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

Part 6 out of 10

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or some place as sacristan which brings them a good fixed income, not
counting the altar fees, which may be reckoned at as much more."

"But for that," said Sancho, "the squire must be unmarried, and must
know, at any rate, how to help at mass, and if that be so, woe is me, for
I am married already and I don't know the first letter of the A B C. What
will become of me if my master takes a fancy to be an archbishop and not
an emperor, as is usual and customary with knights-errant?"

"Be not uneasy, friend Sancho," said the barber, "for we will entreat
your master, and advise him, even urging it upon him as a case of
conscience, to become an emperor and not an archbishop, because it will
be easier for him as he is more valiant than lettered."

"So I have thought," said Sancho; "though I can tell you he is fit for
anything: what I mean to do for my part is to pray to our Lord to place
him where it may be best for him, and where he may be able to bestow most
favours upon me."

"You speak like a man of sense," said the curate, "and you will be acting
like a good Christian; but what must now be done is to take steps to coax
your master out of that useless penance you say he is performing; and we
had best turn into this inn to consider what plan to adopt, and also to
dine, for it is now time."

Sancho said they might go in, but that he would wait there outside, and
that he would tell them afterwards the reason why he was unwilling, and
why it did not suit him to enter it; but he begged them to bring him out
something to eat, and to let it be hot, and also to bring barley for
Rocinante. They left him and went in, and presently the barber brought
him out something to eat. By-and-by, after they had between them
carefully thought over what they should do to carry out their object, the
curate hit upon an idea very well adapted to humour Don Quixote, and
effect their purpose; and his notion, which he explained to the barber,
was that he himself should assume the disguise of a wandering damsel,
while the other should try as best he could to pass for a squire, and
that they should thus proceed to where Don Quixote was, and he,
pretending to be an aggrieved and distressed damsel, should ask a favour
of him, which as a valiant knight-errant he could not refuse to grant;
and the favour he meant to ask him was that he should accompany her
whither she would conduct him, in order to redress a wrong which a wicked
knight had done her, while at the same time she should entreat him not to
require her to remove her mask, nor ask her any question touching her
circumstances until he had righted her with the wicked knight. And he had
no doubt that Don Quixote would comply with any request made in these
terms, and that in this way they might remove him and take him to his own
village, where they would endeavour to find out if his extraordinary
madness admitted of any kind of remedy.



The curate's plan did not seem a bad one to the barber, but on the
contrary so good that they immediately set about putting it in execution.
They begged a petticoat and hood of the landlady, leaving her in pledge a
new cassock of the curate's; and the barber made a beard out of a
grey-brown or red ox-tail in which the landlord used to stick his comb.
The landlady asked them what they wanted these things for, and the curate
told her in a few words about the madness of Don Quixote, and how this
disguise was intended to get him away from the mountain where he then
was. The landlord and landlady immediately came to the conclusion that
the madman was their guest, the balsam man and master of the blanketed
squire, and they told the curate all that had passed between him and
them, not omitting what Sancho had been so silent about. Finally the
landlady dressed up the curate in a style that left nothing to be
desired; she put on him a cloth petticoat with black velvet stripes a
palm broad, all slashed, and a bodice of green velvet set off by a
binding of white satin, which as well as the petticoat must have been
made in the time of king Wamba. The curate would not let them hood him,
but put on his head a little quilted linen cap which he used for a
night-cap, and bound his forehead with a strip of black silk, while with
another he made a mask with which he concealed his beard and face very
well. He then put on his hat, which was broad enough to serve him for an
umbrella, and enveloping himself in his cloak seated himself
woman-fashion on his mule, while the barber mounted his with a beard down
to the waist of mingled red and white, for it was, as has been said, the
tail of a clay-red ox.

They took leave of all, and of the good Maritornes, who, sinner as she
was, promised to pray a rosary of prayers that God might grant them
success in such an arduous and Christian undertaking as that they had in
hand. But hardly had he sallied forth from the inn when it struck the
curate that he was doing wrong in rigging himself out in that fashion, as
it was an indecorous thing for a priest to dress himself that way even
though much might depend upon it; and saying so to the barber he begged
him to change dresses, as it was fitter he should be the distressed
damsel, while he himself would play the squire's part, which would be
less derogatory to his dignity; otherwise he was resolved to have nothing
more to do with the matter, and let the devil take Don Quixote. Just at
this moment Sancho came up, and on seeing the pair in such a costume he
was unable to restrain his laughter; the barber, however, agreed to do as
the curate wished, and, altering their plan, the curate went on to
instruct him how to play his part and what to say to Don Quixote to
induce and compel him to come with them and give up his fancy for the
place he had chosen for his idle penance. The barber told him he could
manage it properly without any instruction, and as he did not care to
dress himself up until they were near where Don Quixote was, he folded up
the garments, and the curate adjusted his beard, and they set out under
the guidance of Sancho Panza, who went along telling them of the
encounter with the madman they met in the Sierra, saying nothing,
however, about the finding of the valise and its contents; for with all
his simplicity the lad was a trifle covetous.

The next day they reached the place where Sancho had laid the
broom-branches as marks to direct him to where he had left his master,
and recognising it he told them that here was the entrance, and that they
would do well to dress themselves, if that was required to deliver his
master; for they had already told him that going in this guise and
dressing in this way were of the highest importance in order to rescue
his master from the pernicious life he had adopted; and they charged him
strictly not to tell his master who they were, or that he knew them, and
should he ask, as ask he would, if he had given the letter to Dulcinea,
to say that he had, and that, as she did not know how to read, she had
given an answer by word of mouth, saying that she commanded him, on pain
of her displeasure, to come and see her at once; and it was a very
important matter for himself, because in this way and with what they
meant to say to him they felt sure of bringing him back to a better mode
of life and inducing him to take immediate steps to become an emperor or
monarch, for there was no fear of his becoming an archbishop. All this
Sancho listened to and fixed it well in his memory, and thanked them
heartily for intending to recommend his master to be an emperor instead
of an archbishop, for he felt sure that in the way of bestowing rewards
on their squires emperors could do more than archbishops-errant. He said,
too, that it would be as well for him to go on before them to find him,
and give him his lady's answer; for that perhaps might be enough to bring
him away from the place without putting them to all this trouble. They
approved of what Sancho proposed, and resolved to wait for him until he
brought back word of having found his master.

Sancho pushed on into the glens of the Sierra, leaving them in one
through which there flowed a little gentle rivulet, and where the rocks
and trees afforded a cool and grateful shade. It was an August day with
all the heat of one, and the heat in those parts is intense, and the hour
was three in the afternoon, all which made the spot the more inviting and
tempted them to wait there for Sancho's return, which they did. They were
reposing, then, in the shade, when a voice unaccompanied by the notes of
any instrument, but sweet and pleasing in its tone, reached their ears,
at which they were not a little astonished, as the place did not seem to
them likely quarters for one who sang so well; for though it is often
said that shepherds of rare voice are to be found in the woods and
fields, this is rather a flight of the poet's fancy than the truth. And
still more surprised were they when they perceived that what they heard
sung were the verses not of rustic shepherds, but of the polished wits of
the city; and so it proved, for the verses they heard were these:

What makes my quest of happiness seem vain?
What bids me to abandon hope of ease?
What holds my heart in anguish of suspense?
If that be so, then for my grief
Where shall I turn to seek relief,
When hope on every side lies slain
By Absence, Jealousies, Disdain?

What the prime cause of all my woe doth prove?
What at my glory ever looks askance?
Whence is permission to afflict me given?
If that be so, I but await
The stroke of a resistless fate,
Since, working for my woe, these three,
Love, Chance and Heaven, in league I see.

What must I do to find a remedy?
What is the lure for love when coy and strange?
What, if all fail, will cure the heart of sadness?
If that be so, it is but folly
To seek a cure for melancholy:
Ask where it lies; the answer saith
In Change, in Madness, or in Death.

The hour, the summer season, the solitary place, the voice and skill of
the singer, all contributed to the wonder and delight of the two
listeners, who remained still waiting to hear something more; finding,
however, that the silence continued some little time, they resolved to go
in search of the musician who sang with so fine a voice; but just as they
were about to do so they were checked by the same voice, which once more
fell upon their ears, singing this


When heavenward, holy Friendship, thou didst go
Soaring to seek thy home beyond the sky,
And take thy seat among the saints on high,
It was thy will to leave on earth below
Thy semblance, and upon it to bestow
Thy veil, wherewith at times hypocrisy,
Parading in thy shape, deceives the eye,
And makes its vileness bright as virtue show.
Friendship, return to us, or force the cheat
That wears it now, thy livery to restore,
By aid whereof sincerity is slain.
If thou wilt not unmask thy counterfeit,
This earth will be the prey of strife once more,
As when primaeval discord held its reign.

The song ended with a deep sigh, and again the listeners remained waiting
attentively for the singer to resume; but perceiving that the music had
now turned to sobs and heart-rending moans they determined to find out
who the unhappy being could be whose voice was as rare as his sighs were
piteous, and they had not proceeded far when on turning the corner of a
rock they discovered a man of the same aspect and appearance as Sancho
had described to them when he told them the story of Cardenio. He,
showing no astonishment when he saw them, stood still with his head bent
down upon his breast like one in deep thought, without raising his eyes
to look at them after the first glance when they suddenly came upon him.
The curate, who was aware of his misfortune and recognised him by the
description, being a man of good address, approached him and in a few
sensible words entreated and urged him to quit a life of such misery,
lest he should end it there, which would be the greatest of all
misfortunes. Cardenio was then in his right mind, free from any attack of
that madness which so frequently carried him away, and seeing them
dressed in a fashion so unusual among the frequenters of those wilds,
could not help showing some surprise, especially when he heard them speak
of his case as if it were a well-known matter (for the curate's words
gave him to understand as much) so he replied to them thus:

"I see plainly, sirs, whoever you may be, that Heaven, whose care it is
to succour the good, and even the wicked very often, here, in this remote
spot, cut off from human intercourse, sends me, though I deserve it not,
those who seek to draw me away from this to some better retreat, showing
me by many and forcible arguments how unreasonably I act in leading the
life I do; but as they know, that if I escape from this evil I shall fall
into another still greater, perhaps they will set me down as a
weak-minded man, or, what is worse, one devoid of reason; nor would it be
any wonder, for I myself can perceive that the effect of the recollection
of my misfortunes is so great and works so powerfully to my ruin, that in
spite of myself I become at times like a stone, without feeling or
consciousness; and I come to feel the truth of it when they tell me and
show me proofs of the things I have done when the terrible fit
overmasters me; and all I can do is bewail my lot in vain, and idly curse
my destiny, and plead for my madness by telling how it was caused, to any
that care to hear it; for no reasonable beings on learning the cause will
wonder at the effects; and if they cannot help me at least they will not
blame me, and the repugnance they feel at my wild ways will turn into
pity for my woes. If it be, sirs, that you are here with the same design
as others have come wah, before you proceed with your wise arguments, I
entreat you to hear the story of my countless misfortunes, for perhaps
when you have heard it you will spare yourselves the trouble you would
take in offering consolation to grief that is beyond the reach of it."

As they, both of them, desired nothing more than to hear from his own
lips the cause of his suffering, they entreated him to tell it, promising
not to do anything for his relief or comfort that he did not wish; and
thereupon the unhappy gentleman began his sad story in nearly the same
words and manner in which he had related it to Don Quixote and the
goatherd a few days before, when, through Master Elisabad, and Don
Quixote's scrupulous observance of what was due to chivalry, the tale was
left unfinished, as this history has already recorded; but now
fortunately the mad fit kept off, allowed him to tell it to the end; and
so, coming to the incident of the note which Don Fernando had found in
the volume of "Amadis of Gaul," Cardenio said that he remembered it
perfectly and that it was in these words:

"Luscinda to Cardenio.

"Every day I discover merits in you that oblige and compel me to hold you
in higher estimation; so if you desire to relieve me of this obligation
without cost to my honour, you may easily do so. I have a father who
knows you and loves me dearly, who without putting any constraint on my
inclination will grant what will be reasonable for you to have, if it be
that you value me as you say and as I believe you do."

"By this letter I was induced, as I told you, to demand Luscinda for my
wife, and it was through it that Luscinda came to be regarded by Don
Fernando as one of the most discreet and prudent women of the day, and
this letter it was that suggested his design of ruining me before mine
could be carried into effect. I told Don Fernando that all Luscinda's
father was waiting for was that mine should ask her of him, which I did
not dare to suggest to him, fearing that he would not consent to do so;
not because he did not know perfectly well the rank, goodness, virtue,
and beauty of Luscinda, and that she had qualities that would do honour
to any family in Spain, but because I was aware that he did not wish me
to marry so soon, before seeing what the Duke Ricardo would do for me. In
short, I told him I did not venture to mention it to my father, as well
on account of that difficulty, as of many others that discouraged me
though I knew not well what they were, only that it seemed to me that
what I desired was never to come to pass. To all this Don Fernando
answered that he would take it upon himself to speak to my father, and
persuade him to speak to Luscinda's father. O, ambitious Marius! O, cruel
Catiline! O, wicked Sylla! O, perfidious Ganelon! O, treacherous Vellido!
O, vindictive Julian! O, covetous Judas! Traitor, cruel, vindictive, and
perfidious, wherein had this poor wretch failed in his fidelity, who with
such frankness showed thee the secrets and the joys of his heart? What
offence did I commit? What words did I utter, or what counsels did I give
that had not the furtherance of thy honour and welfare for their aim?
But, woe is me, wherefore do I complain? for sure it is that when
misfortunes spring from the stars, descending from on high they fall upon
us with such fury and violence that no power on earth can check their
course nor human device stay their coming. Who could have thought that
Don Fernando, a highborn gentleman, intelligent, bound to me by gratitude
for my services, one that could win the object of his love wherever he
might set his affections, could have become so obdurate, as they say, as
to rob me of my one ewe lamb that was not even yet in my possession? But
laying aside these useless and unavailing reflections, let us take up the
broken thread of my unhappy story.

"To proceed, then: Don Fernando finding my presence an obstacle to the
execution of his treacherous and wicked design, resolved to send me to
his elder brother under the pretext of asking money from him to pay for
six horses which, purposely, and with the sole object of sending me away
that he might the better carry out his infernal scheme, he had purchased
the very day he offered to speak to my father, and the price of which he
now desired me to fetch. Could I have anticipated this treachery? Could I
by any chance have suspected it? Nay; so far from that, I offered with
the greatest pleasure to go at once, in my satisfaction at the good
bargain that had been made. That night I spoke with Luscinda, and told
her what had been agreed upon with Don Fernando, and how I had strong
hopes of our fair and reasonable wishes being realised. She, as
unsuspicious as I was of the treachery of Don Fernando, bade me try to
return speedily, as she believed the fulfilment of our desires would be
delayed only so long as my father put off speaking to hers. I know not
why it was that on saying this to me her eyes filled with tears, and
there came a lump in her throat that prevented her from uttering a word
of many more that it seemed to me she was striving to say to me. I was
astonished at this unusual turn, which I never before observed in her.
for we always conversed, whenever good fortune and my ingenuity gave us
the chance, with the greatest gaiety and cheerfulness, mingling tears,
sighs, jealousies, doubts, or fears with our words; it was all on my part
a eulogy of my good fortune that Heaven should have given her to me for
my mistress; I glorified her beauty, I extolled her worth and her
understanding; and she paid me back by praising in me what in her love
for me she thought worthy of praise; and besides we had a hundred
thousand trifles and doings of our neighbours and acquaintances to talk
about, and the utmost extent of my boldness was to take, almost by force,
one of her fair white hands and carry it to my lips, as well as the
closeness of the low grating that separated us allowed me. But the night
before the unhappy day of my departure she wept, she moaned, she sighed,
and she withdrew leaving me filled with perplexity and amazement,
overwhelmed at the sight of such strange and affecting signs of grief and
sorrow in Luscinda; but not to dash my hopes I ascribed it all to the
depth of her love for me and the pain that separation gives those who
love tenderly. At last I took my departure, sad and dejected, my heart
filled with fancies and suspicions, but not knowing well what it was I
suspected or fancied; plain omens pointing to the sad event and
misfortune that was awaiting me.

"I reached the place whither I had been sent, gave the letter to Don
Fernando's brother, and was kindly received but not promptly dismissed,
for he desired me to wait, very much against my will, eight days in some
place where the duke his father was not likely to see me, as his brother
wrote that the money was to be sent without his knowledge; all of which
was a scheme of the treacherous Don Fernando, for his brother had no want
of money to enable him to despatch me at once.

"The command was one that exposed me to the temptation of disobeying it,
as it seemed to me impossible to endure life for so many days separated
from Luscinda, especially after leaving her in the sorrowful mood I have
described to you; nevertheless as a dutiful servant I obeyed, though I
felt it would be at the cost of my well-being. But four days later there
came a man in quest of me with a letter which he gave me, and which by
the address I perceived to be from Luscinda, as the writing was hers. I
opened it with fear and trepidation, persuaded that it must be something
serious that had impelled her to write to me when at a distance, as she
seldom did so when I was near. Before reading it I asked the man who it
was that had given it to him, and how long he had been upon the road; he
told me that as he happened to be passing through one of the streets of
the city at the hour of noon, a very beautiful lady called to him from a
window, and with tears in her eyes said to him hurriedly, 'Brother, if
you are, as you seem to be, a Christian, for the love of God I entreat
you to have this letter despatched without a moment's delay to the place
and person named in the address, all which is well known, and by this you
will render a great service to our Lord; and that you may be at no
inconvenience in doing so take what is in this handkerchief;' and said
he, 'with this she threw me a handkerchief out of the window in which
were tied up a hundred reals and this gold ring which I bring here
together with the letter I have given you. And then without waiting for
any answer she left the window, though not before she saw me take the
letter and the handkerchief, and I had by signs let her know that I would
do as she bade me; and so, seeing myself so well paid for the trouble I
would have in bringing it to you, and knowing by the address that it was
to you it was sent (for, senor, I know you very well), and also unable to
resist that beautiful lady's tears, I resolved to trust no one else, but
to come myself and give it to you, and in sixteen hours from the time
when it was given me I have made the journey, which, as you know, is
eighteen leagues.'

"All the while the good-natured improvised courier was telling me this, I
hung upon his words, my legs trembling under me so that I could scarcely
stand. However, I opened the letter and read these words:

"'The promise Don Fernando gave you to urge your father to speak to mine,
he has fulfilled much more to his own satisfaction than to your
advantage. I have to tell you, senor, that he has demanded me for a wife,
and my father, led away by what he considers Don Fernando's superiority
over you, has favoured his suit so cordially, that in two days hence the
betrothal is to take place with such secrecy and so privately that the
only witnesses are to be the Heavens above and a few of the household.
Picture to yourself the state I am in; judge if it be urgent for you to
come; the issue of the affair will show you whether I love you or not.
God grant this may come to your hand before mine shall be forced to link
itself with his who keeps so ill the faith that he has pledged.'

"Such, in brief, were the words of the letter, words that made me set out
at once without waiting any longer for reply or money; for I now saw
clearly that it was not the purchase of horses but of his own pleasure
that had made Don Fernando send me to his brother. The exasperation I
felt against Don Fernando, joined with the fear of losing the prize I had
won by so many years of love and devotion, lent me wings; so that almost
flying I reached home the same day, by the hour which served for speaking
with Luscinda. I arrived unobserved, and left the mule on which I had
come at the house of the worthy man who had brought me the letter, and
fortune was pleased to be for once so kind that I found Luscinda at the
grating that was the witness of our loves. She recognised me at once, and
I her, but not as she ought to have recognised me, or I her. But who is
there in the world that can boast of having fathomed or understood the
wavering mind and unstable nature of a woman? Of a truth no one. To
proceed: as soon as Luscinda saw me she said, 'Cardenio, I am in my
bridal dress, and the treacherous Don Fernando and my covetous father are
waiting for me in the hall with the other witnesses, who shall be the
witnesses of my death before they witness my betrothal. Be not
distressed, my friend, but contrive to be present at this sacrifice, and
if that cannot be prevented by my words, I have a dagger concealed which
will prevent more deliberate violence, putting an end to my life and
giving thee a first proof of the love I have borne and bear thee.' I
replied to her distractedly and hastily, in fear lest I should not have
time to reply, 'May thy words be verified by thy deeds, lady; and if thou
hast a dagger to save thy honour, I have a sword to defend thee or kill
myself if fortune be against us.'

"I think she could not have heard all these words, for I perceived that
they called her away in haste, as the bridegroom was waiting. Now the
night of my sorrow set in, the sun of my happiness went down, I felt my
eyes bereft of sight, my mind of reason. I could not enter the house, nor
was I capable of any movement; but reflecting how important it was that I
should be present at what might take place on the occasion, I nerved
myself as best I could and went in, for I well knew all the entrances and
outlets; and besides, with the confusion that in secret pervaded the
house no one took notice of me, so, without being seen, I found an
opportunity of placing myself in the recess formed by a window of the
hall itself, and concealed by the ends and borders of two tapestries,
from between which I could, without being seen, see all that took place
in the room. Who could describe the agitation of heart I suffered as I
stood there--the thoughts that came to me--the reflections that passed
through my mind? They were such as cannot be, nor were it well they
should be, told. Suffice it to say that the bridegroom entered the hall
in his usual dress, without ornament of any kind; as groomsman he had
with him a cousin of Luscinda's and except the servants of the house
there was no one else in the chamber. Soon afterwards Luscinda came out
from an antechamber, attended by her mother and two of her damsels,
arrayed and adorned as became her rank and beauty, and in full festival
and ceremonial attire. My anxiety and distraction did not allow me to
observe or notice particularly what she wore; I could only perceive the
colours, which were crimson and white, and the glitter of the gems and
jewels on her head dress and apparel, surpassed by the rare beauty of her
lovely auburn hair that vying with the precious stones and the light of
the four torches that stood in the hall shone with a brighter gleam than
all. Oh memory, mortal foe of my peace! why bring before me now the
incomparable beauty of that adored enemy of mine? Were it not better,
cruel memory, to remind me and recall what she then did, that stirred by
a wrong so glaring I may seek, if not vengeance now, at least to rid
myself of life? Be not weary, sirs, of listening to these digressions; my
sorrow is not one of those that can or should be told tersely and
briefly, for to me each incident seems to call for many words."

To this the curate replied that not only were they not weary of listening
to him, but that the details he mentioned interested them greatly, being
of a kind by no means to be omitted and deserving of the same attention
as the main story.

"To proceed, then," continued Cardenio: "all being assembled in the hall,
the priest of the parish came in and as he took the pair by the hand to
perform the requisite ceremony, at the words, 'Will you, Senora Luscinda,
take Senor Don Fernando, here present, for your lawful husband, as the
holy Mother Church ordains?' I thrust my head and neck out from between
the tapestries, and with eager ears and throbbing heart set myself to
listen to Luscinda's answer, awaiting in her reply the sentence of death
or the grant of life. Oh, that I had but dared at that moment to rush
forward crying aloud, 'Luscinda, Luscinda! have a care what thou dost;
remember what thou owest me; bethink thee thou art mine and canst not be
another's; reflect that thy utterance of "Yes" and the end of my life
will come at the same instant. O, treacherous Don Fernando! robber of my
glory, death of my life! What seekest thou? Remember that thou canst not
as a Christian attain the object of thy wishes, for Luscinda is my bride,
and I am her husband!' Fool that I am! now that I am far away, and out of
danger, I say I should have done what I did not do: now that I have
allowed my precious treasure to be robbed from me, I curse the robber, on
whom I might have taken vengeance had I as much heart for it as I have
for bewailing my fate; in short, as I was then a coward and a fool,
little wonder is it if I am now dying shame-stricken, remorseful, and

"The priest stood waiting for the answer of Luscinda, who for a long time
withheld it; and just as I thought she was taking out the dagger to save
her honour, or struggling for words to make some declaration of the truth
on my behalf, I heard her say in a faint and feeble voice, 'I will:' Don
Fernando said the same, and giving her the ring they stood linked by a
knot that could never be loosed. The bridegroom then approached to
embrace his bride; and she, pressing her hand upon her heart, fell
fainting in her mother's arms. It only remains now for me to tell you the
state I was in when in that consent that I heard I saw all my hopes
mocked, the words and promises of Luscinda proved falsehoods, and the
recovery of the prize I had that instant lost rendered impossible for
ever. I stood stupefied, wholly abandoned, it seemed, by Heaven, declared
the enemy of the earth that bore me, the air refusing me breath for my
sighs, the water moisture for my tears; it was only the fire that
gathered strength so that my whole frame glowed with rage and jealousy.
They were all thrown into confusion by Luscinda's fainting, and as her
mother was unlacing her to give her air a sealed paper was discovered in
her bosom which Don Fernando seized at once and began to read by the
light of one of the torches. As soon as he had read it he seated himself
in a chair, leaning his cheek on his hand in the attitude of one deep in
thought, without taking any part in the efforts that were being made to
recover his bride from her fainting fit.

"Seeing all the household in confusion, I ventured to come out regardless
whether I were seen or not, and determined, if I were, to do some
frenzied deed that would prove to all the world the righteous indignation
of my breast in the punishment of the treacherous Don Fernando, and even
in that of the fickle fainting traitress. But my fate, doubtless
reserving me for greater sorrows, if such there be, so ordered it that
just then I had enough and to spare of that reason which has since been
wanting to me; and so, without seeking to take vengeance on my greatest
enemies (which might have been easily taken, as all thought of me was so
far from their minds), I resolved to take it upon myself, and on myself
to inflict the pain they deserved, perhaps with even greater severity
than I should have dealt out to them had I then slain them; for sudden
pain is soon over, but that which is protracted by tortures is ever
slaying without ending life. In a word, I quitted the house and reached
that of the man with whom I had left my mule; I made him saddle it for
me, mounted without bidding him farewell, and rode out of the city, like
another Lot, not daring to turn my head to look back upon it; and when I
found myself alone in the open country, screened by the darkness of the
night, and tempted by the stillness to give vent to my grief without
apprehension or fear of being heard or seen, then I broke silence and
lifted up my voice in maledictions upon Luscinda and Don Fernando, as if
I could thus avenge the wrong they had done me. I called her cruel,
ungrateful, false, thankless, but above all covetous, since the wealth of
my enemy had blinded the eyes of her affection, and turned it from me to
transfer it to one to whom fortune had been more generous and liberal.
And yet, in the midst of this outburst of execration and upbraiding, I
found excuses for her, saying it was no wonder that a young girl in the
seclusion of her parents' house, trained and schooled to obey them
always, should have been ready to yield to their wishes when they offered
her for a husband a gentleman of such distinction, wealth, and noble
birth, that if she had refused to accept him she would have been thought
out of her senses, or to have set her affection elsewhere, a suspicion
injurious to her fair name and fame. But then again, I said, had she
declared I was her husband, they would have seen that in choosing me she
had not chosen so ill but that they might excuse her, for before Don
Fernando had made his offer, they themselves could not have desired, if
their desires had been ruled by reason, a more eligible husband for their
daughter than I was; and she, before taking the last fatal step of giving
her hand, might easily have said that I had already given her mine, for I
should have come forward to support any assertion of hers to that effect.
In short, I came to the conclusion that feeble love, little reflection,
great ambition, and a craving for rank, had made her forget the words
with which she had deceived me, encouraged and supported by my firm hopes
and honourable passion.

"Thus soliloquising and agitated, I journeyed onward for the remainder of
the night, and by daybreak I reached one of the passes of these
mountains, among which I wandered for three days more without taking any
path or road, until I came to some meadows lying on I know not which side
of the mountains, and there I inquired of some herdsmen in what direction
the most rugged part of the range lay. They told me that it was in this
quarter, and I at once directed my course hither, intending to end my
life here; but as I was making my way among these crags, my mule dropped
dead through fatigue and hunger, or, as I think more likely, in order to
have done with such a worthless burden as it bore in me. I was left on
foot, worn out, famishing, without anyone to help me or any thought of
seeking help: and so thus I lay stretched on the ground, how long I know
not, after which I rose up free from hunger, and found beside me some
goatherds, who no doubt were the persons who had relieved me in my need,
for they told me how they had found me, and how I had been uttering
ravings that showed plainly I had lost my reason; and since then I am
conscious that I am not always in full possession of it, but at times so
deranged and crazed that I do a thousand mad things, tearing my clothes,
crying aloud in these solitudes, cursing my fate, and idly calling on the
dear name of her who is my enemy, and only seeking to end my life in
lamentation; and when I recover my senses I find myself so exhausted and
weary that I can scarcely move. Most commonly my dwelling is the hollow
of a cork tree large enough to shelter this miserable body; the herdsmen
and goatherds who frequent these mountains, moved by compassion, furnish
me with food, leaving it by the wayside or on the rocks, where they think
I may perhaps pass and find it; and so, even though I may be then out of
my senses, the wants of nature teach me what is required to sustain me,
and make me crave it and eager to take it. At other times, so they tell
me when they find me in a rational mood, I sally out upon the road, and
though they would gladly give it me, I snatch food by force from the
shepherds bringing it from the village to their huts. Thus do pass the
wretched life that remains to me, until it be Heaven's will to bring it
to a close, or so to order my memory that I no longer recollect the
beauty and treachery of Luscinda, or the wrong done me by Don Fernando;
for if it will do this without depriving me of life, I will turn my
thoughts into some better channel; if not, I can only implore it to have
full mercy on my soul, for in myself I feel no power or strength to
release my body from this strait in which I have of my own accord chosen
to place it.

"Such, sirs, is the dismal story of my misfortune: say if it be one that
can be told with less emotion than you have seen in me; and do not
trouble yourselves with urging or pressing upon me what reason suggests
as likely to serve for my relief, for it will avail me as much as the
medicine prescribed by a wise physician avails the sick man who will not
take it. I have no wish for health without Luscinda; and since it is her
pleasure to be another's, when she is or should be mine, let it be mine
to be a prey to misery when I might have enjoyed happiness. She by her
fickleness strove to make my ruin irretrievable; I will strive to gratify
her wishes by seeking destruction; and it will show generations to come
that I alone was deprived of that of which all others in misfortune have
a superabundance, for to them the impossibility of being consoled is
itself a consolation, while to me it is the cause of greater sorrows and
sufferings, for I think that even in death there will not be an end of

Here Cardenio brought to a close his long discourse and story, as full of
misfortune as it was of love; but just as the curate was going to address
some words of comfort to him, he was stopped by a voice that reached his
ear, saying in melancholy tones what will be told in the Fourth Part of
this narrative; for at this point the sage and sagacious historian, Cide
Hamete Benengeli, brought the Third to a conclusion.



Happy and fortunate were the times when that most daring knight Don
Quixote of La Mancha was sent into the world; for by reason of his having
formed a resolution so honourable as that of seeking to revive and
restore to the world the long-lost and almost defunct order of
knight-errantry, we now enjoy in this age of ours, so poor in light
entertainment, not only the charm of his veracious history, but also of
the tales and episodes contained in it which are, in a measure, no less
pleasing, ingenious, and truthful, than the history itself; which,
resuming its thread, carded, spun, and wound, relates that just as the
curate was going to offer consolation to Cardenio, he was interrupted by
a voice that fell upon his ear saying in plaintive tones:

"O God! is it possible I have found a place that may serve as a secret
grave for the weary load of this body that I support so unwillingly? If
the solitude these mountains promise deceives me not, it is so; ah! woe
is me! how much more grateful to my mind will be the society of these
rocks and brakes that permit me to complain of my misfortune to Heaven,
than that of any human being, for there is none on earth to look to for
counsel in doubt, comfort in sorrow, or relief in distress!"

All this was heard distinctly by the curate and those with him, and as it
seemed to them to be uttered close by, as indeed it was, they got up to
look for the speaker, and before they had gone twenty paces they
discovered behind a rock, seated at the foot of an ash tree, a youth in
the dress of a peasant, whose face they were unable at the moment to see
as he was leaning forward, bathing his feet in the brook that flowed
past. They approached so silently that he did not perceive them, being
fully occupied in bathing his feet, which were so fair that they looked
like two pieces of shining crystal brought forth among the other stones
of the brook. The whiteness and beauty of these feet struck them with
surprise, for they did not seem to have been made to crush clods or to
follow the plough and the oxen as their owner's dress suggested; and so,
finding they had not been noticed, the curate, who was in front, made a
sign to the other two to conceal themselves behind some fragments of rock
that lay there; which they did, observing closely what the youth was
about. He had on a loose double-skirted dark brown jacket bound tight to
his body with a white cloth; he wore besides breeches and gaiters of
brown cloth, and on his head a brown montera; and he had the gaiters
turned up as far as the middle of the leg, which verily seemed to be of
pure alabaster.

As soon as he had done bathing his beautiful feet, he wiped them with a
towel he took from under the montera, on taking off which he raised his
face, and those who were watching him had an opportunity of seeing a
beauty so exquisite that Cardenio said to the curate in a whisper:

"As this is not Luscinda, it is no human creature but a divine being."

The youth then took off the montera, and shaking his head from side to
side there broke loose and spread out a mass of hair that the beams of
the sun might have envied; by this they knew that what had seemed a
peasant was a lovely woman, nay the most beautiful the eyes of two of
them had ever beheld, or even Cardenio's if they had not seen and known
Luscinda, for he afterwards declared that only the beauty of Luscinda
could compare with this. The long auburn tresses not only covered her
shoulders, but such was their length and abundance, concealed her all
round beneath their masses, so that except the feet nothing of her form
was visible. She now used her hands as a comb, and if her feet had seemed
like bits of crystal in the water, her hands looked like pieces of driven
snow among her locks; all which increased not only the admiration of the
three beholders, but their anxiety to learn who she was. With this object
they resolved to show themselves, and at the stir they made in getting
upon their feet the fair damsel raised her head, and parting her hair
from before her eyes with both hands, she looked to see who had made the
noise, and the instant she perceived them she started to her feet, and
without waiting to put on her shoes or gather up her hair, hastily
snatched up a bundle as though of clothes that she had beside her, and,
scared and alarmed, endeavoured to take flight; but before she had gone
six paces she fell to the ground, her delicate feet being unable to bear
the roughness of the stones; seeing which, the three hastened towards
her, and the curate addressing her first said:

"Stay, senora, whoever you may be, for those whom you see here only
desire to be of service to you; you have no need to attempt a flight so
heedless, for neither can your feet bear it, nor we allow it."

Taken by surprise and bewildered, she made no reply to these words. They,
however, came towards her, and the curate taking her hand went on to say:

"What your dress would hide, senora, is made known to us by your hair; a
clear proof that it can be no trifling cause that has disguised your
beauty in a garb so unworthy of it, and sent it into solitudes like these
where we have had the good fortune to find you, if not to relieve your
distress, at least to offer you comfort; for no distress, so long as life
lasts, can be so oppressive or reach such a height as to make the
sufferer refuse to listen to comfort offered with good intention. And so,
senora, or senor, or whatever you prefer to be, dismiss the fears that
our appearance has caused you and make us acquainted with your good or
evil fortunes, for from all of us together, or from each one of us, you
will receive sympathy in your trouble."

