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

Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 9 out of 21

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

distressed us so much as hearing and seeing at every turn the
unexampled and unheard-of cruelties my master inflicted upon the
Christians. Every day he hanged a man, impaled one, cut off the ears
of another; and all with so little provocation, or so entirely without
any, that the Turks acknowledged he did it merely for the sake of
doing it, and because he was by nature murderously disposed towards
the whole human race. The only one that fared at all well with him was
a Spanish soldier, something de Saavedra by name, to whom he never
gave a blow himself, or ordered a blow to be given, or addressed a
hard word, although he had done things that will dwell in the memory
of the people there for many a year, and all to recover his liberty;
and for the least of the many things he did we all dreaded that he
would be impaled, and he himself was in fear of it more than once; and
only that time does not allow, I could tell you now something of
what that soldier did, that would interest and astonish you much
more than the narration of my own tale.

To go on with my story; the courtyard of our prison was overlooked
by the windows of the house belonging to a wealthy Moor of high
position; and these, as is usual in Moorish houses, were rather
loopholes than windows, and besides were covered with thick and
close lattice-work. It so happened, then, that as I was one day on the
terrace of our prison with three other comrades, trying, to pass
away the time, how far we could leap with our chains, we being
alone, for all the other Christians had gone out to work, I chanced to
raise my eyes, and from one of these little closed windows I saw a
reed appear with a cloth attached to the end of it, and it kept waving
to and fro, and moving as if making signs to us to come and take it.
We watched it, and one of those who were with me went and stood
under the reed to see whether they would let it drop, or what they
would do, but as he did so the reed was raised and moved from side
to side, as if they meant to say "no" by a shake of the head. The
Christian came back, and it was again lowered, making the same
movements as before. Another of my comrades went, and with him the
same happened as with the first, and then the third went forward,
but with the same result as the first and second. Seeing this I did
not like not to try my luck, and as soon as I came under the reed it
was dropped and fell inside the bano at my feet. I hastened to untie
the cloth, in which I perceived a knot, and in this were ten cianis,
which are coins of base gold, current among the Moors, and each
worth ten reals of our money.

It is needless to say I rejoiced over this godsend, and my joy was
not less than my wonder as I strove to imagine how this good fortune
could have come to us, but to me specially; for the evident
unwillingness to drop the reed for any but me showed that it was for
me the favour was intended. I took my welcome money, broke the reed,
and returned to the terrace, and looking up at the window, I saw a
very white hand put out that opened and shut very quickly. From this
we gathered or fancied that it must be some woman living in that house
that had done us this kindness, and to show that we were grateful
for it, we made salaams after the fashion of the Moors, bowing the
head, bending the body, and crossing the arms on the breast. Shortly
afterwards at the same window a small cross made of reeds was put
out and immediately withdrawn. This sign led us to believe that some
Christian woman was a captive in the house, and that it was she who
had been so good to us; but the whiteness of the hand and the
bracelets we had perceived made us dismiss that idea, though we
thought it might be one of the Christian renegades whom their
masters very often take as lawful wives, and gladly, for they prefer
them to the women of their own nation. In all our conjectures we
were wide of the truth; so from that time forward our sole
occupation was watching and gazing at the window where the cross had
appeared to us, as if it were our pole-star; but at least fifteen days
passed without our seeing either it or the hand, or any other sign and
though meanwhile we endeavoured with the utmost pains to ascertain who
it was that lived in the house, and whether there were any Christian
renegade in it, nobody could ever tell us anything more than that he
who lived there was a rich Moor of high position, Hadji Morato by
name, formerly alcaide of La Pata, an office of high dignity among
them. But when we least thought it was going to rain any more cianis
from that quarter, we saw the reed suddenly appear with another
cloth tied in a larger knot attached to it, and this at a time when,
as on the former occasion, the bano was deserted and unoccupied.

We made trial as before, each of the same three going forward before
I did; but the reed was delivered to none but me, and on my approach
it was let drop. I untied the knot and I found forty Spanish gold
crowns with a paper written in Arabic, and at the end of the writing
there was a large cross drawn. I kissed the cross, took the crowns and
returned to the terrace, and we all made our salaams; again the hand
appeared, I made signs that I would read the paper, and then the
window was closed. We were all puzzled, though filled with joy at what
had taken place; and as none of us understood Arabic, great was our
curiosity to know what the paper contained, and still greater the
difficulty of finding some one to read it. At last I resolved to
confide in a renegade, a native of Murcia, who professed a very
great friendship for me, and had given pledges that bound him to
keep any secret I might entrust to him; for it is the custom with some
renegades, when they intend to return to Christian territory, to carry
about them certificates from captives of mark testifying, in
whatever form they can, that such and such a renegade is a worthy
man who has always shown kindness to Christians, and is anxious to
escape on the first opportunity that may present itself. Some obtain
these testimonials with good intentions, others put them to a
cunning use; for when they go to pillage on Christian territory, if
they chance to be cast away, or taken prisoners, they produce their
certificates and say that from these papers may be seen the object
they came for, which was to remain on Christian ground, and that it
was to this end they joined the Turks in their foray. In this way they
escape the consequences of the first outburst and make their peace
with the Church before it does them any harm, and then when they
have the chance they return to Barbary to become what they were
before. Others, however, there are who procure these papers and make
use of them honestly, and remain on Christian soil. This friend of
mine, then, was one of these renegades that I have described; he had
certificates from all our comrades, in which we testified in his
favour as strongly as we could; and if the Moors had found the
papers they would have burned him alive.

I knew that he understood Arabic very well, and could not only speak
but also write it; but before I disclosed the whole matter to him, I
asked him to read for me this paper which I had found by accident in a
hole in my cell. He opened it and remained some time examining it
and muttering to himself as he translated it. I asked him if he
understood it, and he told me he did perfectly well, and that if I
wished him to tell me its meaning word for word, I must give him pen
and ink that he might do it more satisfactorily. We at once gave him
what he required, and he set about translating it bit by bit, and when
he had done he said:

"All that is here in Spanish is what the Moorish paper contains, and
you must bear in mind that when it says 'Lela
Marien' it means 'Our Lady the Virgin Mary.'"

We read the paper and it ran thus:

"When I was a child my father had a slave who taught me to pray
the Christian prayer in my own language, and told me many things about
Lela Marien. The Christian died, and I know that she did not go to the
fire, but to Allah, because since then I have seen her twice, and
she told me to go to the land of the Christians to see Lela Marien,
who had great love for me. I know not how to go. I have seen many
Christians, but except thyself none has seemed to me to be a
gentleman. I am young and beautiful, and have plenty of money to
take with me. See if thou canst contrive how we may go, and if thou
wilt thou shalt be my husband there, and if thou wilt not it will
not distress me, for Lela Marien will find me some one to marry me.
I myself have written this: have a care to whom thou givest it to
read: trust no Moor, for they are all perfidious. I am greatly
troubled on this account, for I would not have thee confide in anyone,
because if my father knew it he would at once fling me down a well and
cover me with stones. I will put a thread to the reed; tie the
answer to it, and if thou hast no one to write for thee in Arabic,
tell it to me by signs, for Lela Marien will make me understand
thee. She and Allah and this cross, which I often kiss as the
captive bade me, protect thee."

Judge, sirs, whether we had reason for surprise and joy at the words
of this paper; and both one and the other were so great, that the
renegade perceived that the paper had not been found by chance, but
had been in reality addressed to some one of us, and he begged us,
if what he suspected were the truth, to trust him and tell him all,
for he would risk his life for our freedom; and so saying he took
out from his breast a metal crucifix, and with many tears swore by the
God the image represented, in whom, sinful and wicked as he was, he
truly and faithfully believed, to be loyal to us and keep secret
whatever we chose to reveal to him; for he thought and almost
foresaw that by means of her who had written that paper, he and all of
us would obtain our liberty, and he himself obtain the object he so
much desired, his restoration to the bosom of the Holy Mother
Church, from which by his own sin and ignorance he was now severed
like a corrupt limb. The renegade said this with so many tears and
such signs of repentance, that with one consent we all agreed to
tell him the whole truth of the matter, and so we gave him a full
account of all, without hiding anything from him. We pointed out to
him the window at which the reed appeared, and he by that means took
note of the house, and resolved to ascertain with particular care
who lived in it. We agreed also that it would be advisable to answer
the Moorish lady's letter, and the renegade without a moment's delay
took down the words I dictated to him, which were exactly what I shall
tell you, for nothing of importance that took place in this affair has
escaped my memory, or ever will while life lasts. This, then, was
the answer returned to the Moorish lady:

"The true Allah protect thee, Lady, and that blessed Marien who is
the true mother of God, and who has put it into thy heart to go to the
land of the Christians, because she loves thee. Entreat her that she
be pleased to show thee how thou canst execute the command she gives
thee, for she will, such is her goodness. On my own part, and on
that of all these Christians who are with me, I promise to do all that
we can for thee, even to death. Fail not to write to me and inform
me what thou dost mean to do, and I will always answer thee; for the
great Allah has given us a Christian captive who can speak and write
thy language well, as thou mayest see by this paper; without fear,
therefore, thou canst inform us of all thou wouldst. As to what thou
sayest, that if thou dost reach the land of the Christians thou wilt
be my wife, I give thee my promise upon it as a good Christian; and
know that the Christians keep their promises better than the Moors.
Allah and Marien his mother watch over thee, my Lady."

The paper being written and folded I waited two days until the
bano was empty as before, and immediately repaired to the usual walk
on the terrace to see if there were any sign of the reed, which was
not long in making its appearance. As soon as I saw it, although I
could not distinguish who put it out, I showed the paper as a sign
to attach the thread, but it was already fixed to the reed, and to
it I tied the paper; and shortly afterwards our star once more made
its appearance with the white flag of peace, the little bundle. It was
dropped, and I picked it up, and found in the cloth, in gold and
silver coins of all sorts, more than fifty crowns, which fifty times
more strengthened our joy and doubled our hope of gaining our liberty.
That very night our renegade returned and said he had learned that the
Moor we had been told of lived in that house, that his name was
Hadji Morato, that he was enormously rich, that he had one only
daughter the heiress of all his wealth, and that it was the general
opinion throughout the city that she was the most beautiful woman in
Barbary, and that several of the viceroys who came there had sought
her for a wife, but that she had been always unwilling to marry; and
he had learned, moreover, that she had a Christian slave who was now
dead; all which agreed with the contents of the paper. We
immediately took counsel with the renegade as to what means would have
to be adopted in order to carry off the Moorish lady and bring us
all to Christian territory; and in the end it was agreed that for
the present we should wait for a second communication from Zoraida
(for that was the name of her who now desires to be called Maria),
because we saw clearly that she and no one else could find a way out
of all these difficulties. When we had decided upon this the
renegade told us not to be uneasy, for he would lose his life or
restore us to liberty. For four days the bano was filled with
people, for which reason the reed delayed its appearance for four
days, but at the end of that time, when the bano was, as it
generally was, empty, it appeared with the cloth so bulky that it
promised a happy birth. Reed and cloth came down to me, and I found
another paper and a hundred crowns in gold, without any other coin.
The renegade was present, and in our cell we gave him the paper to
read, which was to this effect:

"I cannot think of a plan, senor, for our going to Spain, nor has
Lela Marien shown me one, though I have asked her. All that can be
done is for me to give you plenty of money in gold from this window.
With it ransom yourself and your friends, and let one of you go to the
land of the Christians, and there buy a vessel and come back for the
others; and he will find me in my father's garden, which is at the
Babazon gate near the seashore, where I shall be all this summer
with my father and my servants. You can carry me away from there by
night without any danger, and bring me to the vessel. And remember
thou art to be my husband, else I will pray to Marien to punish
thee. If thou canst not trust anyone to go for the vessel, ransom
thyself and do thou go, for I know thou wilt return more surely than
any other, as thou art a gentleman and a Christian. Endeavour to
make thyself acquainted with the garden; and when I see thee walking
yonder I shall know that the bano is empty and I will give thee
abundance of money. Allah protect thee, senor."

