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The History of Don Quixote, Vol. I., Part 14. by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Produced by David Widger


by Miguel de Cervantes

Translated by John Ormsby

Volume I.

Part 14.


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

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

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

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

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

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

"And when dost thou go?" said Zoraida.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With this I at once took my leave of both; and she, looking as though her
heart were breaking, retired with her father. While pretending to look
for herbs I made the round of the garden at my ease, and studied
carefully all the approaches and outlets, and the fastenings of the house
and everything that could be taken advantage of to make our task easy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It is," replied Zoraida.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But neither could her father hear her nor we see him when she said this;
and so, while I consoled Zoraida, we turned our attention to our voyage,
in which a breeze from the right point so favoured us that we made sure
of finding ourselves off the coast of Spain on the morrow by daybreak.
But, as good seldom or never comes pure and unmixed, without being
attended or followed by some disturbing evil that gives a shock to it,
our fortune, or perhaps the curses which the Moor had hurled at his
daughter (for whatever kind of father they may come from these are always
to be dreaded), brought it about that when we were now in mid-sea, and
the night about three hours spent, as we were running with all sail set
and oars lashed, for the favouring breeze saved us the trouble of using
them, we saw by the light of the moon, which shone brilliantly, a
square-rigged vessel in full sail close to us, luffing up and standing
across our course, and so close that we had to strike sail to avoid
running foul of her, while they too put the helm hard up to let us pass.
They came to the side of the ship to ask who we were, whither we were
bound, and whence we came, but as they asked this in French our renegade
said, "Let no one answer, for no doubt these are French corsairs who
plunder all comers."

Acting on this warning no one answered a word, but after we had gone a
little ahead, and the vessel was now lying to leeward, suddenly they
fired two guns, and apparently both loaded with chain-shot, for with one
they cut our mast in half and brought down both it and the sail into the
sea, and the other, discharged at the same moment, sent a ball into our
vessel amidships, staving her in completely, but without doing any
further damage. We, however, finding ourselves sinking began to shout for
help and call upon those in the ship to pick us up as we were beginning
to fill. They then lay to, and lowering a skiff or boat, as many as a
dozen Frenchmen, well armed with match-locks, and their matches burning,
got into it and came alongside; and seeing how few we were, and that our
vessel was going down, they took us in, telling us that this had come to
us through our incivility in not giving them an answer. Our renegade took
the trunk containing Zoraida's wealth and dropped it into the sea without
anyone perceiving what he did. In short we went on board with the
Frenchmen, who, after having ascertained all they wanted to know about
us, rifled us of everything we had, as if they had been our bitterest
enemies, and from Zoraida they took even the anklets she wore on her
feet; but the distress they caused her did not distress me so much as the
fear I was in that from robbing her of her rich and precious jewels they
would proceed to rob her of the most precious jewel that she valued more
than all. The desires, however, of those people do not go beyond money,
but of that their covetousness is insatiable, and on this occasion it was
carried to such a pitch that they would have taken even the clothes we
wore as captives if they had been worth anything to them. It was the
advice of some of them to throw us all into the sea wrapped up in a sail;
for their purpose was to trade at some of the ports of Spain, giving
themselves out as Bretons, and if they brought us alive they would be
punished as soon as the robbery was discovered; but the captain (who was
the one who had plundered my beloved Zoraida) said he was satisfied with
the prize he had got, and that he would not touch at any Spanish port,
but pass the Straits of Gibraltar by night, or as best he could, and make
for La Rochelle, from which he had sailed. So they agreed by common
consent to give us the skiff belonging to their ship and all we required
for the short voyage that remained to us, and this they did the next day
on coming in sight of the Spanish coast, with which, and the joy we felt,
all our sufferings and miseries were as completely forgotten as if they
had never been endured by us, such is the delight of recovering lost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



by Miguel de Cervantes

Translated by John Ormsby

Volume I.

Part 15.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sancho, finding himself so unexpectedly assailed, and hearing the abuse
poured upon him, seized the pack-saddle with one hand, and with the other
gave the barber a cuff that bathed his teeth in blood. The barber,
however, was not so ready to relinquish the prize he had made in the
pack-saddle; on the contrary, he raised such an outcry that everyone in
the inn came running to know what the noise and quarrel meant. "Here, in
the name of the king and justice!" he cried, "this thief and highwayman
wants to kill me for trying to recover my property."

