou art talking. Who would give thee islands to
govern? Is there any scarcity in the world of cleverer men than thou
art for governors? Hold thy peace, Sancho, and come back to thy
senses, and consider whether thou wilt come with me as I said to
help me to take away treasure I left buried (for indeed it may be
called a treasure, it is so large), and I will give thee wherewithal
to keep thee, as I told thee."

"And I have told thee already, Ricote, that I will not," said
Sancho; "let it content thee that by me thou shalt not be betrayed,
and go thy way in God's name and let me go mine; for I know that
well-gotten gain may be lost, but ill-gotten gain is lost, itself
and its owner likewise."

"I will not press thee, Sancho," said Ricote; "but tell me, wert
thou in our village when my wife and daughter and brother-in-law
left it?"

"I was so," said Sancho; "and I can tell thee thy daughter left it
looking so lovely that all the village turned out to see her, and
everybody said she was the fairest creature in the world. She wept
as she went, and embraced all her friends and acquaintances and
those who came out to see her, and she begged them all to commend
her to God and Our Lady his mother, and this in such a touching way
that it made me weep myself, though I'm not much given to tears
commonly; and, faith, many a one would have liked to hide her, or go
out and carry her off on the road; but the fear of going against the
king's command kept them back. The one who showed himself most moved
was Don Pedro Gregorio, the rich young heir thou knowest of, and
they say he was deep in love with her; and since she left he has not
been seen in our village again, and we all suspect he has gone after
her to steal her away, but so far nothing has been heard of it."

"I always had a suspicion that gentleman had a passion for my
daughter," said Ricote; "but as I felt sure of my Ricota's virtue it
gave me no uneasiness to know that he loved her; for thou must have
heard it said, Sancho, that the Morisco women seldom or never engage
in amours with the old Christians; and my daughter, who I fancy
thought more of being a Christian than of lovemaking, would not
trouble herself about the attentions of this heir."

"God grant it," said Sancho, "for it would be a bad business for
both of them; but now let me be off, friend Ricote, for I want to
reach where my master Don Quixote is to-night."

"God be with thee, brother Sancho," said Ricote; "my comrades are
beginning to stir, and it is time, too, for us to continue our
journey;" and then they both embraced, and Sancho mounted Dapple,
and Ricote leant upon his staff, and so they parted.


The length of time he delayed with Ricote prevented Sancho from
reaching the duke's castle that day, though he was within half a
league of it when night, somewhat dark and cloudy, overtook him. This,
however, as it was summer time, did not give him much uneasiness,
and he turned aside out of the road intending to wait for morning; but
his ill luck and hard fate so willed it that as he was searching about
for a place to make himself as comfortable as possible, he and
Dapple fell into a deep dark hole that lay among some very old
buildings. As he fell he commended himself with all his heart to
God, fancying he was not going to stop until he reached the depths
of the bottomless pit; but it did not turn out so, for at little
more than thrice a man's height Dapple touched bottom, and he found
himself sitting on him without having received any hurt or damage
whatever. He felt himself all over and held his breath to try
whether he was quite sound or had a hole made in him anywhere, and
finding himself all right and whole and in perfect health he was
profuse in his thanks to God our Lord for the mercy that had been
shown him, for he made sure he had been broken into a thousand pieces.
He also felt along the sides of the pit with his hands to see if it
were possible to get out of it without help, but he found they were
quite smooth and afforded no hold anywhere, at which he was greatly
distressed, especially when he heard how pathetically and dolefully
Dapple was bemoaning himself, and no wonder he complained, nor was
it from ill-temper, for in truth he was not in a very good case.
"Alas," said Sancho, "what unexpected accidents happen at every step
to those who live in this miserable world! Who would have said that
one who saw himself yesterday sitting on a throne, governor of an
island, giving orders to his servants and his vassals, would see
himself to-day buried in a pit without a soul to help him, or
servant or vassal to come to his relief? Here must we perish with
hunger, my ass and myself, if indeed we don't die first, he of his
bruises and injuries, and I of grief and sorrow. At any rate I'll
not be as lucky as my master Don Quixote of La Mancha, when he went
down into the cave of that enchanted Montesinos, where he found people
to make more of him than if he had been in his own house; for it seems
he came in for a table laid out and a bed ready made. There he saw
fair and pleasant visions, but here I'll see, I imagine, toads and
adders. Unlucky wretch that I am, what an end my follies and fancies
have come to! They'll take up my bones out of this, when it is
heaven's will that I'm found, picked clean, white and polished, and my
good Dapple's with them, and by that, perhaps, it will be found out
who we are, at least by such as have heard that Sancho Panza never
separated from his ass, nor his ass from Sancho Panza. Unlucky
wretches, I say again, that our hard fate should not let us die in our
own country and among our own people, where if there was no help for
our misfortune, at any rate there would be some one to grieve for it
and to close our eyes as we passed away! O comrade and friend, how ill
have I repaid thy faithful services! Forgive me, and entreat
Fortune, as well as thou canst, to deliver us out of this miserable
strait we are both in; and I promise to put a crown of laurel on thy
head, and make thee look like a poet laureate, and give thee double

In this strain did Sancho bewail himself, and his ass listened to
him, but answered him never a word, such was the distress and
anguish the poor beast found himself in. At length, after a night
spent in bitter moanings and lamentations, day came, and by its
light Sancho perceived that it was wholly impossible to escape out
of that pit without help, and he fell to bemoaning his fate and
uttering loud shouts to find out if there was anyone within hearing;
but all his shouting was only crying in the wilderness, for there
was not a soul anywhere in the neighbourhood to hear him, and then
at last he gave himself up for dead. Dapple was lying on his back, and
Sancho helped him to his feet, which he was scarcely able to keep; and
then taking a piece of bread out of his alforjas which had shared
their fortunes in the fall, he gave it to the ass, to whom it was
not unwelcome, saying to him as if he understood him, "With bread
all sorrows are less."

