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The History of Don Quixote, Vol. I., Part 15. by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Produced by David Widger


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.

"For all that," said the curate, "you must not take him away this time,
nor will he, it is my opinion, let himself be taken away."

In short, the curate used such arguments, and Don Quixote did such mad
things, that the officers would have been more mad than he was if they
had not perceived his want of wits, and so they thought it best to allow
themselves to be pacified, and even to act as peacemakers between the
barber and Sancho Panza, who still continued their altercation with much
bitterness. In the end they, as officers of justice, settled the question
by arbitration in such a manner that both sides were, if not perfectly
contented, at least to some extent satisfied; for they changed the
pack-saddles, but not the girths or head-stalls; and as to Mambrino's
helmet, the curate, under the rose and without Don Quixote's knowing it,
paid eight reals for the basin, and the barber executed a full receipt
and engagement to make no further demand then or thenceforth for
evermore, amen. These two disputes, which were the most important and
gravest, being settled, it only remained for the servants of Don Luis to
consent that three of them should return while one was left to accompany
him whither Don Fernando desired to take him; and good luck and better
fortune, having already begun to solve difficulties and remove
obstructions in favour of the lovers and warriors of the inn, were
pleased to persevere and bring everything to a happy issue; for the
servants agreed to do as Don Luis wished; which gave Dona Clara such
happiness that no one could have looked into her face just then without
seeing the joy of her heart. Zoraida, though she did not fully comprehend
all she saw, was grave or gay without knowing why, as she watched and
studied the various countenances, but particularly her Spaniard's, whom
she followed with her eyes and clung to with her soul. The gift and
compensation which the curate gave the barber had not escaped the
landlord's notice, and he demanded Don Quixote's reckoning, together with
the amount of the damage to his wine-skins, and the loss of his wine,
swearing that neither Rocinante nor Sancho's ass should leave the inn
until he had been paid to the very last farthing. The curate settled all
amicably, and Don Fernando paid; though the Judge had also very readily
offered to pay the score; and all became so peaceful and quiet that the
inn no longer reminded one of the discord of Agramante's camp, as Don
Quixote said, but of the peace and tranquillity of the days of
Octavianus: for all which it was the universal opinion that their thanks
were due to the great zeal and eloquence of the curate, and to the
unexampled generosity of Don Fernando.

Finding himself now clear and quit of all quarrels, his squire's as well
as his own, Don Quixote considered that it would be advisable to continue
the journey he had begun, and bring to a close that great adventure for
which he had been called and chosen; and with this high resolve he went
and knelt before Dorothea, who, however, would not allow him to utter a
word until he had risen; so to obey her he rose, and said, "It is a
common proverb, fair lady, that 'diligence is the mother of good
fortune,' and experience has often shown in important affairs that the
earnestness of the negotiator brings the doubtful case to a successful
termination; but in nothing does this truth show itself more plainly than
in war, where quickness and activity forestall the devices of the enemy,
and win the victory before the foe has time to defend himself. All this I
say, exalted and esteemed lady, because it seems to me that for us to
remain any longer in this castle now is useless, and may be injurious to
us in a way that we shall find out some day; for who knows but that your
enemy the giant may have learned by means of secret and diligent spies
that I am going to destroy him, and if the opportunity be given him he
may seize it to fortify himself in some impregnable castle or stronghold,
against which all my efforts and the might of my indefatigable arm may
avail but little? Therefore, lady, let us, as I say, forestall his
schemes by our activity, and let us depart at once in quest of fair
fortune; for your highness is only kept from enjoying it as fully as you
could desire by my delay in encountering your adversary."

Don Quixote held his peace and said no more, calmly awaiting the reply of
the beauteous princess, who, with commanding dignity and in a style
adapted to Don Quixote's own, replied to him in these words, "I give you
thanks, sir knight, for the eagerness you, like a good knight to whom it
is a natural obligation to succour the orphan and the needy, display to
afford me aid in my sore trouble; and heaven grant that your wishes and
mine may be realised, so that you may see that there are women in this
world capable of gratitude; as to my departure, let it be forthwith, for
I have no will but yours; dispose of me entirely in accordance with your
good pleasure; for she who has once entrusted to you the defence of her
person, and placed in your hands the recovery of her dominions, must not
think of offering opposition to that which your wisdom may ordain."

"On, then, in God's name," said Don Quixote; "for, when a lady humbles
herself to me, I will not lose the opportunity of raising her up and
placing her on the throne of her ancestors. Let us depart at once, for
the common saying that in delay there is danger, lends spurs to my
eagerness to take the road; and as neither heaven has created nor hell
seen any that can daunt or intimidate me, saddle Rocinante, Sancho, and
get ready thy ass and the queen's palfrey, and let us take leave of the
castellan and these gentlemen, and go hence this very instant."

Sancho, who was standing by all the time, said, shaking his head, "Ah!
master, master, there is more mischief in the village than one hears of,
begging all good bodies' pardon."

