Part 12 out of 20
adventures. The arch wag Samson came forward, and embracing him as he had
done before, said with a loud voice, "O flower of knight-errantry! O
shining light of arms! O honour and mirror of the Spanish nation! may God
Almighty in his infinite power grant that any person or persons, who
would impede or hinder thy third sally, may find no way out of the
labyrinth of their schemes, nor ever accomplish what they most desire!"
And then, turning to the housekeeper, he said, "Mistress housekeeper may
just as well give over saying the prayer of Santa Apollonia, for I know
it is the positive determination of the spheres that Senor Don Quixote
shall proceed to put into execution his new and lofty designs; and I
should lay a heavy burden on my conscience did I not urge and persuade
this knight not to keep the might of his strong arm and the virtue of his
valiant spirit any longer curbed and checked, for by his inactivity he is
defrauding the world of the redress of wrongs, of the protection of
orphans, of the honour of virgins, of the aid of widows, and of the
support of wives, and other matters of this kind appertaining, belonging,
proper and peculiar to the order of knight-errantry. On, then, my lord
Don Quixote, beautiful and brave, let your worship and highness set out
to-day rather than to-morrow; and if anything be needed for the execution
of your purpose, here am I ready in person and purse to supply the want;
and were it requisite to attend your magnificence as squire, I should
esteem it the happiest good fortune."
At this, Don Quixote, turning to Sancho, said, "Did I not tell thee,
Sancho, there would be squires enough and to spare for me? See now who
offers to become one; no less than the illustrious bachelor Samson
Carrasco, the perpetual joy and delight of the courts of the Salamancan
schools, sound in body, discreet, patient under heat or cold, hunger or
thirst, with all the qualifications requisite to make a knight-errant's
squire! But heaven forbid that, to gratify my own inclination, I should
shake or shatter this pillar of letters and vessel of the sciences, and
cut down this towering palm of the fair and liberal arts. Let this new
Samson remain in his own country, and, bringing honour to it, bring
honour at the same time on the grey heads of his venerable parents; for I
will be content with any squire that comes to hand, as Sancho does not
deign to accompany me."
"I do deign," said Sancho, deeply moved and with tears in his eyes; "it
shall not be said of me, master mine," he continued, "'the bread eaten
and the company dispersed.' Nay, I come of no ungrateful stock, for all
the world knows, but particularly my own town, who the Panzas from whom I
am descended were; and, what is more, I know and have learned, by many
good words and deeds, your worship's desire to show me favour; and if I
have been bargaining more or less about my wages, it was only to please
my wife, who, when she sets herself to press a point, no hammer drives
the hoops of a cask as she drives one to do what she wants; but, after
all, a man must be a man, and a woman a woman; and as I am a man anyhow,
which I can't deny, I will be one in my own house too, let who will take
it amiss; and so there's nothing more to do but for your worship to make
your will with its codicil in such a way that it can't be provoked, and
let us set out at once, to save Senor Samson's soul from suffering, as he
says his conscience obliges him to persuade your worship to sally out
upon the world a third time; so I offer again to serve your worship
faithfully and loyally, as well and better than all the squires that
served knights-errant in times past or present."
The bachelor was filled with amazement when he heard Sancho's phraseology
and style of talk, for though he had read the first part of his master's
history he never thought that he could be so droll as he was there
described; but now, hearing him talk of a "will and codicil that could
not be provoked," instead of "will and codicil that could not be
revoked," he believed all he had read of him, and set him down as one of
the greatest simpletons of modern times; and he said to himself that two
such lunatics as master and man the world had never seen. In fine, Don
Quixote and Sancho embraced one another and made friends, and by the
advice and with the approval of the great Carrasco, who was now their
oracle, it was arranged that their departure should take place three days
thence, by which time they could have all that was requisite for the
journey ready, and procure a closed helmet, which Don Quixote said he
must by all means take. Samson offered him one, as he knew a friend of
his who had it would not refuse it to him, though it was more dingy with
rust and mildew than bright and clean like burnished steel.
The curses which both housekeeper and niece poured out on the bachelor
were past counting; they tore their hair, they clawed their faces, and in
the style of the hired mourners that were once in fashion, they raised a
lamentation over the departure of their master and uncle, as if it had
been his death. Samson's intention in persuading him to sally forth once
more was to do what the history relates farther on; all by the advice of
the curate and barber, with whom he had previously discussed the subject.
Finally, then, during those three days, Don Quixote and Sancho provided
themselves with what they considered necessary, and Sancho having
pacified his wife, and Don Quixote his niece and housekeeper, at
nightfall, unseen by anyone except the bachelor, who thought fit to
accompany them half a league out of the village, they set out for El
Toboso, Don Quixote on his good Rocinante and Sancho on his old Dapple,
his alforjas furnished with certain matters in the way of victuals, and
his purse with money that Don Quixote gave him to meet emergencies.
Samson embraced him, and entreated him to let him hear of his good or
evil fortunes, so that he might rejoice over the former or condole with
him over the latter, as the laws of friendship required. Don Quixote
promised him he would do so, and Samson returned to the village, and the
other two took the road for the great city of El Toboso.
WHEREIN IS RELATED WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE ON HIS WAY TO SEE HIS LADY
DULCINEA DEL TOBOSO
"Blessed be Allah the all-powerful!" says Hamete Benengeli on beginning
this eighth chapter; "blessed be Allah!" he repeats three times; and he
says he utters these thanksgivings at seeing that he has now got Don
Quixote and Sancho fairly afield, and that the readers of his delightful
history may reckon that the achievements and humours of Don Quixote and
his squire are now about to begin; and he urges them to forget the former
chivalries of the ingenious gentleman and to fix their eyes on those that
are to come, which now begin on the road to El Toboso, as the others
began on the plains of Montiel; nor is it much that he asks in
consideration of all he promises, and so he goes on to say:
Don Quixote and Sancho were left alone, and the moment Samson took his
departure, Rocinante began to neigh, and Dapple to sigh, which, by both
knight and squire, was accepted as a good sign and a very happy omen;
though, if the truth is to be told, the sighs and brays of Dapple were
louder than the neighings of the hack, from which Sancho inferred that
his good fortune was to exceed and overtop that of his master, building,
perhaps, upon some judicial astrology that he may have known, though the
history says nothing about it; all that can be said is, that when he
stumbled or fell, he was heard to say he wished he had not come out, for
by stumbling or falling there was nothing to be got but a damaged shoe or
a broken rib; and, fool as he was, he was not much astray in this.
Said Don Quixote, "Sancho, my friend, night is drawing on upon us as we
go, and more darkly than will allow us to reach El Toboso by daylight;
for there I am resolved to go before I engage in another adventure, and
there I shall obtain the blessing and generous permission of the peerless
Dulcinea, with which permission I expect and feel assured that I shall
conclude and bring to a happy termination every perilous adventure; for
nothing in life makes knights-errant more valorous than finding
themselves favoured by their ladies."
"So I believe," replied Sancho; "but I think it will be difficult for
your worship to speak with her or see her, at any rate where you will be
able to receive her blessing; unless, indeed, she throws it over the wall
of the yard where I saw her the time before, when I took her the letter
that told of the follies and mad things your worship was doing in the
heart of Sierra Morena."
"Didst thou take that for a yard wall, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "where
or at which thou sawest that never sufficiently extolled grace and
beauty? It must have been the gallery, corridor, or portico of some rich
and royal palace."
"It might have been all that," returned Sancho, "but to me it looked like
a wall, unless I am short of memory."
"At all events, let us go there, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for, so that
I see her, it is the same to me whether it be over a wall, or at a
window, or through the chink of a door, or the grate of a garden; for any
beam of the sun of her beauty that reaches my eyes will give light to my
reason and strength to my heart, so that I shall be unmatched and
unequalled in wisdom and valour."
"Well, to tell the truth, senor," said Sancho, "when I saw that sun of
the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, it was not bright enough to throw out beams
at all; it must have been, that as her grace was sifting that wheat I
told you of, the thick dust she raised came before her face like a cloud
and dimmed it."
"What! dost thou still persist, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "in saying,
thinking, believing, and maintaining that my lady Dulcinea was sifting
wheat, that being an occupation and task entirely at variance with what
is and should be the employment of persons of distinction, who are
constituted and reserved for other avocations and pursuits that show
their rank a bowshot off? Thou hast forgotten, O Sancho, those lines of
our poet wherein he paints for us how, in their crystal abodes, those
four nymphs employed themselves who rose from their loved Tagus and
seated themselves in a verdant meadow to embroider those tissues which
the ingenious poet there describes to us, how they were worked and woven
with gold and silk and pearls; and something of this sort must have been
the employment of my lady when thou sawest her, only that the spite which
some wicked enchanter seems to have against everything of mine changes
all those things that give me pleasure, and turns them into shapes unlike
their own; and so I fear that in that history of my achievements which
they say is now in print, if haply its author was some sage who is an
enemy of mine, he will have put one thing for another, mingling a
thousand lies with one truth, and amusing himself by relating
transactions which have nothing to do with the sequence of a true
history. O envy, root of all countless evils, and cankerworm of the
virtues! All the vices, Sancho, bring some kind of pleasure with them;
but envy brings nothing but irritation, bitterness, and rage."
"So I say too," replied Sancho; "and I suspect in that legend or history
of us that the bachelor Samson Carrasco told us he saw, my honour goes
dragged in the dirt, knocked about, up and down, sweeping the streets, as
they say. And yet, on the faith of an honest man, I never spoke ill of
any enchanter, and I am not so well off that I am to be envied; to be
sure, I am rather sly, and I have a certain spice of the rogue in me; but
all is covered by the great cloak of my simplicity, always natural and
never acted; and if I had no other merit save that I believe, as I always
do, firmly and truly in God, and all the holy Roman Catholic Church holds
and believes, and that I am a mortal enemy of the Jews, the historians
ought to have mercy on me and treat me well in their writings. But let
them say what they like; naked was I born, naked I find myself, I neither
lose nor gain; nay, while I see myself put into a book and passed on from
hand to hand over the world, I don't care a fig, let them say what they
like of me."