These were the words and contents of the second paper, and on
hearing them, each declared himself willing to be the ransomed one,
and promised to go and return with scrupulous good faith; and I too
made the same offer; but to all this the renegade objected, saying
that he would not on any account consent to one being set free
before all went together, as experience had taught him how ill those
who have been set free keep promises which they made in captivity; for
captives of distinction frequently had recourse to this plan, paying
the ransom of one who was to go to Valencia or Majorca with money to
enable him to arm a bark and return for the others who had ransomed
him, but who never came back; for recovered liberty and the dread of
losing it again efface from the memory all the obligations in the
world. And to prove the truth of what he said, he told us briefly what
had happened to a certain Christian gentleman almost at that very
time, the strangest case that had ever occurred even there, where
astonishing and marvellous things are happening every instant. In
short, he ended by saying that what could and ought to be done was
to give the money intended for the ransom of one of us Christians to
him, so that he might with it buy a vessel there in Algiers under
the pretence of becoming a merchant and trader at Tetuan and along the
coast; and when master of the vessel, it would be easy for him to
hit on some way of getting us all out of the bano and putting us on
board; especially if the Moorish lady gave, as she said, money
enough to ransom all, because once free it would be the easiest
thing in the world for us to embark even in open day; but the greatest
difficulty was that the Moors do not allow any renegade to buy or
own any craft, unless it be a large vessel for going on roving
expeditions, because they are afraid that anyone who buys a small
vessel, especially if he be a Spaniard, only wants it for the
purpose of escaping to Christian territory. This however he could
get over by arranging with a Tagarin Moor to go shares with him in the
purchase of the vessel, and in the profit on the cargo; and under
cover of this he could become master of the vessel, in which case he
looked upon all the rest as accomplished. But though to me and my
comrades it had seemed a better plan to send to Majorca for the
vessel, as the Moorish lady suggested, we did not dare to oppose
him, fearing that if we did not do as he said he would denounce us,
and place us in danger of losing all our lives if he were to
disclose our dealings with Zoraida, for whose life we would have all
given our own. We therefore resolved to put ourselves in the hands
of God and in the renegade's; and at the same time an answer was given
to Zoraida, telling her that we would do all she recommended, for
she had given as good advice as if Lela Marien had delivered it, and
that it depended on her alone whether we were to defer the business or
put it in execution at once. I renewed my promise to be her husband;
and thus the next day that the bano chanced to be empty she at
different times gave us by means of the reed and cloth two thousand
gold crowns and a paper in which she said that the next Juma, that
is to say Friday, she was going to her father's garden, but that
before she went she would give us more money; and if it were not
enough we were to let her know, as she would give us as much as we
asked, for her father had so much he would not miss it, and besides
she kept all the keys.

We at once gave the renegade five hundred crowns to buy the
vessel, and with eight hundred I ransomed myself, giving the money
to a Valencian merchant who happened to be in Algiers at the time, and
who had me released on his word, pledging it that on the arrival of
the first ship from Valencia he would pay my ransom; for if he had
given the money at once it would have made the king suspect that my
ransom money had been for a long time in Algiers, and that the
merchant had for his own advantage kept it secret. In fact my master
was so difficult to deal with that I dared not on any account pay down
the money at once. The Thursday before the Friday on which the fair
Zoraida was to go to the garden she gave us a thousand crowns more,
and warned us of her departure, begging me, if I were ransomed, to
find out her father's garden at once, and by all means to seek an
opportunity of going there to see her. I answered in a few words
that I would do so, and that she must remember to commend us to Lela
Marien with all the prayers the captive had taught her. This having
been done, steps were taken to ransom our three comrades, so as to
enable them to quit the bano, and lest, seeing me ransomed and
themselves not, though the money was forthcoming, they should make a
disturbance about it and the devil should prompt them to do
something that might injure Zoraida; for though their position might
be sufficient to relieve me from this apprehension, nevertheless I was
unwilling to run any risk in the matter; and so I had them ransomed in
the same way as I was, handing over all the money to the merchant so
that he might with safety and confidence give security; without,
however, confiding our arrangement and secret to him, which might have
been dangerous.



Before fifteen days were over our renegade had already purchased
an excellent vessel with room for more than thirty persons; and to
make the transaction safe and lend a colour to it, he thought it
well to make, as he did, a voyage to a place called Shershel, twenty
leagues from Algiers on the Oran side, where there is an extensive
trade in dried figs. Two or three times he made this voyage in company
with the Tagarin already mentioned. The Moors of Aragon are called
Tagarins in Barbary, and those of Granada Mudejars; but in the Kingdom
of Fez they call the Mudejars Elches, and they are the people the king
chiefly employs in war. To proceed: every time he passed with his
vessel he anchored in a cove that was not two crossbow shots from
the garden where Zoraida was waiting; and there the renegade, together
with the two Moorish lads that rowed, used purposely to station
himself, either going through his prayers, or else practising as a
part what he meant to perform in earnest. And thus he would go to
Zoraida's garden and ask for fruit, which her father gave him, not
knowing him; but though, as he afterwards told me, he sought to
speak to Zoraida, and tell her who he was, and that by my orders he
was to take her to the land of the Christians, so that she might
feel satisfied and easy, he had never been able to do so; for the
Moorish women do not allow themselves to be seen by any Moor or
Turk, unless their husband or father bid them: with Christian captives
they permit freedom of intercourse and communication, even more than
might be considered proper. But for my part I should have been sorry
if he had spoken to her, for perhaps it might have alarmed her to find
her affairs talked of by renegades. But God, who ordered it otherwise,
afforded no opportunity for our renegade's well-meant purpose; and he,
seeing how safely he could go to Shershel and return, and anchor
when and how and where he liked, and that the Tagarin his partner
had no will but his, and that, now I was ransomed, all we wanted was
to find some Christians to row, told me to look out for any I should
he willing to take with me, over and above those who had been
ransomed, and to engage them for the next Friday, which he fixed
upon for our departure. On this I spoke to twelve Spaniards, all stout
rowers, and such as could most easily leave the city; but it was no
easy matter to find so many just then, because there were twenty ships
out on a cruise and they had taken all the rowers with them; and these
would not have been found were it not that their master remained at
home that summer without going to sea in order to finish a galliot
that he had upon the stocks. To these men I said nothing more than
that the next Friday in the evening they were to come out stealthily
one by one and hang about Hadji Morato's garden, waiting for me
there until I came. These directions I gave each one separately,
with orders that if they saw any other Christians there they were
not to say anything to them except that I had directed them to wait at
that spot.

This preliminary having been settled, another still more necessary
step had to be taken, which was to let Zoraida know how matters
stood that she might be prepared and forewarned, so as not to be taken
by surprise if we were suddenly to seize upon her before she thought
the Christians' vessel could have returned. I determined, therefore,
to go to the garden and try if I could speak to her; and the day
before my departure I went there under the pretence of gathering
herbs. The first person I met was her father, who addressed me in
the language that all over Barbary and even in Constantinople is the
medium between captives and Moors, and is neither Morisco nor
Castilian, nor of any other nation, but a mixture of all languages, by
means of which we can all understand one another. In this sort of
language, I say, he asked me what I wanted in his garden, and to
whom I belonged. I replied that I was a slave of the Arnaut Mami
(for I knew as a certainty that he was a very great friend of his),
and that I wanted some herbs to make a salad. He asked me then whether
I were on ransom or not, and what my master demanded for me. While
these questions and answers were proceeding, the fair Zoraida, who had
already perceived me some time before, came out of the house in the
garden, and as Moorish women are by no means particular about
letting themselves be seen by Christians, or, as I have said before,
at all coy, she had no hesitation in coming to where her father
stood with me; moreover her father, seeing her approaching slowly,
called to her to come. It would be beyond my power now to describe
to you the great beauty, the high-bred air, the brilliant attire of my
beloved Zoraida as she presented herself before my eyes. I will
content myself with saying that more pearls hung from her fair neck,
her ears, and her hair than she had hairs on her head. On her
ankles, which as is customary were bare, she had carcajes (for so
bracelets or anklets are called in Morisco) of the purest gold, set
with so many diamonds that she told me afterwards her father valued
them at ten thousand doubloons, and those she had on her wrists were
worth as much more. The pearls were in profusion and very fine, for
the highest display and adornment of the Moorish women is decking
themselves with rich pearls and seed-pearls; and of these there are
therefore more among the Moors than among any other people.
Zoraida's father had to the reputation of possessing a great number,
and the purest in all Algiers, and of possessing also more than two
hundred thousand Spanish crowns; and she, who is now mistress of me
only, was mistress of all this. Whether thus adorned she would have
been beautiful or not, and what she must have been in her
prosperity, may be imagined from the beauty remaining to her after
so many hardships; for, as everyone knows, the beauty of some women
has its times and its seasons, and is increased or diminished by
chance causes; and naturally the emotions of the mind will heighten or
impair it, though indeed more frequently they totally destroy it. In a
word she presented herself before me that day attired with the
utmost splendour, and supremely beautiful; at any rate, she seemed
to me the most beautiful object I had ever seen; and when, besides,
I thought of all I owed to her I felt as though I had before me some
heavenly being come to earth to bring me relief and happiness.

As she approached her father told her in his own language that I was
a captive belonging to his friend the Arnaut Mami, and that I had come
for salad.

She took up the conversation, and in that mixture of tongues I
have spoken of she asked me if I was a gentleman, and why I was not

I answered that I was already ransomed, and that by the price it
might be seen what value my master set on me, as I had given one
thousand five hundred zoltanis for me; to which she replied, "Hadst
thou been my father's, I can tell thee, I would not have let him
part with thee for twice as much, for you Christians always tell
lies about yourselves and make yourselves out poor to cheat the

"That may be, lady," said I; "but indeed I dealt truthfully with
my master, as I do and mean to do with everybody in the world."

"And when dost thou go?" said Zoraida.

"To-morrow, I think," said I, "for there is a vessel here from
France which sails to-morrow, and I think I shall go in her."

"Would it not be better," said Zoraida, "to wait for the arrival
of ships from Spain and go with them and not with the French who are
not your friends?"

"No," said I; "though if there were intelligence that a vessel
were now coming from Spain it is true I might, perhaps, wait for it;
however, it is more likely I shall depart to-morrow, for the longing I
feel to return to my country and to those I love is so great that it
will not allow me to wait for another opportunity, however more
convenient, if it be delayed."

"No doubt thou art married in thine own country," said Zoraida, "and
for that reason thou art anxious to go and see thy wife."

"I am not married," I replied, "but I have given my promise to marry
on my arrival there."

"And is the lady beautiful to whom thou hast given it?" said

"So beautiful," said I, "that, to describe her worthily and tell
thee the truth, she is very like thee."

At this her father laughed very heartily and said, "By Allah,
Christian, she must be very beautiful if she is like my daughter,
who is the most beautiful woman in all this kingdom: only look at
her well and thou wilt see I am telling the truth."

