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The History of Don Quixote, Vol. II., Part 41 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Produced by David Widger


Volume II.

Part 41.

by Miguel de Cervantes

Translated by John Ormsby



The vanquished and afflicted Don Quixote went along very downcast in one
respect and very happy in another. His sadness arose from his defeat, and
his satisfaction from the thought of the virtue that lay in Sancho, as
had been proved by the resurrection of Altisidora; though it was with
difficulty he could persuade himself that the love-smitten damsel had
been really dead. Sancho went along anything but cheerful, for it grieved
him that Altisidora had not kept her promise of giving him the smocks;
and turning this over in his mind he said to his master, "Surely, senor,
I'm the most unlucky doctor in the world; there's many a physician that,
after killing the sick man he had to cure, requires to be paid for his
work, though it is only signing a bit of a list of medicines, that the
apothecary and not he makes up, and, there, his labour is over; but with
me though to cure somebody else costs me drops of blood, smacks, pinches,
pinproddings, and whippings, nobody gives me a farthing. Well, I swear by
all that's good if they put another patient into my hands, they'll have
to grease them for me before I cure him; for, as they say, 'it's by his
singing the abbot gets his dinner,' and I'm not going to believe that
heaven has bestowed upon me the virtue I have, that I should be dealing
it out to others all for nothing."

"Thou art right, Sancho my friend," said Don Quixote, "and Altisidora has
behaved very badly in not giving thee the smocks she promised; and
although that virtue of thine is gratis data--as it has cost thee no
study whatever, any more than such study as thy personal sufferings may
be--I can say for myself that if thou wouldst have payment for the lashes
on account of the disenchant of Dulcinea, I would have given it to thee
freely ere this. I am not sure, however, whether payment will comport
with the cure, and I would not have the reward interfere with the
medicine. I think there will be nothing lost by trying it; consider how
much thou wouldst have, Sancho, and whip thyself at once, and pay thyself
down with thine own hand, as thou hast money of mine."

At this proposal Sancho opened his eyes and his ears a palm's breadth
wide, and in his heart very readily acquiesced in whipping himself, and
said he to his master, "Very well then, senor, I'll hold myself in
readiness to gratify your worship's wishes if I'm to profit by it; for
the love of my wife and children forces me to seem grasping. Let your
worship say how much you will pay me for each lash I give myself."

"If Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "I were to requite thee as the
importance and nature of the cure deserves, the treasures of Venice, the
mines of Potosi, would be insufficient to pay thee. See what thou hast of
mine, and put a price on each lash."

"Of them," said Sancho, "there are three thousand three hundred and odd;
of these I have given myself five, the rest remain; let the five go for
the odd ones, and let us take the three thousand three hundred, which at
a quarter real apiece (for I will not take less though the whole world
should bid me) make three thousand three hundred quarter reals; the three
thousand are one thousand five hundred half reals, which make seven
hundred and fifty reals; and the three hundred make a hundred and fifty
half reals, which come to seventy-five reals, which added to the seven
hundred and fifty make eight hundred and twenty-five reals in all. These
I will stop out of what I have belonging to your worship, and I'll return
home rich and content, though well whipped, for 'there's no taking
trout'--but I say no more."

"O blessed Sancho! O dear Sancho!" said Don Quixote; "how we shall be
bound to serve thee, Dulcinea and I, all the days of our lives that
heaven may grant us! If she returns to her lost shape (and it cannot be
but that she will) her misfortune will have been good fortune, and my
defeat a most happy triumph. But look here, Sancho; when wilt thou begin
the scourging? For if thou wilt make short work of it, I will give thee a
hundred reals over and above."

