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Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 8 out of 21

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night she conceals a gallant of hers in this house and remains with
him till morning, at the expense of my reputation; inasmuch as it is
open to anyone to question it who may see him quitting my house at
such unseasonable hours; but what distresses me is that I cannot
punish or chide her, for her privity to our intrigue bridles my
mouth and keeps me silent about hers, while I am dreading that some
catastrophe will come of it."

As Camilla said this Lothario at first imagined it was some device
to delude him into the idea that the man he had seen going out was
Leonela's lover and not hers; but when he saw how she wept and
suffered, and begged him to help her, he became convinced of the
truth, and the conviction completed his confusion and remorse;
however, he told Camilla not to distress herself, as he would take
measures to put a stop to the insolence of Leonela. At the same time
he told her what, driven by the fierce rage of jealousy, he had said
to Anselmo, and how he had arranged to hide himself in the closet that
he might there see plainly how little she preserved her fidelity to
him; and he entreated her pardon for this madness, and her advice as
to how to repair it, and escape safely from the intricate labyrinth in
which his imprudence had involved him. Camilla was struck with alarm
at hearing what Lothario said, and with much anger, and great good
sense, she reproved him and rebuked his base design and the foolish
and mischievous resolution he had made; but as woman has by nature a
nimbler wit than man for good and for evil, though it is apt to fail
when she sets herself deliberately to reason, Camilla on the spur of
the moment thought of a way to remedy what was to all appearance
irremediable, and told Lothario to contrive that the next day
Anselmo should conceal himself in the place he mentioned, for she
hoped from his concealment to obtain the means of their enjoying
themselves for the future without any apprehension; and without
revealing her purpose to him entirely she charged him to be careful,
as soon as Anselmo was concealed, to come to her when Leonela should
call him, and to all she said to him to answer as he would have
answered had he not known that Anselmo was listening. Lothario pressed
her to explain her intention fully, so that he might with more
certainty and precaution take care to do what he saw to be needful.

"I tell you," said Camilla, "there is nothing to take care of except
to answer me what I shall ask you;" for she did not wish to explain to
him beforehand what she meant to do, fearing lest he should be
unwilling to follow out an idea which seemed to her such a good one,
and should try or devise some other less practicable plan.

Lothario then retired, and the next day Anselmo, under pretence of
going to his friend's country house, took his departure, and then
returned to conceal himself, which he was able to do easily, as
Camilla and Leonela took care to give him the opportunity; and so he
placed himself in hiding in the state of agitation that it may be
imagined he would feel who expected to see the vitals of his honour
laid bare before his eyes, and found himself on the point of losing
the supreme blessing he thought he possessed in his beloved Camilla.
Having made sure of Anselmo's being in his hiding-place, Camilla and
Leonela entered the closet, and the instant she set foot within it
Camilla said, with a deep sigh, "Ah! dear Leonela, would it not be
better, before I do what I am unwilling you should know lest you
should seek to prevent it, that you should take Anselmo's dagger
that I have asked of you and with it pierce this vile heart of mine?
But no; there is no reason why I should suffer the punishment of
another's fault. I will first know what it is that the bold licentious
eyes of Lothario have seen in me that could have encouraged him to
reveal to me a design so base as that which he has disclosed
regardless of his friend and of my honour. Go to the window,
Leonela, and call him, for no doubt he is in the street waiting to
carry out his vile project; but mine, cruel it may be, but honourable,
shall be carried out first."

"Ah, senora," said the crafty Leonela, who knew her part, "what is
it you want to do with this dagger? Can it be that you mean to take
your own life, or Lothario's? for whichever you mean to do, it will
lead to the loss of your reputation and good name. It is better to
dissemble your wrong and not give this wicked man the chance of
entering the house now and finding us alone; consider, senora, we
are weak women and he is a man, and determined, and as he comes with
such a base purpose, blind and urged by passion, perhaps before you
can put yours into execution he may do what will be worse for you than
taking your life. Ill betide my master, Anselmo, for giving such
authority in his house to this shameless fellow! And supposing you
kill him, senora, as I suspect you mean to do, what shall we do with
him when he is dead?"

"What, my friend?" replied Camilla, "we shall leave him for
Anselmo to bury him; for in reason it will be to him a light labour to
hide his own infamy under ground. Summon him, make haste, for all
the time I delay in taking vengeance for my wrong seems to me an
offence against the loyalty I owe my husband."

Anselmo was listening to all this, and every word that Camilla
uttered made him change his mind; but when he heard that it was
resolved to kill Lothario his first impulse was to come out and show
himself to avert such a disaster; but in his anxiety to see the
issue of a resolution so bold and virtuous he restrained himself,
intending to come forth in time to prevent the deed. At this moment
Camilla, throwing herself upon a bed that was close by, swooned
away, and Leonela began to weep bitterly, exclaiming, "Woe is me! that
I should be fated to have dying here in my arms the flower of virtue
upon earth, the crown of true wives, the pattern of chastity!" with
more to the same effect, so that anyone who heard her would have taken
her for the most tender-hearted and faithful handmaid in the world,
and her mistress for another persecuted Penelope.

Camilla was not long in recovering from her fainting fit and on
coming to herself she said, "Why do you not go, Leonela, to call
hither that friend, the falsest to his friend the sun ever shone
upon or night concealed? Away, run, haste, speed! lest the fire of
my wrath burn itself out with delay, and the righteous vengeance
that I hope for melt away in menaces and maledictions."

"I am just going to call him, senora," said Leonela; "but you must
first give me that dagger, lest while I am gone you should by means of
it give cause to all who love you to weep all their lives."

"Go in peace, dear Leonela, I will not do so," said Camilla, "for
rash and foolish as I may be, to your mind, in defending my honour,
I am not going to be so much so as that Lucretia who they say killed
herself without having done anything wrong, and without having first
killed him on whom the guilt of her misfortune lay. I shall die, if
I am to die; but it must be after full vengeance upon him who has
brought me here to weep over audacity that no fault of mine gave birth

Leonela required much pressing before she would go to summon
Lothario, but at last she went, and while awaiting her return
Camilla continued, as if speaking to herself, "Good God! would it
not have been more prudent to have repulsed Lothario, as I have done
many a time before, than to allow him, as I am now doing, to think
me unchaste and vile, even for the short time I must wait until I
undeceive him? No doubt it would have been better; but I should not be
avenged, nor the honour of my husband vindicated, should he find so
clear and easy an escape from the strait into which his depravity
has led him. Let the traitor pay with his life for the temerity of his
wanton wishes, and let the world know (if haply it shall ever come
to know) that Camilla not only preserved her allegiance to her
husband, but avenged him of the man who dared to wrong him. Still, I
think it might be better to disclose this to Anselmo. But then I
have called his attention to it in the letter I wrote to him in the
country, and, if he did nothing to prevent the mischief I there
pointed out to him, I suppose it was that from pure goodness of
heart and trustfulness he would not and could not believe that any
thought against his honour could harbour in the breast of so stanch
a friend; nor indeed did I myself believe it for many days, nor should
I have ever believed it if his insolence had not gone so far as to
make it manifest by open presents, lavish promises, and ceaseless
tears. But why do I argue thus? Does a bold determination stand in
need of arguments? Surely not. Then traitors avaunt! Vengeance to my
aid! Let the false one come, approach, advance, die, yield up his
life, and then befall what may. Pure I came to him whom Heaven
bestowed upon me, pure I shall leave him; and at the worst bathed in
my own chaste blood and in the foul blood of the falsest friend that
friendship ever saw in the world;" and as she uttered these words
she paced the room holding the unsheathed dagger, with such
irregular and disordered steps, and such gestures that one would
have supposed her to have lost her senses, and taken her for some
violent desperado instead of a delicate woman.

Anselmo, hidden behind some tapestries where he had concealed
himself, beheld and was amazed at all, and already felt that what he
had seen and heard was a sufficient answer to even greater suspicions;
and he would have been now well pleased if the proof afforded by
Lothario's coming were dispensed with, as he feared some sudden
mishap; but as he was on the point of showing himself and coming forth
to embrace and undeceive his wife he paused as he saw Leonela
returning, leading Lothario. Camilla when she saw him, drawing a
long line in front of her on the floor with the dagger, said to him,
"Lothario, pay attention to what I say to thee: if by any chance
thou darest to cross this line thou seest, or even approach it, the
instant I see thee attempt it that same instant will I pierce my bosom
with this dagger that I hold in my hand; and before thou answerest
me a word desire thee to listen to a few from me, and afterwards
thou shalt reply as may please thee. First, I desire thee to tell
me, Lothario, if thou knowest my husband Anselmo, and in what light
thou regardest him; and secondly I desire to know if thou knowest me
too. Answer me this, without embarrassment or reflecting deeply what
thou wilt answer, for they are no riddles I put to thee."

Lothario was not so dull but that from the first moment when Camilla
directed him to make Anselmo hide himself he understood what she
intended to do, and therefore he fell in with her idea so readily
and promptly that between them they made the imposture look more
true than truth; so he answered her thus: "I did not think, fair
Camilla, that thou wert calling me to ask questions so remote from the
object with which I come; but if it is to defer the promised reward
thou art doing so, thou mightst have put it off still longer, for
the longing for happiness gives the more distress the nearer comes the
hope of gaining it; but lest thou shouldst say that I do not answer
thy questions, I say that I know thy husband Anselmo, and that we have
known each other from our earliest years; I will not speak of what
thou too knowest, of our friendship, that I may not compel myself to
testify against the wrong that love, the mighty excuse for greater
errors, makes me inflict upon him. Thee I know and hold in the same
estimation as he does, for were it not so I had not for a lesser prize
acted in opposition to what I owe to my station and the holy laws of
true friendship, now broken and violated by me through that powerful
enemy, love."

"If thou dost confess that," returned Camilla, "mortal enemy of
all that rightly deserves to be loved, with what face dost thou dare
to come before one whom thou knowest to be the mirror wherein he is
reflected on whom thou shouldst look to see how unworthily thou him?
But, woe is me, I now comprehend what has made thee give so little
heed to what thou owest to thyself; it must have been some freedom
of mine, for I will not call it immodesty, as it did not proceed
from any deliberate intention, but from some heedlessness such as
women are guilty of through inadvertence when they think they have
no occasion for reserve. But tell me, traitor, when did I by word or
sign give a reply to thy prayers that could awaken in thee a shadow of
hope of attaining thy base wishes? When were not thy professions of
love sternly and scornfully rejected and rebuked? When were thy
frequent pledges and still more frequent gifts believed or accepted?
But as I am persuaded that no one can long persevere in the attempt to
win love unsustained by some hope, I am willing to attribute to myself
the blame of thy assurance, for no doubt some thoughtlessness of
mine has all this time fostered thy hopes; and therefore will I punish
myself and inflict upon myself the penalty thy guilt deserves. And
that thou mayest see that being so relentless to myself I cannot
possibly be otherwise to thee, I have summoned thee to be a witness of
the sacrifice I mean to offer to the injured honour of my honoured
husband, wronged by thee with all the assiduity thou wert capable
of, and by me too through want of caution in avoiding every
occasion, if I have given any, of encouraging and sanctioning thy base
designs. Once more I say the suspicion in my mind that some imprudence
of mine has engendered these lawless thoughts in thee, is what
causes me most distress and what I desire most to punish with my own
hands, for were any other instrument of punishment employed my error
might become perhaps more widely known; but before I do so, in my
death I mean to inflict death, and take with me one that will fully
satisfy my longing for the revenge I hope for and have; for I shall
see, wheresoever it may be that I go, the penalty awarded by
inflexible, unswerving justice on him who has placed me in a
position so desperate."