Zoraida's father as the better linguist helped to interpret most
of these words and phrases, for though she spoke the bastard language,
that, as I have said, is employed there, she expressed her meaning
more by signs than by words.

While we were still engaged in this conversation, a Moor came
running up, exclaiming that four Turks had leaped over the fence or
wall of the garden, and were gathering the fruit though it was not yet
ripe. The old man was alarmed and Zoraida too, for the Moors commonly,
and, so to speak, instinctively have a dread of the Turks, but
particularly of the soldiers, who are so insolent and domineering to
the Moors who are under their power that they treat them worse than if
they were their slaves. Her father said to Zoraida, "Daughter,
retire into the house and shut thyself in while I go and speak to
these dogs; and thou, Christian, pick thy herbs, and go in peace,
and Allah bring thee safe to thy own country."

I bowed, and he went away to look for the Turks, leaving me alone
with Zoraida, who made as if she were about to retire as her father
bade her; but the moment he was concealed by the trees of the
garden, turning to me with her eyes full of tears she said, Tameji,
cristiano, tameji?" that is to say, "Art thou going, Christian, art
thou going?"

I made answer, "Yes, lady, but not without thee, come what may: be
on the watch for me on the next Juma, and be not alarmed when thou
seest us; for most surely we shall go to the land of the Christians."

This I said in such a way that she understood perfectly all that
passed between us, and throwing her arm round my neck she began with
feeble steps to move towards the house; but as fate would have it (and
it might have been very unfortunate if Heaven had not otherwise
ordered it), just as we were moving on in the manner and position I
have described, with her arm round my neck, her father, as he returned
after having sent away the Turks, saw how we were walking and we
perceived that he saw us; but Zoraida, ready and quickwitted, took
care not to remove her arm from my neck, but on the contrary drew
closer to me and laid her head on my breast, bending her knees a
little and showing all the signs and tokens of ainting, while I at the
same time made it seem as though I were supporting her against my
will. Her father came running up to where we were, and seeing his
daughter in this state asked what was the matter with her; she,
however, giving no answer, he said, "No doubt she has fainted in alarm
at the entrance of those dogs," and taking her from mine he drew her
to his own breast, while she sighing, her eyes still wet with tears,
said again, "Ameji, cristiano, ameji"- "Go, Christian, go." To this
her father replied, "There is no need, daughter, for the Christian
to go, for he has done thee no harm, and the Turks have now gone; feel
no alarm, there is nothing to hurt thee, for as I say, the Turks at my
request have gone back the way they came."

"It was they who terrified her, as thou hast said, senor," said I to
her father; "but since she tells me to go, I have no wish to displease
her: peace be with thee, and with thy leave I will come back to this
garden for herbs if need be, for my master says there are nowhere
better herbs for salad then here."

"Come back for any thou hast need of," replied Hadji Morato; "for my
daughter does not speak thus because she is displeased with thee or
any Christian: she only meant that the Turks should go, not thou; or
that it was time for thee to look for thy herbs."

With this I at once took my leave of both; and she, looking as
though her heart were breaking, retired with her father. While
pretending to look for herbs I made the round of the garden at my
ease, and studied carefully all the approaches and outlets, and the
fastenings of the house and everything that could be taken advantage
of to make our task easy. Having done so I went and gave an account of
all that had taken place to the renegade and my comrades, and looked
forward with impatience to the hour when, all fear at an end, I should
find myself in possession of the prize which fortune held out to me in
the fair and lovely Zoraida. The time passed at length, and the
appointed day we so longed for arrived; and, all following out the
arrangement and plan which, after careful consideration and many a
long discussion, we had decided upon, we succeeded as fully as we
could have wished; for on the Friday following the day upon which I
spoke to Zoraida in the garden, the renegade anchored his vessel at
nightfall almost opposite the spot where she was. The Christians who
were to row were ready and in hiding in different places round
about, all waiting for me, anxious and elated, and eager to attack the
vessel they had before their eyes; for they did not know the
renegade's plan, but expected that they were to gain their liberty
by force of arms and by killing the Moors who were on board the
vessel. As soon, then, as I and my comrades made our appearance, all
those that were in hiding seeing us came and joined us. It was now the
time when the city gates are shut, and there was no one to be seen
in all the space outside. When we were collected together we debated
whether it would be better first to go for Zoraida, or to make
prisoners of the Moorish rowers who rowed in the vessel; but while
we were still uncertain our renegade came up asking us what kept us,
as it was now the time, and all the Moors were off their guard and
most of them asleep. We told him why we hesitated, but he said it
was of more importance first to secure the vessel, which could be done
with the greatest ease and without any danger, and then we could go
for Zoraida. We all approved of what he said, and so without further
delay, guided by him we made for the vessel, and he leaping on board
first, drew his cutlass and said in Morisco, "Let no one stir from
this if he does not want it to cost him his life." By this almost
all the Christians were on board, and the Moors, who were
fainthearted, hearing their captain speak in this way, were cowed, and
without any one of them taking to his arms (and indeed they had few or
hardly any) they submitted without saying a word to be bound by the
Christians, who quickly secured them, threatening them that if they
raised any kind of outcry they would be all put to the sword. This
having been accomplished, and half of our party being left to keep
guard over them, the rest of us, again taking the renegade as our
guide, hastened towards Hadji Morato's garden, and as good luck
would have it, on trying the gate it opened as easily as if it had not
been locked; and so, quite quietly and in silence, we reached the
house without being perceived by anybody. The lovely Zoraida was
watching for us at a window, and as soon as she perceived that there
were people there, she asked in a low voice if we were "Nizarani,"
as much as to say or ask if we were Christians. I answered that we
were, and begged her to come down. As soon as she recognised me she
did not delay an instant, but without answering a word came down
immediately, opened the door and presented herself before us all, so
beautiful and so richly attired that I cannot attempt to describe her.
The moment I saw her I took her hand and kissed it, and the renegade
and my two comrades did the same; and the rest, who knew nothing of
the circumstances, did as they saw us do, for it only seemed as if
we were returning thanks to her, and recognising her as the giver of
our liberty. The renegade asked her in the Morisco language if her
father was in the house. She replied that he was and that he was

"Then it will be necessary to waken him and take him with us,"
said the renegade, "and everything of value in this fair mansion."

"Nay," said she, "my father must not on any account be touched,
and there is nothing in the house except what I shall take, and that
will be quite enough to enrich and satisfy all of you; wait a little
and you shall see," and so saying she went in, telling us she would
return immediately and bidding us keep quiet making any noise.

I asked the renegade what had passed between them, and when he
told me, I declared that nothing should be done except in accordance
with the wishes of Zoraida, who now came back with a little trunk so
full of gold crowns that she could scarcely carry it. Unfortunately
her father awoke while this was going on, and hearing a noise in the
garden, came to the window, and at once perceiving that all those
who were there were Christians, raising a prodigiously loud outcry, he
began to call out in Arabic, "Christians, Christians! thieves,
thieves!" by which cries we were all thrown into the greatest fear and
embarrassment; but the renegade seeing the danger we were in and how
important it was for him to effect his purpose before we were heard,
mounted with the utmost quickness to where Hadji Morato was, and
with him went some of our party; I, however, did not dare to leave
Zoraida, who had fallen almost fainting in my arms. To be brief, those
who had gone upstairs acted so promptly that in an instant they came
down, carrying Hadji Morato with his hands bound and a napkin tied
over his mouth, which prevented him from uttering a word, warning
him at the same time that to attempt to speak would cost him his life.
When his daughter caught sight of him she covered her eyes so as not
to see him, and her father was horror-stricken, not knowing how
willingly she had placed herself in our hands. But it was now most
essential for us to be on the move, and carefully and quickly we
regained the vessel, where those who had remained on board were
waiting for us in apprehension of some mishap having befallen us. It
was barely two hours after night set in when we were all on board
the vessel, where the cords were removed from the hands of Zoraida's
father, and the napkin from his mouth; but the renegade once more told
him not to utter a word, or they would take his life. He, when he
saw his daughter there, began to sigh piteously, and still more when
he perceived that I held her closely embraced and that she lay quiet
without resisting or complaining, or showing any reluctance;
nevertheless he remained silent lest they should carry into effect the
repeated threats the renegade had addressed to him.

Finding herself now on board, and that we were about to give way
with the oars, Zoraida, seeing her father there, and the other Moors
bound, bade the renegade ask me to do her the favour of releasing
the Moors and setting her father at liberty, for she would rather
drown herself in the sea than suffer a father that had loved her so
dearly to be carried away captive before her eyes and on her
account. The renegade repeated this to me, and I replied that I was
very willing to do so; but he replied that it was not advisable,
because if they were left there they would at once raise the country
and stir up the city, and lead to the despatch of swift cruisers in
pursuit, and our being taken, by sea or land, without any
possibility of escape; and that all that could be done was to set them
free on the first Christian ground we reached. On this point we all
agreed; and Zoraida, to whom it was explained, together with the
reasons that prevented us from doing at once what she desired, was
satisfied likewise; and then in glad silence and with cheerful
alacrity each of our stout rowers took his oar, and commending
ourselves to God with all our hearts, we began to shape our course for
the island of Majorca, the nearest Christian land. Owing, however,
to the Tramontana rising a little, and the sea growing somewhat rough,
it was impossible for us to keep a straight course for Majorca, and we
were compelled to coast in the direction of Oran, not without great
uneasiness on our part lest we should be observed from the town of
Shershel, which lies on that coast, not more than sixty miles from
Algiers. Moreover we were afraid of meeting on that course one of
the galliots that usually come with goods from Tetuan; although each
of us for himself and all of us together felt confident that, if we
were to meet a merchant galliot, so that it were not a cruiser, not
only should we not be lost, but that we should take a vessel in
which we could more safely accomplish our voyage. As we pursued our
course Zoraida kept her head between my hands so as not to see her
father, and I felt that she was praying to Lela Marien to help us.

We might have made about thirty miles when daybreak found us some
three musket-shots off the land, which seemed to us deserted, and
without anyone to see us. For all that, however, by hard rowing we put
out a little to sea, for it was now somewhat calmer, and having gained
about two leagues the word was given to row by batches, while we ate
something, for the vessel was well provided; but the rowers said it
was not a time to take any rest; let food be served out to those who
were not rowing, but they would not leave their oars on any account.
This was done, but now a stiff breeze began to blow, which obliged
us to leave off rowing and make sail at once and steer for Oran, as it
was impossible to make any other course. All this was done very
promptly, and under sail we ran more than eight miles an hour
without any fear, except that of coming across some vessel out on a
roving expedition. We gave the Moorish rowers some food, and the
renegade comforted them by telling them that they were not held as
captives, as we should set them free on the first opportunity.

The same was said to Zoraida's father, who replied, "Anything
else, Christian, I might hope for or think likely from your generosity
and good behaviour, but do not think me so simple as to imagine you
will give me my liberty; for you would have never exposed yourselves
to the danger of depriving me of it only to restore it to me so
generously, especially as you know who I am and the sum you may expect
to receive on restoring it; and if you will only name that, I here
offer you all you require for myself and for my unhappy daughter
there; or else for her alone, for she is the greatest and most
precious part of my soul."

As he said this he began to weep so bitterly that he filled us all
with compassion and forced Zoraida to look at him, and when she saw
him weeping she was so moved that she rose from my feet and ran to
throw her arms round him, and pressing her face to his, they both gave
way to such an outburst of tears that several of us were constrained
to keep them company.

