Part 11 out of 20
OF THE PROGRESS OF SANCHO'S GOVERNMENT, AND OTHER SUCH
WHEREIN IS RELATED THE ADVENTURE OF THE SECOND DISTRESSED OR
AFFLICTED DUENNA, OTHERWISE CALLED DONA RODRIGUEZ
OF THE TROUBLOUS END AND TERMINATION SANCHO PANZA'S GOVERNMENT CAME TO
WHICH DEALS WITH MATTERS RELATING TO THIS HISTORY AND NO OTHER
OF WHAT BEFELL SANCHO ON THE ROAD, AND OTHER THINGS THAT CANNOT BE
OF THE PRODIGIOUS AND UNPARALLELED BATTLE THAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN
DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA AND THE LACQUEY TOSILOS IN DEFENCE OF THE
DAUGHTER OF DONA RODRIGUEZ
WHICH TREATS OF HOW DON QUIXOTE TOOK LEAVE OF THE DUKE, AND OF
WHAT FOLLOWED WITH THE WITTY AND IMPUDENT ALTISIDORA, ONE OF THE
WHICH TELLS HOW ADVENTURES CAME CROWDING ON DON QUIXOTE IN SUCH
NUMBERS THAT THEY GAVE ONE ANOTHER NO BREATHING-TIME
WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE THING, WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS AN
ADVENTURE, THAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE
OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON HIS WAY TO BARCELONA
OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON ENTERING BARCELONA, TOGETHER WITH
OTHER MATTERS THAT PARTAKE OF THE TRUE RATHER THAN OF THE INGENIOUS
WHICH DEALS WITH THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENCHANTED HEAD, TOGETHER
WITH OTHER TRIVIAL MATTERS WHICH CANNOT BE LEFT UNTOLD
OF THE MISHAP THAT BEFELL SANCHO PANZA THROUGH THE VISIT TO THE
GALLEYS, AND THE STRANGE ADVENTURE OF THE FAIR MORISCO
TREATING OF THE ADVENTURE WHICH GAVE DON QUIXOTE MORE UNHAPPINESS
THAN ALL THAT HAD HITHERTO BEFALLEN HIM
WHEREIN IS MADE KNOWN WHO THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON WAS; LIKEWISE
DON GREGORIO'S RELEASE, AND OTHER EVENTS
WHICH TREATS OF WHAT HE WHO READS WILL SEE, OR WHAT HE WHO HAS IT
READ TO HIM WILL HEAR
OF THE RESOLUTION DON QUIXOTE FORMED TO TURN SHEPHERD AND TAKE TO
A LIFE IN THE FIELDS WHILE THE YEAR FOR WHICH HE HAD GIVEN HIS WORD
WAS RUNNING ITS COURSE; WITH OTHER EVENTS TRULY DELECTABLE AND HAPPY
OF THE BRISTLY ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE
OF THE STRANGEST AND MOST EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON
QUIXOTE IN THE WHOLE COURSE OF THIS GREAT HISTORY
WHICH FOLLOWS SIXTY-NINE AND DEALS WITH MATTERS INDISPENSABLE FOR
THE CLEAR COMPREHENSION OF THIS HISTORY
OF WHAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS SQUIRE SANCHO ON THE
WAY TO THEIR VILLAGE
OF HOW DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO REACHED THEIR VILLAGE
OF THE OMENS DON QUIXOTE HAD AS HE ENTERED HIS OWN VILLAGE, AND
OTHER INCIDENTS THAT EMBELLISH AND GIVE A COLOUR TO THIS GREAT HISTORY
OF HOW DON QUIXOTE FELL SICK, AND OF THE WILL HE MADE, AND HOW HE DIED
DEDICATION OF PART II.
TO THE COUNT OF LEMOS:
These days past, when sending Your Excellency my plays, that had appeared
in print before being shown on the stage, I said, if I remember well,
that Don Quixote was putting on his spurs to go and render homage to Your
Excellency. Now I say that "with his spurs, he is on his way." Should he
reach destination methinks I shall have rendered some service to Your
Excellency, as from many parts I am urged to send him off, so as to
dispel the loathing and disgust caused by another Don Quixote who, under
the name of Second Part, has run masquerading through the whole world.
And he who has shown the greatest longing for him has been the great
Emperor of China, who wrote me a letter in Chinese a month ago and sent
it by a special courier. He asked me, or to be truthful, he begged me to
send him Don Quixote, for he intended to found a college where the
Spanish tongue would be taught, and it was his wish that the book to be
read should be the History of Don Quixote. He also added that I should go
and be the rector of this college. I asked the bearer if His Majesty had
afforded a sum in aid of my travel expenses. He answered, "No, not even
"Then, brother," I replied, "you can return to your China, post haste or
at whatever haste you are bound to go, as I am not fit for so long a
travel and, besides being ill, I am very much without money, while
Emperor for Emperor and Monarch for Monarch, I have at Naples the great
Count of Lemos, who, without so many petty titles of colleges and
rectorships, sustains me, protects me and does me more favour than I can
Thus I gave him his leave and I beg mine from you, offering Your
Excellency the "Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda," a book I shall finish
within four months, Deo volente, and which will be either the worst or
the best that has been composed in our language, I mean of those intended
for entertainment; at which I repent of having called it the worst, for,
in the opinion of friends, it is bound to attain the summit of possible
quality. May Your Excellency return in such health that is wished you;
Persiles will be ready to kiss your hand and I your feet, being as I am,
Your Excellency's most humble servant.
From Madrid, this last day of October of the year one thousand six
hundred and fifteen.
At the service of Your Excellency:
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA
THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE
God bless me, gentle (or it may be plebeian) reader, how eagerly must
thou be looking forward to this preface, expecting to find there
retaliation, scolding, and abuse against the author of the second Don
Quixote--I mean him who was, they say, begotten at Tordesillas and born
at Tarragona! Well then, the truth is, I am not going to give thee that
satisfaction; for, though injuries stir up anger in humbler breasts, in
mine the rule must admit of an exception. Thou wouldst have me call him
ass, fool, and malapert, but I have no such intention; let his offence be
his punishment, with his bread let him eat it, and there's an end of it.
What I cannot help taking amiss is that he charges me with being old and
one-handed, as if it had been in my power to keep time from passing over
me, or as if the loss of my hand had been brought about in some tavern,
and not on the grandest occasion the past or present has seen, or the
future can hope to see. If my wounds have no beauty to the beholder's
eye, they are, at least, honourable in the estimation of those who know
where they were received; for the soldier shows to greater advantage dead
in battle than alive in flight; and so strongly is this my feeling, that
if now it were proposed to perform an impossibility for me, I would
rather have had my share in that mighty action, than be free from my
wounds this minute without having been present at it. Those the soldier
shows on his face and breast are stars that direct others to the heaven
of honour and ambition of merited praise; and moreover it is to be
observed that it is not with grey hairs that one writes, but with the
understanding, and that commonly improves with years. I take it amiss,
too, that he calls me envious, and explains to me, as if I were ignorant,
what envy is; for really and truly, of the two kinds there are, I only
know that which is holy, noble, and high-minded; and if that be so, as it
is, I am not likely to attack a priest, above all if, in addition, he
holds the rank of familiar of the Holy Office. And if he said what he did
on account of him on whose behalf it seems he spoke, he is entirely
mistaken; for I worship the genius of that person, and admire his works
and his unceasing and strenuous industry. After all, I am grateful to
this gentleman, the author, for saying that my novels are more satirical
than exemplary, but that they are good; for they could not be that unless
there was a little of everything in them.
I suspect thou wilt say that I am taking a very humble line, and keeping
myself too much within the bounds of my moderation, from a feeling that
additional suffering should not be inflicted upon a sufferer, and that
what this gentleman has to endure must doubtless be very great, as he
does not dare to come out into the open field and broad daylight, but
hides his name and disguises his country as if he had been guilty of some
lese majesty. If perchance thou shouldst come to know him, tell him from
me that I do not hold myself aggrieved; for I know well what the
temptations of the devil are, and that one of the greatest is putting it
into a man's head that he can write and print a book by which he will get
as much fame as money, and as much money as fame; and to prove it I will
beg of you, in your own sprightly, pleasant way, to tell him this story.
There was a madman in Seville who took to one of the drollest absurdities
and vagaries that ever madman in the world gave way to. It was this: he
made a tube of reed sharp at one end, and catching a dog in the street,
or wherever it might be, he with his foot held one of its legs fast, and
with his hand lifted up the other, and as best he could fixed the tube
where, by blowing, he made the dog as round as a ball; then holding it in
this position, he gave it a couple of slaps on the belly, and let it go,
saying to the bystanders (and there were always plenty of them): "Do your
worships think, now, that it is an easy thing to blow up a dog?"--Does
your worship think now, that it is an easy thing to write a book?
And if this story does not suit him, you may, dear reader, tell him this
one, which is likewise of a madman and a dog.
In Cordova there was another madman, whose way it was to carry a piece of
marble slab or a stone, not of the lightest, on his head, and when he
came upon any unwary dog he used to draw close to him and let the weight
fall right on top of him; on which the dog in a rage, barking and
howling, would run three streets without stopping. It so happened,
however, that one of the dogs he discharged his load upon was a
cap-maker's dog, of which his master was very fond. The stone came down
hitting it on the head, the dog raised a yell at the blow, the master saw
the affair and was wroth, and snatching up a measuring-yard rushed out at
the madman and did not leave a sound bone in his body, and at every
stroke he gave him he said, "You dog, you thief! my lurcher! Don't you
see, you brute, that my dog is a lurcher?" and so, repeating the word
"lurcher" again and again, he sent the madman away beaten to a jelly. The
madman took the lesson to heart, and vanished, and for more than a month
never once showed himself in public; but after that he came out again
with his old trick and a heavier load than ever. He came up to where
there was a dog, and examining it very carefully without venturing to let
the stone fall, he said: "This is a lurcher; ware!" In short, all the
dogs he came across, be they mastiffs or terriers, he said were lurchers;
and he discharged no more stones. Maybe it will be the same with this
historian; that he will not venture another time to discharge the weight
of his wit in books, which, being bad, are harder than stones. Tell him,
too, that I do not care a farthing for the threat he holds out to me of
depriving me of my profit by means of his book; for, to borrow from the
famous interlude of "The Perendenga," I say in answer to him, "Long life
to my lord the Veintiquatro, and Christ be with us all." Long life to the
great Conde de Lemos, whose Christian charity and well-known generosity
support me against all the strokes of my curst fortune; and long life to
the supreme benevolence of His Eminence of Toledo, Don Bernardo de
Sandoval y Rojas; and what matter if there be no printing-presses in the
world, or if they print more books against me than there are letters in
the verses of Mingo Revulgo! These two princes, unsought by any adulation
or flattery of mine, of their own goodness alone, have taken it upon them
to show me kindness and protect me, and in this I consider myself happier
and richer than if Fortune had raised me to her greatest height in the
ordinary way. The poor man may retain honour, but not the vicious;
poverty may cast a cloud over nobility, but cannot hide it altogether;
and as virtue of itself sheds a certain light, even though it be through
the straits and chinks of penury, it wins the esteem of lofty and noble
spirits, and in consequence their protection. Thou needst say no more to
him, nor will I say anything more to thee, save to tell thee to bear in
mind that this Second Part of "Don Quixote" which I offer thee is cut by
the same craftsman and from the same cloth as the First, and that in it I
present thee Don Quixote continued, and at length dead and buried, so
that no one may dare to bring forward any further evidence against him,
for that already produced is sufficient; and suffice it, too, that some
reputable person should have given an account of all these shrewd
lunacies of his without going into the matter again; for abundance, even
of good things, prevents them from being valued; and scarcity, even in
the case of what is bad, confers a certain value. I was forgetting to
tell thee that thou mayest expect the "Persiles," which I am now
finishing, and also the Second Part of "Galatea."