As she uttered these words, with incredible energy and swiftness she
flew upon Lothario with the naked dagger, so manifestly bent on
burying it in his breast that he was almost uncertain whether these
demonstrations were real or feigned, for he was obliged to have
recourse to all his skill and strength to prevent her from striking
him; and with such reality did she act this strange farce and
mystification that, to give it a colour of truth, she determined to
stain it with her own blood; for perceiving, or pretending, that she
could not wound Lothario, she said, "Fate, it seems, will not grant my
just desire complete satisfaction, but it will not be able to keep
me from satisfying it partially at least;" and making an effort to
free the hand with the dagger which Lothario held in his grasp, she
released it, and directing the point to a place where it could not
inflict a deep wound, she plunged it into her left side high up
close to the shoulder, and then allowed herself to fall to the
ground as if in a faint.

Leonela and Lothario stood amazed and astounded at the
catastrophe, and seeing Camilla stretched on the ground and bathed
in her blood they were still uncertain as to the true nature of the
act. Lothario, terrified and breathless, ran in haste to pluck out the
dagger; but when he saw how slight the wound was he was relieved of
his fears and once more admired the subtlety, coolness, and ready
wit of the fair Camilla; and the better to support the part he had
to play he began to utter profuse and doleful lamentations over her
body as if she were dead, invoking maledictions not only on himself
but also on him who had been the means of placing him in such a
position: and knowing that his friend Anselmo heard him he spoke in
such a way as to make a listener feel much more pity for him than
for Camilla, even though he supposed her dead. Leonela took her up
in her arms and laid her on the bed, entreating Lothario to go in
quest of some one to attend to her wound in secret, and at the same
time asking his advice and opinion as to what they should say to
Anselmo about his lady's wound if he should chance to return before it
was healed. He replied they might say what they liked, for he was
not in a state to give advice that would be of any use; all he could
tell her was to try and stanch the blood, as he was going where he
should never more be seen; and with every appearance of deep grief and
sorrow he left the house; but when he found himself alone, and where
there was nobody to see him, he crossed himself unceasingly, lost in
wonder at the adroitness of Camilla and the consistent acting of
Leonela. He reflected how convinced Anselmo would be that he had a
second Portia for a wife, and he looked forward anxiously to meeting
him in order to rejoice together over falsehood and truth the most
craftily veiled that could be imagined.

Leonela, as he told her, stanched her lady's blood, which was no
more than sufficed to support her deception; and washing the wound
with a little wine she bound it up to the best of her skill, talking
all the time she was tending her in a strain that, even if nothing
else had been said before, would have been enough to assure Anselmo
that he had in Camilla a model of purity. To Leonela's words Camilla
added her own, calling herself cowardly and wanting in spirit, since
she had not enough at the time she had most need of it to rid
herself of the life she so much loathed. She asked her attendant's
advice as to whether or not she ought to inform her beloved husband of
all that had happened, but the other bade her say nothing about it, as
she would lay upon him the obligation of taking vengeance on Lothario,
which he could not do but at great risk to himself; and it was the
duty of a true wife not to give her husband provocation to quarrel,
but, on the contrary, to remove it as far as possible from him.

Camilla replied that she believed she was right and that she would
follow her advice, but at any rate it would be well to consider how
she was to explain the wound to Anselmo, for he could not help
seeing it; to which Leonela answered that she did not know how to tell
a lie even in jest.

"How then can I know, my dear?" said Camilla, "for I should not dare
to forge or keep up a falsehood if my life depended on it. If we can
think of no escape from this difficulty, it will be better to tell him
the plain truth than that he should find us out in an untrue story."

"Be not uneasy, senora," said Leonela; "between this and to-morrow I
will think of what we must say to him, and perhaps the wound being
where it is it can be hidden from his sight, and Heaven will be
pleased to aid us in a purpose so good and honourable. Compose
yourself, senora, and endeavour to calm your excitement lest my lord
find you agitated; and leave the rest to my care and God's, who always
supports good intentions."

Anselmo had with the deepest attention listened to and seen played
out the tragedy of the death of his honour, which the performers acted
with such wonderfully effective truth that it seemed as if they had
become the realities of the parts they played. He longed for night and
an opportunity of escaping from the house to go and see his good
friend Lothario, and with him give vent to his joy over the precious
pearl he had gained in having established his wife's purity. Both
mistress and maid took care to give him time and opportunity to get
away, and taking advantage of it he made his escape, and at once
went in quest of Lothario, and it would be impossible to describe
how he embraced him when he found him, and the things he said to him
in the joy of his heart, and the praises he bestowed upon Camilla; all
which Lothario listened to without being able to show any pleasure,
for he could not forget how deceived his friend was, and how
dishonourably he had wronged him; and though Anselmo could see that
Lothario was not glad, still he imagined it was only because he had
left Camilla wounded and had been himself the cause of it; and so
among other things he told him not to be distressed about Camilla's
accident, for, as they had agreed to hide it from him, the wound was
evidently trifling; and that being so, he had no cause for fear, but
should henceforward be of good cheer and rejoice with him, seeing that
by his means and adroitness he found himself raised to the greatest
height of happiness that he could have ventured to hope for, and
desired no better pastime than making verses in praise of Camilla that
would preserve her name for all time to come. Lothario commended his
purpose, and promised on his own part to aid him in raising a monument
so glorious.

And so Anselmo was left the most charmingly hoodwinked man there
could be in the world. He himself, persuaded he was conducting the
instrument of his glory, led home by the hand him who had been the
utter destruction of his good name; whom Camilla received with averted
countenance, though with smiles in her heart. The deception was
carried on for some time, until at the end of a few months Fortune
turned her wheel and the guilt which had been until then so
skilfully concealed was published abroad, and Anselmo paid with his
life the penalty of his ill-advised curiosity.



There remained but little more of the novel to be read, when
Sancho Panza burst forth in wild excitement from the garret where
Don Quixote was lying, shouting, "Run, sirs! quick; and help my
master, who is in the thick of the toughest and stiffest battle I ever
laid eyes on. By the living God he has given the giant, the enemy of
my lady the Princess Micomicona, such a slash that he has sliced his
head clean off as if it were a turnip."

"What are you talking about, brother?" said the curate, pausing as
he was about to read the remainder of the novel. "Are you in your
senses, Sancho? How the devil can it be as you say, when the giant
is two thousand leagues away?"

Here they heard a loud noise in the chamber, and Don Quixote
shouting out, "Stand, thief, brigand, villain; now I have got thee,
and thy scimitar shall not avail thee!" And then it seemed as though
he were slashing vigorously at the wall.

"Don't stop to listen," said Sancho, "but go in and part them or
help my master: though there is no need of that now, for no doubt
the giant is dead by this time and giving account to God of his past
wicked life; for I saw the blood flowing on the ground, and the head
cut off and fallen on one side, and it is as big as a large

"May I die," said the landlord at this, "if Don Quixote or Don Devil
has not been slashing some of the skins of red wine that stand full at
his bed's head, and the spilt wine must be what this good fellow takes
for blood;" and so saying he went into the room and the rest after
him, and there they found Don Quixote in the strangest costume in
the world. He was in his shirt, which was not long enough in front
to cover his thighs completely and was six fingers shorter behind; his
legs were very long and lean, covered with hair, and anything but
clean; on his head he had a little greasy red cap that belonged to the
host, round his left arm he had rolled the blanket of the bed, to
which Sancho, for reasons best known to himself, owed a grudge, and in
his right hand he held his unsheathed sword, with which he was
slashing about on all sides, uttering exclamations as if he were
actually fighting some giant: and the best of it was his eyes were not
open, for he was fast asleep, and dreaming that he was doing battle
with the giant. For his imagination was so wrought upon by the
adventure he was going to accomplish, that it made him dream he had
already reached the kingdom of Micomicon, and was engaged in combat
with his enemy; and believing he was laying on the giant, he had given
so many sword cuts to the skins that the whole room was full of
wine. On seeing this the landlord was so enraged that he fell on Don
Quixote, and with his clenched fist began to pummel him in such a way,
that if Cardenio and the curate had not dragged him off, he would have
brought the war of the giant to an end. But in spite of all the poor
gentleman never woke until the barber brought a great pot of cold
water from the well and flung it with one dash all over his body, on
which Don Quixote woke up, but not so completely as to understand what
was the matter. Dorothea, seeing how short and slight his attire
was, would not go in to witness the battle between her champion and
her opponent. As for Sancho, he went searching all over the floor
for the head of the giant, and not finding it he said, "I see now that
it's all enchantment in this house; for the last time, on this very
spot where I am now, I got ever so many thumps without knowing who
gave them to me, or being able to see anybody; and now this head is
not to be seen anywhere about, though I saw it cut off with my own
eyes and the blood running from the body as if from a fountain."

"What blood and fountains are you talking about, enemy of God and
his saints?" said the landlord. "Don't you see, you thief, that the
blood and the fountain are only these skins here that have been
stabbed and the red wine swimming all over the room?- and I wish I saw
the soul of him that stabbed them swimming in hell."

"I know nothing about that," said Sancho; "all I know is it will
be my bad luck that through not finding this head my county will
melt away like salt in water;"- for Sancho awake was worse than his
master asleep, so much had his master's promises addled his wits.

The landlord was beside himself at the coolness of the squire and
the mischievous doings of the master, and swore it should not be
like the last time when they went without paying; and that their
privileges of chivalry should not hold good this time to let one or
other of them off without paying, even to the cost of the plugs that
would have to be put to the damaged wine-skins. The curate was holding
Don Quixote's hands, who, fancying he had now ended the adventure
and was in the presence of the Princess Micomicona, knelt before the
curate and said, "Exalted and beauteous lady, your highness may live
from this day forth fearless of any harm this base being could do you;
and I too from this day forth am released from the promise I gave you,
since by the help of God on high and by the favour of her by whom I
live and breathe, I have fulfilled it so successfully."

"Did not I say so?" said Sancho on hearing this. "You see I wasn't
drunk; there you see my master has already salted the giant; there's
no doubt about the bulls; my county is all right!"