"You lie," said Sancho, "I am no highwayman; it was in fair war my master
Don Quixote won these spoils."

Don Quixote was standing by at the time, highly pleased to see his
squire's stoutness, both offensive and defensive, and from that time
forth he reckoned him a man of mettle, and in his heart resolved to dub
him a knight on the first opportunity that presented itself, feeling sure
that the order of chivalry would be fittingly bestowed upon him.

In the course of the altercation, among other things the barber said,
"Gentlemen, this pack-saddle is mine as surely as I owe God a death, and
I know it as well as if I had given birth to it, and here is my ass in
the stable who will not let me lie; only try it, and if it does not fit
him like a glove, call me a rascal; and what is more, the same day I was
robbed of this, they robbed me likewise of a new brass basin, never yet
handselled, that would fetch a crown any day."

At this Don Quixote could not keep himself from answering; and
interposing between the two, and separating them, he placed the
pack-saddle on the ground, to lie there in sight until the truth was
established, and said, "Your worships may perceive clearly and plainly
the error under which this worthy squire lies when he calls a basin which
was, is, and shall be the helmet of Mambrino which I won from him in air
war, and made myself master of by legitimate and lawful possession. With
the pack-saddle I do not concern myself; but I may tell you on that head
that my squire Sancho asked my permission to strip off the caparison of
this vanquished poltroon's steed, and with it adorn his own; I allowed
him, and he took it; and as to its having been changed from a caparison
into a pack-saddle, I can give no explanation except the usual one, that
such transformations will take place in adventures of chivalry. To
confirm all which, run, Sancho my son, and fetch hither the helmet which
this good fellow calls a basin."

"Egad, master," said Sancho, "if we have no other proof of our case than
what your worship puts forward, Mambrino's helmet is just as much a basin
as this good fellow's caparison is a pack-saddle."

"Do as I bid thee," said Don Quixote; "it cannot be that everything in
this castle goes by enchantment."

Sancho hastened to where the basin was, and brought it back with him, and
when Don Quixote saw it, he took hold of it and said:

"Your worships may see with what a face this squire can assert that this
is a basin and not the helmet I told you of; and I swear by the order of
chivalry I profess, that this helmet is the identical one I took from
him, without anything added to or taken from it."

"There is no doubt of that," said Sancho, "for from the time my master
won it until now he has only fought one battle in it, when he let loose
those unlucky men in chains; and if had not been for this basin-helmet he
would not have come off over well that time, for there was plenty of
stone-throwing in that affair."



"What do you think now, gentlemen," said the barber, "of what these
gentles say, when they want to make out that this is a helmet?"

"And whoever says the contrary," said Don Quixote, "I will let him know
he lies if he is a knight, and if he is a squire that he lies again a
thousand times."

Our own barber, who was present at all this, and understood Don Quixote's
humour so thoroughly, took it into his head to back up his delusion and
carry on the joke for the general amusement; so addressing the other
barber he said:

"Senor barber, or whatever you are, you must know that I belong to your
profession too, and have had a licence to practise for more than twenty
years, and I know the implements of the barber craft, every one of them,
perfectly well; and I was likewise a soldier for some time in the days of
my youth, and I know also what a helmet is, and a morion, and a headpiece
with a visor, and other things pertaining to soldiering, I meant to say
to soldiers' arms; and I say-saving better opinions and always with
submission to sounder judgments--that this piece we have now before us,
which this worthy gentleman has in his hands, not only is no barber's
basin, but is as far from being one as white is from black, and truth
from falsehood; I say, moreover, that this, although it is a helmet, is
not a complete helmet."

"Certainly not," said Don Quixote, "for half of it is wanting, that is to
say the beaver."

"It is quite true," said the curate, who saw the object of his friend the
barber; and Cardenio, Don Fernando and his companions agreed with him,
and even the Judge, if his thoughts had not been so full of Don Luis's
affair, would have helped to carry on the joke; but he was so taken up
with the serious matters he had on his mind that he paid little or no
attention to these facetious proceedings.