OF THE INTERVIEW THE CURATE AND THE BARBER HAD WITH DON QUIXOTE ABOUT HIS
Cide Hamete Benengeli, in the Second Part of this history, and third
sally of Don Quixote, says that the curate and the barber remained nearly
a month without seeing him, lest they should recall or bring back to his
recollection what had taken place. They did not, however, omit to visit
his niece and housekeeper, and charge them to be careful to treat him
with attention, and give him comforting things to eat, and such as were
good for the heart and the brain, whence, it was plain to see, all his
misfortune proceeded. The niece and housekeeper replied that they did so,
and meant to do so with all possible care and assiduity, for they could
perceive that their master was now and then beginning to show signs of
being in his right mind. This gave great satisfaction to the curate and
the barber, for they concluded they had taken the right course in
carrying him off enchanted on the ox-cart, as has been described in the
First Part of this great as well as accurate history, in the last chapter
thereof. So they resolved to pay him a visit and test the improvement in
his condition, although they thought it almost impossible that there
could be any; and they agreed not to touch upon any point connected with
knight-errantry so as not to run the risk of reopening wounds which were
still so tender.
They came to see him consequently, and found him sitting up in bed in a
green baize waistcoat and a red Toledo cap, and so withered and dried up
that he looked as if he had been turned into a mummy. They were very
cordially received by him; they asked him after his health, and he talked
to them about himself very naturally and in very well-chosen language. In
the course of their conversation they fell to discussing what they call
State-craft and systems of government, correcting this abuse and
condemning that, reforming one practice and abolishing another, each of
the three setting up for a new legislator, a modern Lycurgus, or a
brand-new Solon; and so completely did they remodel the State, that they
seemed to have thrust it into a furnace and taken out something quite
different from what they had put in; and on all the subjects they dealt
with, Don Quixote spoke with such good sense that the pair of examiners
were fully convinced that he was quite recovered and in his full senses.
The niece and housekeeper were present at the conversation and could not
find words enough to express their thanks to God at seeing their master
so clear in his mind; the curate, however, changing his original plan,
which was to avoid touching upon matters of chivalry, resolved to test
Don Quixote's recovery thoroughly, and see whether it were genuine or
not; and so, from one subject to another, he came at last to talk of the
news that had come from the capital, and, among other things, he said it
was considered certain that the Turk was coming down with a powerful
fleet, and that no one knew what his purpose was, or when the great storm
would burst; and that all Christendom was in apprehension of this, which
almost every year calls us to arms, and that his Majesty had made
provision for the security of the coasts of Naples and Sicily and the
island of Malta.
To this Don Quixote replied, "His Majesty has acted like a prudent
warrior in providing for the safety of his realms in time, so that the
enemy may not find him unprepared; but if my advice were taken I would
recommend him to adopt a measure which at present, no doubt, his Majesty
is very far from thinking of."
The moment the curate heard this he said to himself, "God keep thee in
his hand, poor Don Quixote, for it seems to me thou art precipitating
thyself from the height of thy madness into the profound abyss of thy
But the barber, who had the same suspicion as the curate, asked Don
Quixote what would be his advice as to the measures that he said ought to
be adopted; for perhaps it might prove to be one that would have to be
added to the list of the many impertinent suggestions that people were in
the habit of offering to princes.
"Mine, master shaver," said Don Quixote, "will not be impertinent, but,
on the contrary, pertinent."
"I don't mean that," said the barber, "but that experience has shown that
all or most of the expedients which are proposed to his Majesty are
either impossible, or absurd, or injurious to the King and to the
"Mine, however," replied Don Quixote, "is neither impossible nor absurd,
but the easiest, the most reasonable, the readiest and most expeditious
that could suggest itself to any projector's mind."
"You take a long time to tell it, Senor Don Quixote," said the curate.
"I don't choose to tell it here, now," said Don Quixote, "and have it
reach the ears of the lords of the council to-morrow morning, and some
other carry off the thanks and rewards of my trouble."
"For my part," said the barber, "I give my word here and before God that
I will not repeat what your worship says, to King, Rook or earthly
man--an oath I learned from the ballad of the curate, who, in the
prelude, told the king of the thief who had robbed him of the hundred
gold crowns and his pacing mule."
"I am not versed in stories," said Don Quixote; "but I know the oath is a
good one, because I know the barber to be an honest fellow."
"Even if he were not," said the curate, "I will go bail and answer for
him that in this matter he will be as silent as a dummy, under pain of
paying any penalty that may be pronounced."
"And who will be security for you, senor curate?" said Don Quixote.
"My profession," replied the curate, "which is to keep secrets."
"Ods body!" said Don Quixote at this, "what more has his Majesty to do
but to command, by public proclamation, all the knights-errant that are
scattered over Spain to assemble on a fixed day in the capital, for even
if no more than half a dozen come, there may be one among them who alone
will suffice to destroy the entire might of the Turk. Give me your
attention and follow me. Is it, pray, any new thing for a single
knight-errant to demolish an army of two hundred thousand men, as if they
all had but one throat or were made of sugar paste? Nay, tell me, how
many histories are there filled with these marvels? If only (in an evil
hour for me: I don't speak for anyone else) the famous Don Belianis were
alive now, or any one of the innumerable progeny of Amadis of Gaul! If
any these were alive today, and were to come face to face with the Turk,
by my faith, I would not give much for the Turk's chance. But God will
have regard for his people, and will provide some one, who, if not so
valiant as the knights-errant of yore, at least will not be inferior to
them in spirit; but God knows what I mean, and I say no more."
"Alas!" exclaimed the niece at this, "may I die if my master does not
want to turn knight-errant again;" to which Don Quixote replied, "A
knight-errant I shall die, and let the Turk come down or go up when he
likes, and in as strong force as he can, once more I say, God knows what
I mean." But here the barber said, "I ask your worships to give me leave
to tell a short story of something that happened in Seville, which comes
so pat to the purpose just now that I should like greatly to tell it."
Don Quixote gave him leave, and the rest prepared to listen, and he began
"In the madhouse at Seville there was a man whom his relations had placed
there as being out of his mind. He was a graduate of Osuna in canon law;
but even if he had been of Salamanca, it was the opinion of most people
that he would have been mad all the same. This graduate, after some years
of confinement, took it into his head that he was sane and in his full
senses, and under this impression wrote to the Archbishop, entreating him
earnestly, and in very correct language, to have him released from the
misery in which he was living; for by God's mercy he had now recovered
his lost reason, though his relations, in order to enjoy his property,
kept him there, and, in spite of the truth, would make him out to be mad
until his dying day. The Archbishop, moved by repeated sensible,
well-written letters, directed one of his chaplains to make inquiry of
the madhouse as to the truth of the licentiate's statements, and to have
an interview with the madman himself, and, if it should appear that he
was in his senses, to take him out and restore him to liberty. The
chaplain did so, and the governor assured him that the man was still mad,
and that though he often spoke like a highly intelligent person, he would
in the end break out into nonsense that in quantity and quality
counterbalanced all the sensible things he had said before, as might be
easily tested by talking to him. The chaplain resolved to try the
experiment, and obtaining access to the madman conversed with him for an
hour or more, during the whole of which time he never uttered a word that
was incoherent or absurd, but, on the contrary, spoke so rationally that
the chaplain was compelled to believe him to be sane. Among other things,
he said the governor was against him, not to lose the presents his
relations made him for reporting him still mad but with lucid intervals;
and that the worst foe he had in his misfortune was his large property;
for in order to enjoy it his enemies disparaged and threw doubts upon the
mercy our Lord had shown him in turning him from a brute beast into a
man. In short, he spoke in such a way that he cast suspicion on the
governor, and made his relations appear covetous and heartless, and
himself so rational that the chaplain determined to take him away with
him that the Archbishop might see him, and ascertain for himself the
truth of the matter. Yielding to this conviction, the worthy chaplain
begged the governor to have the clothes in which the licentiate had
entered the house given to him. The governor again bade him beware of
what he was doing, as the licentiate was beyond a doubt still mad; but
all his cautions and warnings were unavailing to dissuade the chaplain
from taking him away. The governor, seeing that it was the order of the
Archbishop, obeyed, and they dressed the licentiate in his own clothes,
which were new and decent. He, as soon as he saw himself clothed like one
in his senses, and divested of the appearance of a madman, entreated the
chaplain to permit him in charity to go and take leave of his comrades
the madmen. The chaplain said he would go with him to see what madmen
there were in the house; so they went upstairs, and with them some of
those who were present. Approaching a cage in which there was a furious
madman, though just at that moment calm and quiet, the licentiate said to
him, 'Brother, think if you have any commands for me, for I am going
home, as God has been pleased, in his infinite goodness and mercy,
without any merit of mine, to restore me my reason. I am now cured and in
my senses, for with God's power nothing is impossible. Have strong hope
and trust in him, for as he has restored me to my original condition, so
likewise he will restore you if you trust in him. I will take care to
send you some good things to eat; and be sure you eat them; for I would
have you know I am convinced, as one who has gone through it, that all
this madness of ours comes of having the stomach empty and the brains
full of wind. Take courage! take courage! for despondency in misfortune
breaks down health and brings on death.'
"To all these words of the licentiate another madman in a cage opposite
that of the furious one was listening; and raising himself up from an old
mat on which he lay stark naked, he asked in a loud voice who it was that
was going away cured and in his senses. The licentiate answered, 'It is
I, brother, who am going; I have now no need to remain here any longer,
for which I return infinite thanks to Heaven that has had so great mercy
"'Mind what you are saying, licentiate; don't let the devil deceive you,'
replied the madman. 'Keep quiet, stay where you are, and you will save
yourself the trouble of coming back.'
"'I know I am cured,' returned the licentiate, 'and that I shall not have
to go stations again.'
"'You cured!' said the madman; 'well, we shall see; God be with you; but
I swear to you by Jupiter, whose majesty I represent on earth, that for
this crime alone, which Seville is committing to-day in releasing you
from this house, and treating you as if you were in your senses, I shall
have to inflict such a punishment on it as will be remembered for ages
and ages, amen. Dost thou not know, thou miserable little licentiate,
that I can do it, being, as I say, Jupiter the Thunderer, who hold in my
hands the fiery bolts with which I am able and am wont to threaten and
lay waste the world? But in one way only will I punish this ignorant
town, and that is by not raining upon it, nor on any part of its district
or territory, for three whole years, to be reckoned from the day and
moment when this threat is pronounced. Thou free, thou cured, thou in thy
senses! and I mad, I disordered, I bound! I will as soon think of sending
rain as of hanging myself.