Who could have helped laughing at the absurdities of the pair,
master and man? And laugh they did, all except the landlord, who
cursed himself; but at length the barber, Cardenio, and the curate
contrived with no small trouble to get Don Quixote on the bed, and
he fell asleep with every appearance of excessive weariness. They left
him to sleep, and came out to the gate of the inn to console Sancho
Panza on not having found the head of the giant; but much more work
had they to appease the landlord, who was furious at the sudden
death of his wine-skins; and said the landlady half scolding, half
crying, "At an evil moment and in an unlucky hour he came into my
house, this knight-errant- would that I had never set eyes on him, for
dear he has cost me; the last time he went off with the overnight
score against him for supper, bed, straw, and barley, for himself
and his squire and a hack and an ass, saying he was a knight
adventurer- God send unlucky adventures to him and all the adventurers
in the world- and therefore not bound to pay anything, for it was so
settled by the knight-errantry tariff: and then, all because of him,
came the other gentleman and carried off my tail, and gives it back
more than two cuartillos the worse, all stripped of its hair, so
that it is no use for my husband's purpose; and then, for a
finishing touch to all, to burst my wine-skins and spill my wine! I
wish I saw his own blood spilt! But let him not deceive himself,
for, by the bones of my father and the shade of my mother, they
shall pay me down every quarts; or my name is not what it is, and I am
not my father's daughter." All this and more to the same effect the
landlady delivered with great irritation, and her good maid Maritornes
backed her up, while the daughter held her peace and smiled from
time to time. The curate smoothed matters by promising to make good
all losses to the best of his power, not only as regarded the
wine-skins but also the wine, and above all the depreciation of the
tail which they set such store by. Dorothea comforted Sancho,
telling him that she pledged herself, as soon as it should appear
certain that his master had decapitated the giant, and she found
herself peacefully established in her kingdom, to bestow upon him
the best county there was in it. With this Sancho consoled himself,
and assured the princess she might rely upon it that he had seen the
head of the giant, and more by token it had a beard that reached to
the girdle, and that if it was not to be seen now it was because
everything that happened in that house went by enchantment, as he
himself had proved the last time he had lodged there. Dorothea said
she fully believed it, and that he need not be uneasy, for all would
go well and turn out as he wished. All therefore being appeased, the
curate was anxious to go on with the novel, as he saw there was but
little more left to read. Dorothea and the others begged him to finish
it, and he, as he was willing to please them, and enjoyed reading it
himself, continued the tale in these words:

The result was, that from the confidence Anselmo felt in Camilla's
virtue, he lived happy and free from anxiety, and Camilla purposely
looked coldly on Lothario, that Anselmo might suppose her feelings
towards him to be the opposite of what they were; and the better to
support the position, Lothario begged to be excused from coming to the
house, as the displeasure with which Camilla regarded his presence was
plain to be seen. But the befooled Anselmo said he would on no account
allow such a thing, and so in a thousand ways he became the author
of his own dishonour, while he believed he was insuring his happiness.
Meanwhile the satisfaction with which Leonela saw herself empowered to
carry on her amour reached such a height that, regardless of
everything else, she followed her inclinations unrestrainedly, feeling
confident that her mistress would screen her, and even show her how to
manage it safely. At last one night Anselmo heard footsteps in
Leonela's room, and on trying to enter to see who it was, he found
that the door was held against him, which made him all the more
determined to open it; and exerting his strength he forced it open,
and entered the room in time to see a man leaping through the window
into the street. He ran quickly to seize him or discover who he was,
but he was unable to effect either purpose, for Leonela flung her arms
round him crying, "Be calm, senor; do not give way to passion or
follow him who has escaped from this; he belongs to me, and in fact he
is my husband."

Anselmo would not believe it, but blind with rage drew a dagger
and threatened to stab Leonela, bidding her tell the truth or he would
kill her. She, in her fear, not knowing what she was saying,
exclaimed, "Do not kill me, senor, for I can tell you things more
important than any you can imagine."

"Tell me then at once or thou diest," said Anselmo.

"It would be impossible for me now," said Leonela, "I am so
agitated: leave me till to-morrow, and then you shall hear from me
what will fill you with astonishment; but rest assured that he who
leaped through the window is a young man of this city, who has given
me his promise to become my husband."

Anselmo was appeased with this, and was content to wait the time she
asked of him, for he never expected to hear anything against
Camilla, so satisfied and sure of her virtue was he; and so he quitted
the room, and left Leonela locked in, telling her she should not
come out until she had told him all she had to make known to him. He
went at once to see Camilla, and tell her, as he did, all that had
passed between him and her handmaid, and the promise she had given him
to inform him matters of serious importance.

There is no need of saying whether Camilla was agitated or not,
for so great was her fear and dismay, that, making sure, as she had
good reason to do, that Leonela would tell Anselmo all she knew of her
faithlessness, she had not the courage to wait and see if her
suspicions were confirmed; and that same night, as soon as she thought
that Anselmo was asleep, she packed up the most valuable jewels she
had and some money, and without being observed by anybody escaped from
the house and betook herself to Lothario's, to whom she related what
had occurred, imploring him to convey her to some place of safety or
fly with her where they might be safe from Anselmo. The state of
perplexity to which Camilla reduced Lothario was such that he was
unable to utter a word in reply, still less to decide upon what he
should do. At length he resolved to conduct her to a convent of
which a sister of his was prioress; Camilla agreed to this, and with
the speed which the circumstances demanded, Lothario took her to the
convent and left her there, and then himself quitted the city
without letting anyone know of his departure.

As soon as daylight came Anselmo, without missing Camilla from his
side, rose cager to learn what Leonela had to tell him, and hastened
to the room where he had locked her in. He opened the door, entered,
but found no Leonela; all he found was some sheets knotted to the
window, a plain proof that she had let herself down from it and
escaped. He returned, uneasy, to tell Camilla, but not finding her
in bed or anywhere in the house he was lost in amazement. He asked the
servants of the house about her, but none of them could give him any
explanation. As he was going in search of Camilla it happened by
chance that he observed her boxes were lying open, and that the
greater part of her jewels were gone; and now he became fully aware of
his disgrace, and that Leonela was not the cause of his misfortune;
and, just as he was, without delaying to dress himself completely,
he repaired, sad at heart and dejected, to his friend Lothario to make
known his sorrow to him; but when he failed to find him and the
servants reported that he had been absent from his house all night and
had taken with him all the money he had, he felt as though he were
losing his senses; and to make all complete on returning to his own
house he found it deserted and empty, not one of all his servants,
male or female, remaining in it. He knew not what to think, or say, or
do, and his reason seemed to be deserting him little by little. He
reviewed his position, and saw himself in a moment left without
wife, friend, or servants, abandoned, he felt, by the heaven above
him, and more than all robbed of his honour, for in Camilla's
disappearance he saw his own ruin. After long reflection he resolved
at last to go to his friend's village, where he had been staying
when he afforded opportunities for the contrivance of this
complication of misfortune. He locked the doors of his house,
mounted his horse, and with a broken spirit set out on his journey;
but he had hardly gone half-way when, harassed by his reflections,
he had to dismount and tie his horse to a tree, at the foot of which
he threw himself, giving vent to piteous heartrending sighs; and there
he remained till nearly nightfall, when he observed a man
approaching on horseback from the city, of whom, after saluting him,
he asked what was the news in Florence.

The citizen replied, "The strangest that have been heard for many
a day; for it is reported abroad that Lothario, the great friend of
the wealthy Anselmo, who lived at San Giovanni, carried off last night
Camilla, the wife of Anselmo, who also has disappeared. All this has
been told by a maid-servant of Camilla's, whom the governor found last
night lowering herself by a sheet from the windows of Anselmo's house.
I know not indeed, precisely, how the affair came to pass; all I
know is that the whole city is wondering at the occurrence, for no one
could have expected a thing of the kind, seeing the great and intimate
friendship that existed between them, so great, they say, that they
were called 'The Two Friends.'"

"Is it known at all," said Anselmo, "what road Lothario and
Camilla took?"

"Not in the least," said the citizen, "though the governor has
been very active in searching for them."

"God speed you, senor," said Anselmo.

"God be with you," said the citizen and went his way.

This disastrous intelligence almost robbed Anselmo not only of his
senses but of his life. He got up as well as he was able and reached
the house of his friend, who as yet knew nothing of his misfortune,
but seeing him come pale, worn, and haggard, perceived that he was
suffering some heavy affliction. Anselmo at once begged to be
allowed to retire to rest, and to be given writing materials. His wish
was complied with and he was left lying down and alone, for he desired
this, and even that the door should be locked. Finding himself alone
he so took to heart the thought of his misfortune that by the signs of
death he felt within him he knew well his life was drawing to a close,
and therefore he resolved to leave behind him a declaration of the
cause of his strange end. He began to write, but before he had put
down all he meant to say, his breath failed him and he yielded up
his life, a victim to the suffering which his ill-advised curiosity
had entailed upon him. The master of the house observing that it was
now late and that Anselmo did not call, determined to go in and
ascertain if his indisposition was increasing, and found him lying
on his face, his body partly in the bed, partly on the
writing-table, on which he lay with the written paper open and the pen
still in his hand. Having first called to him without receiving any
answer, his host approached him, and taking him by the hand, found
that it was cold, and saw that he was dead. Greatly surprised and
distressed he summoned the household to witness the sad fate which had
befallen Anselmo; and then he read the paper, the handwriting of which
he recognised as his, and which contained these words:

"A foolish and ill-advised desire has robbed me of life. If the news
of my death should reach the ears of Camilla, let her know that I
forgive her, for she was not bound to perform miracles, nor ought I to
have required her to perform them; and since I have been the author of
my own dishonour, there is no reason why-"

So far Anselmo had written, and thus it was plain that at this
point, before he could finish what he had to say, his life came to
an end. The next day his friend sent intelligence of his death to
his relatives, who had already ascertained his misfortune, as well
as the convent where Camilla lay almost on the point of accompanying
her husband on that inevitable journey, not on account of the
tidings of his death, but because of those she received of her lover's
departure. Although she saw herself a widow, it is said she refused
either to quit the convent or take the veil, until, not long
afterwards, intelligence reached her that Lothario had been killed
in a battle in which M. de Lautrec had been recently engaged with
the Great Captain Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordova in the kingdom of
Naples, whither her too late repentant lover had repaired. On learning
this Camilla took the veil, and shortly afterwards died, worn out by
grief and melancholy. This was the end of all three, an end that
came of a thoughtless beginning.

"I like this novel," said the curate; "but I cannot persuade
myself of its truth; and if it has been invented, the author's
invention is faulty, for it is impossible to imagine any husband so
foolish as to try such a costly experiment as Anselmo's. If it had
been represented as occurring between a gallant and his mistress it
might pass; but between husband and wife there is something of an
impossibility about it. As to the way in which the story is told,
however, I have no fault to find."



Just at that instant the landlord, who was standing at the gate of
the inn, exclaimed, "Here comes a fine troop of guests; if they stop
here we may say gaudeamus."

"What are they?" said Cardenio.

"Four men," said the landlord, "riding a la jineta, with lances
and bucklers, and all with black veils, and with them there is a woman
in white on a side-saddle, whose face is also veiled, and two
attendants on foot."

"Are they very near?" said the curate.

"So near," answered the landlord, "that here they come."

Hearing this Dorothea covered her face, and Cardenio retreated
into Don Quixote's room, and they hardly had time to do so before
the whole party the host had described entered the inn, and the four
that were on horseback, who were of highbred appearance and bearing,
dismounted, and came forward to take down the woman who rode on the
side-saddle, and one of them taking her in his arms placed her in a
chair that stood at the entrance of the room where Cardenio had hidden
himself. All this time neither she nor they had removed their veils or
spoken a word, only on sitting down on the chair the woman gave a deep
sigh and let her arms fall like one that was ill and weak. The
attendants on foot then led the horses away to the stable. Observing
this the curate, curious to know who these people in such a dress
and preserving such silence were, went to where the servants were
standing and put the question to one of them, who answered him.

"Faith, sir, I cannot tell you who they are, I only know they seem
to be people of distinction, particularly he who advanced to take
the lady you saw in his arms; and I say so because all the rest show
him respect, and nothing is done except what he directs and orders."

"And the lady, who is she?" asked the curate.

"That I cannot tell you either," said the servant, "for I have not
seen her face all the way: I have indeed heard her sigh many times and
utter such groans that she seems to be giving up the ghost every time;
but it is no wonder if we do not know more than we have told you, as
my comrade and I have only been in their company two days, for
having met us on the road they begged and persuaded us to accompany
them to Andalusia, promising to pay us well."

"And have you heard any of them called by his name?" asked the

"No, indeed," replied the servant; "they all preserve a marvellous
silence on the road, for not a sound is to be heard among them
except the poor lady's sighs and sobs, which make us pity her; and
we feel sure that wherever it is she is going, it is against her will,
and as far as one can judge from her dress she is a nun or, what is
more likely, about to become one; and perhaps it is because taking the
vows is not of her own free will, that she is so unhappy as she
seems to be."

"That may well be," said the curate, and leaving them he returned to
where Dorothea was, who, hearing the veiled lady sigh, moved by
natural compassion drew near to her and said, "What are you
suffering from, senora? If it be anything that women are accustomed
and know how to relieve, I offer you my services with all my heart."