"When?" said Sancho; "this night without fail. Let your worship order it
so that we pass it out of doors and in the open air, and I'll scarify

Night, longed for by Don Quixote with the greatest anxiety in the world,
came at last, though it seemed to him that the wheels of Apollo's car had
broken down, and that the day was drawing itself out longer than usual,
just as is the case with lovers, who never make the reckoning of their
desires agree with time. They made their way at length in among some
pleasant trees that stood a little distance from the road, and there
vacating Rocinante's saddle and Dapple's pack-saddle, they stretched
themselves on the green grass and made their supper off Sancho's stores,
and he making a powerful and flexible whip out of Dapple's halter and
headstall retreated about twenty paces from his master among some beech
trees. Don Quixote seeing him march off with such resolution and spirit,
said to him, "Take care, my friend, not to cut thyself to pieces; allow
the lashes to wait for one another, and do not be in so great a hurry as
to run thyself out of breath midway; I mean, do not lay on so strenuously
as to make thy life fail thee before thou hast reached the desired
number; and that thou mayest not lose by a card too much or too little, I
will station myself apart and count on my rosary here the lashes thou
givest thyself. May heaven help thee as thy good intention deserves."

"'Pledges don't distress a good payer,'" said Sancho; "I mean to lay on
in such a way as without killing myself to hurt myself, for in that, no
doubt, lies the essence of this miracle."

He then stripped himself from the waist upwards, and snatching up the
rope he began to lay on and Don Quixote to count the lashes. He might
have given himself six or eight when he began to think the joke no
trifle, and its price very low; and holding his hand for a moment, he
told his master that he cried off on the score of a blind bargain, for
each of those lashes ought to be paid for at the rate of half a real
instead of a quarter.

"Go on, Sancho my friend, and be not disheartened," said Don Quixote;
"for I double the stakes as to price."

"In that case," said Sancho, "in God's hand be it, and let it rain
lashes." But the rogue no longer laid them on his shoulders, but laid on
to the trees, with such groans every now and then, that one would have
thought at each of them his soul was being plucked up by the roots. Don
Quixote, touched to the heart, and fearing he might make an end of
himself, and that through Sancho's imprudence he might miss his own
object, said to him, "As thou livest, my friend, let the matter rest
where it is, for the remedy seems to me a very rough one, and it will be
well to have patience; 'Zamora was not won in an hour.' If I have not
reckoned wrong thou hast given thyself over a thousand lashes; that is
enough for the present; 'for the ass,' to put it in homely phrase, 'bears
the load, but not the overload.'"

"No, no, senor," replied Sancho; "it shall never be said of me, 'The
money paid, the arms broken;' go back a little further, your worship, and
let me give myself at any rate a thousand lashes more; for in a couple of
bouts like this we shall have finished off the lot, and there will be
even cloth to spare."

"As thou art in such a willing mood," said Don Quixote, "may heaven aid
thee; lay on and I'll retire."

Sancho returned to his task with so much resolution that he soon had the
bark stripped off several trees, such was the severity with which he
whipped himself; and one time, raising his voice, and giving a beech a
tremendous lash, he cried out, "Here dies Samson, and all with him!"

At the sound of his piteous cry and of the stroke of the cruel lash, Don
Quixote ran to him at once, and seizing the twisted halter that served
him for a courbash, said to him, "Heaven forbid, Sancho my friend, that
to please me thou shouldst lose thy life, which is needed for the support
of thy wife and children; let Dulcinea wait for a better opportunity, and
I will content myself with a hope soon to be realised, and have patience
until thou hast gained fresh strength so as to finish off this business
to the satisfaction of everybody."

"As your worship will have it so, senor," said Sancho, "so be it; but
throw your cloak over my shoulders, for I'm sweating and I don't want to
take cold; it's a risk that novice disciplinants run."