But when her father saw her in full dress and with all her jewels
about her, he said to her in his own language, "What means this, my
daughter? Last night, before this terrible misfortune in which we
are plunged befell us, I saw thee in thy everyday and indoor garments;
and now, without having had time to attire thyself, and without my
bringing thee any joyful tidings to furnish an occasion for adorning
and bedecking thyself, I see thee arrayed in the finest attire it
would be in my power to give thee when fortune was most kind to us.
Answer me this; for it causes me greater anxiety and surprise than
even this misfortune itself."

The renegade interpreted to us what the Moor said to his daughter;
she, however, returned him no answer. But when he observed in one
corner of the vessel the little trunk in which she used to keep her
jewels, which he well knew he had left in Algiers and had not
brought to the garden, he was still more amazed, and asked her how
that trunk had come into our hands, and what there was in it. To which
the renegade, without waiting for Zoraida to reply, made answer, "Do
not trouble thyself by asking thy daughter Zoraida so many
questions, senor, for the one answer I will give thee will serve for
all; I would have thee know that she is a Christian, and that it is
she who has been the file for our chains and our deliverer from
captivity. She is here of her own free will, as glad, I imagine, to
find herself in this position as he who escapes from darkness into the
light, from death to life, and from suffering to glory."

"Daughter, is this true, what he says?" cried the Moor.

"It is," replied Zoraida.

"That thou art in truth a Christian," said the old man, "and that
thou hast given thy father into the power of his enemies?"

To which Zoraida made answer, "A Christian I am, but it is not I who
have placed thee in this position, for it never was my wish to leave
thee or do thee harm, but only to do good to myself."

"And what good hast thou done thyself, daughter?" said he.

"Ask thou that," said she, "of Lela Marien, for she can tell thee
better than I."

The Moor had hardly heard these words when with marvellous quickness
he flung himself headforemost into the sea, where no doubt he would
have been drowned had not the long and full dress he wore held him
up for a little on the surface of the water. Zoraida cried aloud to us
to save him, and we all hastened to help, and seizing him by his
robe we drew him in half drowned and insensible, at which Zoraida
was in such distress that she wept over him as piteously and
bitterly as though he were already dead. We turned him upon his face
and he voided a great quantity of water, and at the end of two hours
came to himself. Meanwhile, the wind having changed we were
compelled to head for the land, and ply our oars to avoid being driven
on shore; but it was our good fortune to reach a creek that lies on
one side of a small promontory or cape, called by the Moors that of
the "Cava rumia," which in our language means "the wicked Christian
woman;" for it is a tradition among them that La Cava, through whom
Spain was lost, lies buried at that spot; "cava" in their language
meaning "wicked woman," and "rumia" "Christian;" moreover, they
count it unlucky to anchor there when necessity compels them, and they
never do so otherwise. For us, however, it was not the resting-place
of the wicked woman but a haven of safety for our relief, so much
had the sea now got up. We posted a look-out on shore, and never let
the oars out of our hands, and ate of the stores the renegade had laid
in, imploring God and Our Lady with all our hearts to help and protect
us, that we might give a happy ending to a beginning so prosperous. At
the entreaty of Zoraida orders were given to set on shore her father
and the other Moors who were still bound, for she could not endure,
nor could her tender heart bear to see her father in bonds and her
fellow-countrymen prisoners before her eyes. We promised her to do
this at the moment of departure, for as it was uninhabited we ran no
risk in releasing them at that place.

Our prayers were not so far in vain as to be unheard by Heaven,
for after a while the wind changed in our favour, and made the sea
calm, inviting us once more to resume our voyage with a good heart.
Seeing this we unbound the Moors, and one by one put them on shore, at
which they were filled with amazement; but when we came to land
Zoraida's father, who had now completely recovered his senses, he

"Why is it, think ye, Christians, that this wicked woman is rejoiced
at your giving me my liberty? Think ye it is because of the
affection she bears me? Nay verily, it is only because of the
hindrance my presence offers to the execution of her base designs. And
think not that it is her belief that yours is better than ours that
has led her to change her religion; it is only because she knows
that immodesty is more freely practised in your country than in ours."
Then turning to Zoraida, while I and another of the Christians held
him fast by both arms, lest he should do some mad act, he said to her,
"Infamous girl, misguided maiden, whither in thy blindness and madness
art thou going in the hands of these dogs, our natural enemies? Cursed
be the hour when I begot thee! Cursed the luxury and indulgence in
which I reared thee!"

But seeing that he was not likely soon to cease I made haste to
put him on shore, and thence he continued his maledictions and
lamentations aloud; calling on Mohammed to pray to Allah to destroy
us, to confound us, to make an end of us; and when, in consequence
of having made sail, we could no longer hear what he said we could see
what he did; how he plucked out his beard and tore his hair and lay
writhing on the ground. But once he raised his voice to such a pitch
that we were able to hear what he said. "Come back, dear daughter,
come back to shore; I forgive thee all; let those men have the
money, for it is theirs now, and come back to comfort thy sorrowing
father, who will yield up his life on this barren strand if thou
dost leave him."

All this Zoraida heard, and heard with sorrow and tears, and all she
could say in answer was, "Allah grant that Lela Marien, who has made
me become a Christian, give thee comfort in thy sorrow, my father.
Allah knows that I could not do otherwise than I have done, and that
these Christians owe nothing to my will; for even had I wished not
to accompany them, but remain at home, it would have been impossible
for me, so eagerly did my soul urge me on to the accomplishment of
this purpose, which I feel to be as righteous as to thee, dear father,
it seems wicked."

But neither could her father hear her nor we see him when she said
this; and so, while I consoled Zoraida, we turned our attention to our
voyage, in which a breeze from the right point so favoured us that
we made sure of finding ourselves off the coast of Spain on the morrow
by daybreak. But, as good seldom or never comes pure and unmixed,
without being attended or followed by some disturbing evil that
gives a shock to it, our fortune, or perhaps the curses which the Moor
had hurled at his daughter (for whatever kind of father they may
come from these are always to be dreaded), brought it about that
when we were now in mid-sea, and the night about three hours spent, as
we were running with all sail set and oars lashed, for the favouring
breeze saved us the trouble of using them, we saw by the light of
the moon, which shone brilliantly, a square-rigged vessel in full sail
close to us, luffing up and standing across our course, and so close
that we had to strike sail to avoid running foul of her, while they
too put the helm hard up to let us pass. They came to the side of
the ship to ask who we were, whither we were bound, and whence we
came, but as they asked this in French our renegade said, "Let no
one answer, for no doubt these are French corsairs who plunder all
comers." Acting on this warning no one answered a word, but after we
had gone a little ahead, and the vessel was now lying to leeward,
suddenly they fired two guns, and apparently both loaded with
chain-shot, for with one they cut our mast in half and brought down
both it and the sail into the sea, and the other, discharged at the
same moment, sent a ball into our vessel amidships, staving her in
completely, but without doing any further damage. We, however, finding
ourselves sinking began to shout for help and call upon those in the
ship to pick us up as we were beginning to fill. They then lay to, and
lowering a skiff or boat, as many as a dozen Frenchmen, well armed
with match-locks, and their matches burning, got into it and came
alongside; and seeing how few we were, and that our vessel was going
down, they took us in, telling us that this had come to us through our
incivility in not giving them an answer. Our renegade took the trunk
containing Zoraida's wealth and dropped it into the sea without anyone
perceiving what he did. In short we went on board with the
Frenchmen, who, after having ascertained all they wanted to know about
us, rifled us of everything we had, as if they had been our
bitterest enemies, and from Zoraida they took even the anklets she
wore on her feet; but the distress they caused her did not distress me
so much as the fear I was in that from robbing her of her rich and
precious jewels they would proceed to rob her of the most precious
jewel that she valued more than all. The desires, however, of those
people do not go beyond money, but of that their covetousness is
insatiable, and on this occasion it was carried to such a pitch that
they would have taken even the clothes we wore as captives if they had
been worth anything to them. It was the advice of some of them to
throw us all into the sea wrapped up in a sail; for their purpose
was to trade at some of the ports of Spain, giving themselves out as
Bretons, and if they brought us alive they would be punished as soon
as the robbery was discovered; but the captain (who was the one who
had plundered my beloved Zoraida) said he was satisfied with the prize
he had got, and that he would not touch at any Spanish port, but
pass the Straits of Gibraltar by night, or as best he could, and
make for La Rochelle, from which he had sailed. So they agreed by
common consent to give us the skiff belonging to their ship and all we
required for the short voyage that remained to us, and this they did
the next day on coming in sight of the Spanish coast, with which,
and the joy we felt, all our sufferings and miseries were as
completely forgotten as if they had never been endured by us, such
is the delight of recovering lost liberty.

It may have been about mid-day when they placed us in the boat,
giving us two kegs of water and some biscuit; and the captain, moved
by I know not what compassion, as the lovely Zoraida was about to
embark, gave her some forty gold crowns, and would not permit his
men to take from her those same garments which she has on now. We
got into the boat, returning them thanks for their kindness to us, and
showing ourselves grateful rather than indignant. They stood out to
sea, steering for the straits; we, without looking to any compass save
the land we had before us, set ourselves to row with such energy
that by sunset we were so near that we might easily, we thought,
land before the night was far advanced. But as the moon did not show
that night, and the sky was clouded, and as we knew not whereabouts we
were, it did not seem to us a prudent thing to make for the shore,
as several of us advised, saying we ought to run ourselves ashore even
if it were on rocks and far from any habitation, for in this way we
should be relieved from the apprehensions we naturally felt of the
prowling vessels of the Tetuan corsairs, who leave Barbary at
nightfall and are on the Spanish coast by daybreak, where they
commonly take some prize, and then go home to sleep in their own
houses. But of the conflicting counsels the one which was adopted
was that we should approach gradually, and land where we could if
the sea were calm enough to permit us. This was done, and a little
before midnight we drew near to the foot of a huge and lofty mountain,
not so close to the sea but that it left a narrow space on which to
land conveniently. We ran our boat up on the sand, and all sprang
out and kissed the ground, and with tears of joyful satisfaction
returned thanks to God our Lord for all his incomparable goodness to
us on our voyage. We took out of the boat the provisions it contained,
and drew it up on the shore, and then climbed a long way up the
mountain, for even there we could not feel easy in our hearts, or
persuade ourselves that it was Christian soil that was now under our

The dawn came, more slowly, I think, than we could have wished; we
completed the ascent in order to see if from the summit any habitation
or any shepherds' huts could be discovered, but strain our eyes as
we might, neither dwelling, nor human being, nor path nor road could
we perceive. However, we determined to push on farther, as it could
not but be that ere long we must see some one who could tell us
where we were. But what distressed me most was to see Zoraida going on
foot over that rough ground; for though I once carried her on my
shoulders, she was more wearied by my weariness than rested by the
rest; and so she would never again allow me to undergo the exertion,
and went on very patiently and cheerfully, while I led her by the
hand. We had gone rather less than a quarter of a league when the
sound of a little bell fell on our ears, a clear proof that there were
flocks hard by, and looking about carefully to see if any were
within view, we observed a young shepherd tranquilly and
unsuspiciously trimming a stick with his knife at the foot of a cork
tree. We called to him, and he, raising his head, sprang nimbly to his
feet, for, as we afterwards learned, the first who presented
themselves to his sight were the renegade and Zoraida, and seeing them
in Moorish dress he imagined that all the Moors of Barbary were upon
him; and plunging with marvellous swiftness into the thicket in
front of him, he began to raise a prodigious outcry, exclaiming,
"The Moors- the Moors have landed! To arms, to arms!" We were all
thrown into perplexity by these cries, not knowing what to do; but
reflecting that the shouts of the shepherd would raise the country and
that the mounted coast-guard would come at once to see what was the
matter, we agreed that the renegade must strip off his Turkish
garments and put on a captive's jacket or coat which one of our
party gave him at once, though he himself was reduced to his shirt;
and so commending ourselves to God, we followed the same road which we
saw the shepherd take, expecting every moment that the coast-guard
would be down upon us. Nor did our expectation deceive us, for two
hours had not passed when, coming out of the brushwood into the open
ground, we perceived some fifty mounted men swiftly approaching us
at a hand-gallop. As soon as we saw them we stood still, waiting for
them; but as they came close and, instead of the Moors they were in
quest of, saw a set of poor Christians, they were taken aback, and one
of them asked if it could be we who were the cause of the shepherd
having raised the call to arms. I said "Yes," and as I was about to
explain to him what had occurred, and whence we came and who we
were, one of the Christians of our party recognised the horseman who
had put the question to us, and before I could say anything more he

"Thanks be to God, sirs, for bringing us to such good quarters; for,
if I do not deceive myself, the ground we stand on is that of Velez
Malaga unless, indeed, all my years of captivity have made me unable
to recollect that you, senor, who ask who we are, are Pedro de
Bustamante, my uncle."