"That, Sancho," returned Don Quixote, "reminds me of what happened to a
famous poet of our own day, who, having written a bitter satire against
all the courtesan ladies, did not insert or name in it a certain lady of
whom it was questionable whether she was one or not. She, seeing she was
not in the list of the poet, asked him what he had seen in her that he
did not include her in the number of the others, telling him he must add
to his satire and put her in the new part, or else look out for the
consequences. The poet did as she bade him, and left her without a shred
of reputation, and she was satisfied by getting fame though it was
infamy. In keeping with this is what they relate of that shepherd who set
fire to the famous temple of Diana, by repute one of the seven wonders of
the world, and burned it with the sole object of making his name live in
after ages; and, though it was forbidden to name him, or mention his name
by word of mouth or in writing, lest the object of his ambition should be
attained, nevertheless it became known that he was called Erostratus. And
something of the same sort is what happened in the case of the great
emperor Charles V and a gentleman in Rome. The emperor was anxious to see
that famous temple of the Rotunda, called in ancient times the temple 'of
all the gods,' but now-a-days, by a better nomenclature, 'of all the
saints,' which is the best preserved building of all those of pagan
construction in Rome, and the one which best sustains the reputation of
mighty works and magnificence of its founders. It is in the form of a
half orange, of enormous dimensions, and well lighted, though no light
penetrates it save that which is admitted by a window, or rather round
skylight, at the top; and it was from this that the emperor examined the
building. A Roman gentleman stood by his side and explained to him the
skilful construction and ingenuity of the vast fabric and its wonderful
architecture, and when they had left the skylight he said to the emperor,
'A thousand times, your Sacred Majesty, the impulse came upon me to seize
your Majesty in my arms and fling myself down from yonder skylight, so as
to leave behind me in the world a name that would last for ever.' 'I am
thankful to you for not carrying such an evil thought into effect,' said
the emperor, 'and I shall give you no opportunity in future of again
putting your loyalty to the test; and I therefore forbid you ever to
speak to me or to be where I am; and he followed up these words by
bestowing a liberal bounty upon him. My meaning is, Sancho, that the
desire of acquiring fame is a very powerful motive. What, thinkest thou,
was it that flung Horatius in full armour down from the bridge into the
depths of the Tiber? What burned the hand and arm of Mutius? What
impelled Curtius to plunge into the deep burning gulf that opened in the
midst of Rome? What, in opposition to all the omens that declared against
him, made Julius Caesar cross the Rubicon? And to come to more modern
examples, what scuttled the ships, and left stranded and cut off the
gallant Spaniards under the command of the most courteous Cortes in the
New World? All these and a variety of other great exploits are, were and
will be, the work of fame that mortals desire as a reward and a portion
of the immortality their famous deeds deserve; though we Catholic
Christians and knights-errant look more to that future glory that is
everlasting in the ethereal regions of heaven than to the vanity of the
fame that is to be acquired in this present transitory life; a fame that,
however long it may last, must after all end with the world itself, which
has its own appointed end. So that, O Sancho, in what we do we must not
overpass the bounds which the Christian religion we profess has assigned
to us. We have to slay pride in giants, envy by generosity and nobleness
of heart, anger by calmness of demeanour and equanimity, gluttony and
sloth by the spareness of our diet and the length of our vigils, lust and
lewdness by the loyalty we preserve to those whom we have made the
mistresses of our thoughts, indolence by traversing the world in all
directions seeking opportunities of making ourselves, besides Christians,
famous knights. Such, Sancho, are the means by which we reach those
extremes of praise that fair fame carries with it."
"All that your worship has said so far," said Sancho, "I have understood
quite well; but still I would be glad if your worship would dissolve a
doubt for me, which has just this minute come into my mind."
"Solve, thou meanest, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "say on, in God's name,
and I will answer as well as I can."
"Tell me, senor," Sancho went on to say, "those Julys or Augusts, and all
those venturous knights that you say are now dead--where are they now?"
"The heathens," replied Don Quixote, "are, no doubt, in hell; the
Christians, if they were good Christians, are either in purgatory or in
"Very good," said Sancho; "but now I want to know--the tombs where the
bodies of those great lords are, have they silver lamps before them, or
are the walls of their chapels ornamented with crutches, winding-sheets,
tresses of hair, legs and eyes in wax? Or what are they ornamented with?"
To which Don Quixote made answer: "The tombs of the heathens were
generally sumptuous temples; the ashes of Julius Caesar's body were
placed on the top of a stone pyramid of vast size, which they now call in
Rome Saint Peter's needle. The emperor Hadrian had for a tomb a castle as
large as a good-sized village, which they called the Moles Adriani, and
is now the castle of St. Angelo in Rome. The queen Artemisia buried her
husband Mausolus in a tomb which was reckoned one of the seven wonders of
the world; but none of these tombs, or of the many others of the
heathens, were ornamented with winding-sheets or any of those other
offerings and tokens that show that they who are buried there are
"That's the point I'm coming to," said Sancho; "and now tell me, which is
the greater work, to bring a dead man to life or to kill a giant?"
"The answer is easy," replied Don Quixote; "it is a greater work to bring
to life a dead man."
"Now I have got you," said Sancho; "in that case the fame of them who
bring the dead to life, who give sight to the blind, cure cripples,
restore health to the sick, and before whose tombs there are lamps
burning, and whose chapels are filled with devout folk on their knees
adoring their relics be a better fame in this life and in the other than
that which all the heathen emperors and knights-errant that have ever
been in the world have left or may leave behind them?"
"That I grant, too," said Don Quixote.
"Then this fame, these favours, these privileges, or whatever you call
it," said Sancho, "belong to the bodies and relics of the saints who,
with the approbation and permission of our holy mother Church, have
lamps, tapers, winding-sheets, crutches, pictures, eyes and legs, by
means of which they increase devotion and add to their own Christian
reputation. Kings carry the bodies or relics of saints on their
shoulders, and kiss bits of their bones, and enrich and adorn their
oratories and favourite altars with them."
"What wouldst thou have me infer from all thou hast said, Sancho?" asked
"My meaning is," said Sancho, "let us set about becoming saints, and we
shall obtain more quickly the fair fame we are striving after; for you
know, senor, yesterday or the day before yesterday (for it is so lately
one may say so) they canonised and beatified two little barefoot friars,
and it is now reckoned the greatest good luck to kiss or touch the iron
chains with which they girt and tortured their bodies, and they are held
in greater veneration, so it is said, than the sword of Roland in the
armoury of our lord the King, whom God preserve. So that, senor, it is
better to be an humble little friar of no matter what order, than a
valiant knight-errant; with God a couple of dozen of penance lashings are
of more avail than two thousand lance-thrusts, be they given to giants,
or monsters, or dragons."
"All that is true," returned Don Quixote, "but we cannot all be friars,
and many are the ways by which God takes his own to heaven; chivalry is a
religion, there are sainted knights in glory."
"Yes," said Sancho, "but I have heard say that there are more friars in
heaven than knights-errant."
"That," said Don Quixote, "is because those in religious orders are more
numerous than knights."
"The errants are many," said Sancho.
"Many," replied Don Quixote, "but few they who deserve the name of
With these, and other discussions of the same sort, they passed that
night and the following day, without anything worth mention happening to
them, whereat Don Quixote was not a little dejected; but at length the
next day, at daybreak, they descried the great city of El Toboso, at the
sight of which Don Quixote's spirits rose and Sancho's fell, for he did
not know Dulcinea's house, nor in all his life had he ever seen her, any
more than his master; so that they were both uneasy, the one to see her,
the other at not having seen her, and Sancho was at a loss to know what
he was to do when his master sent him to El Toboso. In the end, Don
Quixote made up his mind to enter the city at nightfall, and they waited
until the time came among some oak trees that were near El Toboso; and
when the moment they had agreed upon arrived, they made their entrance
into the city, where something happened them that may fairly be called
WHEREIN IS RELATED WHAT WILL BE SEEN THERE
'Twas at the very midnight hour--more or less--when Don Quixote and
Sancho quitted the wood and entered El Toboso. The town was in deep
silence, for all the inhabitants were asleep, and stretched on the broad
of their backs, as the saying is. The night was darkish, though Sancho
would have been glad had it been quite dark, so as to find in the
darkness an excuse for his blundering. All over the place nothing was to
be heard except the barking of dogs, which deafened the ears of Don
Quixote and troubled the heart of Sancho. Now and then an ass brayed,
pigs grunted, cats mewed, and the various noises they made seemed louder
in the silence of the night; all which the enamoured knight took to be of
evil omen; nevertheless he said to Sancho, "Sancho, my son, lead on to
the palace of Dulcinea, it may be that we shall find her awake."
"Body of the sun! what palace am I to lead to," said Sancho, "when what I
saw her highness in was only a very little house?"
"Most likely she had then withdrawn into some small apartment of her
palace," said Don Quixote, "to amuse herself with damsels, as great
ladies and princesses are accustomed to do."
"Senor," said Sancho, "if your worship will have it in spite of me that
the house of my lady Dulcinea is a palace, is this an hour, think you, to
find the door open; and will it be right for us to go knocking till they
hear us and open the door; making a disturbance and confusion all through
the household? Are we going, do you fancy, to the house of our wenches,
like gallants who come and knock and go in at any hour, however late it
"Let us first of all find out the palace for certain," replied Don
Quixote, "and then I will tell thee, Sancho, what we had best do; but
look, Sancho, for either I see badly, or that dark mass that one sees
from here should be Dulcinea's palace."
"Then let your worship lead the way," said Sancho, "perhaps it may be so;
though I see it with my eyes and touch it with my hands, I'll believe it
as much as I believe it is daylight now."
Don Quixote took the lead, and having gone a matter of two hundred paces
he came upon the mass that produced the shade, and found it was a great
tower, and then he perceived that the building in question was no palace,
but the chief church of the town, and said he, "It's the church we have
lit upon, Sancho."
"So I see," said Sancho, "and God grant we may not light upon our graves;
it is no good sign to find oneself wandering in a graveyard at this time
of night; and that, after my telling your worship, if I don't mistake,
that the house of this lady will be in an alley without an outlet."
"The curse of God on thee for a blockhead!" said Don Quixote; "where hast
thou ever heard of castles and royal palaces being built in alleys
without an outlet?"
"Senor," replied Sancho, "every country has a way of its own; perhaps
here in El Toboso it is the way to build palaces and grand buildings in
alleys; so I entreat your worship to let me search about among these
streets or alleys before me, and perhaps, in some corner or other, I may
stumble on this palace--and I wish I saw the dogs eating it for leading
us such a dance."
"Speak respectfully of what belongs to my lady, Sancho," said Don
Quixote; "let us keep the feast in peace, and not throw the rope after
"I'll hold my tongue," said Sancho, "but how am I to take it patiently
when your worship wants me, with only once seeing the house of our
mistress, to know always, and find it in the middle of the night, when
your worship can't find it, who must have seen it thousands of times?"
"Thou wilt drive me to desperation, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "Look
here, heretic, have I not told thee a thousand times that I have never
once in my life seen the peerless Dulcinea or crossed the threshold of
her palace, and that I am enamoured solely by hearsay and by the great
reputation she bears for beauty and discretion?"
"I hear it now," returned Sancho; "and I may tell you that if you have
not seen her, no more have I."
"That cannot be," said Don Quixote, "for, at any rate, thou saidst, on
bringing back the answer to the letter I sent by thee, that thou sawest
her sifting wheat."
"Don't mind that, senor," said Sancho; "I must tell you that my seeing
her and the answer I brought you back were by hearsay too, for I can no
more tell who the lady Dulcinea is than I can hit the sky."
"Sancho, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "there are times for jests and times
when jests are out of place; if I tell thee that I have neither seen nor
spoken to the lady of my heart, it is no reason why thou shouldst say
thou hast not spoken to her or seen her, when the contrary is the case,
as thou well knowest."
While the two were engaged in this conversation, they perceived some one
with a pair of mules approaching the spot where they stood, and from the
noise the plough made, as it dragged along the ground, they guessed him
to be some labourer who had got up before daybreak to go to his work, and
so it proved to be. He came along singing the ballad that says--
Ill did ye fare, ye men of France, In Roncesvalles chase--
"May I die, Sancho," said Don Quixote, when he heard him, "if any good
will come to us tonight! Dost thou not hear what that clown is singing?"
"I do," said Sancho, "but what has Roncesvalles chase to do with what we
have in hand? He might just as well be singing the ballad of Calainos,
for any good or ill that can come to us in our business."
By this time the labourer had come up, and Don Quixote asked him, "Can
you tell me, worthy friend, and God speed you, whereabouts here is the
palace of the peerless princess Dona Dulcinea del Toboso?"
"Senor," replied the lad, "I am a stranger, and I have been only a few
days in the town, doing farm work for a rich farmer. In that house
opposite there live the curate of the village and the sacristan, and both
or either of them will be able to give your worship some account of this
lady princess, for they have a list of all the people of El Toboso;
though it is my belief there is not a princess living in the whole of it;
many ladies there are, of quality, and in her own house each of them may
be a princess."
"Well, then, she I am inquiring for will be one of these, my friend,"
said Don Quixote.