Don Quixote obeyed, and stripping himself covered Sancho, who slept until
the sun woke him; they then resumed their journey, which for the time
being they brought to an end at a village that lay three leagues farther
on. They dismounted at a hostelry which Don Quixote recognised as such
and did not take to be a castle with moat, turrets, portcullis, and
drawbridge; for ever since he had been vanquished he talked more
rationally about everything, as will be shown presently. They quartered
him in a room on the ground floor, where in place of leather hangings
there were pieces of painted serge such as they commonly use in villages.
On one of them was painted by some very poor hand the Rape of Helen, when
the bold guest carried her off from Menelaus, and on the other was the
story of Dido and AEneas, she on a high tower, as though she were making
signals with a half sheet to her fugitive guest who was out at sea flying
in a frigate or brigantine. He noticed in the two stories that Helen did
not go very reluctantly, for she was laughing slyly and roguishly; but
the fair Dido was shown dropping tears the size of walnuts from her eyes.
Don Quixote as he looked at them observed, "Those two ladies were very
unfortunate not to have been born in this age, and I unfortunate above
all men not to have been born in theirs. Had I fallen in with those
gentlemen, Troy would not have been burned or Carthage destroyed, for it
would have been only for me to slay Paris, and all these misfortunes
would have been avoided."

"I'll lay a bet," said Sancho, "that before long there won't be a tavern,
roadside inn, hostelry, or barber's shop where the story of our doings
won't be painted up; but I'd like it painted by the hand of a better
painter than painted these."

"Thou art right, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for this painter is like
Orbaneja, a painter there was at Ubeda, who when they asked him what he
was painting, used to say, 'Whatever it may turn out; and if he chanced
to paint a cock he would write under it, 'This is a cock,' for fear they
might think it was a fox. The painter or writer, for it's all the same,
who published the history of this new Don Quixote that has come out, must
have been one of this sort I think, Sancho, for he painted or wrote
'whatever it might turn out;' or perhaps he is like a poet called Mauleon
that was about the Court some years ago, who used to answer at haphazard
whatever he was asked, and on one asking him what Deum de Deo meant, he
replied De donde diere. But, putting this aside, tell me, Sancho, hast
thou a mind to have another turn at thyself to-night, and wouldst thou
rather have it indoors or in the open air?"

"Egad, senor," said Sancho, "for what I'm going to give myself, it comes
all the same to me whether it is in a house or in the fields; still I'd
like it to be among trees; for I think they are company for me and help
me to bear my pain wonderfully."

"And yet it must not be, Sancho my friend," said Don Quixote; "but, to
enable thee to recover strength, we must keep it for our own village; for
at the latest we shall get there the day after tomorrow."

Sancho said he might do as he pleased; but that for his own part he would
like to finish off the business quickly before his blood cooled and while
he had an appetite, because "in delay there is apt to be danger" very
often, and "praying to God and plying the hammer," and "one take was
better than two I'll give thee's," and "a sparrow in the hand than a
vulture on the wing."

"For God's sake, Sancho, no more proverbs!" exclaimed Don Quixote; "it
seems to me thou art becoming sicut erat again; speak in a plain, simple,
straight-forward way, as I have often told thee, and thou wilt find the
good of it."

"I don't know what bad luck it is of mine," argument to my mind; however,
I mean to mend said Sancho, "but I can't utter a word without a proverb
that is not as good as an argument to my mind; however, I mean to mend if
I can;" and so for the present the conversation ended.



All that day Don Quixote and Sancho remained in the village and inn
waiting for night, the one to finish off his task of scourging in the
open country, the other to see it accomplished, for therein lay the
accomplishment of his wishes. Meanwhile there arrived at the hostelry a
traveller on horseback with three or four servants, one of whom said to
him who appeared to be the master, "Here, Senor Don Alvaro Tarfe, your
worship may take your siesta to-day; the quarters seem clean and cool."

When he heard this Don Quixote said to Sancho, "Look here, Sancho; on
turning over the leaves of that book of the Second Part of my history I
think I came casually upon this name of Don Alvaro Tarfe."

"Very likely," said Sancho; "we had better let him dismount, and
by-and-by we can ask about it."