"God bless me!" exclaimed their butt the barber at this; "is it possible
that such an honourable company can say that this is not a basin but a
helmet? Why, this is a thing that would astonish a whole university,
however wise it might be! That will do; if this basin is a helmet, why,
then the pack-saddle must be a horse's caparison, as this gentleman has

"To me it looks like a pack-saddle," said Don Quixote; "but I have
already said that with that question I do not concern myself."

"As to whether it be pack-saddle or caparison," said the curate, "it is
only for Senor Don Quixote to say; for in these matters of chivalry all
these gentlemen and I bow to his authority."

"By God, gentlemen," said Don Quixote, "so many strange things have
happened to me in this castle on the two occasions on which I have
sojourned in it, that I will not venture to assert anything positively in
reply to any question touching anything it contains; for it is my belief
that everything that goes on within it goes by enchantment. The first
time, an enchanted Moor that there is in it gave me sore trouble, nor did
Sancho fare well among certain followers of his; and last night I was
kept hanging by this arm for nearly two hours, without knowing how or why
I came by such a mishap. So that now, for me to come forward to give an
opinion in such a puzzling matter, would be to risk a rash decision. As
regards the assertion that this is a basin and not a helmet I have
already given an answer; but as to the question whether this is a
pack-saddle or a caparison I will not venture to give a positive opinion,
but will leave it to your worships' better judgment. Perhaps as you are
not dubbed knights like myself, the enchantments of this place have
nothing to do with you, and your faculties are unfettered, and you can
see things in this castle as they really and truly are, and not as they
appear to me."

"There can be no question," said Don Fernando on this, "but that Senor
Don Quixote has spoken very wisely, and that with us rests the decision
of this matter; and that we may have surer ground to go on, I will take
the votes of the gentlemen in secret, and declare the result clearly and

To those who were in the secret of Don Quixote's humour all this afforded
great amusement; but to those who knew nothing about it, it seemed the
greatest nonsense in the world, in particular to the four servants of Don
Luis, as well as to Don Luis himself, and to three other travellers who
had by chance come to the inn, and had the appearance of officers of the
Holy Brotherhood, as indeed they were; but the one who above all was at
his wits' end, was the barber basin, there before his very eyes, had been
turned into Mambrino's helmet, and whose pack-saddle he had no doubt
whatever was about to become a rich caparison for a horse. All laughed to
see Don Fernando going from one to another collecting the votes, and
whispering to them to give him their private opinion whether the treasure
over which there had been so much fighting was a pack-saddle or a
caparison; but after he had taken the votes of those who knew Don
Quixote, he said aloud, "The fact is, my good fellow, that I am tired
collecting such a number of opinions, for I find that there is not one of
whom I ask what I desire to know, who does not tell me that it is absurd
to say that this is the pack-saddle of an ass, and not the caparison of a
horse, nay, of a thoroughbred horse; so you must submit, for, in spite of
you and your ass, this is a caparison and no pack-saddle, and you have
stated and proved your case very badly."

"May I never share heaven," said the poor barber, "if your worships are
not all mistaken; and may my soul appear before God as that appears to me
a pack-saddle and not a caparison; but, 'laws go,'-I say no more; and
indeed I am not drunk, for I am fasting, except it be from sin."

The simple talk of the barber did not afford less amusement than the
absurdities of Don Quixote, who now observed:

"There is no more to be done now than for each to take what belongs to
him, and to whom God has given it, may St. Peter add his blessing."

But said one of the four servants, "Unless, indeed, this is a deliberate
joke, I cannot bring myself to believe that men so intelligent as those
present are, or seem to be, can venture to declare and assert that this
is not a basin, and that not a pack-saddle; but as I perceive that they
do assert and declare it, I can only come to the conclusion that there is
some mystery in this persistence in what is so opposed to the evidence of
experience and truth itself; for I swear by"--and here he rapped out a
round oath-"all the people in the world will not make me believe that
this is not a barber's basin and that a jackass's pack-saddle."

"It might easily be a she-ass's," observed the curate.

"It is all the same," said the servant; "that is not the point; but
whether it is or is not a pack-saddle, as your worships say."

On hearing this one of the newly arrived officers of the Brotherhood, who
had been listening to the dispute and controversy, unable to restrain his
anger and impatience, exclaimed, "It is a pack-saddle as sure as my
father is my father, and whoever has said or will say anything else must
be drunk."