"May be so," replied the lad; "God be with you, for here comes the
daylight;" and without waiting for any more of his questions, he whipped
on his mules.
Sancho, seeing his master downcast and somewhat dissatisfied, said to
him, "Senor, daylight will be here before long, and it will not do for us
to let the sun find us in the street; it will be better for us to quit
the city, and for your worship to hide in some forest in the
neighbourhood, and I will come back in the daytime, and I won't leave a
nook or corner of the whole village that I won't search for the house,
castle, or palace, of my lady, and it will be hard luck for me if I don't
find it; and as soon as I have found it I will speak to her grace, and
tell her where and how your worship is waiting for her to arrange some
plan for you to see her without any damage to her honour and reputation."
"Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou hast delivered a thousand sentences
condensed in the compass of a few words; I thank thee for the advice thou
hast given me, and take it most gladly. Come, my son, let us go look for
some place where I may hide, while thou dost return, as thou sayest, to
seek, and speak with my lady, from whose discretion and courtesy I look
for favours more than miraculous."
Sancho was in a fever to get his master out of the town, lest he should
discover the falsehood of the reply he had brought to him in the Sierra
Morena on behalf of Dulcinea; so he hastened their departure, which they
took at once, and two miles out of the village they found a forest or
thicket wherein Don Quixote ensconced himself, while Sancho returned to
the city to speak to Dulcinea, in which embassy things befell him which
demand fresh attention and a new chapter.
WHEREIN IS RELATED THE CRAFTY DEVICE SANCHO ADOPTED TO ENCHANT THE LADY
DULCINEA, AND OTHER INCIDENTS AS LUDICROUS AS THEY ARE TRUE
When the author of this great history comes to relate what is set down in
this chapter he says he would have preferred to pass it over in silence,
fearing it would not be believed, because here Don Quixote's madness
reaches the confines of the greatest that can be conceived, and even goes
a couple of bowshots beyond the greatest. But after all, though still
under the same fear and apprehension, he has recorded it without adding
to the story or leaving out a particle of the truth, and entirely
disregarding the charges of falsehood that might be brought against him;
and he was right, for the truth may run fine but will not break, and
always rises above falsehood as oil above water; and so, going on with
his story, he says that as soon as Don Quixote had ensconced himself in
the forest, oak grove, or wood near El Toboso, he bade Sancho return to
the city, and not come into his presence again without having first
spoken on his behalf to his lady, and begged of her that it might be her
good pleasure to permit herself to be seen by her enslaved knight, and
deign to bestow her blessing upon him, so that he might thereby hope for
a happy issue in all his encounters and difficult enterprises. Sancho
undertook to execute the task according to the instructions, and to bring
back an answer as good as the one he brought back before.
"Go, my son," said Don Quixote, "and be not dazed when thou findest
thyself exposed to the light of that sun of beauty thou art going to
seek. Happy thou, above all the squires in the world! Bear in mind, and
let it not escape thy memory, how she receives thee; if she changes
colour while thou art giving her my message; if she is agitated and
disturbed at hearing my name; if she cannot rest upon her cushion,
shouldst thou haply find her seated in the sumptuous state chamber proper
to her rank; and should she be standing, observe if she poises herself
now on one foot, now on the other; if she repeats two or three times the
reply she gives thee; if she passes from gentleness to austerity, from
asperity to tenderness; if she raises her hand to smooth her hair though
it be not disarranged. In short, my son, observe all her actions and
motions, for if thou wilt report them to me as they were, I will gather
what she hides in the recesses of her heart as regards my love; for I
would have thee know, Sancho, if thou knowest it not, that with lovers
the outward actions and motions they give way to when their loves are in
question are the faithful messengers that carry the news of what is going
on in the depths of their hearts. Go, my friend, may better fortune than
mine attend thee, and bring thee a happier issue than that which I await
in dread in this dreary solitude."
"I will go and return quickly," said Sancho; "cheer up that little heart
of yours, master mine, for at the present moment you seem to have got one
no bigger than a hazel nut; remember what they say, that a stout heart
breaks bad luck, and that where there are no fletches there are no pegs;
and moreover they say, the hare jumps up where it's not looked for. I say
this because, if we could not find my lady's palaces or castles to-night,
now that it is daylight I count upon finding them when I least expect it,
and once found, leave it to me to manage her."
"Verily, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou dost always bring in thy
proverbs happily, whatever we deal with; may God give me better luck in
what I am anxious about."
With this, Sancho wheeled about and gave Dapple the stick, and Don
Quixote remained behind, seated on his horse, resting in his stirrups and
leaning on the end of his lance, filled with sad and troubled
forebodings; and there we will leave him, and accompany Sancho, who went
off no less serious and troubled than he left his master; so much so,
that as soon as he had got out of the thicket, and looking round saw that
Don Quixote was not within sight, he dismounted from his ass, and seating
himself at the foot of a tree began to commune with himself, saying,
"Now, brother Sancho, let us know where your worship is going. Are you
going to look for some ass that has been lost? Not at all. Then what are
you going to look for? I am going to look for a princess, that's all; and
in her for the sun of beauty and the whole heaven at once. And where do
you expect to find all this, Sancho? Where? Why, in the great city of El
Toboso. Well, and for whom are you going to look for her? For the famous
knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, who rights wrongs, gives food to those
who thirst and drink to the hungry. That's all very well, but do you know
her house, Sancho? My master says it will be some royal palace or grand
castle. And have you ever seen her by any chance? Neither I nor my master
ever saw her. And does it strike you that it would be just and right if
the El Toboso people, finding out that you were here with the intention
of going to tamper with their princesses and trouble their ladies, were
to come and cudgel your ribs, and not leave a whole bone in you? They
would, indeed, have very good reason, if they did not see that I am under
orders, and that 'you are a messenger, my friend, no blame belongs to
you.' Don't you trust to that, Sancho, for the Manchegan folk are as
hot-tempered as they are honest, and won't put up with liberties from
anybody. By the Lord, if they get scent of you, it will be worse for you,
I promise you. Be off, you scoundrel! Let the bolt fall. Why should I go
looking for three feet on a cat, to please another man; and what is more,
when looking for Dulcinea will be looking for Marica in Ravena, or the
bachelor in Salamanca? The devil, the devil and nobody else, has mixed me
up in this business!"
Such was the soliloquy Sancho held with himself, and all the conclusion
he could come to was to say to himself again, "Well, there's remedy for
everything except death, under whose yoke we have all to pass, whether we
like it or not, when life's finished. I have seen by a thousand signs
that this master of mine is a madman fit to be tied, and for that matter,
I too, am not behind him; for I'm a greater fool than he is when I follow
him and serve him, if there's any truth in the proverb that says, 'Tell
me what company thou keepest, and I'll tell thee what thou art,' or in
that other, 'Not with whom thou art bred, but with whom thou art fed.'
Well then, if he be mad, as he is, and with a madness that mostly takes
one thing for another, and white for black, and black for white, as was
seen when he said the windmills were giants, and the monks' mules
dromedaries, flocks of sheep armies of enemies, and much more to the same
tune, it will not be very hard to make him believe that some country
girl, the first I come across here, is the lady Dulcinea; and if he does
not believe it, I'll swear it; and if he should swear, I'll swear again;
and if he persists I'll persist still more, so as, come what may, to have
my quoit always over the peg. Maybe, by holding out in this way, I may
put a stop to his sending me on messages of this kind another time; or
maybe he will think, as I suspect he will, that one of those wicked
enchanters, who he says have a spite against him, has changed her form
for the sake of doing him an ill turn and injuring him."
With this reflection Sancho made his mind easy, counting the business as
good as settled, and stayed there till the afternoon so as to make Don
Quixote think he had time enough to go to El Toboso and return; and
things turned out so luckily for him that as he got up to mount Dapple,
he spied, coming from El Toboso towards the spot where he stood, three
peasant girls on three colts, or fillies--for the author does not make
the point clear, though it is more likely they were she-asses, the usual
mount with village girls; but as it is of no great consequence, we need
not stop to prove it.
To be brief, the instant Sancho saw the peasant girls, he returned full
speed to seek his master, and found him sighing and uttering a thousand
passionate lamentations. When Don Quixote saw him he exclaimed, "What
news, Sancho, my friend? Am I to mark this day with a white stone or a
"Your worship," replied Sancho, "had better mark it with ruddle, like the
inscriptions on the walls of class rooms, that those who see it may see
"Then thou bringest good news," said Don Quixote.
"So good," replied Sancho, "that your worship has only to spur Rocinante
and get out into the open field to see the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, who,
with two others, damsels of hers, is coming to see your worship."
"Holy God! what art thou saying, Sancho, my friend?" exclaimed Don
Quixote. "Take care thou art not deceiving me, or seeking by false joy to
cheer my real sadness."
"What could I get by deceiving your worship," returned Sancho,
"especially when it will so soon be shown whether I tell the truth or
not? Come, senor, push on, and you will see the princess our mistress
coming, robed and adorned--in fact, like what she is. Her damsels and she
are all one glow of gold, all bunches of pearls, all diamonds, all
rubies, all cloth of brocade of more than ten borders; with their hair
loose on their shoulders like so many sunbeams playing with the wind; and
moreover, they come mounted on three piebald cackneys, the finest sight
ever you saw."
"Hackneys, you mean, Sancho," said Don Quixote.
"There is not much difference between cackneys and hackneys," said
Sancho; "but no matter what they come on, there they are, the finest
ladies one could wish for, especially my lady the princess Dulcinea, who
staggers one's senses."
"Let us go, Sancho, my son," said Don Quixote, "and in guerdon of this
news, as unexpected as it is good, I bestow upon thee the best spoil I
shall win in the first adventure I may have; or if that does not satisfy
thee, I promise thee the foals I shall have this year from my three mares
that thou knowest are in foal on our village common."
"I'll take the foals," said Sancho; "for it is not quite certain that the
spoils of the first adventure will be good ones."
By this time they had cleared the wood, and saw the three village lasses
close at hand. Don Quixote looked all along the road to El Toboso, and as
he could see nobody except the three peasant girls, he was completely
puzzled, and asked Sancho if it was outside the city he had left them.
"How outside the city?" returned Sancho. "Are your worship's eyes in the
back of your head, that you can't see that they are these who are coming
here, shining like the very sun at noonday?"
"I see nothing, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "but three country girls on
"Now, may God deliver me from the devil!" said Sancho, "and can it be
that your worship takes three hackneys--or whatever they're called-as
white as the driven snow, for jackasses? By the Lord, I could tear my
beard if that was the case!"
"Well, I can only say, Sancho, my friend," said Don Quixote, "that it is
as plain they are jackasses--or jennyasses--as that I am Don Quixote, and
thou Sancho Panza: at any rate, they seem to me to be so."
"Hush, senor," said Sancho, "don't talk that way, but open your eyes, and
come and pay your respects to the lady of your thoughts, who is close
upon us now;" and with these words he advanced to receive the three
village lasses, and dismounting from Dapple, caught hold of one of the
asses of the three country girls by the halter, and dropping on both
knees on the ground, he said, "Queen and princess and duchess of beauty,
may it please your haughtiness and greatness to receive into your favour
and good-will your captive knight who stands there turned into marble
stone, and quite stupefied and benumbed at finding himself in your
magnificent presence. I am Sancho Panza, his squire, and he the vagabond
knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, otherwise called 'The Knight of the
Don Quixote had by this time placed himself on his knees beside Sancho,
and, with eyes starting out of his head and a puzzled gaze, was regarding
her whom Sancho called queen and lady; and as he could see nothing in her
except a village lass, and not a very well-favoured one, for she was
platter-faced and snub-nosed, he was perplexed and bewildered, and did
not venture to open his lips. The country girls, at the same time, were
astonished to see these two men, so different in appearance, on their
knees, preventing their companion from going on. She, however, who had
been stopped, breaking silence, said angrily and testily, "Get out of the
way, bad luck to you, and let us pass, for we are in a hurry."