To this the unhappy lady made no reply; and though Dorothea repeated
her offers more earnestly she still kept silence, until the
gentleman with the veil, who, the servant said, was obeyed by the
rest, approached and said to Dorothea, "Do not give yourself the
trouble, senora, of making any offers to that woman, for it is her way
to give no thanks for anything that is done for her; and do not try to
make her answer unless you want to hear some lie from her lips."

"I have never told a lie," was the immediate reply of her who had
been silent until now; "on the contrary, it is because I am so
truthful and so ignorant of lying devices that I am now in this
miserable condition; and this I call you yourself to witness, for it
is my unstained truth that has made you false and a liar."

Cardenio heard these words clearly and distinctly, being quite close
to the speaker, for there was only the door of Don Quixote's room
between them, and the instant he did so, uttering a loud exclamation
he cried, "Good God! what is this I hear? What voice is this that
has reached my ears?" Startled at the voice the lady turned her
head; and not seeing the speaker she stood up and attempted to enter
the room; observing which the gentleman held her back, preventing
her from moving a step. In her agitation and sudden movement the
silk with which she had covered her face fell off and disclosed a
countenance of incomparable and marvellous beauty, but pale and
terrified; for she kept turning her eyes, everywhere she could
direct her gaze, with an eagerness that made her look as if she had
lost her senses, and so marked that it excited the pity of Dorothea
and all who beheld her, though they knew not what caused it. The
gentleman grasped her firmly by the shoulders, and being so fully
occupied with holding her back, he was unable to put a hand to his
veil which was falling off, as it did at length entirely, and
Dorothea, who was holding the lady in her arms, raising her eyes saw
that he who likewise held her was her husband, Don Fernando. The
instant she recognised him, with a prolonged plaintive cry drawn
from the depths of her heart, she fell backwards fainting, and but for
the barber being close by to catch her in his arms, she would have
fallen completely to the ground. The curate at once hastened to
uncover her face and throw water on it, and as he did so Don Fernando,
for he it was who held the other in his arms, recognised her and stood
as if death-stricken by the sight; not, however, relaxing his grasp of
Luscinda, for it was she that was struggling to release herself from
his hold, having recognised Cardenio by his voice, as he had
recognised her. Cardenio also heard Dorothea's cry as she fell
fainting, and imagining that it came from his Luscinda burst forth
in terror from the room, and the first thing he saw was Don Fernando
with Luscinda in his arms. Don Fernando, too, knew Cardenio at once;
and all three, Luscinda, Cardenio, and Dorothea, stood in silent
amazement scarcely knowing what had happened to them.

They gazed at one another without speaking, Dorothea at Don
Fernando, Don Fernando at Cardenio, Cardenio at Luscinda, and Luscinda
at Cardenio. The first to break silence was Luscinda, who thus
addressed Don Fernando: "Leave me, Senor Don Fernando, for the sake of
what you owe to yourself; if no other reason will induce you, leave me
to cling to the wall of which I am the ivy, to the support from
which neither your importunities, nor your threats, nor your promises,
nor your gifts have been able to detach me. See how Heaven, by ways
strange and hidden from our sight, has brought me face to face with my
true husband; and well you know by dear-bought experience that death
alone will be able to efface him from my memory. May this plain
declaration, then, lead you, as you can do nothing else, to turn
your love into rage, your affection into resentment, and so to take my
life; for if I yield it up in the presence of my beloved husband I
count it well bestowed; it may be by my death he will be convinced
that I kept my faith to him to the last moment of life."

Meanwhile Dorothea had come to herself, and had heard Luscinda's
words, by means of which she divined who she was; but seeing that
Don Fernando did not yet release her or reply to her, summoning up her
resolution as well as she could she rose and knelt at his feet, and
with a flood of bright and touching tears addressed him thus:

"If, my lord, the beams of that sun that thou holdest eclipsed in
thine arms did not dazzle and rob thine eyes of sight thou wouldst
have seen by this time that she who kneels at thy feet is, so long
as thou wilt have it so, the unhappy and unfortunate Dorothea. I am
that lowly peasant girl whom thou in thy goodness or for thy
pleasure wouldst raise high enough to call herself thine; I am she who
in the seclusion of innocence led a contented life until at the
voice of thy importunity, and thy true and tender passion, as it
seemed, she opened the gates of her modesty and surrendered to thee
the keys of her liberty; a gift received by thee but thanklessly, as
is clearly shown by my forced retreat to the place where thou dost
find me, and by thy appearance under the circumstances in which I
see thee. Nevertheless, I would not have thee suppose that I have come
here driven by my shame; it is only grief and sorrow at seeing
myself forgotten by thee that have led me. It was thy will to make
me thine, and thou didst so follow thy will, that now, even though
thou repentest, thou canst not help being mine. Bethink thee, my lord,
the unsurpassable affection I bear thee may compensate for the
beauty and noble birth for which thou wouldst desert me. Thou canst
not be the fair Luscinda's because thou art mine, nor can she be thine
because she is Cardenio's; and it will be easier, remember, to bend
thy will to love one who adores thee, than to lead one to love thee
who abhors thee now. Thou didst address thyself to my simplicity, thou
didst lay siege to my virtue, thou wert not ignorant of my station,
well dost thou know how I yielded wholly to thy will; there is no
ground or reason for thee to plead deception, and if it be so, as it
is, and if thou art a Christian as thou art a gentleman, why dost thou
by such subterfuges put off making me as happy at last as thou didst
at first? And if thou wilt not have me for what I am, thy true and
lawful wife, at least take and accept me as thy slave, for so long
as I am thine I will count myself happy and fortunate. Do not by
deserting me let my shame become the talk of the gossips in the
streets; make not the old age of my parents miserable; for the loyal
services they as faithful vassals have ever rendered thine are not
deserving of such a return; and if thou thinkest it will debase thy
blood to mingle it with mine, reflect that there is little or no
nobility in the world that has not travelled the same road, and that
in illustrious lineages it is not the woman's blood that is of
account; and, moreover, that true nobility consists in virtue, and
if thou art wanting in that, refusing me what in justice thou owest
me, then even I have higher claims to nobility than thine. To make
an end, senor, these are my last words to thee: whether thou wilt,
or wilt not, I am thy wife; witness thy words, which must not and
ought not to be false, if thou dost pride thyself on that for want
of which thou scornest me; witness the pledge which thou didst give
me, and witness Heaven, which thou thyself didst call to witness the
promise thou hadst made me; and if all this fail, thy own conscience
will not fail to lift up its silent voice in the midst of all thy
gaiety, and vindicate the truth of what I say and mar thy highest
pleasure and enjoyment."

All this and more the injured Dorothea delivered with such earnest
feeling and such tears that all present, even those who came with
Don Fernando, were constrained to join her in them. Don Fernando
listened to her without replying, until, ceasing to speak, she gave
way to such sobs and sighs that it must have been a heart of brass
that was not softened by the sight of so great sorrow. Luscinda
stood regarding her with no less compassion for her sufferings than
admiration for her intelligence and beauty, and would have gone to her
to say some words of comfort to her, but was prevented by Don
Fernando's grasp which held her fast. He, overwhelmed with confusion
and astonishment, after regarding Dorothea for some moments with a
fixed gaze, opened his arms, and, releasing Luscinda, exclaimed:

"Thou hast conquered, fair Dorothea, thou hast conquered, for it
is impossible to have the heart to deny the united force of so many

Luscinda in her feebleness was on the point of falling to the ground
when Don Fernando released her, but Cardenio, who stood near, having
retreated behind Don Fernando to escape recognition, casting fear
aside and regardless of what might happen, ran forward to support her,
and said as he clasped her in his arms, "If Heaven in its compassion
is willing to let thee rest at last, mistress of my heart, true,
constant, and fair, nowhere canst thou rest more safely than in
these arms that now receive thee, and received thee before when
fortune permitted me to call thee mine."

At these words Luscinda looked up at Cardenio, at first beginning to
recognise him by his voice and then satisfying herself by her eyes
that it was he, and hardly knowing what she did, and heedless of all
considerations of decorum, she flung her arms around his neck and
pressing her face close to his, said, "Yes, my dear lord, you are
the true master of this your slave, even though adverse fate interpose
again, and fresh dangers threaten this life that hangs on yours."

A strange sight was this for Don Fernando and those that stood
around, filled with surprise at an incident so unlooked for.
Dorothea fancied that Don Fernando changed colour and looked as though
he meant to take vengeance on Cardenio, for she observed him put his
hand to his sword; and the instant the idea struck her, with wonderful
quickness she clasped him round the knees, and kissing them and
holding him so as to prevent his moving, she said, while her tears
continued to flow, "What is it thou wouldst do, my only refuge, in
this unforeseen event? Thou hast thy wife at thy feet, and she whom
thou wouldst have for thy wife is in the arms of her husband:
reflect whether it will be right for thee, whether it will be possible
for thee to undo what Heaven has done, or whether it will be
becoming in thee to seek to raise her to be thy mate who in spite of
every obstacle, and strong in her truth and constancy, is before thine
eyes, bathing with the tears of love the face and bosom of her
lawful husband. For God's sake I entreat of thee, for thine own I
implore thee, let not this open manifestation rouse thy anger; but
rather so calm it as to allow these two lovers to live in peace and
quiet without any interference from thee so long as Heaven permits
them; and in so doing thou wilt prove the generosity of thy lofty
noble spirit, and the world shall see that with thee reason has more
influence than passion."

All the time Dorothea was speaking, Cardenio, though he held
Luscinda in his arms, never took his eyes off Don Fernando,
determined, if he saw him make any hostile movement, to try and defend
himself and resist as best he could all who might assail him, though
it should cost him his life. But now Don Fernando's friends, as well
as the curate and the barber, who had been present all the while,
not forgetting the worthy Sancho Panza, ran forward and gathered round
Don Fernando, entreating him to have regard for the tears of Dorothea,
and not suffer her reasonable hopes to be disappointed, since, as they
firmly believed, what she said was but the truth; and bidding him
observe that it was not, as it might seem, by accident, but by a
special disposition of Providence that they had all met in a place
where no one could have expected a meeting. And the curate bade him
remember that only death could part Luscinda from Cardenio; that
even if some sword were to separate them they would think their
death most happy; and that in a case that admitted of no remedy his
wisest course was, by conquering and putting a constraint upon
himself, to show a generous mind, and of his own accord suffer these
two to enjoy the happiness Heaven had granted them. He bade him,
too, turn his eyes upon the beauty of Dorothea and he would see that
few if any could equal much less excel her; while to that beauty
should be added her modesty and the surpassing love she bore him.
But besides all this, he reminded him that if he prided himself on
being a gentleman and a Christian, he could not do otherwise than keep
his plighted word; and that in doing so he would obey God and meet the
approval of all sensible people, who know and recognised it to be
the privilege of beauty, even in one of humble birth, provided
virtue accompany it, to be able to raise itself to the level of any
rank, without any slur upon him who places it upon an equality with
himself; and furthermore that when the potent sway of passion
asserts itself, so long as there be no mixture of sin in it, he is not
to be blamed who gives way to it.