"Those present stood listening to the words and exclamations of the
madman; but our licentiate, turning to the chaplain and seizing him by
the hands, said to him, 'Be not uneasy, senor; attach no importance to
what this madman has said; for if he is Jupiter and will not send rain,
I, who am Neptune, the father and god of the waters, will rain as often
as it pleases me and may be needful.'
"The governor and the bystanders laughed, and at their laughter the
chaplain was half ashamed, and he replied, 'For all that, Senor Neptune,
it will not do to vex Senor Jupiter; remain where you are, and some other
day, when there is a better opportunity and more time, we will come back
for you.' So they stripped the licentiate, and he was left where he was;
and that's the end of the story."
"So that's the story, master barber," said Don Quixote, "which came in so
pat to the purpose that you could not help telling it? Master shaver,
master shaver! how blind is he who cannot see through a sieve. Is it
possible that you do not know that comparisons of wit with wit, valour
with valour, beauty with beauty, birth with birth, are always odious and
unwelcome? I, master barber, am not Neptune, the god of the waters, nor
do I try to make anyone take me for an astute man, for I am not one. My
only endeavour is to convince the world of the mistake it makes in not
reviving in itself the happy time when the order of knight-errantry was
in the field. But our depraved age does not deserve to enjoy such a
blessing as those ages enjoyed when knights-errant took upon their
shoulders the defence of kingdoms, the protection of damsels, the succour
of orphans and minors, the chastisement of the proud, and the recompense
of the humble. With the knights of these days, for the most part, it is
the damask, brocade, and rich stuffs they wear, that rustle as they go,
not the chain mail of their armour; no knight now-a-days sleeps in the
open field exposed to the inclemency of heaven, and in full panoply from
head to foot; no one now takes a nap, as they call it, without drawing
his feet out of the stirrups, and leaning upon his lance, as the
knights-errant used to do; no one now, issuing from the wood, penetrates
yonder mountains, and then treads the barren, lonely shore of the
sea--mostly a tempestuous and stormy one--and finding on the beach a
little bark without oars, sail, mast, or tackling of any kind, in the
intrepidity of his heart flings himself into it and commits himself to
the wrathful billows of the deep sea, that one moment lift him up to
heaven and the next plunge him into the depths; and opposing his breast
to the irresistible gale, finds himself, when he least expects it, three
thousand leagues and more away from the place where he embarked; and
leaping ashore in a remote and unknown land has adventures that deserve
to be written, not on parchment, but on brass. But now sloth triumphs
over energy, indolence over exertion, vice over virtue, arrogance over
courage, and theory over practice in arms, which flourished and shone
only in the golden ages and in knights-errant. For tell me, who was more
virtuous and more valiant than the famous Amadis of Gaul? Who more
discreet than Palmerin of England? Who more gracious and easy than
Tirante el Blanco? Who more courtly than Lisuarte of Greece? Who more
slashed or slashing than Don Belianis? Who more intrepid than Perion of
Gaul? Who more ready to face danger than Felixmarte of Hircania? Who more
sincere than Esplandian? Who more impetuous than Don Cirongilio of
Thrace? Who more bold than Rodamonte? Who more prudent than King Sobrino?
Who more daring than Reinaldos? Who more invincible than Roland? and who
more gallant and courteous than Ruggiero, from whom the dukes of Ferrara
of the present day are descended, according to Turpin in his
'Cosmography.' All these knights, and many more that I could name, senor
curate, were knights-errant, the light and glory of chivalry. These, or
such as these, I would have to carry out my plan, and in that case his
Majesty would find himself well served and would save great expense, and
the Turk would be left tearing his beard. And so I will stay where I am,
as the chaplain does not take me away; and if Jupiter, as the barber has
told us, will not send rain, here am I, and I will rain when I please. I
say this that Master Basin may know that I understand him."
"Indeed, Senor Don Quixote," said the barber, "I did not mean it in that
way, and, so help me God, my intention was good, and your worship ought
not to be vexed."
"As to whether I ought to be vexed or not," returned Don Quixote, "I
myself am the best judge."
Hereupon the curate observed, "I have hardly said a word as yet; and I
would gladly be relieved of a doubt, arising from what Don Quixote has
said, that worries and works my conscience."
"The senor curate has leave for more than that," returned Don Quixote,
"so he may declare his doubt, for it is not pleasant to have a doubt on
"Well then, with that permission," said the curate, "I say my doubt is
that, all I can do, I cannot persuade myself that the whole pack of
knights-errant you, Senor Don Quixote, have mentioned, were really and
truly persons of flesh and blood, that ever lived in the world; on the
contrary, I suspect it to be all fiction, fable, and falsehood, and
dreams told by men awakened from sleep, or rather still half asleep."
"That is another mistake," replied Don Quixote, "into which many have
fallen who do not believe that there ever were such knights in the world,
and I have often, with divers people and on divers occasions, tried to
expose this almost universal error to the light of truth. Sometimes I
have not been successful in my purpose, sometimes I have, supporting it
upon the shoulders of the truth; which truth is so clear that I can
almost say I have with my own eyes seen Amadis of Gaul, who was a man of
lofty stature, fair complexion, with a handsome though black beard, of a
countenance between gentle and stern in expression, sparing of words,
slow to anger, and quick to put it away from him; and as I have depicted
Amadis, so I could, I think, portray and describe all the knights-errant
that are in all the histories in the world; for by the perception I have
that they were what their histories describe, and by the deeds they did
and the dispositions they displayed, it is possible, with the aid of
sound philosophy, to deduce their features, complexion, and stature."
"How big, in your worship's opinion, may the giant Morgante have been,
Senor Don Quixote?" asked the barber.
"With regard to giants," replied Don Quixote, "opinions differ as to
whether there ever were any or not in the world; but the Holy Scripture,
which cannot err by a jot from the truth, shows us that there were, when
it gives us the history of that big Philistine, Goliath, who was seven
cubits and a half in height, which is a huge size. Likewise, in the
island of Sicily, there have been found leg-bones and arm-bones so large
that their size makes it plain that their owners were giants, and as tall
as great towers; geometry puts this fact beyond a doubt. But, for all
that, I cannot speak with certainty as to the size of Morgante, though I
suspect he cannot have been very tall; and I am inclined to be of this
opinion because I find in the history in which his deeds are particularly
mentioned, that he frequently slept under a roof and as he found houses
to contain him, it is clear that his bulk could not have been anything
"That is true," said the curate, and yielding to the enjoyment of hearing
such nonsense, he asked him what was his notion of the features of
Reinaldos of Montalban, and Don Roland and the rest of the Twelve Peers
of France, for they were all knights-errant.
"As for Reinaldos," replied Don Quixote, "I venture to say that he was
broad-faced, of ruddy complexion, with roguish and somewhat prominent
eyes, excessively punctilious and touchy, and given to the society of
thieves and scapegraces. With regard to Roland, or Rotolando, or Orlando
(for the histories call him by all these names), I am of opinion, and
hold, that he was of middle height, broad-shouldered, rather bow-legged,
swarthy-complexioned, red-bearded, with a hairy body and a severe
expression of countenance, a man of few words, but very polite and
"If Roland was not a more graceful person than your worship has
described," said the curate, "it is no wonder that the fair Lady Angelica
rejected him and left him for the gaiety, liveliness, and grace of that
budding-bearded little Moor to whom she surrendered herself; and she
showed her sense in falling in love with the gentle softness of Medoro
rather than the roughness of Roland."
"That Angelica, senor curate," returned Don Quixote, "was a giddy damsel,
flighty and somewhat wanton, and she left the world as full of her
vagaries as of the fame of her beauty. She treated with scorn a thousand
gentlemen, men of valour and wisdom, and took up with a smooth-faced
sprig of a page, without fortune or fame, except such reputation for
gratitude as the affection he bore his friend got for him. The great poet
who sang her beauty, the famous Ariosto, not caring to sing her
adventures after her contemptible surrender (which probably were not over
and above creditable), dropped her where he says:
How she received the sceptre of Cathay,
Some bard of defter quill may sing some day;
and this was no doubt a kind of prophecy, for poets are also called
vates, that is to say diviners; and its truth was made plain; for since
then a famous Andalusian poet has lamented and sung her tears, and
another famous and rare poet, a Castilian, has sung her beauty."
"Tell me, Senor Don Quixote," said the barber here, "among all those who
praised her, has there been no poet to write a satire on this Lady
"I can well believe," replied Don Quixote, "that if Sacripante or Roland
had been poets they would have given the damsel a trimming; for it is
naturally the way with poets who have been scorned and rejected by their
ladies, whether fictitious or not, in short by those whom they select as
the ladies of their thoughts, to avenge themselves in satires and
libels--a vengeance, to be sure, unworthy of generous hearts; but up to
the present I have not heard of any defamatory verse against the Lady
Angelica, who turned the world upside down."
"Strange," said the curate; but at this moment they heard the housekeeper
and the niece, who had previously withdrawn from the conversation,
exclaiming aloud in the courtyard, and at the noise they all ran out.
WHICH TREATS OF THE NOTABLE ALTERCATION WHICH SANCHO PANZA HAD WITH DON
QUIXOTE'S NIECE, AND HOUSEKEEPER, TOGETHER WITH OTHER DROLL MATTERS
The history relates that the outcry Don Quixote, the curate, and the
barber heard came from the niece and the housekeeper exclaiming to
Sancho, who was striving to force his way in to see Don Quixote while
they held the door against him, "What does the vagabond want in this
house? Be off to your own, brother, for it is you, and no one else, that
delude my master, and lead him astray, and take him tramping about the
To which Sancho replied, "Devil's own housekeeper! it is I who am
deluded, and led astray, and taken tramping about the country, and not
thy master! He has carried me all over the world, and you are mightily
mistaken. He enticed me away from home by a trick, promising me an
island, which I am still waiting for."
"May evil islands choke thee, thou detestable Sancho," said the niece;
"What are islands? Is it something to eat, glutton and gormandiser that
"It is not something to eat," replied Sancho, "but something to govern
and rule, and better than four cities or four judgeships at court."
"For all that," said the housekeeper, "you don't enter here, you bag of
mischief and sack of knavery; go govern your house and dig your
seed-patch, and give over looking for islands or shylands."
The curate and the barber listened with great amusement to the words of
the three; but Don Quixote, uneasy lest Sancho should blab and blurt out
a whole heap of mischievous stupidities, and touch upon points that might
not be altogether to his credit, called to him and made the other two
hold their tongues and let him come in. Sancho entered, and the curate
and the barber took their leave of Don Quixote, of whose recovery they
despaired when they saw how wedded he was to his crazy ideas, and how
saturated with the nonsense of his unlucky chivalry; and said the curate
to the barber, "You will see, gossip, that when we are least thinking of
it, our gentleman will be off once more for another flight."
"I have no doubt of it," returned the barber; "but I do not wonder so
much at the madness of the knight as at the simplicity of the squire, who
has such a firm belief in all that about the island, that I suppose all
the exposures that could be imagined would not get it out of his head."
"God help them," said the curate; "and let us be on the look-out to see
what comes of all these absurdities of the knight and squire, for it
seems as if they had both been cast in the same mould, and the madness of
the master without the simplicity of the man would not be worth a
"That is true," said the barber, "and I should like very much to know
what the pair are talking about at this moment."