To which Sancho returned, "Oh, princess and universal lady of El Toboso,
is not your magnanimous heart softened by seeing the pillar and prop of
knight-errantry on his knees before your sublimated presence?"
On hearing this, one of the others exclaimed, "Woa then! why, I'm rubbing
thee down, she-ass of my father-in-law! See how the lordlings come to
make game of the village girls now, as if we here could not chaff as well
as themselves. Go your own way, and let us go ours, and it will be better
"Get up, Sancho," said Don Quixote at this; "I see that fortune, 'with
evil done to me unsated still,' has taken possession of all the roads by
which any comfort may reach 'this wretched soul' that I carry in my
flesh. And thou, highest perfection of excellence that can be desired,
utmost limit of grace in human shape, sole relief of this afflicted heart
that adores thee, though the malign enchanter that persecutes me has
brought clouds and cataracts on my eyes, and to them, and them only,
transformed thy unparagoned beauty and changed thy features into those of
a poor peasant girl, if so be he has not at the same time changed mine
into those of some monster to render them loathsome in thy sight, refuse
not to look upon me with tenderness and love; seeing in this submission
that I make on my knees to thy transformed beauty the humility with which
my soul adores thee."
"Hey-day! My grandfather!" cried the girl, "much I care for your
love-making! Get out of the way and let us pass, and we'll thank you."
Sancho stood aside and let her go, very well pleased to have got so well
out of the hobble he was in. The instant the village lass who had done
duty for Dulcinea found herself free, prodding her "cackney" with a spike
she had at the end of a stick, she set off at full speed across the
field. The she-ass, however, feeling the point more acutely than usual,
began cutting such capers, that it flung the lady Dulcinea to the ground;
seeing which, Don Quixote ran to raise her up, and Sancho to fix and
girth the pack-saddle, which also had slipped under the ass's belly. The
pack-saddle being secured, as Don Quixote was about to lift up his
enchanted mistress in his arms and put her upon her beast, the lady,
getting up from the ground, saved him the trouble, for, going back a
little, she took a short run, and putting both hands on the croup of the
ass she dropped into the saddle more lightly than a falcon, and sat
astride like a man, whereat Sancho said, "Rogue! but our lady is lighter
than a lanner, and might teach the cleverest Cordovan or Mexican how to
mount; she cleared the back of the saddle in one jump, and without spurs
she is making the hackney go like a zebra; and her damsels are no way
behind her, for they all fly like the wind;" which was the truth, for as
soon as they saw Dulcinea mounted, they pushed on after her, and sped
away without looking back, for more than half a league.
Don Quixote followed them with his eyes, and when they were no longer in
sight, he turned to Sancho and said, "How now, Sancho? thou seest how I
am hated by enchanters! And see to what a length the malice and spite
they bear me go, when they seek to deprive me of the happiness it would
give me to see my lady in her own proper form. The fact is I was born to
be an example of misfortune, and the target and mark at which the arrows
of adversity are aimed and directed. Observe too, Sancho, that these
traitors were not content with changing and transforming my Dulcinea, but
they transformed and changed her into a shape as mean and ill-favoured as
that of the village girl yonder; and at the same time they robbed her of
that which is such a peculiar property of ladies of distinction, that is
to say, the sweet fragrance that comes of being always among perfumes and
flowers. For I must tell thee, Sancho, that when I approached to put
Dulcinea upon her hackney (as thou sayest it was, though to me it
appeared a she-ass), she gave me a whiff of raw garlic that made my head
reel, and poisoned my very heart."
"O scum of the earth!" cried Sancho at this, "O miserable, spiteful
enchanters! O that I could see you all strung by the gills, like sardines
on a twig! Ye know a great deal, ye can do a great deal, and ye do a
great deal more. It ought to have been enough for you, ye scoundrels, to
have changed the pearls of my lady's eyes into oak galls, and her hair of
purest gold into the bristles of a red ox's tail, and in short, all her
features from fair to foul, without meddling with her smell; for by that
we might somehow have found out what was hidden underneath that ugly
rind; though, to tell the truth, I never perceived her ugliness, but only
her beauty, which was raised to the highest pitch of perfection by a mole
she had on her right lip, like a moustache, with seven or eight red hairs
like threads of gold, and more than a palm long."
"From the correspondence which exists between those of the face and those
of the body," said Don Quixote, "Dulcinea must have another mole
resembling that on the thick of the thigh on that side on which she has
the one on her ace; but hairs of the length thou hast mentioned are very
long for moles."
"Well, all I can say is there they were as plain as could be," replied
"I believe it, my friend," returned Don Quixote; "for nature bestowed
nothing on Dulcinea that was not perfect and well-finished; and so, if
she had a hundred moles like the one thou hast described, in her they
would not be moles, but moons and shining stars. But tell me, Sancho,
that which seemed to me to be a pack-saddle as thou wert fixing it, was
it a flat-saddle or a side-saddle?"
"It was neither," replied Sancho, "but a jineta saddle, with a field
covering worth half a kingdom, so rich is it."
"And that I could not see all this, Sancho!" said Don Quixote; "once more
I say, and will say a thousand times, I am the most unfortunate of men."
Sancho, the rogue, had enough to do to hide his laughter, at hearing the
simplicity of the master he had so nicely befooled. At length, after a
good deal more conversation had passed between them, they remounted their
beasts, and followed the road to Saragossa, which they expected to reach
in time to take part in a certain grand festival which is held every year
in that illustrious city; but before they got there things happened to
them, so many, so important, and so strange, that they deserve to be
recorded and read, as will be seen farther on.
OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE HAD WITH THE CAR
OR CART OF "THE CORTES OF DEATH"
Dejected beyond measure did Don Quixote pursue his journey, turning over
in his mind the cruel trick the enchanters had played him in changing his
lady Dulcinea into the vile shape of the village lass, nor could he think
of any way of restoring her to her original form; and these reflections
so absorbed him, that without being aware of it he let go Rocinante's
bridle, and he, perceiving the liberty that was granted him, stopped at
every step to crop the fresh grass with which the plain abounded.
Sancho recalled him from his reverie. "Melancholy, senor," said he, "was
made, not for beasts, but for men; but if men give way to it overmuch
they turn to beasts; control yourself, your worship; be yourself again;
gather up Rocinante's reins; cheer up, rouse yourself and show that
gallant spirit that knights-errant ought to have. What the devil is this?
What weakness is this? Are we here or in France? The devil fly away with
all the Dulcineas in the world; for the well-being of a single
knight-errant is of more consequence than all the enchantments and
transformations on earth."
"Hush, Sancho," said Don Quixote in a weak and faint voice, "hush and
utter no blasphemies against that enchanted lady; for I alone am to blame
for her misfortune and hard fate; her calamity has come of the hatred the
wicked bear me."
"So say I," returned Sancho; "his heart rend in twain, I trow, who saw
her once, to see her now."
"Thou mayest well say that, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "as thou sawest
her in the full perfection of her beauty; for the enchantment does not go
so far as to pervert thy vision or hide her loveliness from thee; against
me alone and against my eyes is the strength of its venom directed.
Nevertheless, there is one thing which has occurred to me, and that is
that thou didst ill describe her beauty to me, for, as well as I
recollect, thou saidst that her eyes were pearls; but eyes that are like
pearls are rather the eyes of a sea-bream than of a lady, and I am
persuaded that Dulcinea's must be green emeralds, full and soft, with two
rainbows for eyebrows; take away those pearls from her eyes and transfer
them to her teeth; for beyond a doubt, Sancho, thou hast taken the one
for the other, the eyes for the teeth."
"Very likely," said Sancho; "for her beauty bewildered me as much as her
ugliness did your worship; but let us leave it all to God, who alone
knows what is to happen in this vale of tears, in this evil world of
ours, where there is hardly a thing to be found without some mixture of
wickedness, roguery, and rascality. But one thing, senor, troubles me
more than all the rest, and that is thinking what is to be done when your
worship conquers some giant, or some other knight, and orders him to go
and present himself before the beauty of the lady Dulcinea. Where is this
poor giant, or this poor wretch of a vanquished knight, to find her? I
think I can see them wandering all over El Toboso, looking like noddies,
and asking for my lady Dulcinea; and even if they meet her in the middle
of the street they won't know her any more than they would my father."
"Perhaps, Sancho," returned Don Quixote, "the enchantment does not go so
far as to deprive conquered and presented giants and knights of the power
of recognising Dulcinea; we will try by experiment with one or two of the
first I vanquish and send to her, whether they see her or not, by
commanding them to return and give me an account of what happened to them
in this respect."
"I declare, I think what your worship has proposed is excellent," said
Sancho; "and that by this plan we shall find out what we want to know;
and if it be that it is only from your worship she is hidden, the
misfortune will be more yours than hers; but so long as the lady Dulcinea
is well and happy, we on our part will make the best of it, and get on as
well as we can, seeking our adventures, and leaving Time to take his own
course; for he is the best physician for these and greater ailments."
Don Quixote was about to reply to Sancho Panza, but he was prevented by a
cart crossing the road full of the most diverse and strange personages
and figures that could be imagined. He who led the mules and acted as
carter was a hideous demon; the cart was open to the sky, without a tilt
or cane roof, and the first figure that presented itself to Don Quixote's
eyes was that of Death itself with a human face; next to it was an angel
with large painted wings, and at one side an emperor, with a crown, to
all appearance of gold, on his head. At the feet of Death was the god
called Cupid, without his bandage, but with his bow, quiver, and arrows;
there was also a knight in full armour, except that he had no morion or
helmet, but only a hat decked with plumes of divers colours; and along
with these there were others with a variety of costumes and faces. All
this, unexpectedly encountered, took Don Quixote somewhat aback, and
struck terror into the heart of Sancho; but the next instant Don Quixote
was glad of it, believing that some new perilous adventure was presenting
itself to him, and under this impression, and with a spirit prepared to
face any danger, he planted himself in front of the cart, and in a loud
and menacing tone, exclaimed, "Carter, or coachman, or devil, or whatever
thou art, tell me at once who thou art, whither thou art going, and who
these folk are thou carriest in thy wagon, which looks more like Charon's
boat than an ordinary cart."
To which the devil, stopping the cart, answered quietly, "Senor, we are
players of Angulo el Malo's company; we have been acting the play of 'The
Cortes of Death' this morning, which is the octave of Corpus Christi, in
a village behind that hill, and we have to act it this afternoon in that
village which you can see from this; and as it is so near, and to save
the trouble of undressing and dressing again, we go in the costumes in
which we perform. That lad there appears as Death, that other as an
angel, that woman, the manager's wife, plays the queen, this one the
soldier, that the emperor, and I the devil; and I am one of the principal
characters of the play, for in this company I take the leading parts. If
you want to know anything more about us, ask me and I will answer with
the utmost exactitude, for as I am a devil I am up to everything."
"By the faith of a knight-errant," replied Don Quixote, "when I saw this
cart I fancied some great adventure was presenting itself to me; but I
declare one must touch with the hand what appears to the eye, if
illusions are to be avoided. God speed you, good people; keep your
festival, and remember, if you demand of me ought wherein I can render
you a service, I will do it gladly and willingly, for from a child I was
fond of the play, and in my youth a keen lover of the actor's art."