The Christian captive had hardly uttered these words, when the
horseman threw himself off his horse, and ran to embrace the young
man, crying:

"Nephew of my soul and life! I recognise thee now; and long have I
mourned thee as dead, I, and my sister, thy mother, and all thy kin
that are still alive, and whom God has been pleased to preserve that
they may enjoy the happiness of seeing thee. We knew long since that
thou wert in Algiers, and from the appearance of thy garments and
those of all this company, I conclude that ye have had a miraculous
restoration to liberty."

"It is true," replied the young man, "and by-and-by we will tell you

As soon as the horsemen understood that we were Christian
captives, they dismounted from their horses, and each offered his to
carry us to the city of Velez Malaga, which was a league and a half
distant. Some of them went to bring the boat to the city, we having
told them where we had left it; others took us up behind them, and
Zoraida was placed on the horse of the young man's uncle. The whole
town came out to meet us, for they had by this time heard of our
arrival from one who had gone on in advance. They were not
astonished to see liberated captives or captive Moors, for people on
that coast are well used to see both one and the other; but they
were astonished at the beauty of Zoraida, which was just then
heightened, as well by the exertion of travelling as by joy at finding
herself on Christian soil, and relieved of all fear of being lost; for
this had brought such a glow upon her face, that unless my affection
for her were deceiving me, I would venture to say that there was not a
more beautiful creature in the world- at least, that I had ever seen.
We went straight to the church to return thanks to God for the
mercies we had received, and when Zoraida entered it she said there
were faces there like Lela Marien's. We told her they were her images;
and as well as he could the renegade explained to her what they meant,
that she might adore them as if each of them were the very same Lela
Marien that had spoken to her; and she, having great intelligence
and a quick and clear instinct, understood at once all he said to
her about them. Thence they took us away and distributed us all in
different houses in the town; but as for the renegade, Zoraida, and
myself, the Christian who came with us brought us to the house of
his parents, who had a fair share of the gifts of fortune, and treated
us with as much kindness as they did their own son.

We remained six days in Velez, at the end of which the renegade,
having informed himself of all that was requisite for him to do, set
out for the city of Granada to restore himself to the sacred bosom
of the Church through the medium of the Holy Inquisition. The other
released captives took their departures, each the way that seemed best
to him, and Zoraida and I were left alone, with nothing more than
the crowns which the courtesy of the Frenchman had bestowed upon
Zoraida, out of which I bought the beast on which she rides; and, I
for the present attending her as her father and squire and not as
her husband, we are now going to ascertain if my father is living,
or if any of my brothers has had better fortune than mine has been;
though, as Heaven has made me the companion of Zoraida, I think no
other lot could be assigned to me, however happy, that I would
rather have. The patience with which she endures the hardships that
poverty brings with it, and the eagerness she shows to become a
Christian, are such that they fill me with admiration, and bind me
to serve her all my life; though the happiness I feel in seeing myself
hers, and her mine, is disturbed and marred by not knowing whether I
shall find any corner to shelter her in my own country, or whether
time and death may not have made such changes in the fortunes and
lives of my father and brothers, that I shall hardly find anyone who
knows me, if they are not alive.

I have no more of my story to tell you, gentlemen; whether it be
an interesting or a curious one let your better judgments decide;
all I can say is I would gladly have told it to you more briefly;
although my fear of wearying you has made me leave out more than one



With these words the captive held his peace, and Don Fernando said
to him, "In truth, captain, the manner in which you have related
this remarkable adventure has been such as befitted the novelty and
strangeness of the matter. The whole story is curious and uncommon,
and abounds with incidents that fill the hearers with wonder and
astonishment; and so great is the pleasure we have found in
listening to it that we should be glad if it were to begin again, even
though to-morrow were to find us still occupied with the same tale."
And while he said this Cardenio and the rest of them offered to be
of service to him in any way that lay in their power, and in words and
language so kindly and sincere that the captain was much gratified
by their good-will. In particular Don Fernando offered, if he would go
back with him, to get his brother the marquis to become godfather at
the baptism of Zoraida, and on his own part to provide him with the
means of making his appearance in his own country with the credit
and comfort he was entitled to. For all this the captive returned
thanks very courteously, although he would not accept any of their
generous offers.

By this time night closed in, and as it did, there came up to the
inn a coach attended by some men on horseback, who demanded
accommodation; to which the landlady replied that there was not a
hand's breadth of the whole inn unoccupied.

"Still, for all that," said one of those who had entered on
horseback, "room must be found for his lordship the Judge here."

At this name the landlady was taken aback, and said, "Senor, the
fact is I have no beds; but if his lordship the Judge carries one with
him, as no doubt he does, let him come in and welcome; for my
husband and I will give up our room to accommodate his worship."

"Very good, so be it," said the squire; but in the meantime a man
had got out of the coach whose dress indicated at a glance the
office and post he held, for the long robe with ruffled sleeves that
he wore showed that he was, as his servant said, a Judge of appeal. He
led by the hand a young girl in a travelling dress, apparently about
sixteen years of age, and of such a high-bred air, so beautiful and so
graceful, that all were filled with admiration when she made her
appearance, and but for having seen Dorothea, Luscinda, and Zoraida,
who were there in the inn, they would have fancied that a beauty
like that of this maiden's would have been hard to find. Don Quixote
was present at the entrance of the Judge with the young lady, and as
soon as he saw him he said, "Your worship may with confidence enter
and take your ease in this castle; for though the accommodation be
scanty and poor, there are no quarters so cramped or inconvenient that
they cannot make room for arms and letters; above all if arms and
letters have beauty for a guide and leader, as letters represented
by your worship have in this fair maiden, to whom not only ought
castles to throw themselves open and yield themselves up, but rocks
should rend themselves asunder and mountains divide and bow themselves
down to give her a reception. Enter, your worship, I say, into this
paradise, for here you will find stars and suns to accompany the
heaven your worship brings with you, here you will find arms in
their supreme excellence, and beauty in its highest perfection."

The Judge was struck with amazement at the language of Don
Quixote, whom he scrutinized very carefully, no less astonished by his
figure than by his talk; and before he could find words to answer
him he had a fresh surprise, when he saw opposite to him Luscinda,
Dorothea, and Zoraida, who, having heard of the new guests and of
the beauty of the young lady, had come to see her and welcome her; Don
Fernando, Cardenio, and the curate, however, greeted him in a more
intelligible and polished style. In short, the Judge made his entrance
in a state of bewilderment, as well with what he saw as what he heard,
and the fair ladies of the inn gave the fair damsel a cordial welcome.
On the whole he could perceive that all who were there were people
of quality; but with the figure, countenance, and bearing of Don
Quixote he was at his wits' end; and all civilities having been
exchanged, and the accommodation of the inn inquired into, it was
settled, as it had been before settled, that all the women should
retire to the garret that has been already mentioned, and that the men
should remain outside as if to guard them; the Judge, therefore, was
very well pleased to allow his daughter, for such the damsel was, to
go with the ladies, which she did very willingly; and with part of the
host's narrow bed and half of what the Judge had brought with him,
they made a more comfortable arrangement for the night than they had

The captive, whose heart had leaped within him the instant he saw
the Judge, telling him somehow that this was his brother, asked one of
the servants who accompanied him what his name was, and whether he
knew from what part of the country he came. The servant replied that
he was called the Licentiate Juan Perez de Viedma, and that he had
heard it said he came from a village in the mountains of Leon. From
this statement, and what he himself had seen, he felt convinced that
this was his brother who had adopted letters by his father's advice;
and excited and rejoiced, he called Don Fernando and Cardenio and
the curate aside, and told them how the matter stood, assuring them
that the judge was his brother. The servant had further informed him
that he was now going to the Indies with the appointment of Judge of
the Supreme Court of Mexico; and he had learned, likewise, that the
young lady was his daughter, whose mother had died in giving birth
to her, and that he was very rich in consequence of the dowry left
to him with the daughter. He asked their advice as to what means he
should adopt to make himself known, or to ascertain beforehand
whether, when he had made himself known, his brother, seeing him so
poor, would be ashamed of him, or would receive him with a warm heart.

"Leave it to me to find out that," said the curate; "though there is
no reason for supposing, senor captain, that you will not be kindly
received, because the worth and wisdom that your brother's bearing
shows him to possess do not make it likely that he will prove
haughty or insensible, or that he will not know how to estimate the
accidents of fortune at their proper value."

"Still," said the captain, "I would not make myself known
abruptly, but in some indirect way."

"I have told you already," said the curate, "that I will manage it
in a way to satisfy us all."

By this time supper was ready, and they all took their seats at
the table, except the captive, and the ladies, who supped by
themselves in their own room. In the middle of supper the curate said:

"I had a comrade of your worship's name, Senor Judge, in
Constantinople, where I was a captive for several years, and that same
comrade was one of the stoutest soldiers and captains in the whole
Spanish infantry; but he had as large a share of misfortune as he
had of gallantry and courage."

"And how was the captain called, senor?" asked the Judge.

"He was called Ruy Perez de Viedma," replied the curate, "and he was
born in a village in the mountains of Leon; and he mentioned a
circumstance connected with his father and his brothers which, had
it not been told me by so truthful a man as he was, I should have
set down as one of those fables the old women tell over the fire in
winter; for he said his father had divided his property among his
three sons and had addressed words of advice to them sounder than
any of Cato's. But I can say this much, that the choice he made of
going to the wars was attended with such success, that by his
gallant conduct and courage, and without any help save his own
merit, he rose in a few years to be captain of infantry, and to see
himself on the high-road and in position to be given the command of
a corps before long; but Fortune was against him, for where he might
have expected her favour he lost it, and with it his liberty, on
that glorious day when so many recovered theirs, at the battle of
Lepanto. I lost mine at the Goletta, and after a variety of adventures
we found ourselves comrades at Constantinople. Thence he went to
Algiers, where he met with one of the most extraordinary adventures
that ever befell anyone in the world."

Here the curate went on to relate briefly his brother's adventure
with Zoraida; to all which the Judge gave such an attentive hearing
that he never before had been so much of a hearer. The curate,
however, only went so far as to describe how the Frenchmen plundered
those who were in the boat, and the poverty and distress in which
his comrade and the fair Moor were left, of whom he said he had not
been able to learn what became of them, or whether they had reached
Spain, or been carried to France by the Frenchmen.