To be brief, they added to these such other forcible arguments
that Don Fernando's manly heart, being after all nourished by noble
blood, was touched, and yielded to the truth which, even had he wished
it, he could not gainsay; and he showed his submission, and acceptance
of the good advice that had been offered to him, by stooping down
and embracing Dorothea, saying to her, "Rise, dear lady, it is not
right that what I hold in my heart should be kneeling at my feet;
and if until now I have shown no sign of what I own, it may have
been by Heaven's decree in order that, seeing the constancy with which
you love me, I may learn to value you as you deserve. What I entreat
of you is that you reproach me not with my transgression and
grievous wrong-doing; for the same cause and force that drove me to
make you mine impelled me to struggle against being yours; and to
prove this, turn and look at the eyes of the now happy Luscinda, and
you will see in them an excuse for all my errors: and as she has found
and gained the object of her desires, and I have found in you what
satisfies all my wishes, may she live in peace and contentment as many
happy years with her Cardenio, as on my knees I pray Heaven to allow
me to live with my Dorothea;" and with these words he once more
embraced her and pressed his face to hers with so much tenderness that
he had to take great heed to keep his tears from completing the
proof of his love and repentance in the sight of all. Not so Luscinda,
and Cardenio, and almost all the others, for they shed so many
tears, some in their own happiness, some at that of the others, that
one would have supposed a heavy calamity had fallen upon them all.
Even Sancho Panza was weeping; though afterwards he said he only
wept because he saw that Dorothea was not as he fancied the queen
Micomicona, of whom he expected such great favours. Their wonder as
well as their weeping lasted some time, and then Cardenio and Luscinda
went and fell on their knees before Don Fernando, returning him thanks
for the favour he had rendered them in language so grateful that he
knew not how to answer them, and raising them up embraced them with
every mark of affection and courtesy.

He then asked Dorothea how she had managed to reach a place so far
removed from her own home, and she in a few fitting words told all
that she had previously related to Cardenio, with which Don Fernando
and his companions were so delighted that they wished the story had
been longer; so charmingly did Dorothea describe her misadventures.
When she had finished Don Fernando recounted what had befallen him
in the city after he had found in Luscinda's bosom the paper in
which she declared that she was Cardenio's wife, and never could be
his. He said he meant to kill her, and would have done so had he not
been prevented by her parents, and that he quitted the house full of
rage and shame, and resolved to avenge himself when a more
convenient opportunity should offer. The next day he learned that
Luscinda had disappeared from her father's house, and that no one
could tell whither she had gone. Finally, at the end of some months he
ascertained that she was in a convent and meant to remain there all
the rest of her life, if she were not to share it with Cardenio; and
as soon as he had learned this, taking these three gentlemen as his
companions, he arrived at the place where she was, but avoided
speaking to her, fearing that if it were known he was there stricter
precautions would be taken in the convent; and watching a time when
the porter's lodge was open he left two to guard the gate, and he
and the other entered the convent in quest of Luscinda, whom they
found in the cloisters in conversation with one of the nuns, and
carrying her off without giving her time to resist, they reached a
place with her where they provided themselves with what they
required for taking her away; all which they were able to do in
complete safety, as the convent was in the country at a considerable
distance from the city. He added that when Luscinda found herself in
his power she lost all consciousness, and after returning to herself
did nothing but weep and sigh without speaking a word; and thus in
silence and tears they reached that inn, which for him was reaching
heaven where all the mischances of earth are over and at an end.



To all this Sancho listened with no little sorrow at heart to see
how his hopes of dignity were fading away and vanishing in smoke,
and how the fair Princess Micomicona had turned into Dorothea, and the
giant into Don Fernando, while his master was sleeping tranquilly,
totally unconscious of all that had come to pass. Dorothea was
unable to persuade herself that her present happiness was not all a
dream; Cardenio was in a similar state of mind, and Luscinda's
thoughts ran in the same direction. Don Fernando gave thanks to Heaven
for the favour shown to him and for having been rescued from the
intricate labyrinth in which he had been brought so near the
destruction of his good name and of his soul; and in short everybody
in the inn was full of contentment and satisfaction at the happy issue
of such a complicated and hopeless business. The curate as a
sensible man made sound reflections upon the whole affair, and
congratulated each upon his good fortune; but the one that was in
the highest spirits and good humour was the landlady, because of the
promise Cardenio and the curate had given her to pay for all the
losses and damage she had sustained through Don Quixote's means.
Sancho, as has been already said, was the only one who was distressed,
unhappy, and dejected; and so with a long face he went in to his
master, who had just awoke, and said to him:

"Sir Rueful Countenance, your worship may as well sleep on as much
as you like, without troubling yourself about killing any giant or
restoring her kingdom to the princess; for that is all over and
settled now."

"I should think it was," replied Don Quixote, "for I have had the
most prodigious and stupendous battle with the giant that I ever
remember having had all the days of my life; and with one back-stroke-
swish!- I brought his head tumbling to the ground, and so much blood
gushed forth from him that it ran in rivulets over the earth like

"Like red wine, your worship had better say," replied Sancho;
"for I would have you know, if you don't know it, that the dead
giant is a hacked wine-skin, and the blood four-and-twenty gallons
of red wine that it had in its belly, and the cut-off head is the
bitch that bore me; and the devil take it all."

"What art thou talking about, fool?" said Don Quixote; "art thou
in thy senses?"

"Let your worship get up," said Sancho, "and you will see the nice
business you have made of it, and what we have to pay; and you will
see the queen turned into a private lady called Dorothea, and other
things that will astonish you, if you understand them."

"I shall not be surprised at anything of the kind," returned Don
Quixote; "for if thou dost remember the last time we were here I
told thee that everything that happened here was a matter of
enchantment, and it would be no wonder if it were the same now."

"I could believe all that," replied Sancho, "if my blanketing was
the same sort of thing also; only it wasn't, but real and genuine; for
I saw the landlord, Who is here to-day, holding one end of the blanket
and jerking me up to the skies very neatly and smartly, and with as
much laughter as strength; and when it comes to be a case of knowing
people, I hold for my part, simple and sinner as I am, that there is
no enchantment about it at all, but a great deal of bruising and bad

"Well, well, God will give a remedy," said Don Quixote; "hand me
my clothes and let me go out, for I want to see these
transformations and things thou speakest of."

Sancho fetched him his clothes; and while he was dressing, the
curate gave Don Fernando and the others present an account of Don
Quixote's madness and of the stratagem they had made use of to
withdraw him from that Pena Pobre where he fancied himself stationed
because of his lady's scorn. He described to them also nearly all
the adventures that Sancho had mentioned, at which they marvelled
and laughed not a little, thinking it, as all did, the strangest
form of madness a crazy intellect could be capable of. But now, the
curate said, that the lady Dorothea's good fortune prevented her
from proceeding with their purpose, it would be necessary to devise or
discover some other way of getting him home.

Cardenio proposed to carry out the scheme they had begun, and
suggested that Luscinda would act and support Dorothea's part
sufficiently well.

"No," said Don Fernando, "that must not be, for I want Dorothea to
follow out this idea of hers; and if the worthy gentleman's village is
not very far off, I shall be happy if I can do anything for his

"It is not more than two days' journey from this," said the curate.

"Even if it were more," said Don Fernando, "I would gladly travel so
far for the sake of doing so good a work.

"At this moment Don Quixote came out in full panoply, with
Mambrino's helmet, all dinted as it was, on his head, his buckler on
his arm, and leaning on his staff or pike. The strange figure he
presented filled Don Fernando and the rest with amazement as they
contemplated his lean yellow face half a league long, his armour of
all sorts, and the solemnity of his deportment. They stood silent
waiting to see what he would say, and he, fixing his eyes on the air
Dorothea, addressed her with great gravity and composure:

"I am informed, fair lady, by my squire here that your greatness has
been annihilated and your being abolished, since, from a queen and
lady of high degree as you used to be, you have been turned into a
private maiden. If this has been done by the command of the magician
king your father, through fear that I should not afford you the aid
you need and are entitled to, I may tell you he did not know and
does not know half the mass, and was little versed in the annals of
chivalry; for, if he had read and gone through them as attentively and
deliberately as I have, he would have found at every turn that knights
of less renown than mine have accomplished things more difficult: it
is no great matter to kill a whelp of a giant, however arrogant he may
be; for it is not many hours since I myself was engaged with one, and-
I will not speak of it, that they may not say I am lying; time,
however, that reveals all, will tell the tale when we least expect

"You were engaged with a couple of wine-skins, and not a giant,"
said the landlord at this; but Don Fernando told him to hold his
tongue and on no account interrupt Don Quixote, who continued, "I
say in conclusion, high and disinherited lady, that if your father has
brought about this metamorphosis in your person for the reason I
have mentioned, you ought not to attach any importance to it; for
there is no peril on earth through which my sword will not force a
way, and with it, before many days are over, I will bring your enemy's
head to the ground and place on yours the crown of your kingdom."

Don Quixote said no more, and waited for the reply of the
princess, who aware of Don Fernando's determination to carry on the
deception until Don Quixote had been conveyed to his home, with
great ease of manner and gravity made answer, "Whoever told you,
valiant Knight of the Rueful Countenance, that I had undergone any
change or transformation did not tell you the truth, for I am the same
as I was yesterday. It is true that certain strokes of good fortune,
that have given me more than I could have hoped for, have made some
alteration in me; but I have not therefore ceased to be what I was
before, or to entertain the same desire I have had all through of
availing myself of the might of your valiant and invincible arm. And
so, senor, let your goodness reinstate the father that begot me in
your good opinion, and be assured that he was a wise and prudent
man, since by his craft he found out such a sure and easy way of
remedying my misfortune; for I believe, senor, that had it not been
for you I should never have lit upon the good fortune I now possess;
and in this I am saying what is perfectly true; as most of these
gentlemen who are present can fully testify. All that remains is to
set out on our journey to-morrow, for to-day we could not make much
way; and for the rest of the happy result I am looking forward to, I
trust to God and the valour of your heart."

So said the sprightly Dorothea, and on hearing her Don Quixote
turned to Sancho, and said to him, with an angry air, "I declare
now, little Sancho, thou art the greatest little villain in Spain.
Say, thief and vagabond, hast thou not just now told me that this
princess had been turned into a maiden called Dorothea, and that the
head which I am persuaded I cut off from a giant was the bitch that
bore thee, and other nonsense that put me in the greatest perplexity I
have ever been in all my life? I vow" (and here he looked to heaven
and ground his teeth) "I have a mind to play the mischief with thee,
in a way that will teach sense for the future to all lying squires
of knights-errant in the world."

"Let your worship be calm, senor," returned Sancho, "for it may well
be that I have been mistaken as to the change of the lady princess
Micomicona; but as to the giant's head, or at least as to the piercing
of the wine-skins, and the blood being red wine, I make no mistake, as
sure as there is a God; because the wounded skins are there at the
head of your worship's bed, and the wine has made a lake of the
room; if not you will see when the eggs come to be fried; I mean
when his worship the landlord calls for all the damages: for the rest,
I am heartily glad that her ladyship the queen is as she was, for it
concerns me as much as anyone."

"I tell thee again, Sancho, thou art a fool," said Don Quixote;
"forgive me, and that will do."

"That will do," said Don Fernando; "let us say no more about it; and
as her ladyship the princess proposes to set out to-morrow because
it is too late to-day, so be it, and we will pass the night in
pleasant conversation, and to-morrow we will all accompany Senor Don
Quixote; for we wish to witness the valiant and unparalleled
achievements he is about to perform in the course of this mighty
enterprise which he has undertaken."