"I promise you," said the curate, "the niece or the housekeeper will tell
us by-and-by, for they are not the ones to forget to listen."
Meanwhile Don Quixote shut himself up in his room with Sancho, and when
they were alone he said to him, "It grieves me greatly, Sancho, that thou
shouldst have said, and sayest, that I took thee out of thy cottage, when
thou knowest I did not remain in my house. We sallied forth together, we
took the road together, we wandered abroad together; we have had the same
fortune and the same luck; if they blanketed thee once, they belaboured
me a hundred times, and that is the only advantage I have of thee."
"That was only reasonable," replied Sancho, "for, by what your worship
says, misfortunes belong more properly to knights-errant than to their
"Thou art mistaken, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "according to the maxim
quando caput dolet, etc."
"I don't understand any language but my own," said Sancho.
"I mean to say," said Don Quixote, "that when the head suffers all the
members suffer; and so, being thy lord and master, I am thy head, and
thou a part of me as thou art my servant; and therefore any evil that
affects or shall affect me should give thee pain, and what affects thee
give pain to me."
"It should be so," said Sancho; "but when I was blanketed as a member, my
head was on the other side of the wall, looking on while I was flying
through the air, and did not feel any pain whatever; and if the members
are obliged to feel the suffering of the head, it should be obliged to
feel their sufferings."
"Dost thou mean to say now, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that I did not
feel when they were blanketing thee? If thou dost, thou must not say so
or think so, for I felt more pain then in spirit than thou didst in body.
But let us put that aside for the present, for we shall have
opportunities enough for considering and settling the point; tell me,
Sancho my friend, what do they say about me in the village here? What do
the common people think of me? What do the hidalgos? What do the
caballeros? What do they say of my valour; of my achievements; of my
courtesy? How do they treat the task I have undertaken in reviving and
restoring to the world the now forgotten order of chivalry? In short,
Sancho, I would have thee tell me all that has come to thine ears on this
subject; and thou art to tell me, without adding anything to the good or
taking away anything from the bad; for it is the duty of loyal vassals to
tell the truth to their lords just as it is and in its proper shape, not
allowing flattery to add to it or any idle deference to lessen it. And I
would have thee know, Sancho, that if the naked truth, undisguised by
flattery, came to the ears of princes, times would be different, and
other ages would be reckoned iron ages more than ours, which I hold to be
the golden of these latter days. Profit by this advice, Sancho, and
report to me clearly and faithfully the truth of what thou knowest
touching what I have demanded of thee."
"That I will do with all my heart, master," replied Sancho, "provided
your worship will not be vexed at what I say, as you wish me to say it
out in all its nakedness, without putting any more clothes on it than it
came to my knowledge in."
"I will not be vexed at all," returned Don Quixote; "thou mayest speak
freely, Sancho, and without any beating about the bush."
"Well then," said he, "first of all, I have to tell you that the common
people consider your worship a mighty great madman, and me no less a
fool. The hidalgos say that, not keeping within the bounds of your
quality of gentleman, you have assumed the 'Don,' and made a knight of
yourself at a jump, with four vine-stocks and a couple of acres of land,
and never a shirt to your back. The caballeros say they do not want to
have hidalgos setting up in opposition to them, particularly squire
hidalgos who polish their own shoes and darn their black stockings with
"That," said Don Quixote, "does not apply to me, for I always go well
dressed and never patched; ragged I may be, but ragged more from the wear
and tear of arms than of time."
"As to your worship's valour, courtesy, accomplishments, and task, there
is a variety of opinions. Some say, 'mad but droll;' others, 'valiant but
unlucky;' others, 'courteous but meddling,' and then they go into such a
number of things that they don't leave a whole bone either in your
worship or in myself."
"Recollect, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that wherever virtue exists in an
eminent degree it is persecuted. Few or none of the famous men that have
lived escaped being calumniated by malice. Julius Caesar, the boldest,
wisest, and bravest of captains, was charged with being ambitious, and
not particularly cleanly in his dress, or pure in his morals. Of
Alexander, whose deeds won him the name of Great, they say that he was
somewhat of a drunkard. Of Hercules, him of the many labours, it is said
that he was lewd and luxurious. Of Don Galaor, the brother of Amadis of
Gaul, it was whispered that he was over quarrelsome, and of his brother
that he was lachrymose. So that, O Sancho, amongst all these calumnies
against good men, mine may be let pass, since they are no more than thou
"That's just where it is, body of my father!"
"Is there more, then?" asked Don Quixote.
"There's the tail to be skinned yet," said Sancho; "all so far is cakes
and fancy bread; but if your worship wants to know all about the
calumnies they bring against you, I will fetch you one this instant who
can tell you the whole of them without missing an atom; for last night
the son of Bartholomew Carrasco, who has been studying at Salamanca, came
home after having been made a bachelor, and when I went to welcome him,
he told me that your worship's history is already abroad in books, with
the title of THE INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA; and he
says they mention me in it by my own name of Sancho Panza, and the lady
Dulcinea del Toboso too, and divers things that happened to us when we
were alone; so that I crossed myself in my wonder how the historian who
wrote them down could have known them."
"I promise thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "the author of our history
will be some sage enchanter; for to such nothing that they choose to
write about is hidden."
"What!" said Sancho, "a sage and an enchanter! Why, the bachelor Samson
Carrasco (that is the name of him I spoke of) says the author of the
history is called Cide Hamete Berengena."
"That is a Moorish name," said Don Quixote.
"May be so," replied Sancho; "for I have heard say that the Moors are
mostly great lovers of berengenas."
"Thou must have mistaken the surname of this 'Cide'--which means in
Arabic 'Lord'--Sancho," observed Don Quixote.
"Very likely," replied Sancho, "but if your worship wishes me to fetch
the bachelor I will go for him in a twinkling."
"Thou wilt do me a great pleasure, my friend," said Don Quixote, "for
what thou hast told me has amazed me, and I shall not eat a morsel that
will agree with me until I have heard all about it."
"Then I am off for him," said Sancho; and leaving his master he went in
quest of the bachelor, with whom he returned in a short time, and, all
three together, they had a very droll colloquy.
OF THE LAUGHABLE CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE, SANCHO
PANZA, AND THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO
Don Quixote remained very deep in thought, waiting for the bachelor
Carrasco, from whom he was to hear how he himself had been put into a
book as Sancho said; and he could not persuade himself that any such
history could be in existence, for the blood of the enemies he had slain
was not yet dry on the blade of his sword, and now they wanted to make
out that his mighty achievements were going about in print. For all that,
he fancied some sage, either a friend or an enemy, might, by the aid of
magic, have given them to the press; if a friend, in order to magnify and
exalt them above the most famous ever achieved by any knight-errant; if
an enemy, to bring them to naught and degrade them below the meanest ever
recorded of any low squire, though as he said to himself, the
achievements of squires never were recorded. If, however, it were the
fact that such a history were in existence, it must necessarily, being
the story of a knight-errant, be grandiloquent, lofty, imposing, grand
and true. With this he comforted himself somewhat, though it made him
uncomfortable to think that the author was a Moor, judging by the title
of "Cide;" and that no truth was to be looked for from Moors, as they are
all impostors, cheats, and schemers. He was afraid he might have dealt
with his love affairs in some indecorous fashion, that might tend to the
discredit and prejudice of the purity of his lady Dulcinea del Toboso; he
would have had him set forth the fidelity and respect he had always
observed towards her, spurning queens, empresses, and damsels of all
sorts, and keeping in check the impetuosity of his natural impulses.
Absorbed and wrapped up in these and divers other cogitations, he was
found by Sancho and Carrasco, whom Don Quixote received with great
The bachelor, though he was called Samson, was of no great bodily size,
but he was a very great wag; he was of a sallow complexion, but very
sharp-witted, somewhere about four-and-twenty years of age, with a round
face, a flat nose, and a large mouth, all indications of a mischievous
disposition and a love of fun and jokes; and of this he gave a sample as
soon as he saw Don Quixote, by falling on his knees before him and
saying, "Let me kiss your mightiness's hand, Senor Don Quixote of La
Mancha, for, by the habit of St. Peter that I wear, though I have no more
than the first four orders, your worship is one of the most famous
knights-errant that have ever been, or will be, all the world over. A
blessing on Cide Hamete Benengeli, who has written the history of your
great deeds, and a double blessing on that connoisseur who took the
trouble of having it translated out of the Arabic into our Castilian
vulgar tongue for the universal entertainment of the people!"
Don Quixote made him rise, and said, "So, then, it is true that there is
a history of me, and that it was a Moor and a sage who wrote it?"
"So true is it, senor," said Samson, "that my belief is there are more
than twelve thousand volumes of the said history in print this very day.
Only ask Portugal, Barcelona, and Valencia, where they have been printed,
and moreover there is a report that it is being printed at Antwerp, and I
am persuaded there will not be a country or language in which there will
not be a translation of it."
"One of the things," here observed Don Quixote, "that ought to give most
pleasure to a virtuous and eminent man is to find himself in his lifetime
in print and in type, familiar in people's mouths with a good name; I say
with a good name, for if it be the opposite, then there is no death to be
compared to it."
"If it goes by good name and fame," said the bachelor, "your worship
alone bears away the palm from all the knights-errant; for the Moor in
his own language, and the Christian in his, have taken care to set before
us your gallantry, your high courage in encountering dangers, your
fortitude in adversity, your patience under misfortunes as well as
wounds, the purity and continence of the platonic loves of your worship
and my lady Dona Dulcinea del Toboso-"
"I never heard my lady Dulcinea called Dona," observed Sancho here;
"nothing more than the lady Dulcinea del Toboso; so here already the
history is wrong."
"That is not an objection of any importance," replied Carrasco.
"Certainly not," said Don Quixote; "but tell me, senor bachelor, what
deeds of mine are they that are made most of in this history?"
"On that point," replied the bachelor, "opinions differ, as tastes do;
some swear by the adventure of the windmills that your worship took to be
Briareuses and giants; others by that of the fulling mills; one cries up
the description of the two armies that afterwards took the appearance of
two droves of sheep; another that of the dead body on its way to be
buried at Segovia; a third says the liberation of the galley slaves is
the best of all, and a fourth that nothing comes up to the affair with
the Benedictine giants, and the battle with the valiant Biscayan."
"Tell me, senor bachelor," said Sancho at this point, "does the adventure
with the Yanguesans come in, when our good Rocinante went hankering after
"The sage has left nothing in the ink-bottle," replied Samson; "he tells
all and sets down everything, even to the capers that worthy Sancho cut
in the blanket."
"I cut no capers in the blanket," returned Sancho; "in the air I did, and
more of them than I liked."
"There is no human history in the world, I suppose," said Don Quixote,
"that has not its ups and downs, but more than others such as deal with
chivalry, for they can never be entirely made up of prosperous
"For all that," replied the bachelor, "there are those who have read the
history who say they would have been glad if the author had left out some
of the countless cudgellings that were inflicted on Senor Don Quixote in
"That's where the truth of the history comes in," said Sancho.
"At the same time they might fairly have passed them over in silence,"
observed Don Quixote; "for there is no need of recording events which do
not change or affect the truth of a history, if they tend to bring the
hero of it into contempt. AEneas was not in truth and earnest so pious as
Virgil represents him, nor Ulysses so wise as Homer describes him."