"You lie like a rascally clown," returned Don Quixote; and lifting his
pike, which he had never let out of his hand, he delivered such a blow at
his head that, had not the officer dodged it, it would have stretched him
at full length. The pike was shivered in pieces against the ground, and
the rest of the officers, seeing their comrade assaulted, raised a shout,
calling for help for the Holy Brotherhood. The landlord, who was of the
fraternity, ran at once to fetch his staff of office and his sword, and
ranged himself on the side of his comrades; the servants of Don Luis
clustered round him, lest he should escape from them in the confusion;
the barber, seeing the house turned upside down, once more laid hold of
his pack-saddle and Sancho did the same; Don Quixote drew his sword and
charged the officers; Don Luis cried out to his servants to leave him
alone and go and help Don Quixote, and Cardenio and Don Fernando, who
were supporting him; the curate was shouting at the top of his voice, the
landlady was screaming, her daughter was wailing, Maritornes was weeping,
Dorothea was aghast, Luscinda terror-stricken, and Dona Clara in a faint.
The barber cudgelled Sancho, and Sancho pommelled the barber; Don Luis
gave one of his servants, who ventured to catch him by the arm to keep
him from escaping, a cuff that bathed his teeth in blood; the Judge took
his part; Don Fernando had got one of the officers down and was
belabouring him heartily; the landlord raised his voice again calling for
help for the Holy Brotherhood; so that the whole inn was nothing but
cries, shouts, shrieks, confusion, terror, dismay, mishaps, sword-cuts,
fisticuffs, cudgellings, kicks, and bloodshed; and in the midst of all
this chaos, complication, and general entanglement, Don Quixote took it
into his head that he had been plunged into the thick of the discord of
Agramante's camp; and, in a voice that shook the inn like thunder, he
cried out:

"Hold all, let all sheathe their swords, let all be calm and attend to me
as they value their lives!"

All paused at his mighty voice, and he went on to say, "Did I not tell
you, sirs, that this castle was enchanted, and that a legion or so of
devils dwelt in it? In proof whereof I call upon you to behold with your
own eyes how the discord of Agramante's camp has come hither, and been
transferred into the midst of us. See how they fight, there for the
sword, here for the horse, on that side for the eagle, on this for the
helmet; we are all fighting, and all at cross purposes. Come then, you,
Senor Judge, and you, senor curate; let the one represent King Agramante
and the other King Sobrino, and make peace among us; for by God Almighty
it is a sorry business that so many persons of quality as we are should
slay one another for such trifling cause." The officers, who did not
understand Don Quixote's mode of speaking, and found themselves roughly
handled by Don Fernando, Cardenio, and their companions, were not to be
appeased; the barber was, however, for both his beard and his pack-saddle
were the worse for the struggle; Sancho like a good servant obeyed the
slightest word of his master; while the four servants of Don Luis kept
quiet when they saw how little they gained by not being so. The landlord
alone insisted upon it that they must punish the insolence of this
madman, who at every turn raised a disturbance in the inn; but at length
the uproar was stilled for the present; the pack-saddle remained a
caparison till the day of judgment, and the basin a helmet and the inn a
castle in Don Quixote's imagination.

All having been now pacified and made friends by the persuasion of the
Judge and the curate, the servants of Don Luis began again to urge him to
return with them at once; and while he was discussing the matter with
them, the Judge took counsel with Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the curate
as to what he ought to do in the case, telling them how it stood, and
what Don Luis had said to him. It was agreed at length that Don Fernando
should tell the servants of Don Luis who he was, and that it was his
desire that Don Luis should accompany him to Andalusia, where he would
receive from the marquis his brother the welcome his quality entitled him
to; for, otherwise, it was easy to see from the determination of Don Luis
that he would not return to his father at present, though they tore him
to pieces. On learning the rank of Don Fernando and the resolution of Don
Luis the four then settled it between themselves that three of them
should return to tell his father how matters stood, and that the other
should remain to wait upon Don Luis, and not leave him until they came
back for him, or his father's orders were known. Thus by the authority of
Agramante and the wisdom of King Sobrino all this complication of
disputes was arranged; but the enemy of concord and hater of peace,
feeling himself slighted and made a fool of, and seeing how little he had
gained after having involved them all in such an elaborate entanglement,
resolved to try his hand once more by stirring up fresh quarrels and