The gentleman dismounted, and the landlady gave him a room on the ground
floor opposite Don Quixote's and adorned with painted serge hangings of
the same sort. The newly arrived gentleman put on a summer coat, and
coming out to the gateway of the hostelry, which was wide and cool,
addressing Don Quixote, who was pacing up and down there, he asked, "In
what direction your worship bound, gentle sir?"

"To a village near this which is my own village," replied Don Quixote;
"and your worship, where are you bound for?"

"I am going to Granada, senor," said the gentleman, "to my own country."

"And a goodly country," said Don Quixote; "but will your worship do me
the favour of telling me your name, for it strikes me it is of more
importance to me to know it than I can tell you."

"My name is Don Alvaro Tarfe," replied the traveller.

To which Don Quixote returned, "I have no doubt whatever that your
worship is that Don Alvaro Tarfe who appears in print in the Second Part
of the history of Don Quixote of La Mancha, lately printed and published
by a new author."

"I am the same," replied the gentleman; "and that same Don Quixote, the
principal personage in the said history, was a very great friend of mine,
and it was I who took him away from home, or at least induced him to come
to some jousts that were to be held at Saragossa, whither I was going
myself; indeed, I showed him many kindnesses, and saved him from having
his shoulders touched up by the executioner because of his extreme

"Tell me, Senor Don Alvaro," said Don Quixote, "am I at all like that Don
Quixote you talk of?"

"No indeed," replied the traveller, "not a bit."

"And that Don Quixote-" said our one, "had he with him a squire called
Sancho Panza?"

"He had," said Don Alvaro; "but though he had the name of being very
droll, I never heard him say anything that had any drollery in it."

"That I can well believe," said Sancho at this, "for to come out with
drolleries is not in everybody's line; and that Sancho your worship
speaks of, gentle sir, must be some great scoundrel, dunderhead, and
thief, all in one; for I am the real Sancho Panza, and I have more
drolleries than if it rained them; let your worship only try; come along
with me for a year or so, and you will find they fall from me at every
turn, and so rich and so plentiful that though mostly I don't know what I
am saying I make everybody that hears me laugh. And the real Don Quixote
of La Mancha, the famous, the valiant, the wise, the lover, the righter
of wrongs, the guardian of minors and orphans, the protector of widows,
the killer of damsels, he who has for his sole mistress the peerless
Dulcinea del Toboso, is this gentleman before you, my master; all other
Don Quixotes and all other Sancho Panzas are dreams and mockeries."

"By God I believe it," said Don Alvaro; "for you have uttered more
drolleries, my friend, in the few words you have spoken than the other
Sancho Panza in all I ever heard from him, and they were not a few. He
was more greedy than well-spoken, and more dull than droll; and I am
convinced that the enchanters who persecute Don Quixote the Good have
been trying to persecute me with Don Quixote the Bad. But I don't know
what to say, for I am ready to swear I left him shut up in the Casa del
Nuncio at Toledo, and here another Don Quixote turns up, though a very
different one from mine."

"I don't know whether I am good," said Don Quixote, "but I can safely say
I am not 'the Bad;' and to prove it, let me tell you, Senor Don Alvaro
Tarfe, I have never in my life been in Saragossa; so far from that, when
it was told me that this imaginary Don Quixote had been present at the
jousts in that city, I declined to enter it, in order to drag his
falsehood before the face of the world; and so I went on straight to
Barcelona, the treasure-house of courtesy, haven of strangers, asylum of
the poor, home of the valiant, champion of the wronged, pleasant exchange
of firm friendships, and city unrivalled in site and beauty. And though
the adventures that befell me there are not by any means matters of
enjoyment, but rather of regret, I do not regret them, simply because I
have seen it. In a word, Senor Don Alvaro Tarfe, I am Don Quixote of La
Mancha, the one that fame speaks of, and not the unlucky one that has
attempted to usurp my name and deck himself out in my ideas. I entreat
your worship by your devoir as a gentleman to be so good as to make a
declaration before the alcalde of this village that you never in all your
life saw me until now, and that neither am I the Don Quixote in print in
the Second Part, nor this Sancho Panza, my squire, the one your worship

"That I will do most willingly," replied Don Alvaro; "though it amazes me
to find two Don Quixotes and two Sancho Panzas at once, as much alike in
name as they differ in demeanour; and again I say and declare that what I
saw I cannot have seen, and that what happened me cannot have happened."