The captain, standing a little to one side, was listening to all the
curate said, and watching every movement of his brother, who, as
soon as he perceived the curate had made an end of his story, gave a
deep sigh and said with his eyes full of tears, "Oh, senor, if you
only knew what news you have given me and how it comes home to me,
making me show how I feel it with these tears that spring from my eyes
in spite of all my worldly wisdom and self-restraint! That brave
captain that you speak of is my eldest brother, who, being of a bolder
and loftier mind than my other brother or myself, chose the honourable
and worthy calling of arms, which was one of the three careers our
father proposed to us, as your comrade mentioned in that fable you
thought he was telling you. I followed that of letters, in which God
and my own exertions have raised me to the position in which you see
me. My second brother is in Peru, so wealthy that with what he has
sent to my father and to me he has fully repaid the portion he took
with him, and has even furnished my father's hands with the means of
gratifying his natural generosity, while I too have been enabled to
pursue my studies in a more becoming and creditable fashion, and so to
attain my present standing. My father is still alive, though dying
with anxiety to hear of his eldest son, and he prays God unceasingly
that death may not close his eyes until he has looked upon those of
his son; but with regard to him what surprises me is, that having so
much common sense as he had, he should have neglected to give any
intelligence about himself, either in his troubles and sufferings,
or in his prosperity, for if his father or any of us had known of
his condition he need not have waited for that miracle of the reed
to obtain his ransom; but what now disquiets me is the uncertainty
whether those Frenchmen may have restored him to liberty, or
murdered him to hide the robbery. All this will make me continue my
journey, not with the satisfaction in which I began it, but in the
deepest melancholy and sadness. Oh dear brother! that I only knew
where thou art now, and I would hasten to seek thee out and deliver
thee from thy sufferings, though it were to cost me suffering
myself! Oh that I could bring news to our old father that thou art
alive, even wert thou the deepest dungeon of Barbary; for his wealth
and my brother's and mine would rescue thee thence! Oh beautiful and
generous Zoraida, that I could repay thy good goodness to a brother!
That I could be present at the new birth of thy soul, and at thy
bridal that would give us all such happiness!"

All this and more the Judge uttered with such deep emotion at the
news he had received of his brother that all who heard him shared in
it, showing their sympathy with his sorrow. The curate, seeing,
then, how well he had succeeded in carrying out his purpose and the
captain's wishes, had no desire to keep them unhappy any longer, so he
rose from the table and going into the room where Zoraida was he
took her by the hand, Luscinda, Dorothea, and the Judge's daughter
following her. The captain was waiting to see what the curate would
do, when the latter, taking him with the other hand, advanced with
both of them to where the Judge and the other gentlemen were and said,
"Let your tears cease to flow, Senor Judge, and the wish of your heart
be gratified as fully as you could desire, for you have before you
your worthy brother and your good sister-in-law. He whom you see here
is the Captain Viedma, and this is the fair Moor who has been so good
to him. The Frenchmen I told you of have reduced them to the state of
poverty you see that you may show the generosity of your kind heart."

The captain ran to embrace his brother, who placed both hands on his
breast so as to have a good look at him, holding him a little way
off but as soon as he had fully recognised him he clasped him in his
arms so closely, shedding such tears of heartfelt joy, that most of
those present could not but join in them. The words the brothers
exchanged, the emotion they showed can scarcely be imagined, I
fancy, much less put down in writing. They told each other in a few
words the events of their lives; they showed the true affection of
brothers in all its strength; then the judge embraced Zoraida, putting
all he possessed at her disposal; then he made his daughter embrace
her, and the fair Christian and the lovely Moor drew fresh tears
from every eye. And there was Don Quixote observing all these
strange proceedings attentively without uttering a word, and
attributing the whole to chimeras of knight-errantry. Then they agreed
that the captain and Zoraida should return with his brother to
Seville, and send news to his father of his having been delivered
and found, so as to enable him to come and be present at the
marriage and baptism of Zoraida, for it was impossible for the Judge
to put off his journey, as he was informed that in a month from that
time the fleet was to sail from Seville for New Spain, and to miss the
passage would have been a great inconvenience to him. In short,
everybody was well pleased and glad at the captive's good fortune; and
as now almost two-thirds of the night were past, they resolved to
retire to rest for the remainder of it. Don Quixote offered to mount
guard over the castle lest they should be attacked by some giant or
other malevolent scoundrel, covetous of the great treasure of beauty
the castle contained. Those who understood him returned him thanks for
this service, and they gave the Judge an account of his
extraordinary humour, with which he was not a little amused. Sancho
Panza alone was fuming at the lateness of the hour for retiring to
rest; and he of all was the one that made himself most comfortable, as
he stretched himself on the trappings of his ass, which, as will be
told farther on, cost him so dear.

The ladies, then, having retired to their chamber, and the others
having disposed themselves with as little discomfort as they could,
Don Quixote sallied out of the inn to act as sentinel of the castle as
he had promised. It happened, however, that a little before the
approach of dawn a voice so musical and sweet reached the ears of
the ladies that it forced them all to listen attentively, but
especially Dorothea, who had been awake, and by whose side Dona
Clara de Viedma, for so the Judge's daughter was called, lay sleeping.
No one could imagine who it was that sang so sweetly, and the voice
was unaccompanied by any instrument. At one moment it seemed to them
as if the singer were in the courtyard, at another in the stable;
and as they were all attention, wondering, Cardenio came to the door
and said, "Listen, whoever is not asleep, and you will hear a
muleteer's voice that enchants as it chants."

"We are listening to it already, senor," said Dorothea; on which
Cardenio went away; and Dorothea, giving all her attention to it, made
out the words of the song to be these:



Ah me, Love's mariner am I
On Love's deep ocean sailing;
I know not where the haven lies,
I dare not hope to gain it.

One solitary distant star
Is all I have to guide me,
A brighter orb than those of old
That Palinurus lighted.

And vaguely drifting am I borne,
I know not where it leads me;
I fix my gaze on it alone,
Of all beside it heedless.

But over-cautious prudery,
And coyness cold and cruel,
When most I need it, these, like clouds,
Its longed-for light refuse me.

Bright star, goal of my yearning eyes
As thou above me beamest,
When thou shalt hide thee from my sight
I'll know that death is near me.

The singer had got so far when it struck Dorothea that it was not
fair to let Clara miss hearing such a sweet voice, so, shaking her
from side to side, she woke her, saying:

"Forgive me, child, for waking thee, but I do so that thou mayest
have the pleasure of hearing the best voice thou hast ever heard,
perhaps, in all thy life."

Clara awoke quite drowsy, and not understanding at the moment what
Dorothea said, asked her what it was; she repeated what she had
said, and Clara became attentive at once; but she had hardly heard two
lines, as the singer continued, when a strange trembling seized her,
as if she were suffering from a severe attack of quartan ague, and
throwing her arms round Dorothea she said:

"Ah, dear lady of my soul and life! why did you wake me? The
greatest kindness fortune could do me now would be to close my eyes
and ears so as neither to see or hear that unhappy musician."

"What art thou talking about, child?" said Dorothea. "Why, they
say this singer is a muleteer!"

"Nay, he is the lord of many places," replied Clara, "and that one
in my heart which he holds so firmly shall never be taken from him,
unless he be willing to surrender it."

Dorothea was amazed at the ardent language of the girl, for it
seemed to be far beyond such experience of life as her tender years
gave any promise of, so she said to her:

"You speak in such a way that I cannot understand you, Senora Clara;
explain yourself more clearly, and tell me what is this you are saying
about hearts and places and this musician whose voice has so moved
you? But do not tell me anything now; I do not want to lose the
pleasure I get from listening to the singer by giving my attention
to your transports, for I perceive he is beginning to sing a new
strain and a new air."

"Let him, in Heaven's name," returned Clara; and not to hear him she
stopped both ears with her hands, at which Dorothea was again
surprised; but turning her attention to the song she found that it ran
in this fashion:

Sweet Hope, my stay,
That onward to the goal of thy intent
Dost make thy way,
Heedless of hindrance or impediment,
Have thou no fear
If at each step thou findest death is near.

No victory,
No joy of triumph doth the faint heart know;
Unblest is he
That a bold front to Fortune dares not show,
But soul and sense
In bondage yieldeth up to indolence.

If Love his wares
Do dearly sell, his right must be contest;
What gold compares
With that whereon his stamp he hath imprest?
And all men know
What costeth little that we rate but low.

Love resolute
Knows not the word "impossibility;"
And though my suit
Beset by endless obstacles I see,
Yet no despair
Shall hold me bound to earth while heaven is there.

Here the voice ceased and Clara's sobs began afresh, all which
excited Dorothea's curiosity to know what could be the cause of
singing so sweet and weeping so bitter, so she again asked her what it
was she was going to say before. On this Clara, afraid that Luscinda
might overhear her, winding her arms tightly round Dorothea put her
mouth so close to her ear that she could speak without fear of being
heard by anyone else, and said:

"This singer, dear senora, is the son of a gentleman of Aragon, lord
of two villages, who lives opposite my father's house at Madrid; and
though my father had curtains to the windows of his house in winter,
and lattice-work in summer, in some way- I know not how- this
gentleman, who was pursuing his studies, saw me, whether in church
or elsewhere, I cannot tell, and, in fact, fell in love with me, and
gave me to know it from the windows of his house, with so many signs
and tears that I was forced to believe him, and even to love him,
without knowing what it was he wanted of me. One of the signs he
used to make me was to link one hand in the other, to show me he
wished to marry me; and though I should have been glad if that could
be, being alone and motherless I knew not whom to open my mind to, and
so I left it as it was, showing him no favour, except when my
father, and his too, were from home, to raise the curtain or the
lattice a little and let him see me plainly, at which he would show
such delight that he seemed as if he were going mad. Meanwhile the
time for my father's departure arrived, which he became aware of,
but not from me, for I had never been able to tell him of it. He
fell sick, of grief I believe, and so the day we were going away I
could not see him to take farewell of him, were it only with the eyes.
But after we had been two days on the road, on entering the posada
of a village a day's journey from this, I saw him at the inn door in
the dress of a muleteer, and so well disguised, that if I did not
carry his image graven on my heart it would have been impossible for
me to recognise him. But I knew him, and I was surprised, and glad; he
watched me, unsuspected by my father, from whom he always hides
himself when he crosses my path on the road, or in the posadas where
we halt; and, as I know what he is, and reflect that for love of me he
makes this journey on foot in all this hardship, I am ready to die
of sorrow; and where he sets foot there I set my eyes. I know not with
what object he has come; or how he could have got away from his
father, who loves him beyond measure, having no other heir, and
because he deserves it, as you will perceive when you see him. And
moreover, I can tell you, all that he sings is out of his own head;
for I have heard them say he is a great scholar and poet; and what is
more, every time I see him or hear him sing I tremble all over, and am
terrified lest my father should recognise him and come to know of our
loves. I have never spoken a word to him in my life; and for all that
I love him so that I could not live without him. This, dear senora, is
all I have to tell you about the musician whose voice has delighted
you so much; and from it alone you might easily perceive he is no
muleteer, but a lord of hearts and towns, as I told you already."

"Say no more, Dona Clara," said Dorothea at this, at the same time
kissing her a thousand times over, "say no more, I tell you, but
wait till day comes; when I trust in God to arrange this affair of
yours so that it may have the happy ending such an innocent
beginning deserves."