"It is I who shall wait upon and accompany you," said Don Quixote;
"and I am much gratified by the favour that is bestowed upon me, and
the good opinion entertained of me, which I shall strive to justify or
it shall cost me my life, or even more, if it can possibly cost me

Many were the compliments and expressions of politeness that
passed between Don Quixote and Don Fernando; but they were brought
to an end by a traveller who at this moment entered the inn, and who
seemed from his attire to be a Christian lately come from the
country of the Moors, for he was dressed in a short-skirted coat of
blue cloth with half-sleeves and without a collar; his breeches were
also of blue cloth, and his cap of the same colour, and he wore yellow
buskins and had a Moorish cutlass slung from a baldric across his
breast. Behind him, mounted upon an ass, there came a woman dressed in
Moorish fashion, with her face veiled and a scarf on her head, and
wearing a little brocaded cap, and a mantle that covered her from
her shoulders to her feet. The man was of a robust and
well-proportioned frame, in age a little over forty, rather swarthy in
complexion, with long moustaches and a full beard, and, in short,
his appearance was such that if he had been well dressed he would have
been taken for a person of quality and good birth. On entering he
asked for a room, and when they told him there was none in the inn
he seemed distressed, and approaching her who by her dress seemed to
be a Moor he her down from saddle in his arms. Luscinda, Dorothea, the
landlady, her daughter and Maritornes, attracted by the strange, and
to them entirely new costume, gathered round her; and Dorothea, who
was always kindly, courteous, and quick-witted, perceiving that both
she and the man who had brought her were annoyed at not finding a
room, said to her, "Do not be put out, senora, by the discomfort and
want of luxuries here, for it is the way of road-side inns to be
without them; still, if you will be pleased to share our lodging
with us (pointing to Luscinda) perhaps you will have found worse
accommodation in the course of your journey."

To this the veiled lady made no reply; all she did was to rise
from her seat, crossing her hands upon her bosom, bowing her head
and bending her body as a sign that she returned thanks. From her
silence they concluded that she must be a Moor and unable to speak a
Christian tongue.

At this moment the captive came up, having been until now
otherwise engaged, and seeing that they all stood round his
companion and that she made no reply to what they addressed to her, he
said, "Ladies, this damsel hardly understands my language and can
speak none but that of her own country, for which reason she does
not and cannot answer what has been asked of her."

"Nothing has been asked of her," returned Luscinda; "she has only
been offered our company for this evening and a share of the
quarters we occupy, where she shall be made as comfortable as the
circumstances allow, with the good-will we are bound to show all
strangers that stand in need of it, especially if it be a woman to
whom the service is rendered."

"On her part and my own, senora," replied the captive, "I kiss
your hands, and I esteem highly, as I ought, the favour you have
offered, which, on such an occasion and coming from persons of your
appearance, is, it is plain to see, a very great one."

"Tell me, senor," said Dorothea, "is this lady a Christian or a
Moor? for her dress and her silence lead us to imagine that she is
what we could wish she was not."

"In dress and outwardly," said he, "she is a Moor, but at heart
she is a thoroughly good Christian, for she has the greatest desire to
become one."

"Then she has not been baptised?" returned Luscinda.

"There has been no opportunity for that," replied the captive,
"since she left Algiers, her native country and home; and up to the
present she has not found herself in any such imminent danger of death
as to make it necessary to baptise her before she has been
instructed in all the ceremonies our holy mother Church ordains;
but, please God, ere long she shall be baptised with the solemnity
befitting her which is higher than her dress or mine indicates."

By these words he excited a desire in all who heard him, to know who
the Moorish lady and the captive were, but no one liked to ask just
then, seeing that it was a fitter moment for helping them to rest
themselves than for questioning them about their lives. Dorothea
took the Moorish lady by the hand and leading her to a seat beside
herself, requested her to remove her veil. She looked at the captive
as if to ask him what they meant and what she was to do. He said to
her in Arabic that they asked her to take off her veil, and
thereupon she removed it and disclosed a countenance so lovely, that
to Dorothea she seemed more beautiful than Luscinda, and to Luscinda
more beautiful than Dorothea, and all the bystanders felt that if
any beauty could compare with theirs it was the Moorish lady's, and
there were even those who were inclined to give it somewhat the
preference. And as it is the privilege and charm of beauty to win
the heart and secure good-will, all forthwith became eager to show
kindness and attention to the lovely Moor.

Don Fernando asked the captive what her name was, and he replied
that it was Lela Zoraida; but the instant she heard him, she guessed
what the Christian had asked, and said hastily, with some
displeasure and energy, "No, not Zoraida; Maria, Maria!" giving them
to understand that she was called "Maria" and not "Zoraida." These
words, and the touching earnestness with which she uttered them,
drew more than one tear from some of the listeners, particularly the
women, who are by nature tender-hearted and compassionate. Luscinda
embraced her affectionately, saying, "Yes, yes, Maria, Maria," to
which the Moor replied, "Yes, yes, Maria; Zoraida macange," which
means "not Zoraida."

Night was now approaching, and by the orders of those who
accompanied Don Fernando the landlord had taken care and pains to
prepare for them the best supper that was in his power. The hour
therefore having arrived they all took their seats at a long table
like a refectory one, for round or square table there was none in
the inn, and the seat of honour at the head of it, though he was for
refusing it, they assigned to Don Quixote, who desired the lady
Micomicona to place herself by his side, as he was her protector.
Luscinda and Zoraida took their places next her, opposite to them were
Don Fernando and Cardenio, and next the captive and the other
gentlemen, and by the side of the ladies, the curate and the barber.
And so they supped in high enjoyment, which was increased when they
observed Don Quixote leave off eating, and, moved by an impulse like
that which made him deliver himself at such length when he supped with
the goatherds, begin to address them:

"Verily, gentlemen, if we reflect upon it, great and marvellous
are the things they see, who make profession of the order of
knight-errantry. Say, what being is there in this world, who
entering the gate of this castle at this moment, and seeing us as we
are here, would suppose or imagine us to be what we are? Who would say
that this lady who is beside me was the great queen that we all know
her to be, or that I am that Knight of the Rueful Countenance,
trumpeted far and wide by the mouth of Fame? Now, there can be no
doubt that this art and calling surpasses all those that mankind has
invented, and is the more deserving of being held in honour in
proportion as it is the more exposed to peril. Away with those who
assert that letters have the preeminence over arms; I will tell
them, whosoever they may be, that they know not what they say. For the
reason which such persons commonly assign, and upon which they chiefly
rest, is, that the labours of the mind are greater than those of the
body, and that arms give employment to the body alone; as if the
calling were a porter's trade, for which nothing more is required than
sturdy strength; or as if, in what we who profess them call arms,
there were not included acts of vigour for the execution of which high
intelligence is requisite; or as if the soul of the warrior, when he
has an army, or the defence of a city under his care, did not exert
itself as much by mind as by body. Nay; see whether by bodily strength
it be possible to learn or divine the intentions of the enemy, his
plans, stratagems, or obstacles, or to ward off impending mischief;
for all these are the work of the mind, and in them the body has no
share whatever. Since, therefore, arms have need of the mind, as
much as letters, let us see now which of the two minds, that of the
man of letters or that of the warrior, has most to do; and this will
be seen by the end and goal that each seeks to attain; for that
purpose is the more estimable which has for its aim the nobler object.
The end and goal of letters- I am not speaking now of divine
letters, the aim of which is to raise and direct the soul to Heaven;
for with an end so infinite no other can be compared- I speak of human
letters, the end of which is to establish distributive justice, give
to every man that which is his, and see and take care that good laws
are observed: an end undoubtedly noble, lofty, and deserving of high
praise, but not such as should be given to that sought by arms,
which have for their end and object peace, the greatest boon that
men can desire in this life. The first good news the world and mankind
received was that which the angels announced on the night that was our
day, when they sang in the air, 'Glory to God in the highest, and
peace on earth to men of good-will;' and the salutation which the
great Master of heaven and earth taught his disciples and chosen
followers when they entered any house, was to say, 'Peace be on this
house;' and many other times he said to them, 'My peace I give unto
you, my peace I leave you, peace be with you;' a jewel and a
precious gift given and left by such a hand: a jewel without which
there can be no happiness either on earth or in heaven. This peace
is the true end of war; and war is only another name for arms. This,
then, being admitted, that the end of war is peace, and that so far it
has the advantage of the end of letters, let us turn to the bodily
labours of the man of letters, and those of him who follows the
profession of arms, and see which are the greater."

Don Quixote delivered his discourse in such a manner and in such
correct language, that for the time being he made it impossible for
any of his hearers to consider him a madman; on the contrary, as
they were mostly gentlemen, to whom arms are an appurtenance by birth,
they listened to him with great pleasure as he continued: "Here, then,
I say is what the student has to undergo; first of all poverty: not
that all are poor, but to put the case as strongly as possible: and
when I have said that he endures poverty, I think nothing more need be
said about his hard fortune, for he who is poor has no share of the
good things of life. This poverty he suffers from in various ways,
hunger, or cold, or nakedness, or all together; but for all that it is
not so extreme but that he gets something to eat, though it may be
at somewhat unseasonable hours and from the leavings of the rich;
for the greatest misery of the student is what they themselves call
'going out for soup,' and there is always some neighbour's brazier
or hearth for them, which, if it does not warm, at least tempers the
cold to them, and lastly, they sleep comfortably at night under a
roof. I will not go into other particulars, as for example want of
shirts, and no superabundance of shoes, thin and threadbare
garments, and gorging themselves to surfeit in their voracity when
good luck has treated them to a banquet of some sort. By this road
that I have described, rough and hard, stumbling here, falling
there, getting up again to fall again, they reach the rank they
desire, and that once attained, we have seen many who have passed
these Syrtes and Scyllas and Charybdises, as if borne flying on the
wings of favouring fortune; we have seen them, I say, ruling and
governing the world from a chair, their hunger turned into satiety,
their cold into comfort, their nakedness into fine raiment, their
sleep on a mat into repose in holland and damask, the justly earned
reward of their virtue; but, contrasted and compared with what the
warrior undergoes, all they have undergone falls far short of it, as I
am now about to show."



Continuing his discourse Don Quixote said: "As we began in the
student's case with poverty and its accompaniments, let us see now
if the soldier is richer, and we shall find that in poverty itself
there is no one poorer; for he is dependent on his miserable pay,
which comes late or never, or else on what he can plunder, seriously
imperilling his life and conscience; and sometimes his nakedness
will be so great that a slashed doublet serves him for uniform and
shirt, and in the depth of winter he has to defend himself against the
inclemency of the weather in the open field with nothing better than
the breath of his mouth, which I need not say, coming from an empty
place, must come out cold, contrary to the laws of nature. To be
sure he looks forward to the approach of night to make up for all
these discomforts on the bed that awaits him, which, unless by some
fault of his, never sins by being over narrow, for he can easily
measure out on the ground as he likes, and roll himself about in it to
his heart's content without any fear of the sheets slipping away
from him. Then, after all this, suppose the day and hour for taking
his degree in his calling to have come; suppose the day of battle to
have arrived, when they invest him with the doctor's cap made of lint,
to mend some bullet-hole, perhaps, that has gone through his
temples, or left him with a crippled arm or leg. Or if this does not
happen, and merciful Heaven watches over him and keeps him safe and
sound, it may be he will be in the same poverty he was in before,
and he must go through more engagements and more battles, and come
victorious out of all before he betters himself; but miracles of
that sort are seldom seen. For tell me, sirs, if you have ever
reflected upon it, by how much do those who have gained by war fall
short of the number of those who have perished in it? No doubt you
will reply that there can be no comparison, that the dead cannot be
numbered, while the living who have been rewarded may be summed up
with three figures. All which is the reverse in the case of men of
letters; for by skirts, to say nothing of sleeves, they all find means
of support; so that though the soldier has more to endure, his
reward is much less. But against all this it may be urged that it is
easier to reward two thousand soldiers, for the former may be
remunerated by giving them places, which must perforce be conferred
upon men of their calling, while the latter can only be recompensed
out of the very property of the master they serve; but this
impossibility only strengthens my argument.