While they were talking, fate so willed it that one of the company in a
mummers' dress with a great number of bells, and armed with three blown
ox-bladders at the end of a stick, joined them, and this merry-andrew
approaching Don Quixote, began flourishing his stick and banging the
ground with the bladders and cutting capers with great jingling of the
bells, which untoward apparition so startled Rocinante that, in spite of
Don Quixote's efforts to hold him in, taking the bit between his teeth he
set off across the plain with greater speed than the bones of his anatomy
ever gave any promise of.
Sancho, who thought his master was in danger of being thrown, jumped off
Dapple, and ran in all haste to help him; but by the time he reached him
he was already on the ground, and beside him was Rocinante, who had come
down with his master, the usual end and upshot of Rocinante's vivacity
and high spirits. But the moment Sancho quitted his beast to go and help
Don Quixote, the dancing devil with the bladders jumped up on Dapple, and
beating him with them, more by the fright and the noise than by the pain
of the blows, made him fly across the fields towards the village where
they were going to hold their festival. Sancho witnessed Dapple's career
and his master's fall, and did not know which of the two cases of need he
should attend to first; but in the end, like a good squire and good
servant, he let his love for his master prevail over his affection for
his ass; though every time he saw the bladders rise in the air and come
down on the hind quarters of his Dapple he felt the pains and terrors of
death, and he would have rather had the blows fall on the apples of his
own eyes than on the least hair of his ass's tail. In this trouble and
perplexity he came to where Don Quixote lay in a far sorrier plight than
he liked, and having helped him to mount Rocinante, he said to him,
"Senor, the devil has carried off my Dapple."
"What devil?" asked Don Quixote.
"The one with the bladders," said Sancho.
"Then I will recover him," said Don Quixote, "even if he be shut up with
him in the deepest and darkest dungeons of hell. Follow me, Sancho, for
the cart goes slowly, and with the mules of it I will make good the loss
"You need not take the trouble, senor," said Sancho; "keep cool, for as I
now see, the devil has let Dapple go and he is coming back to his old
quarters;" and so it turned out, for, having come down with Dapple, in
imitation of Don Quixote and Rocinante, the devil made off on foot to the
town, and the ass came back to his master.
"For all that," said Don Quixote, "it will be well to visit the
discourtesy of that devil upon some of those in the cart, even if it were
the emperor himself."
"Don't think of it, your worship," returned Sancho; "take my advice and
never meddle with actors, for they are a favoured class; I myself have
known an actor taken up for two murders, and yet come off scot-free;
remember that, as they are merry folk who give pleasure, everyone favours
and protects them, and helps and makes much of them, above all when they
are those of the royal companies and under patent, all or most of whom in
dress and appearance look like princes."
"Still, for all that," said Don Quixote, "the player devil must not go
off boasting, even if the whole human race favours him."
So saying, he made for the cart, which was now very near the town,
shouting out as he went, "Stay! halt! ye merry, jovial crew! I want to
teach you how to treat asses and animals that serve the squires of
knights-errant for steeds."
So loud were the shouts of Don Quixote, that those in the cart heard and
understood them, and, guessing by the words what the speaker's intention
was, Death in an instant jumped out of the cart, and the emperor, the
devil carter and the angel after him, nor did the queen or the god Cupid
stay behind; and all armed themselves with stones and formed in line,
prepared to receive Don Quixote on the points of their pebbles. Don
Quixote, when he saw them drawn up in such a gallant array with uplifted
arms ready for a mighty discharge of stones, checked Rocinante and began
to consider in what way he could attack them with the least danger to
himself. As he halted Sancho came up, and seeing him disposed to attack
this well-ordered squadron, said to him, "It would be the height of
madness to attempt such an enterprise; remember, senor, that against sops
from the brook, and plenty of them, there is no defensive armour in the
world, except to stow oneself away under a brass bell; and besides, one
should remember that it is rashness, and not valour, for a single man to
attack an army that has Death in it, and where emperors fight in person,
with angels, good and bad, to help them; and if this reflection will not
make you keep quiet, perhaps it will to know for certain that among all
these, though they look like kings, princes, and emperors, there is not a
"Now indeed thou hast hit the point, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "which
may and should turn me from the resolution I had already formed. I cannot
and must not draw sword, as I have many a time before told thee, against
anyone who is not a dubbed knight; it is for thee, Sancho, if thou wilt,
to take vengeance for the wrong done to thy Dapple; and I will help thee
from here by shouts and salutary counsels."
"There is no occasion to take vengeance on anyone, senor," replied
Sancho; "for it is not the part of good Christians to revenge wrongs; and
besides, I will arrange it with my ass to leave his grievance to my
good-will and pleasure, and that is to live in peace as long as heaven
grants me life."
"Well," said Don Quixote, "if that be thy determination, good Sancho,
sensible Sancho, Christian Sancho, honest Sancho, let us leave these
phantoms alone and turn to the pursuit of better and worthier adventures;
for, from what I see of this country, we cannot fail to find plenty of
marvellous ones in it."
He at once wheeled about, Sancho ran to take possession of his Dapple,
Death and his flying squadron returned to their cart and pursued their
journey, and thus the dread adventure of the cart of Death ended happily,
thanks to the advice Sancho gave his master; who had, the following day,
a fresh adventure, of no less thrilling interest than the last, with an
OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE WHICH BEFELL THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE WITH THE
BOLD KNIGHT OF THE MIRRORS
The night succeeding the day of the encounter with Death, Don Quixote and
his squire passed under some tall shady trees, and Don Quixote at
Sancho's persuasion ate a little from the store carried by Dapple, and
over their supper Sancho said to his master, "Senor, what a fool I should
have looked if I had chosen for my reward the spoils of the first
adventure your worship achieved, instead of the foals of the three mares.
After all, 'a sparrow in the hand is better than a vulture on the wing.'"
"At the same time, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "if thou hadst let me
attack them as I wanted, at the very least the emperor's gold crown and
Cupid's painted wings would have fallen to thee as spoils, for I should
have taken them by force and given them into thy hands."
"The sceptres and crowns of those play-actor emperors," said Sancho,
"were never yet pure gold, but only brass foil or tin."
"That is true," said Don Quixote, "for it would not be right that the
accessories of the drama should be real, instead of being mere fictions
and semblances, like the drama itself; towards which, Sancho-and, as a
necessary consequence, towards those who represent and produce it--I
would that thou wert favourably disposed, for they are all instruments of
great good to the State, placing before us at every step a mirror in
which we may see vividly displayed what goes on in human life; nor is
there any similitude that shows us more faithfully what we are and ought
to be than the play and the players. Come, tell me, hast thou not seen a
play acted in which kings, emperors, pontiffs, knights, ladies, and
divers other personages were introduced? One plays the villain, another
the knave, this one the merchant, that the soldier, one the sharp-witted
fool, another the foolish lover; and when the play is over, and they have
put off the dresses they wore in it, all the actors become equal."
"Yes, I have seen that," said Sancho.
"Well then," said Don Quixote, "the same thing happens in the comedy and
life of this world, where some play emperors, others popes, and, in
short, all the characters that can be brought into a play; but when it is
over, that is to say when life ends, death strips them all of the
garments that distinguish one from the other, and all are equal in the
"A fine comparison!" said Sancho; "though not so new but that I have
heard it many and many a time, as well as that other one of the game of
chess; how, so long as the game lasts, each piece has its own particular
office, and when the game is finished they are all mixed, jumbled up and
shaken together, and stowed away in the bag, which is much like ending
life in the grave."
"Thou art growing less doltish and more shrewd every day, Sancho," said
"Ay," said Sancho; "it must be that some of your worship's shrewdness
sticks to me; land that, of itself, is barren and dry, will come to yield
good fruit if you dung it and till it; what I mean is that your worship's
conversation has been the dung that has fallen on the barren soil of my
dry wit, and the time I have been in your service and society has been
the tillage; and with the help of this I hope to yield fruit in abundance
that will not fall away or slide from those paths of good breeding that
your worship has made in my parched understanding."
Don Quixote laughed at Sancho's affected phraseology, and perceived that
what he said about his improvement was true, for now and then he spoke in
a way that surprised him; though always, or mostly, when Sancho tried to
talk fine and attempted polite language, he wound up by toppling over
from the summit of his simplicity into the abyss of his ignorance; and
where he showed his culture and his memory to the greatest advantage was
in dragging in proverbs, no matter whether they had any bearing or not
upon the subject in hand, as may have been seen already and will be
noticed in the course of this history.
In conversation of this kind they passed a good part of the night, but
Sancho felt a desire to let down the curtains of his eyes, as he used to
say when he wanted to go to sleep; and stripping Dapple he left him at
liberty to graze his fill. He did not remove Rocinante's saddle, as his
master's express orders were, that so long as they were in the field or
not sleeping under a roof Rocinante was not to be stripped--the ancient
usage established and observed by knights-errant being to take off the
bridle and hang it on the saddle-bow, but to remove the saddle from the
horse--never! Sancho acted accordingly, and gave him the same liberty he
had given Dapple, between whom and Rocinante there was a friendship so
unequalled and so strong, that it is handed down by tradition from father
to son, that the author of this veracious history devoted some special
chapters to it, which, in order to preserve the propriety and decorum due
to a history so heroic, he did not insert therein; although at times he
forgets this resolution of his and describes how eagerly the two beasts
would scratch one another when they were together and how, when they were
tired or full, Rocinante would lay his neck across Dapple's, stretching
half a yard or more on the other side, and the pair would stand thus,
gazing thoughtfully on the ground, for three days, or at least so long as
they were left alone, or hunger did not drive them to go and look for
food. I may add that they say the author left it on record that he
likened their friendship to that of Nisus and Euryalus, and Pylades and
Orestes; and if that be so, it may be perceived, to the admiration of
mankind, how firm the friendship must have been between these two
peaceful animals, shaming men, who preserve friendships with one another
so badly. This was why it was said--
For friend no longer is there friend;
The reeds turn lances now.
And some one else has sung--
Friend to friend the bug, etc.
And let no one fancy that the author was at all astray when he compared
the friendship of these animals to that of men; for men have received
many lessons from beasts, and learned many important things, as, for
example, the clyster from the stork, vomit and gratitude from the dog,
watchfulness from the crane, foresight from the ant, modesty from the
elephant, and loyalty from the horse.
Sancho at last fell asleep at the foot of a cork tree, while Don Quixote
dozed at that of a sturdy oak; but a short time only had elapsed when a
noise he heard behind him awoke him, and rising up startled, he listened
and looked in the direction the noise came from, and perceived two men on
horseback, one of whom, letting himself drop from the saddle, said to the
other, "Dismount, my friend, and take the bridles off the horses, for, so
far as I can see, this place will furnish grass for them, and the
solitude and silence my love-sick thoughts need of." As he said this he
stretched himself upon the ground, and as he flung himself down, the
armour in which he was clad rattled, whereby Don Quixote perceived that
he must be a knight-errant; and going over to Sancho, who was asleep, he
shook him by the arm and with no small difficulty brought him back to his
senses, and said in a low voice to him, "Brother Sancho, we have got an
"God send us a good one," said Sancho; "and where may her ladyship the
"Where, Sancho?" replied Don Quixote; "turn thine eyes and look, and thou
wilt see stretched there a knight-errant, who, it strikes me, is not over
and above happy, for I saw him fling himself off his horse and throw
himself on the ground with a certain air of dejection, and his armour
rattled as he fell."
"Well," said Sancho, "how does your worship make out that to be an
"I do not mean to say," returned Don Quixote, "that it is a complete
adventure, but that it is the beginning of one, for it is in this way
adventures begin. But listen, for it seems he is tuning a lute or guitar,
and from the way he is spitting and clearing his chest he must be getting
ready to sing something."