"Ah, senora," said Dona Clara, "what end can be hoped for when his
father is of such lofty position, and so wealthy, that he would
think I was not fit to be even a servant to his son, much less wife?
And as to marrying without the knowledge of my father, I would not
do it for all the world. I would not ask anything more than that
this youth should go back and leave me; perhaps with not seeing him,
and the long distance we shall have to travel, the pain I suffer now
may become easier; though I daresay the remedy I propose will do me
very little good. I don't know how the devil this has come about, or
how this love I have for him got in; I such a young girl, and he
such a mere boy; for I verily believe we are both of an age, and I
am not sixteen yet; for I will be sixteen Michaelmas Day, next, my
father says."

Dorothea could not help laughing to hear how like a child Dona Clara
spoke. "Let us go to sleep now, senora," said she, "for the little
of the night that I fancy is left to us: God will soon send us
daylight, and we will set all to rights, or it will go hard with me."

With this they fell asleep, and deep silence reigned all through the
inn. The only persons not asleep were the landlady's daughter and
her servant Maritornes, who, knowing the weak point of Don Quixote's
humour, and that he was outside the inn mounting guard in armour and
on horseback, resolved, the pair of them, to play some trick upon him,
or at any rate to amuse themselves for a while by listening to his
nonsense. As it so happened there was not a window in the whole inn
that looked outwards except a hole in the wall of a straw-loft through
which they used to throw out the straw. At this hole the two
demi-damsels posted themselves, and observed Don Quixote on his horse,
leaning on his pike and from time to time sending forth such deep
and doleful sighs, that he seemed to pluck up his soul by the roots
with each of them; and they could hear him, too, saying in a soft,
tender, loving tone, "Oh my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, perfection of
all beauty, summit and crown of discretion, treasure house of grace,
depositary of virtue, and finally, ideal of all that is good,
honourable, and delectable in this world! What is thy grace doing now?
Art thou, perchance, mindful of thy enslaved knight who of his own
free will hath exposed himself to so great perils, and all to serve
thee? Give me tidings of her, oh luminary of the three faces!
Perhaps at this moment, envious of hers, thou art regarding her,
either as she paces to and fro some gallery of her sumptuous
palaces, or leans over some balcony, meditating how, whilst preserving
her purity and greatness, she may mitigate the tortures this
wretched heart of mine endures for her sake, what glory should
recompense my sufferings, what repose my toil, and lastly what death
my life, and what reward my services? And thou, oh sun, that art now
doubtless harnessing thy steeds in haste to rise betimes and come
forth to see my lady; when thou seest her I entreat of thee to
salute her on my behalf: but have a care, when thou shalt see her
and salute her, that thou kiss not her face; for I shall be more
jealous of thee than thou wert of that light-footed ingrate that
made thee sweat and run so on the plains of Thessaly, or on the
banks of the Peneus (for I do not exactly recollect where it was
thou didst run on that occasion) in thy jealousy and love."

Don Quixote had got so far in his pathetic speech when the
landlady's daughter began to signal to him, saying, "Senor, come
over here, please."

At these signals and voice Don Quixote turned his head and saw by
the light of the moon, which then was in its full splendour, that some
one was calling to him from the hole in the wall, which seemed to
him to be a window, and what is more, with a gilt grating, as rich
castles, such as he believed the inn to be, ought to have; and it
immediately suggested itself to his imagination that, as on the former
occasion, the fair damsel, the daughter of the lady of the castle,
overcome by love for him, was once more endeavouring to win his
affections; and with this idea, not to show himself discourteous, or
ungrateful, he turned Rocinante's head and approached the hole, and as
he perceived the two wenches he said:

"I pity you, beauteous lady, that you should have directed your
thoughts of love to a quarter from whence it is impossible that such a
return can be made to you as is due to your great merit and gentle
birth, for which you must not blame this unhappy knight-errant whom
love renders incapable of submission to any other than her whom, the
first moment his eyes beheld her, he made absolute mistress of his
soul. Forgive me, noble lady, and retire to your apartment, and do
not, by any further declaration of your passion, compel me to show
myself more ungrateful; and if, of the love you bear me, you should
find that there is anything else in my power wherein I can gratify
you, provided it be not love itself, demand it of me; for I swear to
you by that sweet absent enemy of mine to grant it this instant,
though it be that you require of me a lock of Medusa's hair, which was
all snakes, or even the very beams of the sun shut up in a vial."

"My mistress wants nothing of that sort, sir knight," said
Maritornes at this.

"What then, discreet dame, is it that your mistress wants?"
replied Don Quixote.

"Only one of your fair hands," said Maritornes, "to enable her to
vent over it the great passion passion which has brought her to this
loophole, so much to the risk of her honour; for if the lord her
father had heard her, the least slice he would cut off her would be
her ear."

"I should like to see that tried," said Don Quixote; "but he had
better beware of that, if he does not want to meet the most disastrous
end that ever father in the world met for having laid hands on the
tender limbs of a love-stricken daughter."

Maritornes felt sure that Don Quixote would present the hand she had
asked, and making up her mind what to do, she got down from the hole
and went into the stable, where she took the halter of Sancho
Panza's ass, and in all haste returned to the hole, just as Don
Quixote had planted himself standing on Rocinante's saddle in order to
reach the grated window where he supposed the lovelorn damsel to be;
and giving her his hand, he said, "Lady, take this hand, or rather
this scourge of the evil-doers of the earth; take, I say, this hand
which no other hand of woman has ever touched, not even hers who has
complete possession of my entire body. I present it to you, not that
you may kiss it, but that you may observe the contexture of the
sinews, the close network of the muscles, the breadth and capacity
of the veins, whence you may infer what must be the strength of the
arm that has such a hand."

"That we shall see presently," said Maritornes, and making a running
knot on the halter, she passed it over his wrist and coming down
from the hole tied the other end very firmly to the bolt of the door
of the straw-loft.

Don Quixote, feeling the roughness of the rope on his wrist,
exclaimed, "Your grace seems to be grating rather than caressing my
hand; treat it not so harshly, for it is not to blame for the
offence my resolution has given you, nor is it just to wreak all
your vengeance on so small a part; remember that one who loves so well
should not revenge herself so cruelly."

But there was nobody now to listen to these words of Don
Quixote's, for as soon as Maritornes had tied him she and the other
made off, ready to die with laughing, leaving him fastened in such a
way that it was impossible for him to release himself.

He was, as has been said, standing on Rocinante, with his arm passed
through the hole and his wrist tied to the bolt of the door, and in
mighty fear and dread of being left hanging by the arm if Rocinante
were to stir one side or the other; so he did not dare to make the
least movement, although from the patience and imperturbable
disposition of Rocinante, he had good reason to expect that he would
stand without budging for a whole century. Finding himself fast, then,
and that the ladies had retired, he began to fancy that all this was
done by enchantment, as on the former occasion when in that same
castle that enchanted Moor of a carrier had belaboured him; and he
cursed in his heart his own want of sense and judgment in venturing to
enter the castle again, after having come off so badly the first time;
it being a settled point with knights-errant that when they have tried
an adventure, and have not succeeded in it, it is a sign that it is
not reserved for them but for others, and that therefore they need not
try it again. Nevertheless he pulled his arm to see if he could
release himself, but it had been made so fast that all his efforts
were in vain. It is true he pulled it gently lest Rocinante should
move, but try as he might to seat himself in the saddle, he had
nothing for it but to stand upright or pull his hand off. Then it
was he wished for the sword of Amadis, against which no enchantment
whatever had any power; then he cursed his ill fortune; then he
magnified the loss the world would sustain by his absence while he
remained there enchanted, for that he believed he was beyond all
doubt; then he once more took to thinking of his beloved Dulcinea
del Toboso; then he called to his worthy squire Sancho Panza, who,
buried in sleep and stretched upon the pack-saddle of his ass, was
oblivious, at that moment, of the mother that bore him; then he called
upon the sages Lirgandeo and Alquife to come to his aid; then he
invoked his good friend Urganda to succour him; and then, at last,
morning found him in such a state of desperation and perplexity that
he was bellowing like a bull, for he had no hope that day would
bring any relief to his suffering, which he believed would last for
ever, inasmuch as he was enchanted; and of this he was convinced by
seeing that Rocinante never stirred, much or little, and he felt
persuaded that he and his horse were to remain in this state,
without eating or drinking or sleeping, until the malign influence
of the stars was overpast, or until some other more sage enchanter
should disenchant him.

But he was very much deceived in this conclusion, for daylight had
hardly begun to appear when there came up to the inn four men on
horseback, well equipped and accoutred, with firelocks across their
saddle-bows. They called out and knocked loudly at the gate of the
inn, which was still shut; on seeing which, Don Quixote, even there
where he was, did not forget to act as sentinel, and said in a loud
and imperious tone, "Knights, or squires, or whatever ye be, ye have
no right to knock at the gates of this castle; for it is plain
enough that they who are within are either asleep, or else are not
in the habit of throwing open the fortress until the sun's rays are
spread over the whole surface of the earth. Withdraw to a distance,
and wait till it is broad daylight, and then we shall see whether it
will be proper or not to open to you."

"What the devil fortress or castle is this," said one, "to make us
stand on such ceremony? If you are the innkeeper bid them open to
us; we are travellers who only want to feed our horses and go on,
for we are in haste."

"Do you think, gentlemen, that I look like an innkeeper?" said Don

"I don't know what you look like," replied the other; "but I know
that you are talking nonsense when you call this inn a castle."

"A castle it is," returned Don Quixote, "nay, more, one of the
best in this whole province, and it has within it people who have
had the sceptre in the hand and the crown on the head."

"It would be better if it were the other way," said the traveller,
"the sceptre on the head and the crown in the hand; but if so, may
be there is within some company of players, with whom it is a common
thing to have those crowns and sceptres you speak of; for in such a
small inn as this, and where such silence is kept, I do not believe
any people entitled to crowns and sceptres can have taken up their

"You know but little of the world," returned Don Quixote, "since you
are ignorant of what commonly occurs in knight-errantry."

But the comrades of the spokesman, growing weary of the dialogue
with Don Quixote, renewed their knocks with great vehemence, so much
so that the host, and not only he but everybody in the inn, awoke, and
he got up to ask who knocked. It happened at this moment that one of
the horses of the four who were seeking admittance went to smell
Rocinante, who melancholy, dejected, and with drooping ears stood
motionless, supporting his sorely stretched master; and as he was,
after all, flesh, though he looked as if he were made of wood, he
could not help giving way and in return smelling the one who had come
to offer him attentions. But he had hardly moved at all when Don
Quixote lost his footing; and slipping off the saddle, he would have
come to the ground, but for being suspended by the arm, which caused
him such agony that he believed either his wrist would be cut through
or his arm torn off; and he hung so near the ground that he could just
touch it with his feet, which was all the worse for him; for, finding
how little was wanted to enable him to plant his feet firmly, he
struggled and stretched himself as much as he could to gain a footing;
just like those undergoing the torture of the strappado, when they are
fixed at "touch and no touch," who aggravate their own sufferings by
their violent efforts to stretch themselves, deceived by the hope
which makes them fancy that with a very little more they will reach
the ground.



So loud, in fact, were the shouts of Don Quixote, that the
landlord opening the gate of the inn in all haste, came out in dismay,
and ran to see who was uttering such cries, and those who were outside
joined him. Maritornes, who had been by this time roused up by the
same outcry, suspecting what it was, ran to the loft and, without
anyone seeing her, untied the halter by which Don Quixote was
suspended, and down he came to the ground in the sight of the landlord
and the travellers, who approaching asked him what was the matter with
him that he shouted so. He without replying a word took the rope off
his wrist, and rising to his feet leaped upon Rocinante, braced his
buckler on his arm, put his lance in rest, and making a considerable
circuit of the plain came back at a half-gallop exclaiming:

"Whoever shall say that I have been enchanted with just cause,
provided my lady the Princess Micomicona grants me permission to do
so, I give him the lie, challenge him and defy him to single combat."