"What mischief can there be in any village, or in all the cities of the
world, you booby, that can hurt my reputation?" said Don Quixote.

"If your worship is angry," replied Sancho, "I will hold my tongue and
leave unsaid what as a good squire I am bound to say, and what a good
servant should tell his master."

"Say what thou wilt," returned Don Quixote, "provided thy words be not
meant to work upon my fears; for thou, if thou fearest, art behaving like
thyself; but I like myself, in not fearing."

"It is nothing of the sort, as I am a sinner before God," said Sancho,
"but that I take it to be sure and certain that this lady, who calls
herself queen of the great kingdom of Micomicon, is no more so than my
mother; for, if she was what she says, she would not go rubbing noses
with one that is here every instant and behind every door."

Dorothea turned red at Sancho's words, for the truth was that her husband
Don Fernando had now and then, when the others were not looking, gathered
from her lips some of the reward his love had earned, and Sancho seeing
this had considered that such freedom was more like a courtesan than a
queen of a great kingdom; she, however, being unable or not caring to
answer him, allowed him to proceed, and he continued, "This I say, senor,
because, if after we have travelled roads and highways, and passed bad
nights and worse days, one who is now enjoying himself in this inn is to
reap the fruit of our labours, there is no need for me to be in a hurry
to saddle Rocinante, put the pad on the ass, or get ready the palfrey;
for it will be better for us to stay quiet, and let every jade mind her
spinning, and let us go to dinner."

Good God, what was the indignation of Don Quixote when he heard the
audacious words of his squire! So great was it, that in a voice
inarticulate with rage, with a stammering tongue, and eyes that flashed
living fire, he exclaimed, "Rascally clown, boorish, insolent, and
ignorant, ill-spoken, foul-mouthed, impudent backbiter and slanderer!
Hast thou dared to utter such words in my presence and in that of these
illustrious ladies? Hast thou dared to harbour such gross and shameless
thoughts in thy muddled imagination? Begone from my presence, thou born
monster, storehouse of lies, hoard of untruths, garner of knaveries,
inventor of scandals, publisher of absurdities, enemy of the respect due
to royal personages! Begone, show thyself no more before me under pain of
my wrath;" and so saying he knitted his brows, puffed out his cheeks,
gazed around him, and stamped on the ground violently with his right
foot, showing in every way the rage that was pent up in his heart; and at
his words and furious gestures Sancho was so scared and terrified that he
would have been glad if the earth had opened that instant and swallowed
him, and his only thought was to turn round and make his escape from the
angry presence of his master.

But the ready-witted Dorothea, who by this time so well understood Don
Quixote's humour, said, to mollify his wrath, "Be not irritated at the
absurdities your good squire has uttered, Sir Knight of the Rueful
Countenance, for perhaps he did not utter them without cause, and from
his good sense and Christian conscience it is not likely that he would
bear false witness against anyone. We may therefore believe, without any
hesitation, that since, as you say, sir knight, everything in this castle
goes and is brought about by means of enchantment, Sancho, I say, may
possibly have seen, through this diabolical medium, what he says he saw
so much to the detriment of my modesty."

"I swear by God Omnipotent," exclaimed Don Quixote at this, "your
highness has hit the point; and that some vile illusion must have come
before this sinner of a Sancho, that made him see what it would have been
impossible to see by any other means than enchantments; for I know well
enough, from the poor fellow's goodness and harmlessness, that he is
incapable of bearing false witness against anybody."

"True, no doubt," said Don Fernando, "for which reason, Senor Don
Quixote, you ought to forgive him and restore him to the bosom of your
favour, sicut erat in principio, before illusions of this sort had taken
away his senses."

Don Quixote said he was ready to pardon him, and the curate went for
Sancho, who came in very humbly, and falling on his knees begged for the
hand of his master, who having presented it to him and allowed him to
kiss it, gave him his blessing and said, "Now, Sancho my son, thou wilt
be convinced of the truth of what I have many a time told thee, that
everything in this castle is done by means of enchantment."

"So it is, I believe," said Sancho, "except the affair of the blanket,
which came to pass in reality by ordinary means."

"Believe it not," said Don Quixote, "for had it been so, I would have
avenged thee that instant, or even now; but neither then nor now could I,
nor have I seen anyone upon whom to avenge thy wrong."

They were all eager to know what the affair of the blanket was, and the
landlord gave them a minute account of Sancho's flights, at which they
laughed not a little, and at which Sancho would have been no less out of
countenance had not his master once more assured him it was all
enchantment. For all that his simplicity never reached so high a pitch
that he could persuade himself it was not the plain and simple truth,
without any deception whatever about it, that he had been blanketed by
beings of flesh and blood, and not by visionary and imaginary phantoms,
as his master believed and protested.