While the curate was speaking, the disguised damsel stood as if
spell-bound, looking at them without opening her lips or uttering a word,
just like a village rustic to whom something strange that he has never
seen before has been suddenly shown; but on the curate addressing some
further words to the same effect to her, sighing deeply she broke silence
and said:

"Since the solitude of these mountains has been unable to conceal me, and
the escape of my dishevelled tresses will not allow my tongue to deal in
falsehoods, it would be idle for me now to make any further pretence of
what, if you were to believe me, you would believe more out of courtesy
than for any other reason. This being so, I say I thank you, sirs, for
the offer you have made me, which places me under the obligation of
complying with the request you have made of me; though I fear the account
I shall give you of my misfortunes will excite in you as much concern as
compassion, for you will be unable to suggest anything to remedy them or
any consolation to alleviate them. However, that my honour may not be
left a matter of doubt in your minds, now that you have discovered me to
be a woman, and see that I am young, alone, and in this dress, things
that taken together or separately would be enough to destroy any good
name, I feel bound to tell what I would willingly keep secret if I

All this she who was now seen to be a lovely woman delivered without any
hesitation, with so much ease and in so sweet a voice that they were not
less charmed by her intelligence than by her beauty, and as they again
repeated their offers and entreaties to her to fulfil her promise, she
without further pressing, first modestly covering her feet and gathering
up her hair, seated herself on a stone with the three placed around her,
and, after an effort to restrain some tears that came to her eyes, in a
clear and steady voice began her story thus:

"In this Andalusia there is a town from which a duke takes a title which
makes him one of those that are called Grandees of Spain. This nobleman
has two sons, the elder heir to his dignity and apparently to his good
qualities; the younger heir to I know not what, unless it be the
treachery of Vellido and the falsehood of Ganelon. My parents are this
lord's vassals, lowly in origin, but so wealthy that if birth had
conferred as much on them as fortune, they would have had nothing left to
desire, nor should I have had reason to fear trouble like that in which I
find myself now; for it may be that my ill fortune came of theirs in not
having been nobly born. It is true they are not so low that they have any
reason to be ashamed of their condition, but neither are they so high as
to remove from my mind the impression that my mishap comes of their
humble birth. They are, in short, peasants, plain homely people, without
any taint of disreputable blood, and, as the saying is, old rusty
Christians, but so rich that by their wealth and free-handed way of life
they are coming by degrees to be considered gentlefolk by birth, and even
by position; though the wealth and nobility they thought most of was
having me for their daughter; and as they have no other child to make
their heir, and are affectionate parents, I was one of the most indulged
daughters that ever parents indulged.

"I was the mirror in which they beheld themselves, the staff of their old
age, and the object in which, with submission to Heaven, all their wishes
centred, and mine were in accordance with theirs, for I knew their worth;
and as I was mistress of their hearts, so was I also of their
possessions. Through me they engaged or dismissed their servants; through
my hands passed the accounts and returns of what was sown and reaped; the
oil-mills, the wine-presses, the count of the flocks and herds, the
beehives, all in short that a rich farmer like my father has or can have,
I had under my care, and I acted as steward and mistress with an
assiduity on my part and satisfaction on theirs that I cannot well
describe to you. The leisure hours left to me after I had given the
requisite orders to the head-shepherds, overseers, and other labourers, I
passed in such employments as are not only allowable but necessary for
young girls, those that the needle, embroidery cushion, and spinning
wheel usually afford, and if to refresh my mind I quitted them for a
while, I found recreation in reading some devotional book or playing the
harp, for experience taught me that music soothes the troubled mind and
relieves weariness of spirit. Such was the life I led in my parents'
house and if I have depicted it thus minutely, it is not out of
ostentation, or to let you know that I am rich, but that you may see how,
without any fault of mine, I have fallen from the happy condition I have
described, to the misery I am in at present. The truth is, that while I
was leading this busy life, in a retirement that might compare with that
of a monastery, and unseen as I thought by any except the servants of the
house (for when I went to Mass it was so early in the morning, and I was
so closely attended by my mother and the women of the household, and so
thickly veiled and so shy, that my eyes scarcely saw more ground than I
trod on), in spite of all this, the eyes of love, or idleness, more
properly speaking, that the lynx's cannot rival, discovered me, with the
help of the assiduity of Don Fernando; for that is the name of the
younger son of the duke I told of."

The moment the speaker mentioned the name of Don Fernando, Cardenio
changed colour and broke into a sweat, with such signs of emotion that
the curate and the barber, who observed it, feared that one of the mad
fits which they heard attacked him sometimes was coming upon him; but
Cardenio showed no further agitation and remained quiet, regarding the
peasant girl with fixed attention, for he began to suspect who she was.
She, however, without noticing the excitement of Cardenio, continuing her
story, went on to say:

"And they had hardly discovered me, when, as he owned afterwards, he was
smitten with a violent love for me, as the manner in which it displayed
itself plainly showed. But to shorten the long recital of my woes, I will
pass over in silence all the artifices employed by Don Fernando for
declaring his passion for me. He bribed all the household, he gave and
offered gifts and presents to my parents; every day was like a holiday or
a merry-making in our street; by night no one could sleep for the music;
the love letters that used to come to my hand, no one knew how, were
innumerable, full of tender pleadings and pledges, containing more
promises and oaths than there were letters in them; all which not only
did not soften me, but hardened my heart against him, as if he had been
my mortal enemy, and as if everything he did to make me yield were done
with the opposite intention. Not that the high-bred bearing of Don
Fernando was disagreeable to me, or that I found his importunities
wearisome; for it gave me a certain sort of satisfaction to find myself
so sought and prized by a gentleman of such distinction, and I was not
displeased at seeing my praises in his letters (for however ugly we women
may be, it seems to me it always pleases us to hear ourselves called
beautiful) but that my own sense of right was opposed to all this, as
well as the repeated advice of my parents, who now very plainly perceived
Don Fernando's purpose, for he cared very little if all the world knew
it. They told me they trusted and confided their honour and good name to
my virtue and rectitude alone, and bade me consider the disparity between
Don Fernando and myself, from which I might conclude that his intentions,
whatever he might say to the contrary, had for their aim his own pleasure
rather than my advantage; and if I were at all desirous of opposing an
obstacle to his unreasonable suit, they were ready, they said, to marry
me at once to anyone I preferred, either among the leading people of our
own town, or of any of those in the neighbourhood; for with their wealth
and my good name, a match might be looked for in any quarter. This offer,
and their sound advice strengthened my resolution, and I never gave Don
Fernando a word in reply that could hold out to him any hope of success,
however remote.

"All this caution of mine, which he must have taken for coyness, had
apparently the effect of increasing his wanton appetite--for that is the
name I give to his passion for me; had it been what he declared it to be,
you would not know of it now, because there would have been no occasion
to tell you of it. At length he learned that my parents were
contemplating marriage for me in order to put an end to his hopes of
obtaining possession of me, or at least to secure additional protectors
to watch over me, and this intelligence or suspicion made him act as you
shall hear. One night, as I was in my chamber with no other companion
than a damsel who waited on me, with the doors carefully locked lest my
honour should be imperilled through any carelessness, I know not nor can
conceive how it happened, but, with all this seclusion and these
precautions, and in the solitude and silence of my retirement, I found
him standing before me, a vision that so astounded me that it deprived my
eyes of sight, and my tongue of speech. I had no power to utter a cry,
nor, I think, did he give me time to utter one, as he immediately
approached me, and taking me in his arms (for, overwhelmed as I was, I
was powerless, I say, to help myself), he began to make such professions
to me that I know not how falsehood could have had the power of dressing
them up to seem so like truth; and the traitor contrived that his tears
should vouch for his words, and his sighs for his sincerity.

"I, a poor young creature alone, ill versed among my people in cases such
as this, began, I know not how, to think all these lying protestations
true, though without being moved by his sighs and tears to anything more
than pure compassion; and so, as the first feeling of bewilderment passed
away, and I began in some degree to recover myself, I said to him with
more courage than I thought I could have possessed, 'If, as I am now in
your arms, senor, I were in the claws of a fierce lion, and my
deliverance could be procured by doing or saying anything to the
prejudice of my honour, it would no more be in my power to do it or say
it, than it would be possible that what was should not have been; so
then, if you hold my body clasped in your arms, I hold my soul secured by
virtuous intentions, very different from yours, as you will see if you
attempt to carry them into effect by force. I am your vassal, but I am
not your slave; your nobility neither has nor should have any right to
dishonour or degrade my humble birth; and low-born peasant as I am, I
have my self-respect as much as you, a lord and gentleman: with me your
violence will be to no purpose, your wealth will have no weight, your
words will have no power to deceive me, nor your sighs or tears to soften
me: were I to see any of the things I speak of in him whom my parents
gave me as a husband, his will should be mine, and mine should be bounded
by his; and my honour being preserved even though my inclinations were
not would willingly yield him what you, senor, would now obtain by force;
and this I say lest you should suppose that any but my lawful husband
shall ever win anything of me.' 'If that,' said this disloyal gentleman,
'be the only scruple you feel, fairest Dorothea' (for that is the name of
this unhappy being), 'see here I give you my hand to be yours, and let
Heaven, from which nothing is hid, and this image of Our Lady you have
here, be witnesses of this pledge.'"

When Cardenio heard her say she was called Dorothea, he showed fresh
agitation and felt convinced of the truth of his former suspicion, but he
was unwilling to interrupt the story, and wished to hear the end of what
he already all but knew, so he merely said:

"What! is Dorothea your name, senora? I have heard of another of the same
name who can perhaps match your misfortunes. But proceed; by-and-by I may
tell you something that will astonish you as much as it will excite your

Dorothea was struck by Cardenio's words as well as by his strange and
miserable attire, and begged him if he knew anything concerning her to
tell it to her at once, for if fortune had left her any blessing it was
courage to bear whatever calamity might fall upon her, as she felt sure
that none could reach her capable of increasing in any degree what she
endured already.

"I would not let the occasion pass, senora," replied Cardenio, "of
telling you what I think, if what I suspect were the truth, but so far
there has been no opportunity, nor is it of any importance to you to know

"Be it as it may," replied Dorothea, "what happened in my story was that
Don Fernando, taking an image that stood in the chamber, placed it as a
witness of our betrothal, and with the most binding words and extravagant
oaths gave me his promise to become my husband; though before he had made
an end of pledging himself I bade him consider well what he was doing,
and think of the anger his father would feel at seeing him married to a
peasant girl and one of his vassals; I told him not to let my beauty,
such as it was, blind him, for that was not enough to furnish an excuse
for his transgression; and if in the love he bore me he wished to do me
any kindness, it would be to leave my lot to follow its course at the
level my condition required; for marriages so unequal never brought
happiness, nor did they continue long to afford the enjoyment they began

"All this that I have now repeated I said to him, and much more which I
cannot recollect; but it had no effect in inducing him to forego his
purpose; he who has no intention of paying does not trouble himself about
difficulties when he is striking the bargain. At the same time I argued
the matter briefly in my own mind, saying to myself, 'I shall not be the
first who has risen through marriage from a lowly to a lofty station, nor
will Don Fernando be the first whom beauty or, as is more likely, a blind
attachment, has led to mate himself below his rank. Then, since I am
introducing no new usage or practice, I may as well avail myself of the
honour that chance offers me, for even though his inclination for me
should not outlast the attainment of his wishes, I shall be, after all,
his wife before God. And if I strive to repel him by scorn, I can see
that, fair means failing, he is in a mood to use force, and I shall be
left dishonoured and without any means of proving my innocence to those
who cannot know how innocently I have come to be in this position; for
what arguments would persuade my parents that this gentleman entered my
chamber without my consent?'

"All these questions and answers passed through my mind in a moment; but
the oaths of Don Fernando, the witnesses he appealed to, the tears he
shed, and lastly the charms of his person and his high-bred grace, which,
accompanied by such signs of genuine love, might well have conquered a
heart even more free and coy than mine--these were the things that more
than all began to influence me and lead me unawares to my ruin. I called
my waiting-maid to me, that there might be a witness on earth besides
those in Heaven, and again Don Fernando renewed and repeated his oaths,
invoked as witnesses fresh saints in addition to the former ones, called
down upon himself a thousand curses hereafter should he fail to keep his
promise, shed more tears, redoubled his sighs and pressed me closer in
his arms, from which he had never allowed me to escape; and so I was left
by my maid, and ceased to be one, and he became a traitor and a perjured

"The day which followed the night of my misfortune did not come so
quickly, I imagine, as Don Fernando wished, for when desire has attained
its object, the greatest pleasure is to fly from the scene of pleasure. I
say so because Don Fernando made all haste to leave me, and by the
adroitness of my maid, who was indeed the one who had admitted him,
gained the street before daybreak; but on taking leave of me he told me,
though not with as much earnestness and fervour as when he came, that I
might rest assured of his faith and of the sanctity and sincerity of his
oaths; and to confirm his words he drew a rich ring off his finger and
placed it upon mine. He then took his departure and I was left, I know
not whether sorrowful or happy; all I can say is, I was left agitated and
troubled in mind and almost bewildered by what had taken place, and I had
not the spirit, or else it did not occur to me, to chide my maid for the
treachery she had been guilty of in concealing Don Fernando in my
chamber; for as yet I was unable to make up my mind whether what had
befallen me was for good or evil. I told Don Fernando at parting, that as
I was now his, he might see me on other nights in the same way, until it
should be his pleasure to let the matter become known; but, except the
following night, he came no more, nor for more than a month could I catch
a glimpse of him in the street or in church, while I wearied myself with
watching for one; although I knew he was in the town, and almost every
day went out hunting, a pastime he was very fond of. I remember well how
sad and dreary those days and hours were to me; I remember well how I
began to doubt as they went by, and even to lose confidence in the faith
of Don Fernando; and I remember, too, how my maid heard those words in
reproof of her audacity that she had not heard before, and how I was
forced to put a constraint on my tears and on the expression of my
countenance, not to give my parents cause to ask me why I was so
melancholy, and drive me to invent falsehoods in reply. But all this was
suddenly brought to an end, for the time came when all such
considerations were disregarded, and there was no further question of
honour, when my patience gave way and the secret of my heart became known
abroad. The reason was, that a few days later it was reported in the town
that Don Fernando had been married in a neighbouring city to a maiden of
rare beauty, the daughter of parents of distinguished position, though
not so rich that her portion would entitle her to look for so brilliant a
match; it was said, too, that her name was Luscinda, and that at the
betrothal some strange things had happened."

Cardenio heard the name of Luscinda, but he only shrugged his shoulders,
bit his lips, bent his brows, and before long two streams of tears
escaped from his eyes. Dorothea, however, did not interrupt her story,
but went on in these words:

"This sad intelligence reached my ears, and, instead of being struck with
a chill, with such wrath and fury did my heart burn that I scarcely
restrained myself from rushing out into the streets, crying aloud and
proclaiming openly the perfidy and treachery of which I was the victim;
but this transport of rage was for the time checked by a resolution I
formed, to be carried out the same night, and that was to assume this
dress, which I got from a servant of my father's, one of the zagals, as
they are called in farmhouses, to whom I confided the whole of my
misfortune, and whom I entreated to accompany me to the city where I
heard my enemy was. He, though he remonstrated with me for my boldness,
and condemned my resolution, when he saw me bent upon my purpose, offered
to bear me company, as he said, to the end of the world. I at once packed
up in a linen pillow-case a woman's dress, and some jewels and money to
provide for emergencies, and in the silence of the night, without letting
my treacherous maid know, I sallied forth from the house, accompanied by
my servant and abundant anxieties, and on foot set out for the city, but
borne as it were on wings by my eagerness to reach it, if not to prevent
what I presumed to be already done, at least to call upon Don Fernando to
tell me with what conscience he had done it. I reached my destination in
two days and a half, and on entering the city inquired for the house of
Luscinda's parents. The first person I asked gave me more in reply than I
sought to know; he showed me the house, and told me all that had occurred
at the betrothal of the daughter of the family, an affair of such
notoriety in the city that it was the talk of every knot of idlers in the
street. He said that on the night of Don Fernando's betrothal with
Luscinda, as soon as she had consented to be his bride by saying 'Yes,'
she was taken with a sudden fainting fit, and that on the bridegroom
approaching to unlace the bosom of her dress to give her air, he found a
paper in her own handwriting, in which she said and declared that she
could not be Don Fernando's bride, because she was already Cardenio's,
who, according to the man's account, was a gentleman of distinction of
the same city; and that if she had accepted Don Fernando, it was only in
obedience to her parents. In short, he said, the words of the paper made
it clear she meant to kill herself on the completion of the betrothal,
and gave her reasons for putting an end to herself all which was
confirmed, it was said, by a dagger they found somewhere in her clothes.
On seeing this, Don Fernando, persuaded that Luscinda had befooled,
slighted, and trifled with him, assailed her before she had recovered
from her swoon, and tried to stab her with the dagger that had been
found, and would have succeeded had not her parents and those who were
present prevented him. It was said, moreover, that Don Fernando went away
at once, and that Luscinda did not recover from her prostration until the
next day, when she told her parents how she was really the bride of that
Cardenio I have mentioned. I learned besides that Cardenio, according to
report, had been present at the betrothal; and that upon seeing her
betrothed contrary to his expectation, he had quitted the city in
despair, leaving behind him a letter declaring the wrong Luscinda had
done him, and his intention of going where no one should ever see him
again. All this was a matter of notoriety in the city, and everyone spoke
of it; especially when it became known that Luscinda was missing from her
father's house and from the city, for she was not to be found anywhere,
to the distraction of her parents, who knew not what steps to take to
recover her. What I learned revived my hopes, and I was better pleased
not to have found Don Fernando than to find him married, for it seemed to
me that the door was not yet entirely shut upon relief in my case, and I
thought that perhaps Heaven had put this impediment in the way of the
second marriage, to lead him to recognise his obligations under the
former one, and reflect that as a Christian he was bound to consider his
soul above all human objects. All this passed through my mind, and I
strove to comfort myself without comfort, indulging in faint and distant
hopes of cherishing that life that I now abhor.

"But while I was in the city, uncertain what to do, as I could not find
Don Fernando, I heard notice given by the public crier offering a great
reward to anyone who should find me, and giving the particulars of my age
and of the very dress I wore; and I heard it said that the lad who came
with me had taken me away from my father's house; a thing that cut me to
the heart, showing how low my good name had fallen, since it was not
enough that I should lose it by my flight, but they must add with whom I
had fled, and that one so much beneath me and so unworthy of my
consideration. The instant I heard the notice I quitted the city with my
servant, who now began to show signs of wavering in his fidelity to me,
and the same night, for fear of discovery, we entered the most thickly
wooded part of these mountains. But, as is commonly said, one evil calls
up another and the end of one misfortune is apt to be the beginning of
one still greater, and so it proved in my case; for my worthy servant,
until then so faithful and trusty when he found me in this lonely spot,
moved more by his own villainy than by my beauty, sought to take
advantage of the opportunity which these solitudes seemed to present him,
and with little shame and less fear of God and respect for me, began to
make overtures to me; and finding that I replied to the effrontery of his
proposals with justly severe language, he laid aside the entreaties which
he had employed at first, and began to use violence.

"But just Heaven, that seldom fails to watch over and aid good intentions,
so aided mine that with my slight strength and with little exertion I
pushed him over a precipice, where I left him, whether dead or alive I
know not; and then, with greater speed than seemed possible in my terror
and fatigue, I made my way into the mountains, without any other thought
or purpose save that of hiding myself among them, and escaping my father
and those despatched in search of me by his orders. It is now I know not
how many months since with this object I came here, where I met a
herdsman who engaged me as his servant at a place in the heart of this
Sierra, and all this time I have been serving him as herd, striving to
keep always afield to hide these locks which have now unexpectedly
betrayed me. But all my care and pains were unavailing, for my master
made the discovery that I was not a man, and harboured the same base
designs as my servant; and as fortune does not always supply a remedy in
cases of difficulty, and I had no precipice or ravine at hand down which
to fling the master and cure his passion, as I had in the servant's case,
I thought it a lesser evil to leave him and again conceal myself among
these crags, than make trial of my strength and argument with him. So, as
I say, once more I went into hiding to seek for some place where I might
with sighs and tears implore Heaven to have pity on my misery, and grant
me help and strength to escape from it, or let me die among the
solitudes, leaving no trace of an unhappy being who, by no fault of hers,
has furnished matter for talk and scandal at home and abroad."



"Such, sirs, is the true story of my sad adventures; judge for yourselves
now whether the sighs and lamentations you heard, and the tears that
flowed from my eyes, had not sufficient cause even if I had indulged in
them more freely; and if you consider the nature of my misfortune you
will see that consolation is idle, as there is no possible remedy for it.
All I ask of you is, what you may easily and reasonably do, to show me
where I may pass my life unharassed by the fear and dread of discovery by
those who are in search of me; for though the great love my parents bear
me makes me feel sure of being kindly received by them, so great is my
feeling of shame at the mere thought that I cannot present myself before
them as they expect, that I had rather banish myself from their sight for
ever than look them in the face with the reflection that they beheld mine
stripped of that purity they had a right to expect in me."

With these words she became silent, and the colour that overspread her
face showed plainly the pain and shame she was suffering at heart. In
theirs the listeners felt as much pity as wonder at her misfortunes; but
as the curate was just about to offer her some consolation and advice
Cardenio forestalled him, saying, "So then, senora, you are the fair
Dorothea, the only daughter of the rich Clenardo?" Dorothea was
astonished at hearing her father's name, and at the miserable appearance
of him who mentioned it, for it has been already said how wretchedly clad
Cardenio was; so she said to him:

"And who may you be, brother, who seem to know my father's name so well?
For so far, if I remember rightly, I have not mentioned it in the whole
story of my misfortunes."

"I am that unhappy being, senora," replied Cardenio, "whom, as you have
said, Luscinda declared to be her husband; I am the unfortunate Cardenio,
whom the wrong-doing of him who has brought you to your present condition
has reduced to the state you see me in, bare, ragged, bereft of all human
comfort, and what is worse, of reason, for I only possess it when Heaven
is pleased for some short space to restore it to me. I, Dorothea, am he
who witnessed the wrong done by Don Fernando, and waited to hear the
'Yes' uttered by which Luscinda owned herself his betrothed: I am he who
had not courage enough to see how her fainting fit ended, or what came of
the paper that was found in her bosom, because my heart had not the
fortitude to endure so many strokes of ill-fortune at once; and so losing
patience I quitted the house, and leaving a letter with my host, which I
entreated him to place in Luscinda's hands, I betook myself to these
solitudes, resolved to end here the life I hated as if it were my mortal
enemy. But fate would not rid me of it, contenting itself with robbing me
of my reason, perhaps to preserve me for the good fortune I have had in
meeting you; for if that which you have just told us be true, as I
believe it to be, it may be that Heaven has yet in store for both of us a
happier termination to our misfortunes than we look for; because seeing
that Luscinda cannot marry Don Fernando, being mine, as she has herself
so openly declared, and that Don Fernando cannot marry her as he is
yours, we may reasonably hope that Heaven will restore to us what is
ours, as it is still in existence and not yet alienated or destroyed. And
as we have this consolation springing from no very visionary hope or wild
fancy, I entreat you, senora, to form new resolutions in your better
mind, as I mean to do in mine, preparing yourself to look forward to
happier fortunes; for I swear to you by the faith of a gentleman and a
Christian not to desert you until I see you in possession of Don
Fernando, and if I cannot by words induce him to recognise his obligation
to you, in that case to avail myself of the right which my rank as a
gentleman gives me, and with just cause challenge him on account of the
injury he has done you, not regarding my own wrongs, which I shall leave
to Heaven to avenge, while I on earth devote myself to yours."

Cardenio's words completed the astonishment of Dorothea, and not knowing
how to return thanks for such an offer, she attempted to kiss his feet;
but Cardenio would not permit it, and the licentiate replied for both,
commended the sound reasoning of Cardenio, and lastly, begged, advised,
and urged them to come with him to his village, where they might furnish
themselves with what they needed, and take measures to discover Don
Fernando, or restore Dorothea to her parents, or do what seemed to them
most advisable. Cardenio and Dorothea thanked him, and accepted the kind
offer he made them; and the barber, who had been listening to all
attentively and in silence, on his part some kindly words also, and with
no less good-will than the curate offered his services in any way that
might be of use to them. He also explained to them in a few words the
object that had brought them there, and the strange nature of Don
Quixote's madness, and how they were waiting for his squire, who had gone
in search of him. Like the recollection of a dream, the quarrel he had
had with Don Quixote came back to Cardenio's memory, and he described it
to the others; but he was unable to say what the dispute was about.

At this moment they heard a shout, and recognised it as coming from
Sancho Panza, who, not finding them where he had left them, was calling
aloud to them. They went to meet him, and in answer to their inquiries
about Don Quixote, he told them how he had found him stripped to his
shirt, lank, yellow, half dead with hunger, and sighing for his lady
Dulcinea; and although he had told him that she commanded him to quit
that place and come to El Toboso, where she was expecting him, he had
answered that he was determined not to appear in the presence of her
beauty until he had done deeds to make him worthy of her favour; and if
this went on, Sancho said, he ran the risk of not becoming an emperor as
in duty bound, or even an archbishop, which was the least he could be;
for which reason they ought to consider what was to be done to get him
away from there. The licentiate in reply told him not to be uneasy, for
they would fetch him away in spite of himself. He then told Cardenio and
Dorothea what they had proposed to do to cure Don Quixote, or at any rate
take him home; upon which Dorothea said that she could play the
distressed damsel better than the barber; especially as she had there the
dress in which to do it to the life, and that they might trust to her
acting the part in every particular requisite for carrying out their
scheme, for she had read a great many books of chivalry, and knew exactly
the style in which afflicted damsels begged boons of knights-errant.

"In that case," said the curate, "there is nothing more required than to
set about it at once, for beyond a doubt fortune is declaring itself in
our favour, since it has so unexpectedly begun to open a door for your
relief, and smoothed the way for us to our object."

Dorothea then took out of her pillow-case a complete petticoat of some
rich stuff, and a green mantle of some other fine material, and a
necklace and other ornaments out of a little box, and with these in an
instant she so arrayed herself that she looked like a great and rich
lady. All this, and more, she said, she had taken from home in case of
need, but that until then she had had no occasion to make use of it. They
were all highly delighted with her grace, air, and beauty, and declared
Don Fernando to be a man of very little taste when he rejected such
charms. But the one who admired her most was Sancho Panza, for it seemed
to him (what indeed was true) that in all the days of his life he had
never seen such a lovely creature; and he asked the curate with great
eagerness who this beautiful lady was, and what she wanted in these
out-of-the-way quarters.

"This fair lady, brother Sancho," replied the curate, "is no less a
personage than the heiress in the direct male line of the great kingdom
of Micomicon, who has come in search of your master to beg a boon of him,
which is that he redress a wrong or injury that a wicked giant has done
her; and from the fame as a good knight which your master has acquired
far and wide, this princess has come from Guinea to seek him."

"A lucky seeking and a lucky finding!" said Sancho Panza at this;
"especially if my master has the good fortune to redress that injury, and
right that wrong, and kill that son of a bitch of a giant your worship
speaks of; as kill him he will if he meets him, unless, indeed, he
happens to be a phantom; for my master has no power at all against
phantoms. But one thing among others I would beg of you, senor
licentiate, which is, that, to prevent my master taking a fancy to be an
archbishop, for that is what I'm afraid of, your worship would recommend
him to marry this princess at once; for in this way he will be disabled
from taking archbishop's orders, and will easily come into his empire,
and I to the end of my desires; I have been thinking over the matter
carefully, and by what I can make out I find it will not do for me that
my master should become an archbishop, because I am no good for the
Church, as I am married; and for me now, having as I have a wife and
children, to set about obtaining dispensations to enable me to hold a
place of profit under the Church, would be endless work; so that, senor,
it all turns on my master marrying this lady at once--for as yet I do not
know her grace, and so I cannot call her by her name."

"She is called the Princess Micomicona," said the curate; "for as her
kingdom is Micomicon, it is clear that must be her name."

"There's no doubt of that," replied Sancho, "for I have known many to
take their name and title from the place where they were born and call
themselves Pedro of Alcala, Juan of Ubeda, and Diego of Valladolid; and
it may be that over there in Guinea queens have the same way of taking
the names of their kingdoms."

"So it may," said the curate; "and as for your master's marrying, I will
do all in my power towards it:" with which Sancho was as much pleased as
the curate was amazed at his simplicity and at seeing what a hold the
absurdities of his master had taken of his fancy, for he had evidently
persuaded himself that he was going to be an emperor.

By this time Dorothea had seated herself upon the curate's mule, and the
barber had fitted the ox-tail beard to his face, and they now told Sancho
to conduct them to where Don Quixote was, warning him not to say that he
knew either the licentiate or the barber, as his master's becoming an
emperor entirely depended on his not recognising them; neither the curate
nor Cardenio, however, thought fit to go with them; Cardenio lest he
should remind Don Quixote of the quarrel he had with him, and the curate
as there was no necessity for his presence just yet, so they allowed the
others to go on before them, while they themselves followed slowly on
foot. The curate did not forget to instruct Dorothea how to act, but she
said they might make their minds easy, as everything would be done
exactly as the books of chivalry required and described.

They had gone about three-quarters of a league when they discovered Don
Quixote in a wilderness of rocks, by this time clothed, but without his
armour; and as soon as Dorothea saw him and was told by Sancho that that
was Don Quixote, she whipped her palfrey, the well-bearded barber
following her, and on coming up to him her squire sprang from his mule
and came forward to receive her in his arms, and she dismounting with
great ease of manner advanced to kneel before the feet of Don Quixote;
and though he strove to raise her up, she without rising addressed him in
this fashion:

"From this spot I will not rise, valiant and doughty knight, until your
goodness and courtesy grant me a boon, which will redound to the honour
and renown of your person and render a service to the most disconsolate
and afflicted damsel the sun has seen; and if the might of your strong
arm corresponds to the repute of your immortal fame, you are bound to aid
the helpless being who, led by the savour of your renowned name, hath
come from far distant lands to seek your aid in her misfortunes."

"I will not answer a word, beauteous lady," replied Don Quixote, "nor
will I listen to anything further concerning you, until you rise from the

"I will not rise, senor," answered the afflicted damsel, "unless of your
courtesy the boon I ask is first granted me."

"I grant and accord it," said Don Quixote, "provided without detriment or
prejudice to my king, my country, or her who holds the key of my heart
and freedom, it may be complied with."

"It will not be to the detriment or prejudice of any of them, my worthy
lord," said the afflicted damsel; and here Sancho Panza drew close to his
master's ear and said to him very softly, "Your worship may very safely
grant the boon she asks; it's nothing at all; only to kill a big giant;
and she who asks it is the exalted Princess Micomicona, queen of the
great kingdom of Micomicon of Ethiopia."

"Let her be who she may," replied Don Quixote, "I will do what is my
bounden duty, and what my conscience bids me, in conformity with what I
have professed;" and turning to the damsel he said, "Let your great
beauty rise, for I grant the boon which you would ask of me."

"Then what I ask," said the damsel, "is that your magnanimous person
accompany me at once whither I will conduct you, and that you promise not
to engage in any other adventure or quest until you have avenged me of a
traitor who against all human and divine law, has usurped my kingdom."

"I repeat that I grant it," replied Don Quixote; "and so, lady, you may
from this day forth lay aside the melancholy that distresses you, and let
your failing hopes gather new life and strength, for with the help of God
and of my arm you will soon see yourself restored to your kingdom, and
seated upon the throne of your ancient and mighty realm, notwithstanding
and despite of the felons who would gainsay it; and now hands to the
work, for in delay there is apt to be danger."

The distressed damsel strove with much pertinacity to kiss his hands; but
Don Quixote, who was in all things a polished and courteous knight, would
by no means allow it, but made her rise and embraced her with great
courtesy and politeness, and ordered Sancho to look to Rocinante's
girths, and to arm him without a moment's delay. Sancho took down the
armour, which was hung up on a tree like a trophy, and having seen to the
girths armed his master in a trice, who as soon as he found himself in
his armour exclaimed:

"Let us be gone in the name of God to bring aid to this great lady."

The barber was all this time on his knees at great pains to hide his
laughter and not let his beard fall, for had it fallen maybe their fine
scheme would have come to nothing; but now seeing the boon granted, and
the promptitude with which Don Quixote prepared to set out in compliance
with it, he rose and took his lady's hand, and between them they placed
her upon the mule. Don Quixote then mounted Rocinante, and the barber
settled himself on his beast, Sancho being left to go on foot, which made
him feel anew the loss of his Dapple, finding the want of him now. But he
bore all with cheerfulness, being persuaded that his master had now
fairly started and was just on the point of becoming an emperor; for he
felt no doubt at all that he would marry this princess, and be king of
Micomicon at least. The only thing that troubled him was the reflection
that this kingdom was in the land of the blacks, and that the people they
would give him for vassals would be all black; but for this he soon found
a remedy in his fancy, and said he to himself, "What is it to me if my
vassals are blacks? What more have I to do than make a cargo of them and
carry them to Spain, where I can sell them and get ready money for them,
and with it buy some title or some office in which to live at ease all
the days of my life? Not unless you go to sleep and haven't the wit or
skill to turn things to account and sell three, six, or ten thousand
vassals while you would be talking about it! By God I will stir them up,
big and little, or as best I can, and let them be ever so black I'll turn
them into white or yellow. Come, come, what a fool I am!" And so he
jogged on, so occupied with his thoughts and easy in his mind that he
forgot all about the hardship of travelling on foot.

Cardenio and the curate were watching all this from among some bushes,
not knowing how to join company with the others; but the curate, who was
very fertile in devices, soon hit upon a way of effecting their purpose,
and with a pair of scissors he had in a case he quickly cut off
Cardenio's beard, and putting on him a grey jerkin of his own he gave him
a black cloak, leaving himself in his breeches and doublet, while
Cardenio's appearance was so different from what it had been that he
would not have known himself had he seen himself in a mirror. Having
effected this, although the others had gone on ahead while they were
disguising themselves, they easily came out on the high road before them,
for the brambles and awkward places they encountered did not allow those
on horseback to go as fast as those on foot. They then posted themselves
on the level ground at the outlet of the Sierra, and as soon as Don
Quixote and his companions emerged from it the curate began to examine
him very deliberately, as though he were striving to recognise him, and
after having stared at him for some time he hastened towards him with
open arms exclaiming, "A happy meeting with the mirror of chivalry, my
worthy compatriot Don Quixote of La Mancha, the flower and cream of high
breeding, the protection and relief of the distressed, the quintessence
of knights-errant!" And so saying he clasped in his arms the knee of Don
Quixote's left leg. He, astonished at the stranger's words and behaviour,
looked at him attentively, and at length recognised him, very much
surprised to see him there, and made great efforts to dismount. This,
however, the curate would not allow, on which Don Quixote said, "Permit
me, senor licentiate, for it is not fitting that I should be on horseback
and so reverend a person as your worship on foot."

"On no account will I allow it," said the curate; "your mightiness must
remain on horseback, for it is on horseback you achieve the greatest
deeds and adventures that have been beheld in our age; as for me, an
unworthy priest, it will serve me well enough to mount on the haunches of
one of the mules of these gentlefolk who accompany your worship, if they
have no objection, and I will fancy I am mounted on the steed Pegasus, or
on the zebra or charger that bore the famous Moor, Muzaraque, who to this
day lies enchanted in the great hill of Zulema, a little distance from
the great Complutum."

"Nor even that will I consent to, senor licentiate," answered Don
Quixote, "and I know it will be the good pleasure of my lady the
princess, out of love for me, to order her squire to give up the saddle
of his mule to your worship, and he can sit behind if the beast will bear

"It will, I am sure," said the princess, "and I am sure, too, that I need
not order my squire, for he is too courteous and considerate to allow a
Churchman to go on foot when he might be mounted."

"That he is," said the barber, and at once alighting, he offered his
saddle to the curate, who accepted it without much entreaty; but
unfortunately as the barber was mounting behind, the mule, being as it
happened a hired one, which is the same thing as saying ill-conditioned,
lifted its hind hoofs and let fly a couple of kicks in the air, which
would have made Master Nicholas wish his expedition in quest of Don
Quixote at the devil had they caught him on the breast or head. As it
was, they so took him by surprise that he came to the ground, giving so
little heed to his beard that it fell off, and all he could do when he
found himself without it was to cover his face hastily with both his
hands and moan that his teeth were knocked out. Don Quixote when he saw
all that bundle of beard detached, without jaws or blood, from the face
of the fallen squire, exclaimed:

"By the living God, but this is a great miracle! it has knocked off and
plucked away the beard from his face as if it had been shaved off

The curate, seeing the danger of discovery that threatened his scheme, at
once pounced upon the beard and hastened with it to where Master Nicholas
lay, still uttering moans, and drawing his head to his breast had it on
in an instant, muttering over him some words which he said were a certain
special charm for sticking on beards, as they would see; and as soon as
he had it fixed he left him, and the squire appeared well bearded and
whole as before, whereat Don Quixote was beyond measure astonished, and
begged the curate to teach him that charm when he had an opportunity, as
he was persuaded its virtue must extend beyond the sticking on of beards,
for it was clear that where the beard had been stripped off the flesh
must have remained torn and lacerated, and when it could heal all that it
must be good for more than beards.

"And so it is," said the curate, and he promised to teach it to him on
the first opportunity. They then agreed that for the present the curate
should mount, and that the three should ride by turns until they reached
the inn, which might be about six leagues from where they were.

Three then being mounted, that is to say, Don Quixote, the princess, and
the curate, and three on foot, Cardenio, the barber, and Sancho Panza,
Don Quixote said to the damsel:

"Let your highness, lady, lead on whithersoever is most pleasing to you;"
but before she could answer the licentiate said:

"Towards what kingdom would your ladyship direct our course? Is it
perchance towards that of Micomicon? It must be, or else I know little
about kingdoms."

She, being ready on all points, understood that she was to answer "Yes,"
so she said "Yes, senor, my way lies towards that kingdom."

"In that case," said the curate, "we must pass right through my village,
and there your worship will take the road to Cartagena, where you will be
able to embark, fortune favouring; and if the wind be fair and the sea
smooth and tranquil, in somewhat less than nine years you may come in
sight of the great lake Meona, I mean Meotides, which is little more than
a hundred days' journey this side of your highness's kingdom."

"Your worship is mistaken, senor," said she; "for it is not two years
since I set out from it, and though I never had good weather,
nevertheless I am here to behold what I so longed for, and that is my
lord Don Quixote of La Mancha, whose fame came to my ears as soon as I
set foot in Spain and impelled me to go in search of him, to commend
myself to his courtesy, and entrust the justice of my cause to the might
of his invincible arm."

"Enough; no more praise," said Don Quixote at this, "for I hate all
flattery; and though this may not be so, still language of the kind is
offensive to my chaste ears. I will only say, senora, that whether it has
might or not, that which it may or may not have shall be devoted to your
service even to death; and now, leaving this to its proper season, I
would ask the senor licentiate to tell me what it is that has brought him
into these parts, alone, unattended, and so lightly clad that I am filled
with amazement."

"I will answer that briefly," replied the curate; "you must know then,
Senor Don Quixote, that Master Nicholas, our friend and barber, and I
were going to Seville to receive some money that a relative of mine who
went to the Indies many years ago had sent me, and not such a small sum
but that it was over sixty thousand pieces of eight, full weight, which
is something; and passing by this place yesterday we were attacked by
four footpads, who stripped us even to our beards, and them they stripped
off so that the barber found it necessary to put on a false one, and even
this young man here"-pointing to Cardenio--"they completely transformed.
But the best of it is, the story goes in the neighbourhood that those who
attacked us belong to a number of galley slaves who, they say, were set
free almost on the very same spot by a man of such valour that, in spite
of the commissary and of the guards, he released the whole of them; and
beyond all doubt he must have been out of his senses, or he must be as
great a scoundrel as they, or some man without heart or conscience to let
the wolf loose among the sheep, the fox among the hens, the fly among the
honey. He has defrauded justice, and opposed his king and lawful master,
for he opposed his just commands; he has, I say, robbed the galleys of
their feet, stirred up the Holy Brotherhood which for many years past has
been quiet, and, lastly, has done a deed by which his soul may be lost
without any gain to his body." Sancho had told the curate and the barber
of the adventure of the galley slaves, which, so much to his glory, his
master had achieved, and hence the curate in alluding to it made the most
of it to see what would be said or done by Don Quixote; who changed
colour at every word, not daring to say that it was he who had been the
liberator of those worthy people. "These, then," said the curate, "were
they who robbed us; and God in his mercy pardon him who would not let
them go to the punishment they deserved."



The curate had hardly ceased speaking, when Sancho said, "In faith, then,
senor licentiate, he who did that deed was my master; and it was not for
want of my telling him beforehand and warning him to mind what he was
about, and that it was a sin to set them at liberty, as they were all on
the march there because they were special scoundrels."

"Blockhead!" said Don Quixote at this, "it is no business or concern of
knights-errant to inquire whether any persons in affliction, in chains,
or oppressed that they may meet on the high roads go that way and suffer
as they do because of their faults or because of their misfortunes. It
only concerns them to aid them as persons in need of help, having regard
to their sufferings and not to their rascalities. I encountered a chaplet
or string of miserable and unfortunate people, and did for them what my
sense of duty demands of me, and as for the rest be that as it may; and
whoever takes objection to it, saving the sacred dignity of the senor
licentiate and his honoured person, I say he knows little about chivalry
and lies like a whoreson villain, and this I will give him to know to the
fullest extent with my sword;" and so saying he settled himself in his
stirrups and pressed down his morion; for the barber's basin, which
according to him was Mambrino's helmet, he carried hanging at the
saddle-bow until he could repair the damage done to it by the galley

Dorothea, who was shrewd and sprightly, and by this time thoroughly
understood Don Quixote's crazy turn, and that all except Sancho Panza
were making game of him, not to be behind the rest said to him, on
observing his irritation, "Sir Knight, remember the boon you have
promised me, and that in accordance with it you must not engage in any
other adventure, be it ever so pressing; calm yourself, for if the
licentiate had known that the galley slaves had been set free by that
unconquered arm he would have stopped his mouth thrice over, or even
bitten his tongue three times before he would have said a word that
tended towards disrespect of your worship."

"That I swear heartily," said the curate, "and I would have even plucked
off a moustache."

"I will hold my peace, senora," said Don Quixote, "and I will curb the
natural anger that had arisen in my breast, and will proceed in peace and
quietness until I have fulfilled my promise; but in return for this
consideration I entreat you to tell me, if you have no objection to do
so, what is the nature of your trouble, and how many, who, and what are
the persons of whom I am to require due satisfaction, and on whom I am to
take vengeance on your behalf?"

"That I will do with all my heart," replied Dorothea, "if it will not be
wearisome to you to hear of miseries and misfortunes."

"It will not be wearisome, senora," said Don Quixote; to which Dorothea
replied, "Well, if that be so, give me your attention." As soon as she
said this, Cardenio and the barber drew close to her side, eager to hear
what sort of story the quick-witted Dorothea would invent for herself;
and Sancho did the same, for he was as much taken in by her as his
master; and she having settled herself comfortably in the saddle, and
with the help of coughing and other preliminaries taken time to think,
began with great sprightliness of manner in this fashion.

"First of all, I would have you know, sirs, that my name is-" and here
she stopped for a moment, for she forgot the name the curate had given
her; but he came to her relief, seeing what her difficulty was, and said,
"It is no wonder, senora, that your highness should be confused and
embarrassed in telling the tale of your misfortunes; for such afflictions
often have the effect of depriving the sufferers of memory, so that they
do not even remember their own names, as is the case now with your
ladyship, who has forgotten that she is called the Princess Micomicona,
lawful heiress of the great kingdom of Micomicon; and with this cue your
highness may now recall to your sorrowful recollection all you may wish
to tell us."

"That is the truth," said the damsel; "but I think from this on I shall
have no need of any prompting, and I shall bring my true story safe into
port, and here it is. The king my father, who was called Tinacrio the
Sapient, was very learned in what they call magic arts, and became aware
by his craft that my mother, who was called Queen Jaramilla, was to die
before he did, and that soon after he too was to depart this life, and I
was to be left an orphan without father or mother. But all this, he
declared, did not so much grieve or distress him as his certain knowledge
that a prodigious giant, the lord of a great island close to our kingdom,
Pandafilando of the Scowl by name--for it is averred that, though his
eyes are properly placed and straight, he always looks askew as if he
squinted, and this he does out of malignity, to strike fear and terror
into those he looks at--that he knew, I say, that this giant on becoming
aware of my orphan condition would overrun my kingdom with a mighty force
and strip me of all, not leaving me even a small village to shelter me;
but that I could avoid all this ruin and misfortune if I were willing to
marry him; however, as far as he could see, he never expected that I
would consent to a marriage so unequal; and he said no more than the
truth in this, for it has never entered my mind to marry that giant, or
any other, let him be ever so great or enormous. My father said, too,
that when he was dead, and I saw Pandafilando about to invade my kingdom,
I was not to wait and attempt to defend myself, for that would be
destructive to me, but that I should leave the kingdom entirely open to
him if I wished to avoid the death and total destruction of my good and
loyal vassals, for there would be no possibility of defending myself
against the giant's devilish power; and that I should at once with some
of my followers set out for Spain, where I should obtain relief in my
distress on finding a certain knight-errant whose fame by that time would
extend over the whole kingdom, and who would be called, if I remember
rightly, Don Azote or Don Gigote."

"'Don Quixote,' he must have said, senora," observed Sancho at this,
"otherwise called the Knight of the Rueful Countenance."

"That is it," said Dorothea; "he said, moreover, that he would be tall of
stature and lank featured; and that on his right side under the left
shoulder, or thereabouts, he would have a grey mole with hairs like

On hearing this, Don Quixote said to his squire, "Here, Sancho my son,
bear a hand and help me to strip, for I want to see if I am the knight
that sage king foretold."

"What does your worship want to strip for?" said Dorothea.

"To see if I have that mole your father spoke of," answered Don Quixote.

"There is no occasion to strip," said Sancho; "for I know your worship
has just such a mole on the middle of your backbone, which is the mark of
a strong man."

"That is enough," said Dorothea, "for with friends we must not look too
closely into trifles; and whether it be on the shoulder or on the
backbone matters little; it is enough if there is a mole, be it where it
may, for it is all the same flesh; no doubt my good father hit the truth
in every particular, and I have made a lucky hit in commending myself to
Don Quixote; for he is the one my father spoke of, as the features of his
countenance correspond with those assigned to this knight by that wide
fame he has acquired not only in Spain but in all La Mancha; for I had
scarcely landed at Osuna when I heard such accounts of his achievements,
that at once my heart told me he was the very one I had come in search

"But how did you land at Osuna, senora," asked Don Quixote, "when it is
not a seaport?"

But before Dorothea could reply the curate anticipated her, saying, "The
princess meant to say that after she had landed at Malaga the first place
where she heard of your worship was Osuna."

"That is what I meant to say," said Dorothea.

"And that would be only natural," said the curate. "Will your majesty
please proceed?"

"There is no more to add," said Dorothea, "save that in finding Don
Quixote I have had such good fortune, that I already reckon and regard
myself queen and mistress of my entire dominions, since of his courtesy
and magnanimity he has granted me the boon of accompanying me
whithersoever I may conduct him, which will be only to bring him face to
face with Pandafilando of the Scowl, that he may slay him and restore to
me what has been unjustly usurped by him: for all this must come to pass
satisfactorily since my good father Tinacrio the Sapient foretold it, who
likewise left it declared in writing in Chaldee or Greek characters (for
I cannot read them), that if this predicted knight, after having cut the
giant's throat, should be disposed to marry me I was to offer myself at
once without demur as his lawful wife, and yield him possession of my
kingdom together with my person."

"What thinkest thou now, friend Sancho?" said Don Quixote at this.
"Hearest thou that? Did I not tell thee so? See how we have already got a
kingdom to govern and a queen to marry!"

"On my oath it is so," said Sancho; "and foul fortune to him who won't
marry after slitting Senor Pandahilado's windpipe! And then, how
ill-favoured the queen is! I wish the fleas in my bed were that sort!"