"Putting this, however, aside, for it is a puzzling question for
which it is difficult to find a solution, let us return to the
superiority of arms over letters, a matter still undecided, so many
are the arguments put forward on each side; for besides those I have
mentioned, letters say that without them arms cannot maintain
themselves, for war, too, has its laws and is governed by them, and
laws belong to the domain of letters and men of letters. To this
arms make answer that without them laws cannot be maintained, for by
arms states are defended, kingdoms preserved, cities protected,
roads made safe, seas cleared of pirates; and, in short, if it were
not for them, states, kingdoms, monarchies, cities, ways by sea and
land would be exposed to the violence and confusion which war brings
with it, so long as it lasts and is free to make use of its privileges
and powers. And then it is plain that whatever costs most is valued
and deserves to be valued most. To attain to eminence in letters costs
a man time, watching, hunger, nakedness, headaches, indigestions,
and other things of the sort, some of which I have already referred
to. But for a man to come in the ordinary course of things to be a
good soldier costs him all the student suffers, and in an incomparably
higher degree, for at every step he runs the risk of losing his
life. For what dread of want or poverty that can reach or harass the
student can compare with what the soldier feels, who finds himself
beleaguered in some stronghold mounting guard in some ravelin or
cavalier, knows that the enemy is pushing a mine towards the post
where he is stationed, and cannot under any circumstances retire or
fly from the imminent danger that threatens him? All he can do is to
inform his captain of what is going on so that he may try to remedy it
by a counter-mine, and then stand his ground in fear and expectation
of the moment when he will fly up to the clouds without wings and
descend into the deep against his will. And if this seems a trifling
risk, let us see whether it is equalled or surpassed by the
encounter of two galleys stem to stem, in the midst of the open sea,
locked and entangled one with the other, when the soldier has no
more standing room than two feet of the plank of the spur; and yet,
though he sees before him threatening him as many ministers of death
as there are cannon of the foe pointed at him, not a lance length from
his body, and sees too that with the first heedless step he will go
down to visit the profundities of Neptune's bosom, still with
dauntless heart, urged on by honour that nerves him, he makes
himself a target for all that musketry, and struggles to cross that
narrow path to the enemy's ship. And what is still more marvellous, no
sooner has one gone down into the depths he will never rise from
till the end of the world, than another takes his place; and if he too
falls into the sea that waits for him like an enemy, another and
another will succeed him without a moment's pause between their
deaths: courage and daring the greatest that all the chances of war
can show. Happy the blest ages that knew not the dread fury of those
devilish engines of artillery, whose inventor I am persuaded is in
hell receiving the reward of his diabolical invention, by which he
made it easy for a base and cowardly arm to take the life of a gallant
gentleman; and that, when he knows not how or whence, in the height of
the ardour and enthusiasm that fire and animate brave hearts, there
should come some random bullet, discharged perhaps by one who fled
in terror at the flash when he fired off his accursed machine, which
in an instant puts an end to the projects and cuts off the life of one
who deserved to live for ages to come. And thus when I reflect on
this, I am almost tempted to say that in my heart I repent of having
adopted this profession of knight-errant in so detestable an age as we
live in now; for though no peril can make me fear, still it gives me
some uneasiness to think that powder and lead may rob me of the
opportunity of making myself famous and renowned throughout the
known earth by the might of my arm and the edge of my sword. But
Heaven's will be done; if I succeed in my attempt I shall be all the
more honoured, as I have faced greater dangers than the knights-errant
of yore exposed themselves to."

All this lengthy discourse Don Quixote delivered while the others
supped, forgetting to raise a morsel to his lips, though Sancho more
than once told him to eat his supper, as he would have time enough
afterwards to say all he wanted. It excited fresh pity in those who
had heard him to see a man of apparently sound sense, and with
rational views on every subject he discussed, so hopelessly wanting in
all, when his wretched unlucky chivalry was in question. The curate
told him he was quite right in all he had said in favour of arms,
and that he himself, though a man of letters and a graduate, was of
the same opinion.

They finished their supper, the cloth was removed, and while the
hostess, her daughter, and Maritornes were getting Don Quixote of La
Mancha's garret ready, in which it was arranged that the women were to
be quartered by themselves for the night, Don Fernando begged the
captive to tell them the story of his life, for it could not fail to
be strange and interesting, to judge by the hints he had let fall on
his arrival in company with Zoraida. To this the captive replied
that he would very willingly yield to his request, only he feared
his tale would not give them as much pleasure as he wished;
nevertheless, not to be wanting in compliance, he would tell it. The
curate and the others thanked him and added their entreaties, and he
finding himself so pressed said there was no occasion ask, where a
command had such weight, and added, "If your worships will give me
your attention you will hear a true story which, perhaps, fictitious
ones constructed with ingenious and studied art cannot come up to."
These words made them settle themselves in their places and preserve a
deep silence, and he seeing them waiting on his words in mute
expectation, began thus in a pleasant quiet voice.



My family had its origin in a village in the mountains of Leon,
and nature had been kinder and more generous to it than fortune;
though in the general poverty of those communities my father passed
for being even a rich man; and he would have been so in reality had he
been as clever in preserving his property as he was in spending it.
This tendency of his to be liberal and profuse he had acquired from
having been a soldier in his youth, for the soldier's life is a school
in which the niggard becomes free-handed and the free-handed prodigal;
and if any soldiers are to be found who are misers, they are
monsters of rare occurrence. My father went beyond liberality and
bordered on prodigality, a disposition by no means advantageous to a
married man who has children to succeed to his name and position. My
father had three, all sons, and all of sufficient age to make choice
of a profession. Finding, then, that he was unable to resist his
propensity, he resolved to divest himself of the instrument and
cause of his prodigality and lavishness, to divest himself of
wealth, without which Alexander himself would have seemed
parsimonious; and so calling us all three aside one day into a room,
he addressed us in words somewhat to the following effect:

"My sons, to assure you that I love you, no more need be known or
said than that you are my sons; and to encourage a suspicion that I do
not love you, no more is needed than the knowledge that I have no
self-control as far as preservation of your patrimony is concerned;
therefore, that you may for the future feel sure that I love you
like a father, and have no wish to ruin you like a stepfather, I
propose to do with you what I have for some time back meditated, and
after mature deliberation decided upon. You are now of an age to
choose your line of life or at least make choice of a calling that
will bring you honour and profit when you are older; and what I have
resolved to do is to divide my property into four parts; three I
will give to you, to each his portion without making any difference,
and the other I will retain to live upon and support myself for
whatever remainder of life Heaven may be pleased to grant me. But I
wish each of you on taking possession of the share that falls to him
to follow one of the paths I shall indicate. In this Spain of ours
there is a proverb, to my mind very true- as they all are, being short
aphorisms drawn from long practical experience- and the one I refer to
says, 'The church, or the sea, or the king's house;' as much as to
say, in plainer language, whoever wants to flourish and become rich,
let him follow the church, or go to sea, adopting commerce as his
calling, or go into the king's service in his household, for they say,
'Better a king's crumb than a lord's favour.' I say so because it is
my will and pleasure that one of you should follow letters, another
trade, and the third serve the king in the wars, for it is a difficult
matter to gain admission to his service in his household, and if war
does not bring much wealth it confers great distinction and fame.
Eight days hence I will give you your full shares in money, without
defrauding you of a farthing, as you will see in the end. Now tell
me if you are willing to follow out my idea and advice as I have
laid it before you."

Having called upon me as the eldest to answer, I, after urging him
not to strip himself of his property but to spend it all as he
pleased, for we were young men able to gain our living, consented to
comply with his wishes, and said that mine were to follow the
profession of arms and thereby serve God and my king. My second
brother having made the same proposal, decided upon going to the
Indies, embarking the portion that fell to him in trade. The youngest,
and in my opinion the wisest, said he would rather follow the
church, or go to complete his studies at Salamanca. As soon as we
had come to an understanding, and made choice of our professions, my
father embraced us all, and in the short time he mentioned carried
into effect all he had promised; and when he had given to each his
share, which as well as I remember was three thousand ducats apiece in
cash (for an uncle of ours bought the estate and paid for it down, not
to let it go out of the family), we all three on the same day took
leave of our good father; and at the same time, as it seemed to me
inhuman to leave my father with such scanty means in his old age, I
induced him to take two of my three thousand ducats, as the
remainder would be enough to provide me with all a soldier needed.
My two brothers, moved by my example, gave him each a thousand ducats,
so that there was left for my father four thousand ducats in money,
besides three thousand, the value of the portion that fell to him
which he preferred to retain in land instead of selling it. Finally,
as I said, we took leave of him, and of our uncle whom I have
mentioned, not without sorrow and tears on both sides, they charging
us to let them know whenever an opportunity offered how we fared,
whether well or ill. We promised to do so, and when he had embraced us
and given us his blessing, one set out for Salamanca, the other for
Seville, and I for Alicante, where I had heard there was a Genoese
vessel taking in a cargo of wool for Genoa.

It is now some twenty-two years since I left my father's house,
and all that time, though I have written several letters, I have had
no news whatever of him or of my brothers; my own adventures during
that period I will now relate briefly. I embarked at Alicante, reached
Genoa after a prosperous voyage, and proceeded thence to Milan,
where I provided myself with arms and a few soldier's accoutrements;
thence it was my intention to go and take service in Piedmont, but
as I was already on the road to Alessandria della Paglia, I learned
that the great Duke of Alva was on his way to Flanders. I changed my
plans, joined him, served under him in the campaigns he made, was
present at the deaths of the Counts Egmont and Horn, and was
promoted to be ensign under a famous captain of Guadalajara, Diego
de Urbina by name. Some time after my arrival in Flanders news came of
the league that his Holiness Pope Pius V of happy memory, had made
with Venice and Spain against the common enemy, the Turk, who had just
then with his fleet taken the famous island of Cyprus, which
belonged to the Venetians, a loss deplorable and disastrous. It was
known as a fact that the Most Serene Don John of Austria, natural
brother of our good king Don Philip, was coming as
commander-in-chief of the allied forces, and rumours were abroad of
the vast warlike preparations which were being made, all which stirred
my heart and filled me with a longing to take part in the campaign
which was expected; and though I had reason to believe, and almost
certain promises, that on the first opportunity that presented
itself I should be promoted to be captain, I preferred to leave all
and betake myself, as I did, to Italy; and it was my good fortune that
Don John had just arrived at Genoa, and was going on to Naples to join
the Venetian fleet, as he afterwards did at Messina. I may say, in
short, that I took part in that glorious expedition, promoted by
this time to be a captain of infantry, to which honourable charge my
good luck rather than my merits raised me; and that day- so
fortunate for Christendom, because then all the nations of the earth
were disabused of the error under which they lay in imagining the
Turks to be invincible on sea-on that day, I say, on which the Ottoman
pride and arrogance were broken, among all that were there made
happy (for the Christians who died that day were happier than those
who remained alive and victorious) I alone was miserable; for, instead
of some naval crown that I might have expected had it been in Roman
times, on the night that followed that famous day I found myself
with fetters on my feet and manacles on my hands.

It happened in this way: El Uchali, the king of Algiers, a daring
and successful corsair, having attacked and taken the leading
Maltese galley (only three knights being left alive in it, and they
badly wounded), the chief galley of John Andrea, on board of which I
and my company were placed, came to its relief, and doing as was bound
to do in such a case, I leaped on board the enemy's galley, which,
sheering off from that which had attacked it, prevented my men from
following me, and so I found myself alone in the midst of my
enemies, who were in such numbers that I was unable to resist; in
short I was taken, covered with wounds; El Uchali, as you know,
sirs, made his escape with his entire squadron, and I was left a
prisoner in his power, the only sad being among so many filled with
joy, and the only captive among so many free; for there were fifteen
thousand Christians, all at the oar in the Turkish fleet, that
regained their longed-for liberty that day.