"Faith, you are right," said Sancho, "and no doubt he is some enamoured
"There is no knight-errant that is not," said Don Quixote; "but let us
listen to him, for, if he sings, by that thread we shall extract the ball
of his thoughts; because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth
Sancho was about to reply to his master, but the Knight of the Grove's
voice, which was neither very bad nor very good, stopped him, and
listening attentively the pair heard him sing this
Your pleasure, prithee, lady mine, unfold;
Declare the terms that I am to obey;
My will to yours submissively I mould,
And from your law my feet shall never stray.
Would you I die, to silent grief a prey?
Then count me even now as dead and cold;
Would you I tell my woes in some new way?
Then shall my tale by Love itself be told.
The unison of opposites to prove,
Of the soft wax and diamond hard am I;
But still, obedient to the laws of love,
Here, hard or soft, I offer you my breast,
Whate'er you grave or stamp thereon shall rest
Indelible for all eternity.
With an "Ah me!" that seemed to be drawn from the inmost recesses of his
heart, the Knight of the Grove brought his lay to an end, and shortly
afterwards exclaimed in a melancholy and piteous voice, "O fairest and
most ungrateful woman on earth! What! can it be, most serene Casildea de
Vandalia, that thou wilt suffer this thy captive knight to waste away and
perish in ceaseless wanderings and rude and arduous toils? It is not
enough that I have compelled all the knights of Navarre, all the Leonese,
all the Tartesians, all the Castilians, and finally all the knights of La
Mancha, to confess thee the most beautiful in the world?"
"Not so," said Don Quixote at this, "for I am of La Mancha, and I have
never confessed anything of the sort, nor could I nor should I confess a
thing so much to the prejudice of my lady's beauty; thou seest how this
knight is raving, Sancho. But let us listen, perhaps he will tell us more
"That he will," returned Sancho, "for he seems in a mood to bewail
himself for a month at a stretch."
But this was not the case, for the Knight of the Grove, hearing voices
near him, instead of continuing his lamentation, stood up and exclaimed
in a distinct but courteous tone, "Who goes there? What are you? Do you
belong to the number of the happy or of the miserable?"
"Of the miserable," answered Don Quixote.
"Then come to me," said he of the Grove, "and rest assured that it is to
woe itself and affliction itself you come."
Don Quixote, finding himself answered in such a soft and courteous
manner, went over to him, and so did Sancho.
The doleful knight took Don Quixote by the arm, saying, "Sit down here,
sir knight; for, that you are one, and of those that profess
knight-errantry, it is to me a sufficient proof to have found you in this
place, where solitude and night, the natural couch and proper retreat of
knights-errant, keep you company." To which Don made answer, "A knight I
am of the profession you mention, and though sorrows, misfortunes, and
calamities have made my heart their abode, the compassion I feel for the
misfortunes of others has not been thereby banished from it. From what
you have just now sung I gather that yours spring from love, I mean from
the love you bear that fair ingrate you named in your lament."
In the meantime, they had seated themselves together on the hard ground
peaceably and sociably, just as if, as soon as day broke, they were not
going to break one another's heads.
"Are you, sir knight, in love perchance?" asked he of the Grove of Don
"By mischance I am," replied Don Quixote; "though the ills arising from
well-bestowed affections should be esteemed favours rather than
"That is true," returned he of the Grove, "if scorn did not unsettle our
reason and understanding, for if it be excessive it looks like revenge."
"I was never scorned by my lady," said Don Quixote.
"Certainly not," said Sancho, who stood close by, "for my lady is as a
lamb, and softer than a roll of butter."
"Is this your squire?" asked he of the Grove.
"He is," said Don Quixote.
"I never yet saw a squire," said he of the Grove, "who ventured to speak
when his master was speaking; at least, there is mine, who is as big as
his father, and it cannot be proved that he has ever opened his lips when
I am speaking."
"By my faith then," said Sancho, "I have spoken, and am fit to speak, in
the presence of one as much, or even--but never mind--it only makes it
worse to stir it."
The squire of the Grove took Sancho by the arm, saying to him, "Let us
two go where we can talk in squire style as much as we please, and leave
these gentlemen our masters to fight it out over the story of their
loves; and, depend upon it, daybreak will find them at it without having
made an end of it."
"So be it by all means," said Sancho; "and I will tell your worship who I
am, that you may see whether I am to be reckoned among the number of the
most talkative squires."
With this the two squires withdrew to one side, and between them there
passed a conversation as droll as that which passed between their masters
IN WHICH IS CONTINUED THE ADVENTURE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE GROVE, TOGETHER
WITH THE SENSIBLE, ORIGINAL, AND TRANQUIL COLLOQUY THAT PASSED BETWEEN
THE TWO SQUIRES
The knights and the squires made two parties, these telling the story of
their lives, the others the story of their loves; but the history relates
first of all the conversation of the servants, and afterwards takes up
that of the masters; and it says that, withdrawing a little from the
others, he of the Grove said to Sancho, "A hard life it is we lead and
live, senor, we that are squires to knights-errant; verily, we eat our
bread in the sweat of our faces, which is one of the curses God laid on
our first parents."
"It may be said, too," added Sancho, "that we eat it in the chill of our
bodies; for who gets more heat and cold than the miserable squires of
knight-errantry? Even so it would not be so bad if we had something to
eat, for woes are lighter if there's bread; but sometimes we go a day or
two without breaking our fast, except with the wind that blows."
"All that," said he of the Grove, "may be endured and put up with when we
have hopes of reward; for, unless the knight-errant he serves is
excessively unlucky, after a few turns the squire will at least find
himself rewarded with a fine government of some island or some fair
"I," said Sancho, "have already told my master that I shall be content
with the government of some island, and he is so noble and generous that
he has promised it to me ever so many times."
"I," said he of the Grove, "shall be satisfied with a canonry for my
services, and my master has already assigned me one."
"Your master," said Sancho, "no doubt is a knight in the Church line, and
can bestow rewards of that sort on his good squire; but mine is only a
layman; though I remember some clever, but, to my mind, designing people,
strove to persuade him to try and become an archbishop. He, however,
would not be anything but an emperor; but I was trembling all the time
lest he should take a fancy to go into the Church, not finding myself fit
to hold office in it; for I may tell you, though I seem a man, I am no
better than a beast for the Church."
"Well, then, you are wrong there," said he of the Grove; "for those
island governments are not all satisfactory; some are awkward, some are
poor, some are dull, and, in short, the highest and choicest brings with
it a heavy burden of cares and troubles which the unhappy wight to whose
lot it has fallen bears upon his shoulders. Far better would it be for us
who have adopted this accursed service to go back to our own houses, and
there employ ourselves in pleasanter occupations--in hunting or fishing,
for instance; for what squire in the world is there so poor as not to
have a hack and a couple of greyhounds and a fishingrod to amuse himself
with in his own village?"
"I am not in want of any of those things," said Sancho; "to be sure I
have no hack, but I have an ass that is worth my master's horse twice
over; God send me a bad Easter, and that the next one I am to see, if I
would swap, even if I got four bushels of barley to boot. You will laugh
at the value I put on my Dapple--for dapple is the colour of my beast. As
to greyhounds, I can't want for them, for there are enough and to spare
in my town; and, moreover, there is more pleasure in sport when it is at
other people's expense."
"In truth and earnest, sir squire," said he of the Grove, "I have made up
my mind and determined to have done with these drunken vagaries of these
knights, and go back to my village, and bring up my children; for I have
three, like three Oriental pearls."
"I have two," said Sancho, "that might be presented before the Pope
himself, especially a girl whom I am breeding up for a countess, please
God, though in spite of her mother."
"And how old is this lady that is being bred up for a countess?" asked he
of the Grove.
"Fifteen, a couple of years more or less," answered Sancho; "but she is
as tall as a lance, and as fresh as an April morning, and as strong as a
"Those are gifts to fit her to be not only a countess but a nymph of the
greenwood," said he of the Grove; "whoreson strumpet! what pith the rogue
To which Sancho made answer, somewhat sulkily, "She's no strumpet, nor
was her mother, nor will either of them be, please God, while I live;
speak more civilly; for one bred up among knights-errant, who are
courtesy itself, your words don't seem to me to be very becoming."
"O how little you know about compliments, sir squire," returned he of the
Grove. "What! don't you know that when a horseman delivers a good lance
thrust at the bull in the plaza, or when anyone does anything very well,
the people are wont to say, 'Ha, whoreson rip! how well he has done it!'
and that what seems to be abuse in the expression is high praise? Disown
sons and daughters, senor, who don't do what deserves that compliments of
this sort should be paid to their parents."
"I do disown them," replied Sancho, "and in this way, and by the same
reasoning, you might call me and my children and my wife all the
strumpets in the world, for all they do and say is of a kind that in the
highest degree deserves the same praise; and to see them again I pray God
to deliver me from mortal sin, or, what comes to the same thing, to
deliver me from this perilous calling of squire into which I have fallen
a second time, decayed and beguiled by a purse with a hundred ducats that
I found one day in the heart of the Sierra Morena; and the devil is
always putting a bag full of doubloons before my eyes, here, there,
everywhere, until I fancy at every stop I am putting my hand on it, and
hugging it, and carrying it home with me, and making investments, and
getting interest, and living like a prince; and so long as I think of
this I make light of all the hardships I endure with this simpleton of a
master of mine, who, I well know, is more of a madman than a knight."
"There's why they say that 'covetousness bursts the bag,'" said he of the
Grove; "but if you come to talk of that sort, there is not a greater one
in the world than my master, for he is one of those of whom they say,
'the cares of others kill the ass;' for, in order that another knight may
recover the senses he has lost, he makes a madman of himself and goes
looking for what, when found, may, for all I know, fly in his own face."
"And is he in love perchance?" asked Sancho.
"He is," said of the Grove, "with one Casildea de Vandalia, the rawest
and best roasted lady the whole world could produce; but that rawness is
not the only foot he limps on, for he has greater schemes rumbling in his
bowels, as will be seen before many hours are over."
"There's no road so smooth but it has some hole or hindrance in it," said
Sancho; "in other houses they cook beans, but in mine it's by the potful;
madness will have more followers and hangers-on than sound sense; but if
there be any truth in the common saying, that to have companions in
trouble gives some relief, I may take consolation from you, inasmuch as
you serve a master as crazy as my own."
"Crazy but valiant," replied he of the Grove, "and more roguish than
crazy or valiant."
"Mine is not that," said Sancho; "I mean he has nothing of the rogue in
him; on the contrary, he has the soul of a pitcher; he has no thought of
doing harm to anyone, only good to all, nor has he any malice whatever in
him; a child might persuade him that it is night at noonday; and for this
simplicity I love him as the core of my heart, and I can't bring myself
to leave him, let him do ever such foolish things."
"For all that, brother and senor," said he of the Grove, "if the blind
lead the blind, both are in danger of falling into the pit. It is better
for us to beat a quiet retreat and get back to our own quarters; for
those who seek adventures don't always find good ones."
Sancho kept spitting from time to time, and his spittle seemed somewhat
ropy and dry, observing which the compassionate squire of the Grove said,
"It seems to me that with all this talk of ours our tongues are sticking
to the roofs of our mouths; but I have a pretty good loosener hanging
from the saddle-bow of my horse," and getting up he came back the next
minute with a large bota of wine and a pasty half a yard across; and this
is no exaggeration, for it was made of a house rabbit so big that Sancho,
as he handled it, took it to be made of a goat, not to say a kid, and
looking at it he said, "And do you carry this with you, senor?"
"Why, what are you thinking about?" said the other; "do you take me for
some paltry squire? I carry a better larder on my horse's croup than a
general takes with him when he goes on a march."