"That is true," said Samson; "but it is one thing to write as a poet,
another to write as a historian; the poet may describe or sing things,
not as they were, but as they ought to have been; but the historian has
to write them down, not as they ought to have been, but as they were,
without adding anything to the truth or taking anything from it."
"Well then," said Sancho, "if this senor Moor goes in for telling the
truth, no doubt among my master's drubbings mine are to be found; for
they never took the measure of his worship's shoulders without doing the
same for my whole body; but I have no right to wonder at that, for, as my
master himself says, the members must share the pain of the head."
"You are a sly dog, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "i' faith, you have no
want of memory when you choose to remember."
"If I were to try to forget the thwacks they gave me," said Sancho, "my
weals would not let me, for they are still fresh on my ribs."
"Hush, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and don't interrupt the bachelor, whom
I entreat to go on and tell all that is said about me in this history."
"And about me," said Sancho, "for they say, too, that I am one of the
principal presonages in it."
"Personages, not presonages, friend Sancho," said Samson.
"What! Another word-catcher!" said Sancho; "if that's to be the way we
shall not make an end in a lifetime."
"May God shorten mine, Sancho," returned the bachelor, "if you are not
the second person in the history, and there are even some who would
rather hear you talk than the cleverest in the whole book; though there
are some, too, who say you showed yourself over-credulous in believing
there was any possibility in the government of that island offered you by
Senor Don Quixote."
"There is still sunshine on the wall," said Don Quixote; "and when Sancho
is somewhat more advanced in life, with the experience that years bring,
he will be fitter and better qualified for being a governor than he is at
"By God, master," said Sancho, "the island that I cannot govern with the
years I have, I'll not be able to govern with the years of Methuselah;
the difficulty is that the said island keeps its distance somewhere, I
know not where; and not that there is any want of head in me to govern
"Leave it to God, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for all will be and perhaps
better than you think; no leaf on the tree stirs but by God's will."
"That is true," said Samson; "and if it be God's will, there will not be
any want of a thousand islands, much less one, for Sancho to govern."
"I have seen governors in these parts," said Sancho, "that are not to be
compared to my shoe-sole; and for all that they are called 'your
lordship' and served on silver."
"Those are not governors of islands," observed Samson, "but of other
governments of an easier kind: those that govern islands must at least
"I could manage the gram well enough," said Sancho; "but for the mar I
have neither leaning nor liking, for I don't know what it is; but leaving
this matter of the government in God's hands, to send me wherever it may
be most to his service, I may tell you, senor bachelor Samson Carrasco,
it has pleased me beyond measure that the author of this history should
have spoken of me in such a way that what is said of me gives no offence;
for, on the faith of a true squire, if he had said anything about me that
was at all unbecoming an old Christian, such as I am, the deaf would have
heard of it."
"That would be working miracles," said Samson.
"Miracles or no miracles," said Sancho, "let everyone mind how he speaks
or writes about people, and not set down at random the first thing that
comes into his head."
"One of the faults they find with this history," said the bachelor, "is
that its author inserted in it a novel called 'The Ill-advised
Curiosity;' not that it is bad or ill-told, but that it is out of place
and has nothing to do with the history of his worship Senor Don Quixote."
"I will bet the son of a dog has mixed the cabbages and the baskets,"
"Then, I say," said Don Quixote, "the author of my history was no sage,
but some ignorant chatterer, who, in a haphazard and heedless way, set
about writing it, let it turn out as it might, just as Orbaneja, the
painter of Ubeda, used to do, who, when they asked him what he was
painting, answered, 'What it may turn out.' Sometimes he would paint a
cock in such a fashion, and so unlike, that he had to write alongside of
it in Gothic letters, 'This is a cock; and so it will be with my history,
which will require a commentary to make it intelligible."
"No fear of that," returned Samson, "for it is so plain that there is
nothing in it to puzzle over; the children turn its leaves, the young
people read it, the grown men understand it, the old folk praise it; in a
word, it is so thumbed, and read, and got by heart by people of all
sorts, that the instant they see any lean hack, they say, 'There goes
Rocinante.' And those that are most given to reading it are the pages,
for there is not a lord's ante-chamber where there is not a 'Don Quixote'
to be found; one takes it up if another lays it down; this one pounces
upon it, and that begs for it. In short, the said history is the most
delightful and least injurious entertainment that has been hitherto seen,
for there is not to be found in the whole of it even the semblance of an
immodest word, or a thought that is other than Catholic."
"To write in any other way," said Don Quixote, "would not be to write
truth, but falsehood, and historians who have recourse to falsehood ought
to be burned, like those who coin false money; and I know not what could
have led the author to have recourse to novels and irrelevant stories,
when he had so much to write about in mine; no doubt he must have gone by
the proverb 'with straw or with hay, etc,' for by merely setting forth my
thoughts, my sighs, my tears, my lofty purposes, my enterprises, he might
have made a volume as large, or larger than all the works of El Tostado
would make up. In fact, the conclusion I arrive at, senor bachelor, is,
that to write histories, or books of any kind, there is need of great
judgment and a ripe understanding. To give expression to humour, and
write in a strain of graceful pleasantry, is the gift of great geniuses.
The cleverest character in comedy is the clown, for he who would make
people take him for a fool, must not be one. History is in a measure a
sacred thing, for it should be true, and where the truth is, there God
is; but notwithstanding this, there are some who write and fling books
broadcast on the world as if they were fritters."
"There is no book so bad but it has something good in it," said the
"No doubt of that," replied Don Quixote; "but it often happens that those
who have acquired and attained a well-deserved reputation by their
writings, lose it entirely, or damage it in some degree, when they give
them to the press."
"The reason of that," said Samson, "is, that as printed works are
examined leisurely, their faults are easily seen; and the greater the
fame of the writer, the more closely are they scrutinised. Men famous for
their genius, great poets, illustrious historians, are always, or most
commonly, envied by those who take a particular delight and pleasure in
criticising the writings of others, without having produced any of their
"That is no wonder," said Don Quixote; "for there are many divines who
are no good for the pulpit, but excellent in detecting the defects or
excesses of those who preach."
"All that is true, Senor Don Quixote," said Carrasco; "but I wish such
fault-finders were more lenient and less exacting, and did not pay so
much attention to the spots on the bright sun of the work they grumble
at; for if aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus, they should remember how
long he remained awake to shed the light of his work with as little shade
as possible; and perhaps it may be that what they find fault with may be
moles, that sometimes heighten the beauty of the face that bears them;
and so I say very great is the risk to which he who prints a book exposes
himself, for of all impossibilities the greatest is to write one that
will satisfy and please all readers."
"That which treats of me must have pleased few," said Don Quixote.
"Quite the contrary," said the bachelor; "for, as stultorum infinitum est
numerus, innumerable are those who have relished the said history; but
some have brought a charge against the author's memory, inasmuch as he
forgot to say who the thief was who stole Sancho's Dapple; for it is not
stated there, but only to be inferred from what is set down, that he was
stolen, and a little farther on we see Sancho mounted on the same ass,
without any reappearance of it. They say, too, that he forgot to state
what Sancho did with those hundred crowns that he found in the valise in
the Sierra Morena, as he never alludes to them again, and there are many
who would be glad to know what he did with them, or what he spent them
on, for it is one of the serious omissions of the work."
"Senor Samson, I am not in a humour now for going into accounts or
explanations," said Sancho; "for there's a sinking of the stomach come
over me, and unless I doctor it with a couple of sups of the old stuff it
will put me on the thorn of Santa Lucia. I have it at home, and my old
woman is waiting for me; after dinner I'll come back, and will answer you
and all the world every question you may choose to ask, as well about the
loss of the ass as about the spending of the hundred crowns;" and without
another word or waiting for a reply he made off home.
Don Quixote begged and entreated the bachelor to stay and do penance with
him. The bachelor accepted the invitation and remained, a couple of young
pigeons were added to the ordinary fare, at dinner they talked chivalry,
Carrasco fell in with his host's humour, the banquet came to an end, they
took their afternoon sleep, Sancho returned, and their conversation was
IN WHICH SANCHO PANZA GIVES A SATISFACTORY REPLY TO THE DOUBTS AND
QUESTIONS OF THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS
WORTH KNOWING AND TELLING
Sancho came back to Don Quixote's house, and returning to the late
subject of conversation, he said, "As to what Senor Samson said, that he
would like to know by whom, or how, or when my ass was stolen, I say in
reply that the same night we went into the Sierra Morena, flying from the
Holy Brotherhood after that unlucky adventure of the galley slaves, and
the other of the corpse that was going to Segovia, my master and I
ensconced ourselves in a thicket, and there, my master leaning on his
lance, and I seated on my Dapple, battered and weary with the late frays
we fell asleep as if it had been on four feather mattresses; and I in
particular slept so sound, that, whoever he was, he was able to come and
prop me up on four stakes, which he put under the four corners of the
pack-saddle in such a way that he left me mounted on it, and took away
Dapple from under me without my feeling it."
"That is an easy matter," said Don Quixote, "and it is no new occurrence,
for the same thing happened to Sacripante at the siege of Albracca; the
famous thief, Brunello, by the same contrivance, took his horse from
between his legs."
"Day came," continued Sancho, "and the moment I stirred the stakes gave
way and I fell to the ground with a mighty come down; I looked about for
the ass, but could not see him; the tears rushed to my eyes and I raised
such a lamentation that, if the author of our history has not put it in,
he may depend upon it he has left out a good thing. Some days after, I
know not how many, travelling with her ladyship the Princess Micomicona,
I saw my ass, and mounted upon him, in the dress of a gipsy, was that
Gines de Pasamonte, the great rogue and rascal that my master and I freed
from the chain."
"That is not where the mistake is," replied Samson; "it is, that before
the ass has turned up, the author speaks of Sancho as being mounted on
"I don't know what to say to that," said Sancho, "unless that the
historian made a mistake, or perhaps it might be a blunder of the
"No doubt that's it," said Samson; "but what became of the hundred
crowns? Did they vanish?"
To which Sancho answered, "I spent them for my own good, and my wife's,
and my children's, and it is they that have made my wife bear so
patiently all my wanderings on highways and byways, in the service of my
master, Don Quixote; for if after all this time I had come back to the
house without a rap and without the ass, it would have been a poor
look-out for me; and if anyone wants to know anything more about me, here
I am, ready to answer the king himself in person; and it is no affair of
anyone's whether I took or did not take, whether I spent or did not
spend; for the whacks that were given me in these journeys were to be
paid for in money, even if they were valued at no more than four
maravedis apiece, another hundred crowns would not pay me for half of
them. Let each look to himself and not try to make out white black, and
black white; for each of us is as God made him, aye, and often worse."
"I will take care," said Carrasco, "to impress upon the author of the
history that, if he prints it again, he must not forget what worthy
Sancho has said, for it will raise it a good span higher."
"Is there anything else to correct in the history, senor bachelor?" asked
"No doubt there is," replied he; "but not anything that will be of the
same importance as those I have mentioned."
"Does the author promise a second part at all?" said Don Quixote.