They carried me to Constantinople, where the Grand Turk, Selim, made
my master general at sea for having done his duty in the battle and
carried off as evidence of his bravery the standard of the Order of
Malta. The following year, which was the year seventy-two, I found
myself at Navarino rowing in the leading galley with the three
lanterns. There I saw and observed how the opportunity of capturing
the whole Turkish fleet in harbour was lost; for all the marines and
janizzaries that belonged to it made sure that they were about to be
attacked inside the very harbour, and had their kits and pasamaques,
or shoes, ready to flee at once on shore without waiting to be
assailed, in so great fear did they stand of our fleet. But Heaven
ordered it otherwise, not for any fault or neglect of the general
who commanded on our side, but for the sins of Christendom, and
because it was God's will and pleasure that we should always have
instruments of punishment to chastise us. As it was, El Uchali took
refuge at Modon, which is an island near Navarino, and landing
forces fortified the mouth of the harbour and waited quietly until Don
John retired. On this expedition was taken the galley called the
Prize, whose captain was a son of the famous corsair Barbarossa. It
was taken by the chief Neapolitan galley called the She-wolf,
commanded by that thunderbolt of war, that father of his men, that
successful and unconquered captain Don Alvaro de Bazan, Marquis of
Santa Cruz; and I cannot help telling you what took place at the
capture of the Prize.

The son of Barbarossa was so cruel, and treated his slaves so badly,
that, when those who were at the oars saw that the She-wolf galley was
bearing down upon them and gaining upon them, they all at once dropped
their oars and seized their captain who stood on the stage at the
end of the gangway shouting to them to row lustily; and passing him on
from bench to bench, from the poop to the prow, they so bit him that
before he had got much past the mast his soul had already got to hell;
so great, as I said, was the cruelty with which he treated them, and
the hatred with which they hated him.

We returned to Constantinople, and the following year,
seventy-three, it became known that Don John had seized Tunis and
taken the kingdom from the Turks, and placed Muley Hamet in
possession, putting an end to the hopes which Muley Hamida, the
cruelest and bravest Moor in the world, entertained of returning to
reign there. The Grand Turk took the loss greatly to heart, and with
the cunning which all his race possess, he made peace with the
Venetians (who were much more eager for it than he was), and the
following year, seventy-four, he attacked the Goletta and the fort
which Don John had left half built near Tunis. While all these
events were occurring, I was labouring at the oar without any hope
of freedom; at least I had no hope of obtaining it by ransom, for I
was firmly resolved not to write to my father telling him of my
misfortunes. At length the Goletta fell, and the fort fell, before
which places there were seventy-five thousand regular Turkish
soldiers, and more than four hundred thousand Moors and Arabs from all
parts of Africa, and in the train of all this great host such
munitions and engines of war, and so many pioneers that with their
hands they might have covered the Goletta and the fort with handfuls
of earth. The first to fall was the Goletta, until then reckoned
impregnable, and it fell, not by any fault of its defenders, who did
all that they could and should have done, but because experiment
proved how easily entrenchments could be made in the desert sand
there; for water used to be found at two palms depth, while the
Turks found none at two yards; and so by means of a quantity of
sandbags they raised their works so high that they commanded the walls
of the fort, sweeping them as if from a cavalier, so that no one was
able to make a stand or maintain the defence.

It was a common opinion that our men should not have shut themselves
up in the Goletta, but should have waited in the open at the
landing-place; but those who say so talk at random and with little
knowledge of such matters; for if in the Goletta and in the fort there
were barely seven thousand soldiers, how could such a small number,
however resolute, sally out and hold their own against numbers like
those of the enemy? And how is it possible to help losing a stronghold
that is not relieved, above all when surrounded by a host of
determined enemies in their own country? But many thought, and I
thought so too, that it was special favour and mercy which Heaven
showed to Spain in permitting the destruction of that source and
hiding place of mischief, that devourer, sponge, and moth of countless
money, fruitlessly wasted there to no other purpose save preserving
the memory of its capture by the invincible Charles V; as if to make
that eternal, as it is and will be, these stones were needed to
support it. The fort also fell; but the Turks had to win it inch by
inch, for the soldiers who defended it fought so gallantly and stoutly
that the number of the enemy killed in twenty-two general assaults
exceeded twenty-five thousand. Of three hundred that remained alive
not one was taken unwounded, a clear and manifest proof of their
gallantry and resolution, and how sturdily they had defended
themselves and held their post. A small fort or tower which was in the
middle of the lagoon under the command of Don Juan Zanoguera, a
Valencian gentleman and a famous soldier, capitulated upon terms. They
took prisoner Don Pedro Puertocarrero, commandant of the Goletta,
who had done all in his power to defend his fortress, and took the
loss of it so much to heart that he died of grief on the way to
Constantinople, where they were carrying him a prisoner. They also
took the commandant of the fort, Gabrio Cerbellon by name, a
Milanese gentleman, a great engineer and a very brave soldier. In
these two fortresses perished many persons of note, among whom was
Pagano Doria, knight of the Order of St. John, a man of generous
disposition, as was shown by his extreme liberality to his brother,
the famous John Andrea Doria; and what made his death the more sad was
that he was slain by some Arabs to whom, seeing that the fort was
now lost, he entrusted himself, and who offered to conduct him in
the disguise of a Moor to Tabarca, a small fort or station on the
coast held by the Genoese employed in the coral fishery. These Arabs
cut off his head and carried it to the commander of the Turkish fleet,
who proved on them the truth of our Castilian proverb, that "though
the treason may please, the traitor is hated;" for they say he ordered
those who brought him the present to be hanged for not having
brought him alive.

Among the Christians who were taken in the fort was one named Don
Pedro de Aguilar, a native of some place, I know not what, in
Andalusia, who had been ensign in the fort, a soldier of great
repute and rare intelligence, who had in particular a special gift for
what they call poetry. I say so because his fate brought him to my
galley and to my bench, and made him a slave to the same master; and
before we left the port this gentleman composed two sonnets by way
of epitaphs, one on the Goletta and the other on the fort; indeed, I
may as well repeat them, for I have them by heart, and I think they
will be liked rather than disliked.

The instant the captive mentioned the name of Don Pedro de
Aguilar, Don Fernando looked at his companions and they all three
smiled; and when he came to speak of the sonnets one of them said,
"Before your worship proceeds any further I entreat you to tell me
what became of that Don Pedro de Aguilar you have spoken of."

"All I know is," replied the captive, "that after having been in
Constantinople two years, he escaped in the disguise of an Arnaut,
in company with a Greek spy; but whether he regained his liberty or
not I cannot tell, though I fancy he did, because a year afterwards
I saw the Greek at Constantinople, though I was unable to ask him what
the result of the journey was."

"Well then, you are right," returned the gentleman, "for that Don
Pedro is my brother, and he is now in our village in good health,
rich, married, and with three children."

"Thanks be to God for all the mercies he has shown him," said the
captive; "for to my mind there is no happiness on earth to compare
with recovering lost liberty."

"And what is more," said the gentleman, "I know the sonnets my
brother made."

"Then let your worship repeat them," said the captive, "for you will
recite them better than I can."

"With all my heart," said the gentleman; "that on the Goletta runs




"Blest souls, that, from this mortal husk set free,
In guerdon of brave deeds beatified,
Above this lowly orb of ours abide
Made heirs of heaven and immortality,
With noble rage and ardour glowing ye
Your strength, while strength was yours, in battle plied,
And with your own blood and the foeman's dyed
The sandy soil and the encircling sea.
It was the ebbing life-blood first that failed
The weary arms; the stout hearts never quailed.
Though vanquished, yet ye earned the victor's crown:
Though mourned, yet still triumphant was your fall
For there ye won, between the sword and wall,
In Heaven glory and on earth renown."

"That is it exactly, according to my recollection," said the

"Well then, that on the fort," said the gentleman, "if my memory
serves me, goes thus:


"Up from this wasted soil, this shattered shell,
Whose walls and towers here in ruin lie,
Three thousand soldier souls took wing on high,
In the bright mansions of the blest to dwell.
The onslaught of the foeman to repel
By might of arm all vainly did they try,
And when at length 'twas left them but to die,
Wearied and few the last defenders fell.
And this same arid soil hath ever been
A haunt of countless mournful memories,
As well in our day as in days of yore.
But never yet to Heaven it sent, I ween,
From its hard bosom purer souls than these,
Or braver bodies on its surface bore."

The sonnets were not disliked, and the captive was rejoiced at
the tidings they gave him of his comrade, and continuing his tale,
he went on to say:

The Goletta and the fort being thus in their hands, the Turks gave
orders to dismantle the Goletta- for the fort was reduced to such a
state that there was nothing left to level- and to do the work more
quickly and easily they mined it in three places; but nowhere were
they able to blow up the part which seemed to be the least strong,
that is to say, the old walls, while all that remained standing of the
new fortifications that the Fratin had made came to the ground with
the greatest ease. Finally the fleet returned victorious and
triumphant to Constantinople, and a few months later died my master,
El Uchali, otherwise Uchali Fartax, which means in Turkish "the scabby
renegade;" for that he was; it is the practice with the Turks to
name people from some defect or virtue they may possess; the reason
being that there are among them only four surnames belonging to
families tracing their descent from the Ottoman house, and the others,
as I have said, take their names and surnames either from bodily
blemishes or moral qualities. This "scabby one" rowed at the oar as
a slave of the Grand Signor's for fourteen years, and when over
thirty-four years of age, in resentment at having been struck by a
Turk while at the oar, turned renegade and renounced his faith in
order to be able to revenge himself; and such was his valour that,
without owing his advancement to the base ways and means by which most
favourites of the Grand Signor rise to power, he came to be king of
Algiers, and afterwards general-on-sea, which is the third place of
trust in the realm. He was a Calabrian by birth, and a worthy man
morally, and he treated his slaves with great humanity. He had three
thousand of them, and after his death they were divided, as he
directed by his will, between the Grand Signor (who is heir of all who
die and shares with the children of the deceased) and his renegades. I
fell to the lot of a Venetian renegade who, when a cabin boy on
board a ship, had been taken by Uchali and was so much beloved by
him that he became one of his most favoured youths. He came to be
the most cruel renegade I ever saw: his name was Hassan Aga, and he
grew very rich and became king of Algiers. With him I went there
from Constantinople, rather glad to be so near Spain, not that I
intended to write to anyone about my unhappy lot, but to try if
fortune would be kinder to me in Algiers than in Constantinople, where
I had attempted in a thousand ways to escape without ever finding a
favourable time or chance; but in Algiers I resolved to seek for other
means of effecting the purpose I cherished so dearly; for the hope
of obtaining my liberty never deserted me; and when in my plots and
schemes and attempts the result did not answer my expectations,
without giving way to despair I immediately began to look out for or
conjure up some new hope to support me, however faint or feeble it
might be.

In this way I lived on immured in a building or prison called by the
Turks a bano in which they confine the Christian captives, as well
those that are the king's as those belonging to private individuals,
and also what they call those of the Almacen, which is as much as to
say the slaves of the municipality, who serve the city in the public
works and other employments; but captives of this kind recover their
liberty with great difficulty, for, as they are public property and
have no particular master, there is no one with whom to treat for
their ransom, even though they may have the means. To these banos,
as I have said, some private individuals of the town are in the
habit of bringing their captives, especially when they are to be
ransomed; because there they can keep them in safety and comfort until
their ransom arrives. The king's captives also, that are on ransom, do
not go out to work with the rest of the crew, unless when their ransom
is delayed; for then, to make them write for it more pressingly,
they compel them to work and go for wood, which is no light labour.

I, however, was one of those on ransom, for when it was discovered
that I was a captain, although I declared my scanty means and want
of fortune, nothing could dissuade them from including me among the
gentlemen and those waiting to be ransomed. They put a chain on me,
more as a mark of this than to keep me safe, and so I passed my life
in that bano with several other gentlemen and persons of quality
marked out as held to ransom; but though at times, or rather almost
always, we suffered from hunger and scanty clothing, nothing

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