The illustrious company had now been two days in the inn; and as it
seemed to them time to depart, they devised a plan so that, without
giving Dorothea and Don Fernando the trouble of going back with Don
Quixote to his village under pretence of restoring Queen Micomicona, the
curate and the barber might carry him away with them as they proposed,
and the curate be able to take his madness in hand at home; and in
pursuance of their plan they arranged with the owner of an oxcart who
happened to be passing that way to carry him after this fashion. They
constructed a kind of cage with wooden bars, large enough to hold Don
Quixote comfortably; and then Don Fernando and his companions, the
servants of Don Luis, and the officers of the Brotherhood, together with
the landlord, by the directions and advice of the curate, covered their
faces and disguised themselves, some in one way, some in another, so as
to appear to Don Quixote quite different from the persons he had seen in
the castle. This done, in profound silence they entered the room where he
was asleep, taking his his rest after the past frays, and advancing to
where he was sleeping tranquilly, not dreaming of anything of the kind
happening, they seized him firmly and bound him fast hand and foot, so
that, when he awoke startled, he was unable to move, and could only
marvel and wonder at the strange figures he saw before him; upon which he
at once gave way to the idea which his crazed fancy invariably conjured
up before him, and took it into his head that all these shapes were
phantoms of the enchanted castle, and that he himself was unquestionably
enchanted as he could neither move nor help himself; precisely what the
curate, the concoctor of the scheme, expected would happen. Of all that
were there Sancho was the only one who was at once in his senses and in
his own proper character, and he, though he was within very little of
sharing his master's infirmity, did not fail to perceive who all these
disguised figures were; but he did not dare to open his lips until he saw
what came of this assault and capture of his master; nor did the latter
utter a word, waiting to the upshot of his mishap; which was that
bringing in the cage, they shut him up in it and nailed the bars so
firmly that they could not be easily burst open.

They then took him on their shoulders, and as they passed out of the room
an awful voice--as much so as the barber, not he of the pack-saddle but
the other, was able to make it--was heard to say, "O Knight of the Rueful
Countenance, let not this captivity in which thou art placed afflict
thee, for this must needs be, for the more speedy accomplishment of the
adventure in which thy great heart has engaged thee; the which shall be
accomplished when the raging Manchegan lion and the white Tobosan dove
shall be linked together, having first humbled their haughty necks to the
gentle yoke of matrimony. And from this marvellous union shall come forth
to the light of the world brave whelps that shall rival the ravening
claws of their valiant father; and this shall come to pass ere the
pursuer of the flying nymph shall in his swift natural course have twice
visited the starry signs. And thou, O most noble and obedient squire that
ever bore sword at side, beard on face, or nose to smell with, be not
dismayed or grieved to see the flower of knight-errantry carried away
thus before thy very eyes; for soon, if it so please the Framer of the
universe, thou shalt see thyself exalted to such a height that thou shalt
not know thyself, and the promises which thy good master has made thee
shall not prove false; and I assure thee, on the authority of the sage
Mentironiana, that thy wages shall be paid thee, as thou shalt see in due
season. Follow then the footsteps of the valiant enchanted knight, for it
is expedient that thou shouldst go to the destination assigned to both of
you; and as it is not permitted to me to say more, God be with thee; for
I return to that place I wot of;" and as he brought the prophecy to a
close he raised his voice to a high pitch, and then lowered it to such a
soft tone, that even those who knew it was all a joke were almost
inclined to take what they heard seriously.

Don Quixote was comforted by the prophecy he heard, for he at once
comprehended its meaning perfectly, and perceived it was promised to him
that he should see himself united in holy and lawful matrimony with his
beloved Dulcinea del Toboso, from whose blessed womb should proceed the
whelps, his sons, to the eternal glory of La Mancha; and being thoroughly
and firmly persuaded of this, he lifted up his voice, and with a deep
sigh exclaimed, "Oh thou, whoever thou art, who hast foretold me so much
good, I implore of thee that on my part thou entreat that sage enchanter
who takes charge of my interests, that he leave me not to perish in this
captivity in which they are now carrying me away, ere I see fulfilled
promises so joyful and incomparable as those which have been now made me;
for, let this but come to pass, and I shall glory in the pains of my
prison, find comfort in these chains wherewith they bind me, and regard
this bed whereon they stretch me, not as a hard battle-field, but as a
soft and happy nuptial couch; and touching the consolation of Sancho
Panza, my squire, I rely upon his goodness and rectitude that he will not
desert me in good or evil fortune; for if, by his ill luck or mine, it
may not happen to be in my power to give him the island I have promised,
or any equivalent for it, at least his wages shall not be lost; for in my
will, which is already made, I have declared the sum that shall be paid
to him, measured, not by his many faithful services, but by the means at
my disposal."

Sancho bowed his head very respectfully and kissed both his hands, for,
being tied together, he could not kiss one; and then the apparitions
lifted the cage upon their shoulders and fixed it upon the ox-cart.

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