The newly arrived travellers were amazed at the words of Don
Quixote; but the landlord removed their surprise by telling them who
he was, and not to mind him as he was out of his senses. They then
asked the landlord if by any chance a youth of about fifteen years
of age had come to that inn, one dressed like a muleteer, and of
such and such an appearance, describing that of Dona Clara's lover.
The landlord replied that there were so many people in the inn he
had not noticed the person they were inquiring for; but one of them
observing the coach in which the Judge had come, said, "He is here
no doubt, for this is the coach he is following: let one of us stay at
the gate, and the rest go in to look for him; or indeed it would be as
well if one of us went round the inn, lest he should escape over the
wall of the yard." "So be it," said another; and while two of them
went in, one remained at the gate and the other made the circuit of
the inn; observing all which, the landlord was unable to conjecture
for what reason they were taking all these precautions, though he
understood they were looking for the youth whose description they
had given him.

It was by this time broad daylight; and for that reason, as well
as in consequence of the noise Don Quixote had made, everybody was
awake and up, but particularly Dona Clara and Dorothea; for they had
been able to sleep but badly that night, the one from agitation at
having her lover so near her, the other from curiosity to see him. Don
Quixote, when he saw that not one of the four travellers took any
notice of him or replied to his challenge, was furious and ready to
die with indignation and wrath; and if he could have found in the
ordinances of chivalry that it was lawful for a knight-errant to
undertake or engage in another enterprise, when he had plighted his
word and faith not to involve himself in any until he had made an
end of the one to which he was pledged, he would have attacked the
whole of them, and would have made them return an answer in spite of
themselves. But considering that it would not become him, nor be
right, to begin any new emprise until he had established Micomicona in
her kingdom, he was constrained to hold his peace and wait quietly
to see what would be the upshot of the proceedings of those same
travellers; one of whom found the youth they were seeking lying asleep
by the side of a muleteer, without a thought of anyone coming in
search of him, much less finding him.

The man laid hold of him by the arm, saying, "It becomes you well
indeed, Senor Don Luis, to be in the dress you wear, and well the
bed in which I find you agrees with the luxury in which your mother
reared you."

The youth rubbed his sleepy eyes and stared for a while at him who
held him, but presently recognised him as one of his father's
servants, at which he was so taken aback that for some time he could
not find or utter a word; while the servant went on to say, "There
is nothing for it now, Senor Don Luis, but to submit quietly and
return home, unless it is your wish that my lord, your father,
should take his departure for the other world, for nothing else can be
the consequence of the grief he is in at your absence."

"But how did my father know that I had gone this road and in this
dress?" said Don Luis.

"It was a student to whom you confided your intentions," answered
the servant, "that disclosed them, touched with pity at the distress
he saw your father suffer on missing you; he therefore despatched four
of his servants in quest of you, and here we all are at your
service, better pleased than you can imagine that we shall return so
soon and be able to restore you to those eyes that so yearn for you."

"That shall be as I please, or as heaven orders," returned Don Luis.

"What can you please or heaven order," said the other, "except to
agree to go back? Anything else is impossible."

All this conversation between the two was overheard by the
muleteer at whose side Don Luis lay, and rising, he went to report
what had taken place to Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the others, who
had by this time dressed themselves; and told them how the man had
addressed the youth as "Don," and what words had passed, and how he
wanted him to return to his father, which the youth was unwilling to
do. With this, and what they already knew of the rare voice that
heaven had bestowed upon him, they all felt very anxious to know
more particularly who he was, and even to help him if it was attempted
to employ force against him; so they hastened to where he was still
talking and arguing with his servant. Dorothea at this instant came
out of her room, followed by Dona Clara all in a tremor; and calling
Cardenio aside, she told him in a few words the story of the
musician and Dona Clara, and he at the same time told her what had
happened, how his father's servants had come in search of him; but
in telling her so, he did not speak low enough but that Dona Clara
heard what he said, at which she was so much agitated that had not
Dorothea hastened to support her she would have fallen to the
ground. Cardenio then bade Dorothea return to her room, as he would
endeavour to make the whole matter right, and they did as he
desired. All the four who had come in quest of Don Luis had now come
into the inn and surrounded him, urging him to return and console
his father at once and without a moment's delay. He replied that he
could not do so on any account until he had concluded some business in
which his life, honour, and heart were at stake. The servants
pressed him, saying that most certainly they would not return
without him, and that they would take him away whether he liked it
or not.

"You shall not do that," replied Don Luis, "unless you take me dead;
though however you take me, it will be without life."

By this time most of those in the inn had been attracted by the
dispute, but particularly Cardenio, Don Fernando, his companions,
the Judge, the curate, the barber, and Don Quixote; for he now
considered there was no necessity for mounting guard over the castle
any longer. Cardenio being already acquainted with the young man's
story, asked the men who wanted to take him away, what object they had
in seeking to carry off this youth against his will.

"Our object," said one of the four, "is to save the life of his
father, who is in danger of losing it through this gentleman's

Upon this Don Luis exclaimed, "There is no need to make my affairs
public here; I am free, and I will return if I please; and if not,
none of you shall compel me."

"Reason will compel your worship," said the man, "and if it has no
power over you, it has power over us, to make us do what we came
for, and what it is our duty to do."

"Let us hear what the whole affair is about," said the Judge at
this; but the man, who knew him as a neighbour of theirs, replied, "Do
you not know this gentleman, Senor Judge? He is the son of your
neighbour, who has run away from his father's house in a dress so
unbecoming his rank, as your worship may perceive."

The judge on this looked at him more carefully and recognised him,
and embracing him said, "What folly is this, Senor Don Luis, or what
can have been the cause that could have induced you to come here in
this way, and in this dress, which so ill becomes your condition?"

Tears came into the eyes of the young man, and he was unable to
utter a word in reply to the Judge, who told the four servants not
to be uneasy, for all would be satisfactorily settled; and then taking
Don Luis by the hand, he drew him aside and asked the reason of his
having come there.

But while he was questioning him they heard a loud outcry at the
gate of the inn, the cause of which was that two of the guests who had
passed the night there, seeing everybody busy about finding out what
it was the four men wanted, had conceived the idea of going off
without paying what they owed; but the landlord, who minded his own
affairs more than other people's, caught them going out of the gate
and demanded his reckoning, abusing them for their dishonesty with
such language that he drove them to reply with their fists, and so
they began to lay on him in such a style that the poor man was
forced to cry out, and call for help. The landlady and her daughter
could see no one more free to give aid than Don Quixote, and to him
the daughter said, "Sir knight, by the virtue God has given you,
help my poor father, for two wicked men are beating him to a mummy."

To which Don Quixote very deliberately and phlegmatically replied,
"Fair damsel, at the present moment your request is inopportune, for I
am debarred from involving myself in any adventure until I have
brought to a happy conclusion one to which my word has pledged me; but
that which I can do for you is what I will now mention: run and tell
your father to stand his ground as well as he can in this battle,
and on no account to allow himself to be vanquished, while I go and
request permission of the Princess Micomicona to enable me to
succour him in his distress; and if she grants it, rest assured I will
relieve him from it."

"Sinner that I am," exclaimed Maritornes, who stood by; "before
you have got your permission my master will be in the other world."

"Give me leave, senora, to obtain the permission I speak of,"
returned Don Quixote; "and if I get it, it will matter very little
if he is in the other world; for I will rescue him thence in spite
of all the same world can do; or at any rate I will give you such a
revenge over those who shall have sent him there that you will be more
than moderately satisfied;" and without saying anything more he went
and knelt before Dorothea, requesting her Highness in knightly and
errant phrase to be pleased to grant him permission to aid and succour
the castellan of that castle, who now stood in grievous jeopardy.
The princess granted it graciously, and he at once, bracing his
buckler on his arm and drawing his sword, hastened to the inn-gate,
where the two guests were still handling the landlord roughly; but
as soon as he reached the spot he stopped short and stood still,
though Maritornes and the landlady asked him why he hesitated to
help their master and husband.

"I hesitate," said Don Quixote, "because it is not lawful for me
to draw sword against persons of squirely condition; but call my
squire Sancho to me; for this defence and vengeance are his affair and

Thus matters stood at the inn-gate, where there was a very lively
exchange of fisticuffs and punches, to the sore damage of the landlord
and to the wrath of Maritornes, the landlady, and her daughter, who
were furious when they saw the pusillanimity of Don Quixote, and the
hard treatment their master, husband and father was undergoing. But
let us leave him there; for he will surely find some one to help
him, and if not, let him suffer and hold his tongue who attempts
more than his strength allows him to do; and let us go back fifty
paces to see what Don Luis said in reply to the Judge whom we left
questioning him privately as to his reasons for coming on foot and
so meanly dressed.

To which the youth, pressing his hand in a way that showed his heart
was troubled by some great sorrow, and shedding a flood of tears, made

"Senor, I have no more to tell you than that from the moment when,
through heaven's will and our being near neighbours, I first saw
Dona Clara, your daughter and my lady, from that instant I made her
the mistress of my will, and if yours, my true lord and father, offers
no impediment, this very day she shall become my wife. For her I
left my father's house, and for her I assumed this disguise, to follow
her whithersoever she may go, as the arrow seeks its mark or the
sailor the pole-star. She knows nothing more of my passion than what
she may have learned from having sometimes seen from a distance that
my eyes were filled with tears. You know already, senor, the wealth
and noble birth of my parents, and that I am their sole heir; if
this be a sufficient inducement for you to venture to make me
completely happy, accept me at once as your son; for if my father,
influenced by other objects of his own, should disapprove of this
happiness I have sought for myself, time has more power to alter and
change things, than human will."

With this the love-smitten youth was silent, while the Judge,
after hearing him, was astonished, perplexed, and surprised, as well
at the manner and intelligence with which Don Luis had confessed the
secret of his heart, as at the position in which he found himself, not
knowing what course to take in a matter so sudden and unexpected.
All the answer, therefore, he gave him was to bid him to make his mind
easy for the present, and arrange with his servants not to take him
back that day, so that there might be time to consider what was best
for all parties. Don Luis kissed his hands by force, nay, bathed
them with his tears, in a way that would have touched a heart of
marble, not to say that of the Judge, who, as a shrewd man, had
already perceived how advantageous the marriage would be to his
daughter; though, were it possible, he would have preferred that it
should be brought about with the consent of the father of Don Luis,
who he knew looked for a title for his son.

The guests had by this time made peace with the landlord, for, by
persuasion and Don Quixote's fair words more than by threats, they had
paid him what he demanded, and the servants of Don Luis were waiting
for the end of the conversation with the Judge and their master's
decision, when the devil, who never sleeps, contrived that the barber,
from whom Don Quixote had taken Mambrino's helmet, and Sancho Panza
the trappings of his ass in exchange for those of his own, should at
this instant enter the inn; which said barber, as he led his ass to
the stable, observed Sancho Panza engaged in repairing something or
other belonging to the pack-saddle; and the moment he saw it he knew
it, and made bold to attack Sancho, exclaiming, "Ho, sir thief, I have
caught you! hand over my basin and my pack-saddle, and all my

Book of the day: