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The History of Don Quixote, Vol. I., Part 6. by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Produced by David Widger


by Miguel de Cervantes

Translated by John Ormsby

Volume I.

Part 6.



The innkeeper, seeing Don Quixote slung across the ass, asked Sancho what
was amiss with him. Sancho answered that it was nothing, only that he had
fallen down from a rock and had his ribs a little bruised. The innkeeper
had a wife whose disposition was not such as those of her calling
commonly have, for she was by nature kind-hearted and felt for the
sufferings of her neighbours, so she at once set about tending Don
Quixote, and made her young daughter, a very comely girl, help her in
taking care of her guest. There was besides in the inn, as servant, an
Asturian lass with a broad face, flat poll, and snub nose, blind of one
eye and not very sound in the other. The elegance of her shape, to be
sure, made up for all her defects; she did not measure seven palms from
head to foot, and her shoulders, which overweighted her somewhat, made
her contemplate the ground more than she liked. This graceful lass, then,
helped the young girl, and the two made up a very bad bed for Don Quixote
in a garret that showed evident signs of having formerly served for many
years as a straw-loft, in which there was also quartered a carrier whose
bed was placed a little beyond our Don Quixote's, and, though only made
of the pack-saddles and cloths of his mules, had much the advantage of
it, as Don Quixote's consisted simply of four rough boards on two not
very even trestles, a mattress, that for thinness might have passed for a
quilt, full of pellets which, were they not seen through the rents to be
wool, would to the touch have seemed pebbles in hardness, two sheets made
of buckler leather, and a coverlet the threads of which anyone that chose
might have counted without missing one in the reckoning.

On this accursed bed Don Quixote stretched himself, and the hostess and
her daughter soon covered him with plasters from top to toe, while
Maritornes--for that was the name of the Asturian--held the light for
them, and while plastering him, the hostess, observing how full of wheals
Don Quixote was in some places, remarked that this had more the look of
blows than of a fall.

It was not blows, Sancho said, but that the rock had many points and
projections, and that each of them had left its mark. "Pray, senora," he
added, "manage to save some tow, as there will be no want of some one to
use it, for my loins too are rather sore."

"Then you must have fallen too," said the hostess.

"I did not fall," said Sancho Panza, "but from the shock I got at seeing
my master fall, my body aches so that I feel as if I had had a thousand

"That may well be," said the young girl, "for it has many a time happened
to me to dream that I was falling down from a tower and never coming to
the ground, and when I awoke from the dream to find myself as weak and
shaken as if I had really fallen."

"There is the point, senora," replied Sancho Panza, "that I without
dreaming at all, but being more awake than I am now, find myself with
scarcely less wheals than my master, Don Quixote."

"How is the gentleman called?" asked Maritornes the Asturian.

"Don Quixote of La Mancha," answered Sancho Panza, "and he is a
knight-adventurer, and one of the best and stoutest that have been seen
in the world this long time past."

"What is a knight-adventurer?" said the lass.

"Are you so new in the world as not to know?" answered Sancho Panza.
"Well, then, you must know, sister, that a knight-adventurer is a thing
that in two words is seen drubbed and emperor, that is to-day the most
miserable and needy being in the world, and to-morrow will have two or
three crowns of kingdoms to give his squire."

"Then how is it," said the hostess, "that belonging to so good a master
as this, you have not, to judge by appearances, even so much as a

"It is too soon yet," answered Sancho, "for we have only been a month
going in quest of adventures, and so far we have met with nothing that
can be called one, for it will happen that when one thing is looked for
another thing is found; however, if my master Don Quixote gets well of
this wound, or fall, and I am left none the worse of it, I would not
change my hopes for the best title in Spain."

To all this conversation Don Quixote was listening very attentively, and
sitting up in bed as well as he could, and taking the hostess by the hand
he said to her, "Believe me, fair lady, you may call yourself fortunate
in having in this castle of yours sheltered my person, which is such that
if I do not myself praise it, it is because of what is commonly said,
that self-praise debaseth; but my squire will inform you who I am. I only
tell you that I shall preserve for ever inscribed on my memory the
service you have rendered me in order to tender you my gratitude while
life shall last me; and would to Heaven love held me not so enthralled
and subject to its laws and to the eyes of that fair ingrate whom I name
between my teeth, but that those of this lovely damsel might be the
masters of my liberty."

The hostess, her daughter, and the worthy Maritornes listened in
bewilderment to the words of the knight-errant; for they understood about
as much of them as if he had been talking Greek, though they could
perceive they were all meant for expressions of good-will and
blandishments; and not being accustomed to this kind of language, they
stared at him and wondered to themselves, for he seemed to them a man of
a different sort from those they were used to, and thanking him in
pothouse phrase for his civility they left him, while the Asturian gave
her attention to Sancho, who needed it no less than his master.

The carrier had made an arrangement with her for recreation that night,
and she had given him her word that when the guests were quiet and the
family asleep she would come in search of him and meet his wishes
unreservedly. And it is said of this good lass that she never made
promises of the kind without fulfilling them, even though she made them
in a forest and without any witness present, for she plumed herself
greatly on being a lady and held it no disgrace to be in such an
employment as servant in an inn, because, she said, misfortunes and
ill-luck had brought her to that position. The hard, narrow, wretched,
rickety bed of Don Quixote stood first in the middle of this star-lit
stable, and close beside it Sancho made his, which merely consisted of a
rush mat and a blanket that looked as if it was of threadbare canvas
rather than of wool. Next to these two beds was that of the carrier, made
up, as has been said, of the pack-saddles and all the trappings of the
two best mules he had, though there were twelve of them, sleek, plump,
and in prime condition, for he was one of the rich carriers of Arevalo,
according to the author of this history, who particularly mentions this
carrier because he knew him very well, and they even say was in some
degree a relation of his; besides which Cide Hamete Benengeli was a
historian of great research and accuracy in all things, as is very
evident since he would not pass over in silence those that have been
already mentioned, however trifling and insignificant they might be, an
example that might be followed by those grave historians who relate
transactions so curtly and briefly that we hardly get a taste of them,
all the substance of the work being left in the inkstand from
carelessness, perverseness, or ignorance. A thousand blessings on the
author of "Tablante de Ricamonte" and that of the other book in which the
deeds of the Conde Tomillas are recounted; with what minuteness they
describe everything!

To proceed, then: after having paid a visit to his team and given them
their second feed, the carrier stretched himself on his pack-saddles and
lay waiting for his conscientious Maritornes. Sancho was by this time
plastered and had lain down, and though he strove to sleep the pain of
his ribs would not let him, while Don Quixote with the pain of his had
his eyes as wide open as a hare's.

The inn was all in silence, and in the whole of it there was no light
except that given by a lantern that hung burning in the middle of the
gateway. This strange stillness, and the thoughts, always present to our
knight's mind, of the incidents described at every turn in the books that
were the cause of his misfortune, conjured up to his imagination as
extraordinary a delusion as can well be conceived, which was that he
fancied himself to have reached a famous castle (for, as has been said,
all the inns he lodged in were castles to his eyes), and that the
daughter of the innkeeper was daughter of the lord of the castle, and
that she, won by his high-bred bearing, had fallen in love with him, and
had promised to come to his bed for a while that night without the
knowledge of her parents; and holding all this fantasy that he had
constructed as solid fact, he began to feel uneasy and to consider the
perilous risk which his virtue was about to encounter, and he resolved in
his heart to commit no treason to his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, even
though the queen Guinevere herself and the dame Quintanona should present
themselves before him.

While he was taken up with these vagaries, then, the time and the
hour--an unlucky one for him--arrived for the Asturian to come, who in
her smock, with bare feet and her hair gathered into a fustian coif, with
noiseless and cautious steps entered the chamber where the three were
quartered, in quest of the carrier; but scarcely had she gained the door
when Don Quixote perceived her, and sitting up in his bed in spite of his
plasters and the pain of his ribs, he stretched out his arms to receive
his beauteous damsel. The Asturian, who went all doubled up and in
silence with her hands before her feeling for her lover, encountered the
arms of Don Quixote, who grasped her tightly by the wrist, and drawing
her towards him, while she dared not utter a word, made her sit down on
the bed. He then felt her smock, and although it was of sackcloth it
appeared to him to be of the finest and softest silk: on her wrists she
wore some glass beads, but to him they had the sheen of precious Orient
pearls: her hair, which in some measure resembled a horse's mane, he
rated as threads of the brightest gold of Araby, whose refulgence dimmed
the sun himself: her breath, which no doubt smelt of yesterday's stale
salad, seemed to him to diffuse a sweet aromatic fragrance from her
mouth; and, in short, he drew her portrait in his imagination with the
same features and in the same style as that which he had seen in his
books of the other princesses who, smitten by love, came with all the
adornments that are here set down, to see the sorely wounded knight; and
so great was the poor gentleman's blindness that neither touch, nor
smell, nor anything else about the good lass that would have made any but
a carrier vomit, were enough to undeceive him; on the contrary, he was
persuaded he had the goddess of beauty in his arms, and holding her
firmly in his grasp he went on to say in low, tender voice:

"Would that found myself, lovely and exalted lady, in a position to repay
such a favour as that which you, by the sight of your great beauty, have
granted me; but fortune, which is never weary of persecuting the good,
has chosen to place me upon this bed, where I lie so bruised and broken
that though my inclination would gladly comply with yours it is
impossible; besides, to this impossibility another yet greater is to be
added, which is the faith that I have pledged to the peerless Dulcinea
del Toboso, sole lady of my most secret thoughts; and were it not that
this stood in the way I should not be so insensible a knight as to miss
the happy opportunity which your great goodness has offered me."

Maritornes was fretting and sweating at finding herself held so fast by
Don Quixote, and not understanding or heeding the words he addressed to
her, she strove without speaking to free herself. The worthy carrier,
whose unholy thoughts kept him awake, was aware of his doxy the moment
she entered the door, and was listening attentively to all Don Quixote
said; and jealous that the Asturian should have broken her word with him
for another, drew nearer to Don Quixote's bed and stood still to see what
would come of this talk which he could not understand; but when he
perceived the wench struggling to get free and Don Quixote striving to
hold her, not relishing the joke he raised his arm and delivered such a
terrible cuff on the lank jaws of the amorous knight that he bathed all
his mouth in blood, and not content with this he mounted on his ribs and
with his feet tramped all over them at a pace rather smarter than a trot.
The bed which was somewhat crazy and not very firm on its feet, unable to
support the additional weight of the carrier, came to the ground, and at
the mighty crash of this the innkeeper awoke and at once concluded that
it must be some brawl of Maritornes', because after calling loudly to her
he got no answer. With this suspicion he got up, and lighting a lamp
hastened to the quarter where he had heard the disturbance. The wench,
seeing that her master was coming and knowing that his temper was
terrible, frightened and panic-stricken made for the bed of Sancho Panza,
who still slept, and crouching upon it made a ball of herself.

The innkeeper came in exclaiming, "Where art thou, strumpet? Of course
this is some of thy work." At this Sancho awoke, and feeling this mass
almost on top of him fancied he had the nightmare and began to distribute
fisticuffs all round, of which a certain share fell upon Maritornes, who,
irritated by the pain and flinging modesty aside, paid back so many in
return to Sancho that she woke him up in spite of himself. He then,
finding himself so handled, by whom he knew not, raising himself up as
well as he could, grappled with Maritornes, and he and she between them
began the bitterest and drollest scrimmage in the world. The carrier,
however, perceiving by the light of the innkeeper candle how it fared
with his ladylove, quitting Don Quixote, ran to bring her the help she
needed; and the innkeeper did the same but with a different intention,
for his was to chastise the lass, as he believed that beyond a doubt she
alone was the cause of all the harmony. And so, as the saying is, cat to
rat, rat to rope, rope to stick, the carrier pounded Sancho, Sancho the
lass, she him, and the innkeeper her, and all worked away so briskly that
they did not give themselves a moment's rest; and the best of it was that
the innkeeper's lamp went out, and as they were left in the dark they all
laid on one upon the other in a mass so unmercifully that there was not a
sound spot left where a hand could light.

It so happened that there was lodging that night in the inn a caudrillero
of what they call the Old Holy Brotherhood of Toledo, who, also hearing
the extraordinary noise of the conflict, seized his staff and the tin
case with his warrants, and made his way in the dark into the room
crying: "Hold! in the name of the Jurisdiction! Hold! in the name of the
Holy Brotherhood!"

The first that he came upon was the pummelled Don Quixote, who lay
stretched senseless on his back upon his broken-down bed, and, his hand
falling on the beard as he felt about, he continued to cry, "Help for the
Jurisdiction!" but perceiving that he whom he had laid hold of did not
move or stir, he concluded that he was dead and that those in the room
were his murderers, and with this suspicion he raised his voice still
higher, calling out, "Shut the inn gate; see that no one goes out; they
have killed a man here!" This cry startled them all, and each dropped the
contest at the point at which the voice reached him. The innkeeper
retreated to his room, the carrier to his pack-saddles, the lass to her
crib; the unlucky Don Quixote and Sancho alone were unable to move from
where they were. The cuadrillero on this let go Don Quixote's beard, and
went out to look for a light to search for and apprehend the culprits;
but not finding one, as the innkeeper had purposely extinguished the
lantern on retreating to his room, he was compelled to have recourse to
the hearth, where after much time and trouble he lit another lamp.



By this time Don Quixote had recovered from his swoon; and in the same
tone of voice in which he had called to his squire the day before when he
lay stretched "in the vale of the stakes," he began calling to him now,
"Sancho, my friend, art thou asleep? sleepest thou, friend Sancho?"

"How can I sleep, curses on it!" returned Sancho discontentedly and
bitterly, "when it is plain that all the devils have been at me this

"Thou mayest well believe that," answered Don Quixote, "because, either I
know little, or this castle is enchanted, for thou must know-but this
that I am now about to tell thee thou must swear to keep secret until
after my death."

"I swear it," answered Sancho.

"I say so," continued Don Quixote, "because I hate taking away anyone's
good name."

"I say," replied Sancho, "that I swear to hold my tongue about it till
the end of your worship's days, and God grant I may be able to let it out

"Do I do thee such injuries, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou
wouldst see me dead so soon?"

"It is not for that," replied Sancho, "but because I hate keeping things
long, and I don't want them to grow rotten with me from over-keeping."

"At any rate," said Don Quixote, "I have more confidence in thy affection
and good nature; and so I would have thee know that this night there
befell me one of the strangest adventures that I could describe, and to
relate it to thee briefly thou must know that a little while ago the
daughter of the lord of this castle came to me, and that she is the most
elegant and beautiful damsel that could be found in the wide world. What
I could tell thee of the charms of her person! of her lively wit! of
other secret matters which, to preserve the fealty I owe to my lady
Dulcinea del Toboso, I shall pass over unnoticed and in silence! I will
only tell thee that, either fate being envious of so great a boon placed
in my hands by good fortune, or perhaps (and this is more probable) this
castle being, as I have already said, enchanted, at the time when I was
engaged in the sweetest and most amorous discourse with her, there came,
without my seeing or knowing whence it came, a hand attached to some arm
of some huge giant, that planted such a cuff on my jaws that I have them
all bathed in blood, and then pummelled me in such a way that I am in a
worse plight than yesterday when the carriers, on account of Rocinante's
misbehaviour, inflicted on us the injury thou knowest of; whence
conjecture that there must be some enchanted Moor guarding the treasure
of this damsel's beauty, and that it is not for me."

"Not for me either," said Sancho, "for more than four hundred Moors have
so thrashed me that the drubbing of the stakes was cakes and fancy-bread
to it. But tell me, senor, what do you call this excellent and rare
adventure that has left us as we are left now? Though your worship was
not so badly off, having in your arms that incomparable beauty you spoke
of; but I, what did I have, except the heaviest whacks I think I had in
all my life? Unlucky me and the mother that bore me! for I am not a
knight-errant and never expect to be one, and of all the mishaps, the
greater part falls to my share."

"Then thou hast been thrashed too?" said Don Quixote.

"Didn't I say so? worse luck to my line!" said Sancho.

"Be not distressed, friend," said Don Quixote, "for I will now make the
precious balsam with which we shall cure ourselves in the twinkling of an

By this time the cuadrillero had succeeded in lighting the lamp, and came
in to see the man that he thought had been killed; and as Sancho caught
sight of him at the door, seeing him coming in his shirt, with a cloth on
his head, and a lamp in his hand, and a very forbidding countenance, he
said to his master, "Senor, can it be that this is the enchanted Moor
coming back to give us more castigation if there be anything still left
in the ink-bottle?"

"It cannot be the Moor," answered Don Quixote, "for those under
enchantment do not let themselves be seen by anyone."

"If they don't let themselves be seen, they let themselves be felt," said
Sancho; "if not, let my shoulders speak to the point."

"Mine could speak too," said Don Quixote, "but that is not a sufficient
reason for believing that what we see is the enchanted Moor."

The officer came up, and finding them engaged in such a peaceful
conversation, stood amazed; though Don Quixote, to be sure, still lay on
his back unable to move from pure pummelling and plasters. The officer
turned to him and said, "Well, how goes it, good man?"

"I would speak more politely if I were you," replied Don Quixote; "is it
the way of this country to address knights-errant in that style, you

The cuadrillero finding himself so disrespectfully treated by such a
sorry-looking individual, lost his temper, and raising the lamp full of
oil, smote Don Quixote such a blow with it on the head that he gave him a
badly broken pate; then, all being in darkness, he went out, and Sancho
Panza said, "That is certainly the enchanted Moor, Senor, and he keeps
the treasure for others, and for us only the cuffs and lamp-whacks."

"That is the truth," answered Don Quixote, "and there is no use in
troubling oneself about these matters of enchantment or being angry or
vexed at them, for as they are invisible and visionary we shall find no
one on whom to avenge ourselves, do what we may; rise, Sancho, if thou
canst, and call the alcaide of this fortress, and get him to give me a
little oil, wine, salt, and rosemary to make the salutiferous balsam, for
indeed I believe I have great need of it now, because I am losing much
blood from the wound that phantom gave me."

Sancho got up with pain enough in his bones, and went after the innkeeper
in the dark, and meeting the officer, who was looking to see what had
become of his enemy, he said to him, "Senor, whoever you are, do us the
favour and kindness to give us a little rosemary, oil, salt, and wine,
for it is wanted to cure one of the best knights-errant on earth, who
lies on yonder bed wounded by the hands of the enchanted Moor that is in
this inn."

When the officer heard him talk in this way, he took him for a man out of
his senses, and as day was now beginning to break, he opened the inn
gate, and calling the host, he told him what this good man wanted. The
host furnished him with what he required, and Sancho brought it to Don
Quixote, who, with his hand to his head, was bewailing the pain of the
blow of the lamp, which had done him no more harm than raising a couple
of rather large lumps, and what he fancied blood was only the sweat that
flowed from him in his sufferings during the late storm. To be brief, he
took the materials, of which he made a compound, mixing them all and
boiling them a good while until it seemed to him they had come to
perfection. He then asked for some vial to pour it into, and as there was
not one in the inn, he decided on putting it into a tin oil-bottle or
flask of which the host made him a free gift; and over the flask he
repeated more than eighty paternosters and as many more ave-marias,
salves, and credos, accompanying each word with a cross by way of
benediction, at all which there were present Sancho, the innkeeper, and
the cuadrillero; for the carrier was now peacefully engaged in attending
to the comfort of his mules.

This being accomplished, he felt anxious to make trial himself, on the
spot, of the virtue of this precious balsam, as he considered it, and so
he drank near a quart of what could not be put into the flask and
remained in the pigskin in which it had been boiled; but scarcely had he
done drinking when he began to vomit in such a way that nothing was left
in his stomach, and with the pangs and spasms of vomiting he broke into a
profuse sweat, on account of which he bade them cover him up and leave
him alone. They did so, and he lay sleeping more than three hours, at the
end of which he awoke and felt very great bodily relief and so much ease
from his bruises that he thought himself quite cured, and verily believed
he had hit upon the balsam of Fierabras; and that with this remedy he
might thenceforward, without any fear, face any kind of destruction,
battle, or combat, however perilous it might be.

Sancho Panza, who also regarded the amendment of his master as
miraculous, begged him to give him what was left in the pigskin, which
was no small quantity. Don Quixote consented, and he, taking it with both
hands, in good faith and with a better will, gulped down and drained off
very little less than his master. But the fact is, that the stomach of
poor Sancho was of necessity not so delicate as that of his master, and
so, before vomiting, he was seized with such gripings and retchings, and
such sweats and faintness, that verily and truly be believed his last
hour had come, and finding himself so racked and tormented he cursed the
balsam and the thief that had given it to him.

Don Quixote seeing him in this state said, "It is my belief, Sancho, that
this mischief comes of thy not being dubbed a knight, for I am persuaded
this liquor cannot be good for those who are not so."

"If your worship knew that," returned Sancho--"woe betide me and all my
kindred!--why did you let me taste it?"

At this moment the draught took effect, and the poor squire began to
discharge both ways at such a rate that the rush mat on which he had
thrown himself and the canvas blanket he had covering him were fit for
nothing afterwards. He sweated and perspired with such paroxysms and
convulsions that not only he himself but all present thought his end had
come. This tempest and tribulation lasted about two hours, at the end of
which he was left, not like his master, but so weak and exhausted that he
could not stand. Don Quixote, however, who, as has been said, felt
himself relieved and well, was eager to take his departure at once in
quest of adventures, as it seemed to him that all the time he loitered
there was a fraud upon the world and those in it who stood in need of his
help and protection, all the more when he had the security and confidence
his balsam afforded him; and so, urged by this impulse, he saddled
Rocinante himself and put the pack-saddle on his squire's beast, whom
likewise he helped to dress and mount the ass; after which he mounted his
horse and turning to a corner of the inn he laid hold of a pike that
stood there, to serve him by way of a lance. All that were in the inn,
who were more than twenty persons, stood watching him; the innkeeper's
daughter was likewise observing him, and he too never took his eyes off
her, and from time to time fetched a sigh that he seemed to pluck up from
the depths of his bowels; but they all thought it must be from the pain
he felt in his ribs; at any rate they who had seen him plastered the
night before thought so.

As soon as they were both mounted, at the gate of the inn, he called to
the host and said in a very grave and measured voice, "Many and great are
the favours, Senor Alcaide, that I have received in this castle of yours,
and I remain under the deepest obligation to be grateful to you for them
all the days of my life; if I can repay them in avenging you of any
arrogant foe who may have wronged you, know that my calling is no other
than to aid the weak, to avenge those who suffer wrong, and to chastise
perfidy. Search your memory, and if you find anything of this kind you
need only tell me of it, and I promise you by the order of knighthood
which I have received to procure you satisfaction and reparation to the
utmost of your desire."

The innkeeper replied to him with equal calmness, "Sir Knight, I do not
want your worship to avenge me of any wrong, because when any is done me
I can take what vengeance seems good to me; the only thing I want is that
you pay me the score that you have run up in the inn last night, as well
for the straw and barley for your two beasts, as for supper and beds."

"Then this is an inn?" said Don Quixote.

"And a very respectable one," said the innkeeper.

"I have been under a mistake all this time," answered Don Quixote, "for
in truth I thought it was a castle, and not a bad one; but since it
appears that it is not a castle but an inn, all that can be done now is
that you should excuse the payment, for I cannot contravene the rule of
knights-errant, of whom I know as a fact (and up to the present I have
read nothing to the contrary) that they never paid for lodging or
anything else in the inn where they might be; for any hospitality that
might be offered them is their due by law and right in return for the
insufferable toil they endure in seeking adventures by night and by day,
in summer and in winter, on foot and on horseback, in hunger and thirst,
cold and heat, exposed to all the inclemencies of heaven and all the
hardships of earth."

"I have little to do with that," replied the innkeeper; "pay me what you
owe me, and let us have no more talk of chivalry, for all I care about is
to get my money."

"You are a stupid, scurvy innkeeper," said Don Quixote, and putting spurs
to Rocinante and bringing his pike to the slope he rode out of the inn
before anyone could stop him, and pushed on some distance without looking
to see if his squire was following him.

The innkeeper when he saw him go without paying him ran to get payment of
Sancho, who said that as his master would not pay neither would he,
because, being as he was squire to a knight-errant, the same rule and
reason held good for him as for his master with regard to not paying
anything in inns and hostelries. At this the innkeeper waxed very wroth,
and threatened if he did not pay to compel him in a way that he would not
like. To which Sancho made answer that by the law of chivalry his master
had received he would not pay a rap, though it cost him his life; for the
excellent and ancient usage of knights-errant was not going to be
violated by him, nor should the squires of such as were yet to come into
the world ever complain of him or reproach him with breaking so just a

The ill-luck of the unfortunate Sancho so ordered it that among the
company in the inn there were four woolcarders from Segovia, three
needle-makers from the Colt of Cordova, and two lodgers from the Fair of
Seville, lively fellows, tender-hearted, fond of a joke, and playful,
who, almost as if instigated and moved by a common impulse, made up to
Sancho and dismounted him from his ass, while one of them went in for the
blanket of the host's bed; but on flinging him into it they looked up,
and seeing that the ceiling was somewhat lower what they required for
their work, they decided upon going out into the yard, which was bounded
by the sky, and there, putting Sancho in the middle of the blanket, they
began to raise him high, making sport with him as they would with a dog
at Shrovetide.

The cries of the poor blanketed wretch were so loud that they reached the
ears of his master, who, halting to listen attentively, was persuaded
that some new adventure was coming, until he clearly perceived that it
was his squire who uttered them. Wheeling about he came up to the inn
with a laborious gallop, and finding it shut went round it to see if he
could find some way of getting in; but as soon as he came to the wall of
the yard, which was not very high, he discovered the game that was being
played with his squire. He saw him rising and falling in the air with
such grace and nimbleness that, had his rage allowed him, it is my belief
he would have laughed. He tried to climb from his horse on to the top of
the wall, but he was so bruised and battered that he could not even
dismount; and so from the back of his horse he began to utter such
maledictions and objurgations against those who were blanketing Sancho as
it would be impossible to write down accurately: they, however, did not
stay their laughter or their work for this, nor did the flying Sancho
cease his lamentations, mingled now with threats, now with entreaties but
all to little purpose, or none at all, until from pure weariness they
left off. They then brought him his ass, and mounting him on top of it
they put his jacket round him; and the compassionate Maritornes, seeing
him so exhausted, thought fit to refresh him with a jug of water, and
that it might be all the cooler she fetched it from the well. Sancho took
it, and as he was raising it to his mouth he was stopped by the cries of
his master exclaiming, "Sancho, my son, drink not water; drink it not, my
son, for it will kill thee; see, here I have the blessed balsam (and he
held up the flask of liquor), and with drinking two drops of it thou wilt
certainly be restored."

At these words Sancho turned his eyes asquint, and in a still louder
voice said, "Can it be your worship has forgotten that I am not a knight,
or do you want me to end by vomiting up what bowels I have left after
last night? Keep your liquor in the name of all the devils, and leave me
to myself!" and at one and the same instant he left off talking and began
drinking; but as at the first sup he perceived it was water he did not
care to go on with it, and begged Maritornes to fetch him some wine,
which she did with right good will, and paid for it with her own money;
for indeed they say of her that, though she was in that line of life,
there was some faint and distant resemblance to a Christian about her.
When Sancho had done drinking he dug his heels into his ass, and the gate
of the inn being thrown open he passed out very well pleased at having
paid nothing and carried his point, though it had been at the expense of
his usual sureties, his shoulders. It is true that the innkeeper detained
his alforjas in payment of what was owing to him, but Sancho took his
departure in such a flurry that he never missed them. The innkeeper, as
soon as he saw him off, wanted to bar the gate close, but the blanketers
would not agree to it, for they were fellows who would not have cared two
farthings for Don Quixote, even had he been really one of the
knights-errant of the Round Table.


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