And so saying he cut a couple of capers in the air with every sign of
extreme satisfaction, and then ran to seize the bridle of Dorothea's
mule, and checking it fell on his knees before her, begging her to give
him her hand to kiss in token of his acknowledgment of her as his queen
and mistress. Which of the bystanders could have helped laughing to see
the madness of the master and the simplicity of the servant? Dorothea
therefore gave her hand, and promised to make him a great lord in her
kingdom, when Heaven should be so good as to permit her to recover and
enjoy it, for which Sancho returned thanks in words that set them all
laughing again.

"This, sirs," continued Dorothea, "is my story; it only remains to tell
you that of all the attendants I took with me from my kingdom I have none
left except this well-bearded squire, for all were drowned in a great
tempest we encountered when in sight of port; and he and I came to land
on a couple of planks as if by a miracle; and indeed the whole course of
my life is a miracle and a mystery as you may have observed; and if I
have been over minute in any respect or not as precise as I ought, let it
be accounted for by what the licentiate said at the beginning of my tale,
that constant and excessive troubles deprive the sufferers of their

"They shall not deprive me of mine, exalted and worthy princess," said
Don Quixote, "however great and unexampled those which I shall endure in
your service may be; and here I confirm anew the boon I have promised
you, and I swear to go with you to the end of the world until I find
myself in the presence of your fierce enemy, whose haughty head I trust
by the aid of my arm to cut off with the edge of this--I will not say
good sword, thanks to Gines de Pasamonte who carried away mine"--(this he
said between his teeth, and then continued), "and when it has been cut
off and you have been put in peaceful possession of your realm it shall
be left to your own decision to dispose of your person as may be most
pleasing to you; for so long as my memory is occupied, my will enslaved,
and my understanding enthralled by her-I say no more--it is impossible
for me for a moment to contemplate marriage, even with a Phoenix."

The last words of his master about not wanting to marry were so
disagreeable to Sancho that raising his voice he exclaimed with great

"By my oath, Senor Don Quixote, you are not in your right senses; for how
can your worship possibly object to marrying such an exalted princess as
this? Do you think Fortune will offer you behind every stone such a piece
of luck as is offered you now? Is my lady Dulcinea fairer, perchance? Not
she; nor half as fair; and I will even go so far as to say she does not
come up to the shoe of this one here. A poor chance I have of getting
that county I am waiting for if your worship goes looking for dainties in
the bottom of the sea. In the devil's name, marry, marry, and take this
kingdom that comes to hand without any trouble, and when you are king
make me a marquis or governor of a province, and for the rest let the
devil take it all."

Don Quixote, when he heard such blasphemies uttered against his lady
Dulcinea, could not endure it, and lifting his pike, without saying
anything to Sancho or uttering a word, he gave him two such thwacks that
he brought him to the ground; and had it not been that Dorothea cried out
to him to spare him he would have no doubt taken his life on the spot.

"Do you think," he said to him after a pause, "you scurvy clown, that you
are to be always interfering with me, and that you are to be always
offending and I always pardoning? Don't fancy it, impious scoundrel, for
that beyond a doubt thou art, since thou hast set thy tongue going
against the peerless Dulcinea. Know you not, lout, vagabond, beggar, that
were it not for the might that she infuses into my arm I should not have
strength enough to kill a flea? Say, scoffer with a viper's tongue, what
think you has won this kingdom and cut off this giant's head and made you
a marquis (for all this I count as already accomplished and decided), but
the might of Dulcinea, employing my arm as the instrument of her
achievements? She fights in me and conquers in me, and I live and breathe
in her, and owe my life and being to her. O whoreson scoundrel, how
ungrateful you are, you see yourself raised from the dust of the earth to
be a titled lord, and the return you make for so great a benefit is to
speak evil of her who has conferred it upon you!"

Sancho was not so stunned but that he heard all his master said, and
rising with some degree of nimbleness he ran to place himself behind
Dorothea's palfrey, and from that position he said to his master:

"Tell me, senor; if your worship is resolved not to marry this great
princess, it is plain the kingdom will not be yours; and not being so,
how can you bestow favours upon me? That is what I complain of. Let your
worship at any rate marry this queen, now that we have got her here as if
showered down from heaven, and afterwards you may go back to my lady
Dulcinea; for there must have been kings in the world who kept
mistresses. As to beauty, I have nothing to do with it; and if the truth
is to be told, I like them both; though I have never seen the lady

"How! never seen her, blasphemous traitor!" exclaimed Don Quixote; "hast
thou not just now brought me a message from her?"

"I mean," said Sancho, "that I did not see her so much at my leisure that
I could take particular notice of her beauty, or of her charms piecemeal;
but taken in the lump I like her."

"Now I forgive thee," said Don Quixote; "and do thou forgive me the
injury I have done thee; for our first impulses are not in our control."

"That I see," replied Sancho, "and with me the wish to speak is always
the first impulse, and I cannot help saying, once at any rate, what I
have on the tip of my tongue."

"For all that, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "take heed of what thou sayest,
for the pitcher goes so often to the well--I need say no more to thee."

"Well, well," said Sancho, "God is in heaven, and sees all tricks, and
will judge who does most harm, I in not speaking right, or your worship
in not doing it."

"That is enough," said Dorothea; "run, Sancho, and kiss your lord's hand
and beg his pardon, and henceforward be more circumspect with your praise
and abuse; and say nothing in disparagement of that lady Toboso, of whom
I know nothing save that I am her servant; and put your trust in God, for
you will not fail to obtain some dignity so as to live like a prince."

Sancho advanced hanging his head and begged his master's hand, which Don
Quixote with dignity presented to him, giving him his blessing as soon as
he had kissed it; he then bade him go on ahead a little, as he had
questions to ask him and matters of great importance to discuss with him.
Sancho obeyed, and when the two had gone some distance in advance Don
Quixote said to him, "Since thy return I have had no opportunity or time
to ask thee many particulars touching thy mission and the answer thou
hast brought back, and now that chance has granted us the time and
opportunity, deny me not the happiness thou canst give me by such good

"Let your worship ask what you will," answered Sancho, "for I shall find
a way out of all as as I found a way in; but I implore you, senor, not
not to be so revengeful in future."

"Why dost thou say that, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"I say it," he returned, "because those blows just now were more because
of the quarrel the devil stirred up between us both the other night, than
for what I said against my lady Dulcinea, whom I love and reverence as I
would a relic--though there is nothing of that about her--merely as
something belonging to your worship."

"Say no more on that subject for thy life, Sancho," said Don Quixote,
"for it is displeasing to me; I have already pardoned thee for that, and
thou knowest the common saying, 'for a fresh sin a fresh penance.'"

While this was going on they saw coming along the road they were
following a man mounted on an ass, who when he came close seemed to be a
gipsy; but Sancho Panza, whose eyes and heart were there wherever he saw
asses, no sooner beheld the man than he knew him to be Gines de
Pasamonte; and by the thread of the gipsy he got at the ball, his ass,
for it was, in fact, Dapple that carried Pasamonte, who to escape
recognition and to sell the ass had disguised himself as a gipsy, being
able to speak the gipsy language, and many more, as well as if they were
his own. Sancho saw him and recognised him, and the instant he did so he
shouted to him, "Ginesillo, you thief, give up my treasure, release my
life, embarrass thyself not with my repose, quit my ass, leave my
delight, be off, rip, get thee gone, thief, and give up what is not

There was no necessity for so many words or objurgations, for at the
first one Gines jumped down, and at a like racing speed made off and got
clear of them all. Sancho hastened to his Dapple, and embracing him he
said, "How hast thou fared, my blessing, Dapple of my eyes, my comrade?"
all the while kissing him and caressing him as if he were a human being.
The ass held his peace, and let himself be kissed and caressed by Sancho
without answering a single word. They all came up and congratulated him
on having found Dapple, Don Quixote especially, who told him that
notwithstanding this he would not cancel the order for the three
ass-colts, for which Sancho thanked him.

While the two had been going along conversing in this fashion, the curate
observed to Dorothea that she had shown great cleverness, as well in the
story itself as in its conciseness, and the resemblance it bore to those
of the books of chivalry. She said that she had many times amused herself
reading them; but that she did not know the situation of the provinces or
seaports, and so she had said at haphazard that she had landed at Osuna.

"So I saw," said the curate, "and for that reason I made haste to say
what I did, by which it was all set right. But is it not a strange thing
to see how readily this unhappy gentleman believes all these figments and
lies, simply because they are in the style and manner of the absurdities
of his books?"

"So it is," said Cardenio; "and so uncommon and unexampled, that were one
to attempt to invent and concoct it in fiction, I doubt if there be any
wit keen enough to imagine it."

"But another strange thing about it," said the curate, "is that, apart
from the silly things which this worthy gentleman says in connection with
his craze, when other subjects are dealt with, he can discuss them in a
perfectly rational manner, showing that his mind is quite clear and
composed; so that, provided his chivalry is not touched upon, no one
would take him to be anything but a man of thoroughly sound

While they were holding this conversation Don Quixote continued his with
Sancho, saying:

"Friend Panza, let us forgive and forget as to our quarrels, and tell me
now, dismissing anger and irritation, where, how, and when didst thou
find Dulcinea? What was she doing? What didst thou say to her? What did
she answer? How did she look when she was reading my letter? Who copied
it out for thee? and everything in the matter that seems to thee worth
knowing, asking, and learning; neither adding nor falsifying to give me
pleasure, nor yet curtailing lest you should deprive me of it."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "if the truth is to be told, nobody copied out
the letter for me, for I carried no letter at all."

"It is as thou sayest," said Don Quixote, "for the note-book in which I
wrote it I found in my own possession two days after thy departure, which
gave me very great vexation, as I knew not what thou wouldst do on
finding thyself without any letter; and I made sure thou wouldst return
from the place where thou didst first miss it."

"So I should have done," said Sancho, "if I had not got it by heart when
your worship read it to me, so that I repeated it to a sacristan, who
copied it out for me from hearing it, so exactly that he said in all the
days of his life, though he had read many a letter of excommunication, he
had never seen or read so pretty a letter as that."

"And hast thou got it still in thy memory, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"No, senor," replied Sancho, "for as soon as I had repeated it, seeing
there was no further use for it, I set about forgetting it; and if I
recollect any of it, it is that about 'Scrubbing,'I mean to say
'Sovereign Lady,' and the end 'Yours till death, the Knight of the Rueful
Countenance;' and between these two I put into it more than three hundred
'my souls' and 'my life's' and 'my eyes."



"All that is not unsatisfactory to me," said Don Quixote. "Go on; thou
didst reach her; and what was that queen of beauty doing? Surely thou
didst find her stringing pearls, or embroidering some device in gold
thread for this her enslaved knight."

"I did not," said Sancho, "but I found her winnowing two bushels of wheat
in the yard of her house."

"Then depend upon it," said Don Quixote, "the grains of that wheat were
pearls when touched by her hands; and didst thou look, friend? was it
white wheat or brown?"

"It was neither, but red," said Sancho.

"Then I promise thee," said Don Quixote, "that, winnowed by her hands,
beyond a doubt the bread it made was of the whitest; but go on; when thou
gavest her my letter, did she kiss it? Did she place it on her head? Did
she perform any ceremony befitting it, or what did she do?"

"When I went to give it to her," replied Sancho, "she was hard at it
swaying from side to side with a lot of wheat she had in the sieve, and
she said to me, 'Lay the letter, friend, on the top of that sack, for I
cannot read it until I have done sifting all this."

"Discreet lady!" said Don Quixote; "that was in order to read it at her
leisure and enjoy it; proceed, Sancho; while she was engaged in her
occupation what converse did she hold with thee? What did she ask about
me, and what answer didst thou give? Make haste; tell me all, and let not
an atom be left behind in the ink-bottle."

"She asked me nothing," said Sancho; "but I told her how your worship was
left doing penance in her service, naked from the waist up, in among
these mountains like a savage, sleeping on the ground, not eating bread
off a tablecloth nor combing your beard, weeping and cursing your

"In saying I cursed my fortune thou saidst wrong," said Don Quixote; "for
rather do I bless it and shall bless it all the days of my life for

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