"He does promise one," replied Samson; "but he says he has not found it,
nor does he know who has got it; and we cannot say whether it will appear
or not; and so, on that head, as some say that no second part has ever
been good, and others that enough has been already written about Don
Quixote, it is thought there will be no second part; though some, who are
jovial rather than saturnine, say, 'Let us have more Quixotades, let Don
Quixote charge and Sancho chatter, and no matter what it may turn out, we
shall be satisfied with that.'"
"And what does the author mean to do?" said Don Quixote.
"What?" replied Samson; "why, as soon as he has found the history which
he is now searching for with extraordinary diligence, he will at once
give it to the press, moved more by the profit that may accrue to him
from doing so than by any thought of praise."
Whereat Sancho observed, "The author looks for money and profit, does he?
It will be a wonder if he succeeds, for it will be only hurry, hurry,
with him, like the tailor on Easter Eve; and works done in a hurry are
never finished as perfectly as they ought to be. Let master Moor, or
whatever he is, pay attention to what he is doing, and I and my master
will give him as much grouting ready to his hand, in the way of
adventures and accidents of all sorts, as would make up not only one
second part, but a hundred. The good man fancies, no doubt, that we are
fast asleep in the straw here, but let him hold up our feet to be shod
and he will see which foot it is we go lame on. All I say is, that if my
master would take my advice, we would be now afield, redressing outrages
and righting wrongs, as is the use and custom of good knights-errant."
Sancho had hardly uttered these words when the neighing of Rocinante fell
upon their ears, which neighing Don Quixote accepted as a happy omen, and
he resolved to make another sally in three or four days from that time.
Announcing his intention to the bachelor, he asked his advice as to the
quarter in which he ought to commence his expedition, and the bachelor
replied that in his opinion he ought to go to the kingdom of Aragon, and
the city of Saragossa, where there were to be certain solemn joustings at
the festival of St. George, at which he might win renown above all the
knights of Aragon, which would be winning it above all the knights of the
world. He commended his very praiseworthy and gallant resolution, but
admonished him to proceed with greater caution in encountering dangers,
because his life did not belong to him, but to all those who had need of
him to protect and aid them in their misfortunes.
"There's where it is, what I abominate, Senor Samson," said Sancho here;
"my master will attack a hundred armed men as a greedy boy would half a
dozen melons. Body of the world, senor bachelor! there is a time to
attack and a time to retreat, and it is not to be always 'Santiago, and
close Spain!' Moreover, I have heard it said (and I think by my master
himself, if I remember rightly) that the mean of valour lies between the
extremes of cowardice and rashness; and if that be so, I don't want him
to fly without having good reason, or to attack when the odds make it
better not. But, above all things, I warn my master that if he is to take
me with him it must be on the condition that he is to do all the
fighting, and that I am not to be called upon to do anything except what
concerns keeping him clean and comfortable; in this I will dance
attendance on him readily; but to expect me to draw sword, even against
rascally churls of the hatchet and hood, is idle. I don't set up to be a
fighting man, Senor Samson, but only the best and most loyal squire that
ever served knight-errant; and if my master Don Quixote, in consideration
of my many faithful services, is pleased to give me some island of the
many his worship says one may stumble on in these parts, I will take it
as a great favour; and if he does not give it to me, I was born like
everyone else, and a man must not live in dependence on anyone except
God; and what is more, my bread will taste as well, and perhaps even
better, without a government than if I were a governor; and how do I know
but that in these governments the devil may have prepared some trip for
me, to make me lose my footing and fall and knock my grinders out? Sancho
I was born and Sancho I mean to die. But for all that, if heaven were to
make me a fair offer of an island or something else of the kind, without
much trouble and without much risk, I am not such a fool as to refuse it;
for they say, too, 'when they offer thee a heifer, run with a halter; and
'when good luck comes to thee, take it in.'"
"Brother Sancho," said Carrasco, "you have spoken like a professor; but,
for all that, put your trust in God and in Senor Don Quixote, for he will
give you a kingdom, not to say an island."
"It is all the same, be it more or be it less," replied Sancho; "though I
can tell Senor Carrasco that my master would not throw the kingdom he
might give me into a sack all in holes; for I have felt my own pulse and
I find myself sound enough to rule kingdoms and govern islands; and I
have before now told my master as much."
"Take care, Sancho," said Samson; "honours change manners, and perhaps
when you find yourself a governor you won't know the mother that bore
"That may hold good of those that are born in the ditches," said Sancho,
"not of those who have the fat of an old Christian four fingers deep on
their souls, as I have. Nay, only look at my disposition, is that likely
to show ingratitude to anyone?"
"God grant it," said Don Quixote; "we shall see when the government
comes; and I seem to see it already."
He then begged the bachelor, if he were a poet, to do him the favour of
composing some verses for him conveying the farewell he meant to take of
his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and to see that a letter of her name was
placed at the beginning of each line, so that, at the end of the verses,
"Dulcinea del Toboso" might be read by putting together the first
letters. The bachelor replied that although he was not one of the famous
poets of Spain, who were, they said, only three and a half, he would not
fail to compose the required verses; though he saw a great difficulty in
the task, as the letters which made up the name were seventeen; so, if he
made four ballad stanzas of four lines each, there would be a letter
over, and if he made them of five, what they called decimas or
redondillas, there were three letters short; nevertheless he would try to
drop a letter as well as he could, so that the name "Dulcinea del Toboso"
might be got into four ballad stanzas.
"It must be, by some means or other," said Don Quixote, "for unless the
name stands there plain and manifest, no woman would believe the verses
were made for her."
They agreed upon this, and that the departure should take place in three
days from that time. Don Quixote charged the bachelor to keep it a
secret, especially from the curate and Master Nicholas, and from his
niece and the housekeeper, lest they should prevent the execution of his
praiseworthy and valiant purpose. Carrasco promised all, and then took
his leave, charging Don Quixote to inform him of his good or evil
fortunes whenever he had an opportunity; and thus they bade each other
farewell, and Sancho went away to make the necessary preparations for
OF THE SHREWD AND DROLL CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN SANCHO PANZA AND
HIS WIFE TERESA PANZA, AND OTHER MATTERS WORTHY OF BEING DULY RECORDED
The translator of this history, when he comes to write this fifth
chapter, says that he considers it apocryphal, because in it Sancho Panza
speaks in a style unlike that which might have been expected from his
limited intelligence, and says things so subtle that he does not think it
possible he could have conceived them; however, desirous of doing what
his task imposed upon him, he was unwilling to leave it untranslated, and
therefore he went on to say:
Sancho came home in such glee and spirits that his wife noticed his
happiness a bowshot off, so much so that it made her ask him, "What have
you got, Sancho friend, that you are so glad?"
To which he replied, "Wife, if it were God's will, I should be very glad
not to be so well pleased as I show myself."
"I don't understand you, husband," said she, "and I don't know what you
mean by saying you would be glad, if it were God's will, not to be well
pleased; for, fool as I am, I don't know how one can find pleasure in not
"Hark ye, Teresa," replied Sancho, "I am glad because I have made up my
mind to go back to the service of my master Don Quixote, who means to go
out a third time to seek for adventures; and I am going with him again,
for my necessities will have it so, and also the hope that cheers me with
the thought that I may find another hundred crowns like those we have
spent; though it makes me sad to have to leave thee and the children; and
if God would be pleased to let me have my daily bread, dry-shod and at
home, without taking me out into the byways and cross-roads--and he could
do it at small cost by merely willing it--it is clear my happiness would
be more solid and lasting, for the happiness I have is mingled with
sorrow at leaving thee; so that I was right in saying I would be glad, if
it were God's will, not to be well pleased."
"Look here, Sancho," said Teresa; "ever since you joined on to a
knight-errant you talk in such a roundabout way that there is no
"It is enough that God understands me, wife," replied Sancho; "for he is
the understander of all things; that will do; but mind, sister, you must
look to Dapple carefully for the next three days, so that he may be fit
to take arms; double his feed, and see to the pack-saddle and other
harness, for it is not to a wedding we are bound, but to go round the
world, and play at give and take with giants and dragons and monsters,
and hear hissings and roarings and bellowings and howlings; and even all
this would be lavender, if we had not to reckon with Yanguesans and
"I know well enough, husband," said Teresa, "that squires-errant don't
eat their bread for nothing, and so I will be always praying to our Lord
to deliver you speedily from all that hard fortune."
"I can tell you, wife," said Sancho, "if I did not expect to see myself
governor of an island before long, I would drop down dead on the spot."
"Nay, then, husband," said Teresa; "let the hen live, though it be with
her pip, live, and let the devil take all the governments in the world;
you came out of your mother's womb without a government, you have lived
until now without a government, and when it is God's will you will go, or
be carried, to your grave without a government. How many there are in the
world who live without a government, and continue to live all the same,
and are reckoned in the number of the people. The best sauce in the world
is hunger, and as the poor are never without that, they always eat with a
relish. But mind, Sancho, if by good luck you should find yourself with
some government, don't forget me and your children. Remember that
Sanchico is now full fifteen, and it is right he should go to school, if
his uncle the abbot has a mind to have him trained for the Church.
Consider, too, that your daughter Mari-Sancha will not die of grief if we
marry her; for I have my suspicions that she is as eager to get a husband
as you to get a government; and, after all, a daughter looks better ill
married than well whored."
"By my faith," replied Sancho, "if God brings me to get any sort of a
government, I intend, wife, to make such a high match for Mari-Sancha
that there will be no approaching her without calling her 'my lady."
"Nay, Sancho," returned Teresa; "marry her to her equal, that is the
safest plan; for if you put her out of wooden clogs into high-heeled
shoes, out of her grey flannel petticoat into hoops and silk gowns, out
of the plain 'Marica' and 'thou,' into 'Dona So-and-so' and 'my lady,'
the girl won't know where she is, and at every turn she will fall into a
thousand blunders that will show the thread of her coarse homespun
"Tut, you fool," said Sancho; "it will be only to practise it for two or
three years; and then dignity and decorum will fit her as easily as a
glove; and if not, what matter? Let her he 'my lady,' and never mind what
"Keep to your own station, Sancho," replied Teresa; "don't try to raise
yourself higher, and bear in mind the proverb that says, 'wipe the nose
of your neigbbour's son, and take him into your house.' A fine thing it
would be, indeed, to marry our Maria to some great count or grand
gentleman, who, when the humour took him, would abuse her and call her
clown-bred and clodhopper's daughter and spinning wench. I have not been
bringing up my daughter for that all this time, I can tell you, husband.
Do you bring home money, Sancho, and leave marrying her to my care; there
is Lope Tocho, Juan Tocho's son, a stout, sturdy young fellow that we
know, and I can see he does not look sour at the girl; and with him, one
of our own sort, she will be well married, and we shall have her always
under our eyes, and be all one family, parents and children,
grandchildren and sons-in-law, and the peace and blessing of God will
dwell among us; so don't you go marrying her in those courts and grand
palaces where they won't know what to make of her, or she what to make of
"Why, you idiot and wife for Barabbas," said Sancho, "what do you mean by
trying, without why or wherefore, to keep me from marrying my daughter to
one who will give me grandchildren that will be called 'your lordship'?
Look ye, Teresa, I have always heard my elders say that he who does not
know how to take advantage of luck when it comes to him, has no right to
complain if it gives him the go-by; and now that it is knocking at our
door, it will not do to shut it out; let us go with the favouring breeze
that blows upon us."