Sancho ate without requiring to be pressed, and in the dark bolted
mouthfuls like the knots on a tether, and said he, "You are a proper
trusty squire, one of the right sort, sumptuous and grand, as this
banquet shows, which, if it has not come here by magic art, at any rate
has the look of it; not like me, unlucky beggar, that have nothing more
in my alforjas than a scrap of cheese, so hard that one might brain a
giant with it, and, to keep it company, a few dozen carobs and as many
more filberts and walnuts; thanks to the austerity of my master, and the
idea he has and the rule he follows, that knights-errant must not live or
sustain themselves on anything except dried fruits and the herbs of the
"By my faith, brother," said he of the Grove, "my stomach is not made for
thistles, or wild pears, or roots of the woods; let our masters do as
they like, with their chivalry notions and laws, and eat what those
enjoin; I carry my prog-basket and this bota hanging to the saddle-bow,
whatever they may say; and it is such an object of worship with me, and I
love it so, that there is hardly a moment but I am kissing and embracing
it over and over again;" and so saying he thrust it into Sancho's hands,
who raising it aloft pointed to his mouth, gazed at the stars for a
quarter of an hour; and when he had done drinking let his head fall on
one side, and giving a deep sigh, exclaimed, "Ah, whoreson rogue, how
catholic it is!"
"There, you see," said he of the Grove, hearing Sancho's exclamation,
"how you have called this wine whoreson by way of praise."
"Well," said Sancho, "I own it, and I grant it is no dishonour to call
anyone whoreson when it is to be understood as praise. But tell me,
senor, by what you love best, is this Ciudad Real wine?"
"O rare wine-taster!" said he of the Grove; "nowhere else indeed does it
come from, and it has some years' age too."
"Leave me alone for that," said Sancho; "never fear but I'll hit upon the
place it came from somehow. What would you say, sir squire, to my having
such a great natural instinct in judging wines that you have only to let
me smell one and I can tell positively its country, its kind, its flavour
and soundness, the changes it will undergo, and everything that
appertains to a wine? But it is no wonder, for I have had in my family,
on my father's side, the two best wine-tasters that have been known in La
Mancha for many a long year, and to prove it I'll tell you now a thing
that happened them. They gave the two of them some wine out of a cask, to
try, asking their opinion as to the condition, quality, goodness or
badness of the wine. One of them tried it with the tip of his tongue, the
other did no more than bring it to his nose. The first said the wine had
a flavour of iron, the second said it had a stronger flavour of cordovan.
The owner said the cask was clean, and that nothing had been added to the
wine from which it could have got a flavour of either iron or leather.
Nevertheless, these two great wine-tasters held to what they had said.
Time went by, the wine was sold, and when they came to clean out the
cask, they found in it a small key hanging to a thong of cordovan; see
now if one who comes of the same stock has not a right to give his
opinion in such like cases."
"Therefore, I say," said he of the Grove, "let us give up going in quest
of adventures, and as we have loaves let us not go looking for cakes, but
return to our cribs, for God will find us there if it be his will."
"Until my master reaches Saragossa," said Sancho, "I'll remain in his
service; after that we'll see."
The end of it was that the two squires talked so much and drank so much
that sleep had to tie their tongues and moderate their thirst, for to
quench it was impossible; and so the pair of them fell asleep clinging to
the now nearly empty bota and with half-chewed morsels in their mouths;
and there we will leave them for the present, to relate what passed
between the Knight of the Grove and him of the Rueful Countenance.
WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE ADVENTURE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE GROVE
Among the things that passed between Don Quixote and the Knight of the
Wood, the history tells us he of the Grove said to Don Quixote, "In fine,
sir knight, I would have you know that my destiny, or, more properly
speaking, my choice led me to fall in love with the peerless Casildea de
Vandalia. I call her peerless because she has no peer, whether it be in
bodily stature or in the supremacy of rank and beauty. This same
Casildea, then, that I speak of, requited my honourable passion and
gentle aspirations by compelling me, as his stepmother did Hercules, to
engage in many perils of various sorts, at the end of each promising me
that, with the end of the next, the object of my hopes should be
attained; but my labours have gone on increasing link by link until they
are past counting, nor do I know what will be the last one that is to be
the beginning of the accomplishment of my chaste desires. On one occasion
she bade me go and challenge the famous giantess of Seville, La Giralda
by name, who is as mighty and strong as if made of brass, and though
never stirring from one spot, is the most restless and changeable woman
in the world. I came, I saw, I conquered, and I made her stay quiet and
behave herself, for nothing but north winds blew for more than a week.
Another time I was ordered to lift those ancient stones, the mighty bulls
of Guisando, an enterprise that might more fitly be entrusted to porters
than to knights. Again, she bade me fling myself into the cavern of
Cabra--an unparalleled and awful peril--and bring her a minute account of
all that is concealed in those gloomy depths. I stopped the motion of the
Giralda, I lifted the bulls of Guisando, I flung myself into the cavern
and brought to light the secrets of its abyss; and my hopes are as dead
as dead can be, and her scorn and her commands as lively as ever. To be
brief, last of all she has commanded me to go through all the provinces
of Spain and compel all the knights-errant wandering therein to confess
that she surpasses all women alive to-day in beauty, and that I am the
most valiant and the most deeply enamoured knight on earth; in support of
which claim I have already travelled over the greater part of Spain, and
have there vanquished several knights who have dared to contradict me;
but what I most plume and pride myself upon is having vanquished in
single combat that so famous knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, and made
him confess that my Casildea is more beautiful than his Dulcinea; and in
this one victory I hold myself to have conquered all the knights in the
world; for this Don Quixote that I speak of has vanquished them all, and
I having vanquished him, his glory, his fame, and his honour have passed
and are transferred to my person; for
The more the vanquished hath of fair renown,
The greater glory gilds the victor's crown.
Thus the innumerable achievements of the said Don Quixote are now set
down to my account and have become mine."
Don Quixote was amazed when he heard the Knight of the Grove, and was a
thousand times on the point of telling him he lied, and had the lie
direct already on the tip of his tongue; but he restrained himself as
well as he could, in order to force him to confess the lie with his own
lips; so he said to him quietly, "As to what you say, sir knight, about
having vanquished most of the knights of Spain, or even of the whole
world, I say nothing; but that you have vanquished Don Quixote of La
Mancha I consider doubtful; it may have been some other that resembled
him, although there are few like him."
"How! not vanquished?" said he of the Grove; "by the heaven that is above
us I fought Don Quixote and overcame him and made him yield; and he is a
man of tall stature, gaunt features, long, lank limbs, with hair turning
grey, an aquiline nose rather hooked, and large black drooping
moustaches; he does battle under the name of 'The Countenance,' and he
has for squire a peasant called Sancho Panza; he presses the loins and
rules the reins of a famous steed called Rocinante; and lastly, he has
for the mistress of his will a certain Dulcinea del Toboso, once upon a
time called Aldonza Lorenzo, just as I call mine Casildea de Vandalia
because her name is Casilda and she is of Andalusia. If all these tokens
are not enough to vindicate the truth of what I say, here is my sword,
that will compel incredulity itself to give credence to it."
"Calm yourself, sir knight," said Don Quixote, "and give ear to what I am
about to say to you. I would have you know that this Don Quixote you
speak of is the greatest friend I have in the world; so much so that I
may say I regard him in the same light as my own person; and from the
precise and clear indications you have given I cannot but think that he
must be the very one you have vanquished. On the other hand, I see with
my eyes and feel with my hands that it is impossible it can have been the
same; unless indeed it be that, as he has many enemies who are
enchanters, and one in particular who is always persecuting him, some one
of these may have taken his shape in order to allow himself to be
vanquished, so as to defraud him of the fame that his exalted
achievements as a knight have earned and acquired for him throughout the
known world. And in confirmation of this, I must tell you, too, that it
is but ten hours since these said enchanters his enemies transformed the
shape and person of the fair Dulcinea del Toboso into a foul and mean
village lass, and in the same way they must have transformed Don Quixote;
and if all this does not suffice to convince you of the truth of what I
say, here is Don Quixote himself, who will maintain it by arms, on foot
or on horseback or in any way you please."
And so saying he stood up and laid his hand on his sword, waiting to see
what the Knight of the Grove would do, who in an equally calm voice said
in reply, "Pledges don't distress a good payer; he who has succeeded in
vanquishing you once when transformed, Sir Don Quixote, may fairly hope
to subdue you in your own proper shape; but as it is not becoming for
knights to perform their feats of arms in the dark, like highwaymen and
bullies, let us wait till daylight, that the sun may behold our deeds;
and the conditions of our combat shall be that the vanquished shall be at
the victor's disposal, to do all that he may enjoin, provided the
injunction be such as shall be becoming a knight."
"I am more than satisfied with these conditions and terms," replied Don
Quixote; and so saying, they betook themselves to where their squires
lay, and found them snoring, and in the same posture they were in when
sleep fell upon them. They roused them up, and bade them get the horses
ready, as at sunrise they were to engage in a bloody and arduous single
combat; at which intelligence Sancho was aghast and thunderstruck,
trembling for the safety of his master because of the mighty deeds he had
heard the squire of the Grove ascribe to his; but without a word the two
squires went in quest of their cattle; for by this time the three horses
and the ass had smelt one another out, and were all together.
On the way, he of the Grove said to Sancho, "You must know, brother, that
it is the custom with the fighting men of Andalusia, when they are
godfathers in any quarrel, not to stand idle with folded arms while their
godsons fight; I say so to remind you that while our masters are
fighting, we, too, have to fight, and knock one another to shivers."
"That custom, sir squire," replied Sancho, "may hold good among those
bullies and fighting men you talk of, but certainly not among the squires
of knights-errant; at least, I have never heard my master speak of any
custom of the sort, and he knows all the laws of knight-errantry by
heart; but granting it true that there is an express law that squires are
to fight while their masters are fighting, I don't mean to obey it, but
to pay the penalty that may be laid on peacefully minded squires like
myself; for I am sure it cannot be more than two pounds of wax, and I
would rather pay that, for I know it will cost me less than the lint I
shall be at the expense of to mend my head, which I look upon as broken
and split already; there's another thing that makes it impossible for me
to fight, that I have no sword, for I never carried one in my life."
"I know a good remedy for that," said he of the Grove; "I have here two
linen bags of the same size; you shall take one, and I the other, and we
will fight at bag blows with equal arms."
"If that's the way, so be it with all my heart," said Sancho, "for that
sort of battle will serve to knock the dust out of us instead of hurting
"That will not do," said the other, "for we must put into the bags, to
keep the wind from blowing them away, half a dozen nice smooth pebbles,
all of the same weight; and in this way we shall be able to baste one
another without doing ourselves any harm or mischief."
"Body of my father!" said Sancho, "see what marten and sable, and pads of
carded cotton he is putting into the bags, that our heads may not be
broken and our bones beaten to jelly! But even if they are filled with
toss silk, I can tell you, senor, I am not going to fight; let our
masters fight, that's their lookout, and let us drink and live; for time
will take care to ease us of our lives, without our going to look for
fillips so that they may be finished off before their proper time comes
and they drop from ripeness."
"Still," returned he of the Grove, "we must fight, if it be only for half
"By no means," said Sancho; "I am not going to be so discourteous or so
ungrateful as to have any quarrel, be it ever so small, with one I have
eaten and drunk with; besides, who the devil could bring himself to fight
in cold blood, without anger or provocation?"