And now he perceived on one side of the pit a hole large enough to
admit a person if he stooped and squeezed himself into a small
compass. Sancho made for it, and entered it by creeping, and found
it wide and spacious on the inside, which he was able to see as a
ray of sunlight that penetrated what might be called the roof showed
it all plainly. He observed too that it opened and widened out into
another spacious cavity; seeing which he made his way back to where
the ass was, and with a stone began to pick away the clay from the
hole until in a short time he had made room for the beast to pass
easily, and this accomplished, taking him by the halter, he
proceeded to traverse the cavern to see if there was any outlet at the
other end. He advanced, sometimes in the dark, sometimes without
light, but never without fear; "God Almighty help me!" said he to
himself; "this that is a misadventure to me would make a good
adventure for my master Don Quixote. He would have been sure to take
these depths and dungeons for flowery gardens or the palaces of
Galiana, and would have counted upon issuing out of this darkness
and imprisonment into some blooming meadow; but I, unlucky that I
am, hopeless and spiritless, expect at every step another pit deeper
than the first to open under my feet and swallow me up for good;
'welcome evil, if thou comest alone.'"

In this way and with these reflections he seemed to himself to
have travelled rather more than half a league, when at last he
perceived a dim light that looked like daylight and found its way in
on one side, showing that this road, which appeared to him the road to
the other world, led to some opening.

Here Cide Hamete leaves him, and returns to Don Quixote, who in high
spirits and satisfaction was looking forward to the day fixed for
the battle he was to fight with him who had robbed Dona Rodriguez's
daughter of her honour, for whom he hoped to obtain satisfaction for
the wrong and injury shamefully done to her. It came to pass, then,
that having sallied forth one morning to practise and exercise himself
in what he would have to do in the encounter he expected to find
himself engaged in the next day, as he was putting Rocinante through
his paces or pressing him to the charge, he brought his feet so
close to a pit that but for reining him in tightly it would have
been impossible for him to avoid falling into it. He pulled him up,
however, without a fall, and coming a little closer examined the
hole without dismounting; but as he was looking at it he heard loud
cries proceeding from it, and by listening attentively was able to
make out that he who uttered them was saying, "Ho, above there! is
there any Christian that hears me, or any charitable gentleman that
will take pity on a sinner buried alive, on an unfortunate disgoverned

It struck Don Quixote that it was the voice of Sancho Panza he
heard, whereat he was taken aback and amazed, and raising his own
voice as much as he could, he cried out, "Who is below there? Who is
that complaining?"

"Who should be here, or who should complain," was the answer, "but
the forlorn Sancho Panza, for his sins and for his ill-luck governor
of the island of Barataria, squire that was to the famous knight Don
Quixote of La Mancha?"

When Don Quixote heard this his amazement was redoubled and his
perturbation grew greater than ever, for it suggested itself to his
mind that Sancho must be dead, and that his soul was in torment down
there; and carried away by this idea he exclaimed, "I conjure thee
by everything that as a Catholic Christian I can conjure thee by, tell
me who thou art; and if thou art a soul in torment, tell me what
thou wouldst have me do for thee; for as my profession is to give
aid and succour to those that need it in this world, it will also
extend to aiding and succouring the distressed of the other, who
cannot help themselves."

"In that case," answered the voice, "your worship who speaks to me
must be my master Don Quixote of La Mancha; nay, from the tone of
the voice it is plain it can be nobody else."

"Don Quixote I am," replied Don Quixote, "he whose profession it
is to aid and succour the living and the dead in their necessities;
wherefore tell me who thou art, for thou art keeping me in suspense;
because, if thou art my squire Sancho Panza, and art dead, since the
devils have not carried thee off, and thou art by God's mercy in
purgatory, our holy mother the Roman Catholic Church has
intercessory means sufficient to release thee from the pains thou
art in; and I for my part will plead with her to that end, so far as
my substance will go; without further delay, therefore, declare
thyself, and tell me who thou art."

"By all that's good," was the answer, "and by the birth of
whomsoever your worship chooses, I swear, Senor Don Quixote of La
Mancha, that I am your squire Sancho Panza, and that I have never died
all my life; but that, having given up my government for reasons
that would require more time to explain, I fell last night into this
pit where I am now, and Dapple is witness and won't let me lie, for
more by token he is here with me."

Nor was this all; one would have fancied the ass understood what
Sancho said, because that moment he began to bray so loudly that the
whole cave rang again.

"Famous testimony!" exclaimed Don Quixote; "I know that bray as well
as if I was its mother, and thy voice too, my Sancho. Wait while I
go to the duke's castle, which is close by, and I will bring some
one to take thee out of this pit into which thy sins no doubt have
brought thee."

"Go, your worship," said Sancho, "and come back quick for God's
sake; for I cannot bear being buried alive any longer, and I'm dying
of fear."

Don Quixote left him, and hastened to the castle to tell the duke
and duchess what had happened Sancho, and they were not a little
astonished at it; they could easily understand his having fallen, from
the confirmatory circumstance of the cave which had been in
existence there from time immemorial; but they could not imagine how
he had quitted the government without their receiving any intimation
of his coming. To be brief, they fetched ropes and tackle, as the
saying is, and by dint of many hands and much labour they drew up
Dapple and Sancho Panza out of the darkness into the light of day. A
student who saw him remarked, "That's the way all bad governors should
come out of their governments, as this sinner comes out of the
depths of the pit, dead with hunger, pale, and I suppose without a

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