It is this sort of talk, and what Sancho says lower down, that made the
translator of the history say he considered this chapter apocryphal.
"Don't you see, you animal," continued Sancho, "that it will be well for
me to drop into some profitable government that will lift us out of the
mire, and marry Mari-Sancha to whom I like; and you yourself will find
yourself called 'Dona Teresa Panza,' and sitting in church on a fine
carpet and cushions and draperies, in spite and in defiance of all the
born ladies of the town? No, stay as you are, growing neither greater nor
less, like a tapestry figure--Let us say no more about it, for Sanchica
shall be a countess, say what you will."
"Are you sure of all you say, husband?" replied Teresa. "Well, for all
that, I am afraid this rank of countess for my daughter will be her ruin.
You do as you like, make a duchess or a princess of her, but I can tell
you it will not be with my will and consent. I was always a lover of
equality, brother, and I can't bear to see people give themselves airs
without any right. They called me Teresa at my baptism, a plain, simple
name, without any additions or tags or fringes of Dons or Donas; Cascajo
was my father's name, and as I am your wife, I am called Teresa Panza,
though by right I ought to be called Teresa Cascajo; but 'kings go where
laws like,' and I am content with this name without having the 'Don' put
on top of it to make it so heavy that I cannot carry it; and I don't want
to make people talk about me when they see me go dressed like a countess
or governor's wife; for they will say at once, 'See what airs the slut
gives herself! Only yesterday she was always spinning flax, and used to
go to mass with the tail of her petticoat over her head instead of a
mantle, and there she goes to-day in a hooped gown with her broaches and
airs, as if we didn't know her!' If God keeps me in my seven senses, or
five, or whatever number I have, I am not going to bring myself to such a
pass; go you, brother, and be a government or an island man, and swagger
as much as you like; for by the soul of my mother, neither my daughter
nor I are going to stir a step from our village; a respectable woman
should have a broken leg and keep at home; and to be busy at something is
a virtuous damsel's holiday; be off to your adventures along with your
Don Quixote, and leave us to our misadventures, for God will mend them
for us according as we deserve it. I don't know, I'm sure, who fixed the
'Don' to him, what neither his father nor grandfather ever had."
"I declare thou hast a devil of some sort in thy body!" said Sancho. "God
help thee, what a lot of things thou hast strung together, one after the
other, without head or tail! What have Cascajo, and the broaches and the
proverbs and the airs, to do with what I say? Look here, fool and dolt
(for so I may call you, when you don't understand my words, and run away
from good fortune), if I had said that my daughter was to throw herself
down from a tower, or go roaming the world, as the Infanta Dona Urraca
wanted to do, you would be right in not giving way to my will; but if in
an instant, in less than the twinkling of an eye, I put the 'Don' and 'my
lady' on her back, and take her out of the stubble, and place her under a
canopy, on a dais, and on a couch, with more velvet cushions than all the
Almohades of Morocco ever had in their family, why won't you consent and
fall in with my wishes?"
"Do you know why, husband?" replied Teresa; "because of the proverb that
says 'who covers thee, discovers thee.' At the poor man people only throw
a hasty glance; on the rich man they fix their eyes; and if the said rich
man was once on a time poor, it is then there is the sneering and the
tattle and spite of backbiters; and in the streets here they swarm as
thick as bees."
"Look here, Teresa," said Sancho, "and listen to what I am now going to
say to you; maybe you never heard it in all your life; and I do not give
my own notions, for what I am about to say are the opinions of his
reverence the preacher, who preached in this town last Lent, and who
said, if I remember rightly, that all things present that our eyes
behold, bring themselves before us, and remain and fix themselves on our
memory much better and more forcibly than things past."
These observations which Sancho makes here are the other ones on account
of which the translator says he regards this chapter as apocryphal,
inasmuch as they are beyond Sancho's capacity.
"Whence it arises," he continued, "that when we see any person well
dressed and making a figure with rich garments and retinue of servants,
it seems to lead and impel us perforce to respect him, though memory may
at the same moment recall to us some lowly condition in which we have
seen him, but which, whether it may have been poverty or low birth, being
now a thing of the past, has no existence; while the only thing that has
any existence is what we see before us; and if this person whom fortune
has raised from his original lowly state (these were the very words the
padre used) to his present height of prosperity, be well bred, generous,
courteous to all, without seeking to vie with those whose nobility is of
ancient date, depend upon it, Teresa, no one will remember what he was,
and everyone will respect what he is, except indeed the envious, from
whom no fair fortune is safe."
"I do not understand you, husband," replied Teresa; "do as you like, and
don't break my head with any more speechifying and rethoric; and if you
have revolved to do what you say-"
"Resolved, you should say, woman," said Sancho, "not revolved."
"Don't set yourself to wrangle with me, husband," said Teresa; "I speak
as God pleases, and don't deal in out-of-the-way phrases; and I say if
you are bent upon having a government, take your son Sancho with you, and
teach him from this time on how to hold a government; for sons ought to
inherit and learn the trades of their fathers."
"As soon as I have the government," said Sancho, "I will send for him by
post, and I will send thee money, of which I shall have no lack, for
there is never any want of people to lend it to governors when they have
not got it; and do thou dress him so as to hide what he is and make him
look what he is to be."
"You send the money," said Teresa, "and I'll dress him up for you as fine
as you please."
"Then we are agreed that our daughter is to be a countess," said Sancho.
"The day that I see her a countess," replied Teresa, "it will be the same
to me as if I was burying her; but once more I say do as you please, for
we women are born to this burden of being obedient to our husbands,
though they be dogs;" and with this she began to weep in earnest, as if
she already saw Sanchica dead and buried.
Sancho consoled her by saying that though he must make her a countess, he
would put it off as long as possible. Here their conversation came to an
end, and Sancho went back to see Don Quixote, and make arrangements for
OF WHAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS NIECE AND HOUSEKEEPER; ONE
OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CHAPTERS IN THE WHOLE HISTORY
While Sancho Panza and his wife, Teresa Cascajo, held the above
irrelevant conversation, Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper were not
idle, for by a thousand signs they began to perceive that their uncle and
master meant to give them the slip the third time, and once more betake
himself to his, for them, ill-errant chivalry. They strove by all the
means in their power to divert him from such an unlucky scheme; but it
was all preaching in the desert and hammering cold iron. Nevertheless,
among many other representations made to him, the housekeeper said to
him, "In truth, master, if you do not keep still and stay quiet at home,
and give over roaming mountains and valleys like a troubled spirit,
looking for what they say are called adventures, but what I call
misfortunes, I shall have to make complaint to God and the king with loud
supplication to send some remedy."
To which Don Quixote replied, "What answer God will give to your
complaints, housekeeper, I know not, nor what his Majesty will answer
either; I only know that if I were king I should decline to answer the
numberless silly petitions they present every day; for one of the
greatest among the many troubles kings have is being obliged to listen to
all and answer all, and therefore I should be sorry that any affairs of
mine should worry him."
Whereupon the housekeeper said, "Tell us, senor, at his Majesty's court
are there no knights?"
"There are," replied Don Quixote, "and plenty of them; and it is right
there should be, to set off the dignity of the prince, and for the
greater glory of the king's majesty."
"Then might not your worship," said she, "be one of those that, without
stirring a step, serve their king and lord in his court?"
"Recollect, my friend," said Don Quixote, "all knights cannot be
courtiers, nor can all courtiers be knights-errant, nor need they be.
There must be all sorts in the world; and though we may be all knights,
there is a great difference between one and another; for the courtiers,
without quitting their chambers, or the threshold of the court, range the
world over by looking at a map, without its costing them a farthing, and
without suffering heat or cold, hunger or thirst; but we, the true
knights-errant, measure the whole earth with our own feet, exposed to the
sun, to the cold, to the air, to the inclemencies of heaven, by day and
night, on foot and on horseback; nor do we only know enemies in pictures,
but in their own real shapes; and at all risks and on all occasions we
attack them, without any regard to childish points or rules of single
combat, whether one has or has not a shorter lance or sword, whether one
carries relics or any secret contrivance about him, whether or not the
sun is to be divided and portioned out, and other niceties of the sort
that are observed in set combats of man to man, that you know nothing
about, but I do. And you must know besides, that the true knight-errant,
though he may see ten giants, that not only touch the clouds with their
heads but pierce them, and that go, each of them, on two tall towers by
way of legs, and whose arms are like the masts of mighty ships, and each
eye like a great mill-wheel, and glowing brighter than a glass furnace,
must not on any account be dismayed by them. On the contrary, he must
attack and fall upon them with a gallant bearing and a fearless heart,
and, if possible, vanquish and destroy them, even though they have for
armour the shells of a certain fish, that they say are harder than
diamonds, and in place of swords wield trenchant blades of Damascus
steel, or clubs studded with spikes also of steel, such as I have more
than once seen. All this I say, housekeeper, that you may see the
difference there is between the one sort of knight and the other; and it
would be well if there were no prince who did not set a higher value on
this second, or more properly speaking first, kind of knights-errant;
for, as we read in their histories, there have been some among them who
have been the salvation, not merely of one kingdom, but of many."
"Ah, senor," here exclaimed the niece, "remember that all this you are
saying about knights-errant is fable and fiction; and their histories, if
indeed they were not burned, would deserve, each of them, to have a
sambenito put on it, or some mark by which it might be known as infamous
and a corrupter of good manners."
"By the God that gives me life," said Don Quixote, "if thou wert not my
full niece, being daughter of my own sister, I would inflict a
chastisement upon thee for the blasphemy thou hast uttered that all the
world should ring with. What! can it be that a young hussy that hardly
knows how to handle a dozen lace-bobbins dares to wag her tongue and
criticise the histories of knights-errant? What would Senor Amadis say if
he heard of such a thing? He, however, no doubt would forgive thee, for
he was the most humble-minded and courteous knight of his time, and
moreover a great protector of damsels; but some there are that might have
heard thee, and it would not have been well for thee in that case; for
they are not all courteous or mannerly; some are ill-conditioned
scoundrels; nor is it everyone that calls himself a gentleman, that is so
in all respects; some are gold, others pinchbeck, and all look like
gentlemen, but not all can stand the touchstone of truth. There are men
of low rank who strain themselves to bursting to pass for gentlemen, and
high gentlemen who, one would fancy, were dying to pass for men of low
rank; the former raise themselves by their ambition or by their virtues,
the latter debase themselves by their lack of spirit or by their vices;
and one has need of experience and discernment to distinguish these two
kinds of gentlemen, so much alike in name and so different in conduct."