It came about in this wise: the officers were pacified on learning the
rank of those with whom they had been engaged, and withdrew from the
contest, considering that whatever the result might be they were likely
to get the worst of the battle; but one of them, the one who had been
thrashed and kicked by Don Fernando, recollected that among some warrants
he carried for the arrest of certain delinquents, he had one against Don
Quixote, whom the Holy Brotherhood had ordered to be arrested for setting
the galley slaves free, as Sancho had, with very good reason,
apprehended. Suspecting how it was, then, he wished to satisfy himself as
to whether Don Quixote's features corresponded; and taking a parchment
out of his bosom he lit upon what he was in search of, and setting
himself to read it deliberately, for he was not a quick reader, as he
made out each word he fixed his eyes on Don Quixote, and went on
comparing the description in the warrant with his face, and discovered
that beyond all doubt he was the person described in it. As soon as he
had satisfied himself, folding up the parchment, he took the warrant in
his left hand and with his right seized Don Quixote by the collar so
tightly that he did not allow him to breathe, and shouted aloud, "Help
for the Holy Brotherhood! and that you may see I demand it in earnest,
read this warrant which says this highwayman is to be arrested."

The curate took the warrant and saw that what the officer said was true,
and that it agreed with Don Quixote's appearance, who, on his part, when
he found himself roughly handled by this rascally clown, worked up to the
highest pitch of wrath, and all his joints cracking with rage, with both
hands seized the officer by the throat with all his might, so that had he
not been helped by his comrades he would have yielded up his life ere Don
Quixote released his hold. The landlord, who had perforce to support his
brother officers, ran at once to aid them. The landlady, when she saw her
husband engaged in a fresh quarrel, lifted up her voice afresh, and its
note was immediately caught up by Maritornes and her daughter, calling
upon heaven and all present for help; and Sancho, seeing what was going
on, exclaimed, "By the Lord, it is quite true what my master says about
the enchantments of this castle, for it is impossible to live an hour in
peace in it!"

Don Fernando parted the officer and Don Quixote, and to their mutual
contentment made them relax the grip by which they held, the one the coat
collar, the other the throat of his adversary; for all this, however, the
officers did not cease to demand their prisoner and call on them to help,
and deliver him over bound into their power, as was required for the
service of the King and of the Holy Brotherhood, on whose behalf they
again demanded aid and assistance to effect the capture of this robber
and footpad of the highways.

Don Quixote smiled when he heard these words, and said very calmly, "Come
now, base, ill-born brood; call ye it highway robbery to give freedom to
those in bondage, to release the captives, to succour the miserable, to
raise up the fallen, to relieve the needy? Infamous beings, who by your
vile grovelling intellects deserve that heaven should not make known to
you the virtue that lies in knight-errantry, or show you the sin and
ignorance in which ye lie when ye refuse to respect the shadow, not to
say the presence, of any knight-errant! Come now; band, not of officers,
but of thieves; footpads with the licence of the Holy Brotherhood; tell
me who was the ignoramus who signed a warrant of arrest against such a
knight as I am? Who was he that did not know that knights-errant are
independent of all jurisdictions, that their law is their sword, their
charter their prowess, and their edicts their will? Who, I say again, was
the fool that knows not that there are no letters patent of nobility that
confer such privileges or exemptions as a knight-errant acquires the day
he is dubbed a knight, and devotes himself to the arduous calling of
chivalry? What knight-errant ever paid poll-tax, duty, queen's pin-money,
king's dues, toll or ferry? What tailor ever took payment of him for
making his clothes? What castellan that received him in his castle ever
made him pay his shot? What king did not seat him at his table? What
damsel was not enamoured of him and did not yield herself up wholly to
his will and pleasure? And, lastly, what knight-errant has there been, is
there, or will there ever be in the world, not bold enough to give,
single-handed, four hundred cudgellings to four hundred officers of the
Holy Brotherhood if they come in his way?"



While Don Quixote was talking in this strain, the curate was endeavouring
to persuade the officers that he was out of his senses, as they might
perceive by his deeds and his words, and that they need not press the
matter any further, for even if they arrested him and carried him off,
they would have to release him by-and-by as a madman; to which the holder
of the warrant replied that he had nothing to do with inquiring into Don
Quixote's madness, but only to execute his superior's orders, and that
once taken they might let him go three hundred times if they liked.

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