"I can remedy that entirely," said he of the Grove, "and in this way:
before we begin the battle, I will come up to your worship fair and
softly, and give you three or four buffets, with which I shall stretch
you at my feet and rouse your anger, though it were sleeping sounder than
"To match that plan," said Sancho, "I have another that is not a whit
behind it; I will take a cudgel, and before your worship comes near
enough to waken my anger I will send yours so sound to sleep with whacks,
that it won't waken unless it be in the other world, where it is known
that I am not a man to let my face be handled by anyone; let each look
out for the arrow--though the surer way would be to let everyone's anger
sleep, for nobody knows the heart of anyone, and a man may come for wool
and go back shorn; God gave his blessing to peace and his curse to
quarrels; if a hunted cat, surrounded and hard pressed, turns into a
lion, God knows what I, who am a man, may turn into; and so from this
time forth I warn you, sir squire, that all the harm and mischief that
may come of our quarrel will be put down to your account."
"Very good," said he of the Grove; "God will send the dawn and we shall
be all right."
And now gay-plumaged birds of all sorts began to warble in the trees, and
with their varied and gladsome notes seemed to welcome and salute the
fresh morn that was beginning to show the beauty of her countenance at
the gates and balconies of the east, shaking from her locks a profusion
of liquid pearls; in which dulcet moisture bathed, the plants, too,
seemed to shed and shower down a pearly spray, the willows distilled
sweet manna, the fountains laughed, the brooks babbled, the woods
rejoiced, and the meadows arrayed themselves in all their glory at her
coming. But hardly had the light of day made it possible to see and
distinguish things, when the first object that presented itself to the
eyes of Sancho Panza was the squire of the Grove's nose, which was so big
that it almost overshadowed his whole body. It is, in fact, stated, that
it was of enormous size, hooked in the middle, covered with warts, and of
a mulberry colour like an egg-plant; it hung down two fingers' length
below his mouth, and the size, the colour, the warts, and the bend of it,
made his face so hideous, that Sancho, as he looked at him, began to
tremble hand and foot like a child in convulsions, and he vowed in his
heart to let himself be given two hundred buffets, sooner than be
provoked to fight that monster. Don Quixote examined his adversary, and
found that he already had his helmet on and visor lowered, so that he
could not see his face; he observed, however, that he was a sturdily
built man, but not very tall in stature. Over his armour he wore a
surcoat or cassock of what seemed to be the finest cloth of gold, all
bespangled with glittering mirrors like little moons, which gave him an
extremely gallant and splendid appearance; above his helmet fluttered a
great quantity of plumes, green, yellow, and white, and his lance, which
was leaning against a tree, was very long and stout, and had a steel
point more than a palm in length.
Don Quixote observed all, and took note of all, and from what he saw and
observed he concluded that the said knight must be a man of great
strength, but he did not for all that give way to fear, like Sancho
Panza; on the contrary, with a composed and dauntless air, he said to the
Knight of the Mirrors, "If, sir knight, your great eagerness to fight has
not banished your courtesy, by it I would entreat you to raise your visor
a little, in order that I may see if the comeliness of your countenance
corresponds with that of your equipment."
"Whether you come victorious or vanquished out of this emprise, sir
knight," replied he of the Mirrors, "you will have more than enough time
and leisure to see me; and if now I do not comply with your request, it
is because it seems to me I should do a serious wrong to the fair
Casildea de Vandalia in wasting time while I stopped to raise my visor
before compelling you to confess what you are already aware I maintain."
"Well then," said Don Quixote, "while we are mounting you can at least
tell me if I am that Don Quixote whom you said you vanquished."
"To that we answer you," said he of the Mirrors, "that you are as like
the very knight I vanquished as one egg is like another, but as you say
enchanters persecute you, I will not venture to say positively whether
you are the said person or not."
"That," said Don Quixote, "is enough to convince me that you are under a
deception; however, entirely to relieve you of it, let our horses be
brought, and in less time than it would take you to raise your visor, if
God, my lady, and my arm stand me in good stead, I shall see your face,
and you shall see that I am not the vanquished Don Quixote you take me to
With this, cutting short the colloquy, they mounted, and Don Quixote
wheeled Rocinante round in order to take a proper distance to charge back
upon his adversary, and he of the Mirrors did the same; but Don Quixote
had not moved away twenty paces when he heard himself called by the
other, and, each returning half-way, he of the Mirrors said to him,
"Remember, sir knight, that the terms of our combat are, that the
vanquished, as I said before, shall be at the victor's disposal."
"I am aware of it already," said Don Quixote; "provided what is commanded
and imposed upon the vanquished be things that do not transgress the
limits of chivalry."
"That is understood," replied he of the Mirrors.
At this moment the extraordinary nose of the squire presented itself to
Don Quixote's view, and he was no less amazed than Sancho at the sight;
insomuch that he set him down as a monster of some kind, or a human being
of some new species or unearthly breed. Sancho, seeing his master
retiring to run his course, did not like to be left alone with the nosy
man, fearing that with one flap of that nose on his own the battle would
be all over for him and he would be left stretched on the ground, either
by the blow or with fright; so he ran after his master, holding on to
Rocinante's stirrup-leather, and when it seemed to him time to turn
about, he said, "I implore of your worship, senor, before you turn to
charge, to help me up into this cork tree, from which I will be able to
witness the gallant encounter your worship is going to have with this
knight, more to my taste and better than from the ground."
"It seems to me rather, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou wouldst
mount a scaffold in order to see the bulls without danger."
"To tell the truth," returned Sancho, "the monstrous nose of that squire
has filled me with fear and terror, and I dare not stay near him."
"It is," said Don Quixote, "such a one that were I not what I am it would
terrify me too; so, come, I will help thee up where thou wilt."
While Don Quixote waited for Sancho to mount into the cork tree he of the
Mirrors took as much ground as he considered requisite, and, supposing
Don Quixote to have done the same, without waiting for any sound of
trumpet or other signal to direct them, he wheeled his horse, which was
not more agile or better-looking than Rocinante, and at his top speed,
which was an easy trot, he proceeded to charge his enemy; seeing him,
however, engaged in putting Sancho up, he drew rein, and halted in mid
career, for which his horse was very grateful, as he was already unable
to go. Don Quixote, fancying that his foe was coming down upon him
flying, drove his spurs vigorously into Rocinante's lean flanks and made
him scud along in such style that the history tells us that on this
occasion only was he known to make something like running, for on all
others it was a simple trot with him; and with this unparalleled fury he
bore down where he of the Mirrors stood digging his spurs into his horse
up to buttons, without being able to make him stir a finger's length from
the spot where he had come to a standstill in his course. At this lucky
moment and crisis, Don Quixote came upon his adversary, in trouble with
his horse, and embarrassed with his lance, which he either could not
manage, or had no time to lay in rest. Don Quixote, however, paid no
attention to these difficulties, and in perfect safety to himself and
without any risk encountered him of the Mirrors with such force that he
brought him to the ground in spite of himself over the haunches of his
horse, and with so heavy a fall that he lay to all appearance dead, not
stirring hand or foot. The instant Sancho saw him fall he slid down from
the cork tree, and made all haste to where his master was, who,
dismounting from Rocinante, went and stood over him of the Mirrors, and
unlacing his helmet to see if he was dead, and to give him air if he
should happen to be alive, he saw--who can say what he saw, without
filling all who hear it with astonishment, wonder, and awe? He saw, the
history says, the very countenance, the very face, the very look, the
very physiognomy, the very effigy, the very image of the bachelor Samson
Carrasco! As soon as he saw it he called out in a loud voice, "Make haste
here, Sancho, and behold what thou art to see but not to believe; quick,
my son, and learn what magic can do, and wizards and enchanters are
Sancho came up, and when he saw the countenance of the bachelor Carrasco,
he fell to crossing himself a thousand times, and blessing himself as
many more. All this time the prostrate knight showed no signs of life,
and Sancho said to Don Quixote, "It is my opinion, senor, that in any
case your worship should take and thrust your sword into the mouth of
this one here that looks like the bachelor Samson Carrasco; perhaps in
him you will kill one of your enemies, the enchanters."
"Thy advice is not bad," said Don Quixote, "for of enemies the fewer the
better;" and he was drawing his sword to carry into effect Sancho's
counsel and suggestion, when the squire of the Mirrors came up, now
without the nose which had made him so hideous, and cried out in a loud
voice, "Mind what you are about, Senor Don Quixote; that is your friend,
the bachelor Samson Carrasco, you have at your feet, and I am his
"And the nose?" said Sancho, seeing him without the hideous feature he
had before; to which he replied, "I have it here in my pocket," and
putting his hand into his right pocket, he pulled out a masquerade nose
of varnished pasteboard of the make already described; and Sancho,
examining him more and more closely, exclaimed aloud in a voice of
amazement, "Holy Mary be good to me! Isn't it Tom Cecial, my neighbour
"Why, to be sure I am!" returned the now unnosed squire; "Tom Cecial I
am, gossip and friend Sancho Panza; and I'll tell you presently the means
and tricks and falsehoods by which I have been brought here; but in the
meantime, beg and entreat of your master not to touch, maltreat, wound,
or slay the Knight of the Mirrors whom he has at his feet; because,
beyond all dispute, it is the rash and ill-advised bachelor Samson
Carrasco, our fellow townsman."
At this moment he of the Mirrors came to himself, and Don Quixote
perceiving it, held the naked point of his sword over his face, and said
to him, "You are a dead man, knight, unless you confess that the peerless
Dulcinea del Toboso excels your Casildea de Vandalia in beauty; and in
addition to this you must promise, if you should survive this encounter
and fall, to go to the city of El Toboso and present yourself before her
on my behalf, that she deal with you according to her good pleasure; and
if she leaves you free to do yours, you are in like manner to return and
seek me out (for the trail of my mighty deeds will serve you as a guide
to lead you to where I may be), and tell me what may have passed between
you and her-conditions which, in accordance with what we stipulated
before our combat, do not transgress the just limits of knight-errantry."
"I confess," said the fallen knight, "that the dirty tattered shoe of the
lady Dulcinea del Toboso is better than the ill-combed though clean beard
of Casildea; and I promise to go and to return from her presence to
yours, and to give you a full and particular account of all you demand of
"You must also confess and believe," added Don Quixote, "that the knight
you vanquished was not and could not be Don Quixote of La Mancha, but
some one else in his likeness, just as I confess and believe that you,
though you seem to be the bachelor Samson Carrasco, are not so, but some
other resembling him, whom my enemies have here put before me in his
shape, in order that I may restrain and moderate the vehemence of my
wrath, and make a gentle use of the glory of my victory."
"I confess, hold, and think everything to be as you believe, hold, and
think it," the crippled knight; "let me rise, I entreat you; if, indeed,
the shock of my fall will allow me, for it has left me in a sorry plight
Don Quixote helped him to rise, with the assistance of his squire Tom
Cecial; from whom Sancho never took his eyes, and to whom he put
questions, the replies to which furnished clear proof that he was really
and truly the Tom Cecial he said; but the impression made on Sancho's
mind by what his master said about the enchanters having changed the face
of the Knight of the Mirrors into that of the bachelor Samson Carrasco,
would not permit him to believe what he saw with his eyes. In fine, both
master and man remained under the delusion; and, down in the mouth, and
out of luck, he of the Mirrors and his squire parted from Don Quixote and
Sancho, he meaning to go look for some village where he could plaster and
strap his ribs. Don Quixote and Sancho resumed their journey to
Saragossa, and on it the history leaves them in order that it may tell
who the Knight of the Mirrors and his long-nosed squire were.
WHEREIN IT IS TOLD AND KNOWN WHO THE KNIGHT OF THE MIRRORS AND HIS SQUIRE
Don Quixote went off satisfied, elated, and vain-glorious in the highest