"God bless me!" said the niece, "that you should know so much,
uncle--enough, if need be, to get up into a pulpit and go preach in the
streets--and yet that you should fall into a delusion so great and a
folly so manifest as to try to make yourself out vigorous when you are
old, strong when you are sickly, able to put straight what is crooked
when you yourself are bent by age, and, above all, a caballero when you
are not one; for though gentlefolk may be so, poor men are nothing of the
"There is a great deal of truth in what you say, niece," returned Don
Quixote, "and I could tell you somewhat about birth that would astonish
you; but, not to mix up things human and divine, I refrain. Look you, my
dears, all the lineages in the world (attend to what I am saying) can be
reduced to four sorts, which are these: those that had humble beginnings,
and went on spreading and extending themselves until they attained
surpassing greatness; those that had great beginnings and maintained
them, and still maintain and uphold the greatness of their origin; those,
again, that from a great beginning have ended in a point like a pyramid,
having reduced and lessened their original greatness till it has come to
nought, like the point of a pyramid, which, relatively to its base or
foundation, is nothing; and then there are those--and it is they that are
the most numerous--that have had neither an illustrious beginning nor a
remarkable mid-course, and so will have an end without a name, like an
ordinary plebeian line. Of the first, those that had an humble origin and
rose to the greatness they still preserve, the Ottoman house may serve as
an example, which from an humble and lowly shepherd, its founder, has
reached the height at which we now see it. For examples of the second
sort of lineage, that began with greatness and maintains it still without
adding to it, there are the many princes who have inherited the dignity,
and maintain themselves in their inheritance, without increasing or
diminishing it, keeping peacefully within the limits of their states. Of
those that began great and ended in a point, there are thousands of
examples, for all the Pharaohs and Ptolemies of Egypt, the Caesars of
Rome, and the whole herd (if I may such a word to them) of countless
princes, monarchs, lords, Medes, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and
barbarians, all these lineages and lordships have ended in a point and
come to nothing, they themselves as well as their founders, for it would
be impossible now to find one of their descendants, and, even should we
find one, it would be in some lowly and humble condition. Of plebeian
lineages I have nothing to say, save that they merely serve to swell the
number of those that live, without any eminence to entitle them to any
fame or praise beyond this. From all I have said I would have you gather,
my poor innocents, that great is the confusion among lineages, and that
only those are seen to be great and illustrious that show themselves so
by the virtue, wealth, and generosity of their possessors. I have said
virtue, wealth, and generosity, because a great man who is vicious will
be a great example of vice, and a rich man who is not generous will be
merely a miserly beggar; for the possessor of wealth is not made happy by
possessing it, but by spending it, and not by spending as he pleases, but
by knowing how to spend it well. The poor gentleman has no way of showing
that he is a gentleman but by virtue, by being affable, well-bred,
courteous, gentle-mannered, and kindly, not haughty, arrogant, or
censorious, but above all by being charitable; for by two maravedis given
with a cheerful heart to the poor, he will show himself as generous as he
who distributes alms with bell-ringing, and no one that perceives him to
be endowed with the virtues I have named, even though he know him not,
will fail to recognise and set him down as one of good blood; and it
would be strange were it not so; praise has ever been the reward of
virtue, and those who are virtuous cannot fail to receive commendation.
There are two roads, my daughters, by which men may reach wealth and
honours; one is that of letters, the other that of arms. I have more of
arms than of letters in my composition, and, judging by my inclination to
arms, was born under the influence of the planet Mars. I am, therefore,
in a measure constrained to follow that road, and by it I must travel in
spite of all the world, and it will be labour in vain for you to urge me
to resist what heaven wills, fate ordains, reason requires, and, above
all, my own inclination favours; for knowing as I do the countless toils
that are the accompaniments of knight-errantry, I know, too, the infinite
blessings that are attained by it; I know that the path of virtue is very
narrow, and the road of vice broad and spacious; I know their ends and
goals are different, for the broad and easy road of vice ends in death,
and the narrow and toilsome one of virtue in life, and not transitory
life, but in that which has no end; I know, as our great Castilian poet
It is by rugged paths like these they go
That scale the heights of immortality,
Unreached by those that falter here below."
"Woe is me!" exclaimed the niece, "my lord is a poet, too! He knows
everything, and he can do everything; I will bet, if he chose to turn
mason, he could make a house as easily as a cage."
"I can tell you, niece," replied Don Quixote, "if these chivalrous
thoughts did not engage all my faculties, there would be nothing that I
could not do, nor any sort of knickknack that would not come from my
hands, particularly cages and tooth-picks."
At this moment there came a knocking at the door, and when they asked who
was there, Sancho Panza made answer that it was he. The instant the
housekeeper knew who it was, she ran to hide herself so as not to see
him; in such abhorrence did she hold him. The niece let him in, and his
master Don Quixote came forward to receive him with open arms, and the
pair shut themselves up in his room, where they had another conversation
not inferior to the previous one.
OF WHAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS SQUIRE, TOGETHER WITH OTHER
VERY NOTABLE INCIDENTS
The instant the housekeeper saw Sancho Panza shut himself in with her
master, she guessed what they were about; and suspecting that the result
of the consultation would be a resolve to undertake a third sally, she
seized her mantle, and in deep anxiety and distress, ran to find the
bachelor Samson Carrasco, as she thought that, being a well-spoken man,
and a new friend of her master's, he might be able to persuade him to
give up any such crazy notion. She found him pacing the patio of his
house, and, perspiring and flurried, she fell at his feet the moment she
Carrasco, seeing how distressed and overcome she was, said to her, "What
is this, mistress housekeeper? What has happened to you? One would think
"Nothing, Senor Samson," said she, "only that my master is breaking out,
plainly breaking out."
"Whereabouts is he breaking out, senora?" asked Samson; "has any part of
his body burst?"
"He is only breaking out at the door of his madness," she replied; "I
mean, dear senor bachelor, that he is going to break out again (and this
will be the third time) to hunt all over the world for what he calls
ventures, though I can't make out why he gives them that name. The first
time he was brought back to us slung across the back of an ass, and
belaboured all over; and the second time he came in an ox-cart, shut up
in a cage, in which he persuaded himself he was enchanted, and the poor
creature was in such a state that the mother that bore him would not have
known him; lean, yellow, with his eyes sunk deep in the cells of his
skull; so that to bring him round again, ever so little, cost me more
than six hundred eggs, as God knows, and all the world, and my hens too,
that won't let me tell a lie."
"That I can well believe," replied the bachelor, "for they are so good
and so fat, and so well-bred, that they would not say one thing for
another, though they were to burst for it. In short then, mistress
housekeeper, that is all, and there is nothing the matter, except what it
is feared Don Quixote may do?"
"No, senor," said she.
"Well then," returned the bachelor, "don't be uneasy, but go home in
peace; get me ready something hot for breakfast, and while you are on the
way say the prayer of Santa Apollonia, that is if you know it; for I will
come presently and you will see miracles."
"Woe is me," cried the housekeeper, "is it the prayer of Santa Apollonia
you would have me say? That would do if it was the toothache my master
had; but it is in the brains, what he has got."
"I know what I am saying, mistress housekeeper; go, and don't set
yourself to argue with me, for you know I am a bachelor of Salamanca, and
one can't be more of a bachelor than that," replied Carrasco; and with
this the housekeeper retired, and the bachelor went to look for the
curate, and arrange with him what will be told in its proper place.
While Don Quixote and Sancho were shut up together, they had a discussion
which the history records with great precision and scrupulous exactness.
Sancho said to his master, "Senor, I have educed my wife to let me go
with your worship wherever you choose to take me."
"Induced, you should say, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "not educed."
"Once or twice, as well as I remember," replied Sancho, "I have begged of
your worship not to mend my words, if so be as you understand what I mean
by them; and if you don't understand them to say 'Sancho,' or 'devil,' 'I
don't understand thee; and if I don't make my meaning plain, then you may
correct me, for I am so focile-"
"I don't understand thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote at once; "for I know
not what 'I am so focile' means."
"'So focile' means I am so much that way," replied Sancho.
"I understand thee still less now," said Don Quixote.
"Well, if you can't understand me," said Sancho, "I don't know how to put
it; I know no more, God help me."
"Oh, now I have hit it," said Don Quixote; "thou wouldst say thou art so
docile, tractable, and gentle that thou wilt take what I say to thee, and
submit to what I teach thee."
"I would bet," said Sancho, "that from the very first you understood me,
and knew what I meant, but you wanted to put me out that you might hear
me make another couple of dozen blunders."
"May be so," replied Don Quixote; "but to come to the point, what does
"Teresa says," replied Sancho, "that I should make sure with your
worship, and 'let papers speak and beards be still,' for 'he who binds
does not wrangle,' since one 'take' is better than two 'I'll give
thee's;' and I say a woman's advice is no great thing, and he who won't
take it is a fool."
"And so say I," said Don Quixote; "continue, Sancho my friend; go on; you
talk pearls to-day."
"The fact is," continued Sancho, "that, as your worship knows better than
I do, we are all of us liable to death, and to-day we are, and to-morrow
we are not, and the lamb goes as soon as the sheep, and nobody can
promise himself more hours of life in this world than God may be pleased
to give him; for death is deaf, and when it comes to knock at our life's
door, it is always urgent, and neither prayers, nor struggles, nor
sceptres, nor mitres, can keep it back, as common talk and report say,
and as they tell us from the pulpits every day."
"All that is very true," said Don Quixote; "but I cannot make out what
thou art driving at."
"What I am driving at," said Sancho, "is that your worship settle some
fixed wages for me, to be paid monthly while I am in your service, and
that the same he paid me out of your estate; for I don't care to stand on
rewards which either come late, or ill, or never at all; God help me with
my own. In short, I would like to know what I am to get, be it much or
little; for the hen will lay on one egg, and many littles make a much,
and so long as one gains something there is nothing lost. To be sure, if
it should happen (what I neither believe nor expect) that your worship
were to give me that island you have promised me, I am not so ungrateful
nor so grasping but that I would be willing to have the revenue of such
island valued and stopped out of my wages in due promotion."
"Sancho, my friend," replied Don Quixote, "sometimes proportion may be as
good as promotion."
"I see," said Sancho; "I'll bet I ought to have said proportion, and not
promotion; but it is no matter, as your worship has understood me."
"And so well understood," returned Don Quixote, "that I have seen into
the depths of thy thoughts, and know the mark thou art shooting at with
the countless shafts of thy proverbs. Look here, Sancho, I would readily
fix thy wages if I had ever found any instance in the histories of the
knights-errant to show or indicate, by the slightest hint, what their
squires used to get monthly or yearly; but I have read all or the best
part of their histories, and I cannot remember reading of any
knight-errant having assigned fixed wages to his squire; I only know that
they all served on reward, and that when they least expected it, if good
luck attended their masters, they found themselves recompensed with an
island or something equivalent to it, or at the least they were left with
a title and lordship. If with these hopes and additional inducements you,
Sancho, please to return to my service, well and good; but to suppose
that I am going to disturb or unhinge the ancient usage of
knight-errantry, is all nonsense. And so, my Sancho, get you back to your
house and explain my intentions to your Teresa, and if she likes and you
like to be on reward with me, bene quidem; if not, we remain friends; for
if the pigeon-house does not lack food, it will not lack pigeons; and
bear in mind, my son, that a good hope is better than a bad holding, and
a good grievance better than a bad compensation. I speak in this way,
Sancho, to show you that I can shower down proverbs just as well as
yourself; and in short, I mean to say, and I do say, that if you don't
like to come on reward with me, and run the same chance that I run, God
be with you and make a saint of you; for I shall find plenty of squires
more obedient and painstaking, and not so thickheaded or talkative as you
When Sancho heard his master's firm, resolute language, a cloud came over
the sky with him and the wings of his heart drooped, for he had made sure
that his master would not go without him for all the wealth of the world;
and as he stood there dumbfoundered and moody, Samson Carrasco came in
with the housekeeper and niece, who were anxious to hear by what
arguments he was about to dissuade their master from going to seek