"No doubt your worship is enchanted, like my lady Dulcinea del Toboso,"
said Sancho; "and would to heaven your disenchantment rested on my giving
myself another three thousand and odd lashes like what I'm giving myself
for her, for I'd lay them on without looking for anything."

"I don't understand that about the lashes," said Don Alvaro. Sancho
replied that it was a long story to tell, but he would tell him if they
happened to be going the same road.

By this dinner-time arrived, and Don Quixote and Don Alvaro dined
together. The alcalde of the village came by chance into the inn together
with a notary, and Don Quixote laid a petition before him, showing that
it was requisite for his rights that Don Alvaro Tarfe, the gentleman
there present, should make a declaration before him that he did not know
Don Quixote of La Mancha, also there present, and that he was not the one
that was in print in a history entitled "Second Part of Don Quixote of La
Mancha, by one Avellaneda of Tordesillas." The alcalde finally put it in
legal form, and the declaration was made with all the formalities
required in such cases, at which Don Quixote and Sancho were in high
delight, as if a declaration of the sort was of any great importance to
them, and as if their words and deeds did not plainly show the difference
between the two Don Quixotes and the two Sanchos. Many civilities and
offers of service were exchanged by Don Alvaro and Don Quixote, in the
course of which the great Manchegan displayed such good taste that he
disabused Don Alvaro of the error he was under; and he, on his part, felt
convinced he must have been enchanted, now that he had been brought in
contact with two such opposite Don Quixotes.

Evening came, they set out from the village, and after about half a
league two roads branched off, one leading to Don Quixote's village, the
other the road Don Alvaro was to follow. In this short interval Don
Quixote told him of his unfortunate defeat, and of Dulcinea's enchantment
and the remedy, all which threw Don Alvaro into fresh amazement, and
embracing Don Quixote and Sancho he went his way, and Don Quixote went
his. That night he passed among trees again in order to give Sancho an
opportunity of working out his penance, which he did in the same fashion
as the night before, at the expense of the bark of the beech trees much
more than of his back, of which he took such good care that the lashes
would not have knocked off a fly had there been one there. The duped Don
Quixote did not miss a single stroke of the count, and he found that
together with those of the night before they made up three thousand and
twenty-nine. The sun apparently had got up early to witness the
sacrifice, and with his light they resumed their journey, discussing the
deception practised on Don Alvaro, and saying how well done it was to
have taken his declaration before a magistrate in such an unimpeachable
form. That day and night they travelled on, nor did anything worth
mention happen them, unless it was that in the course of the night Sancho
finished off his task, whereat Don Quixote was beyond measure joyful. He
watched for daylight, to see if along the road he should fall in with his
already disenchanted lady Dulcinea; and as he pursued his journey there
was no woman he met that he did not go up to, to see if she was Dulcinea
del Toboso, as he held it absolutely certain that Merlin's promises could
not lie. Full of these thoughts and anxieties, they ascended a rising
ground wherefrom they descried their own village, at the sight of which
Sancho fell on his knees exclaiming, "Open thine eyes, longed-for home,
and see how thy son Sancho Panza comes back to thee, if not very rich,
very well whipped! Open thine arms and receive, too, thy son Don Quixote,
who, if he comes vanquished by the arm of another, comes victor over
himself, which, as he himself has told me, is the greatest victory anyone
can desire. I'm bringing back money, for if I was well whipped, I went
mounted like a gentleman."

"Have done with these fooleries," said Don Quixote; "let us push on
straight and get to our own place, where we will give free range to our
fancies, and settle our plans for our future pastoral life."

With this they descended the slope and directed their steps to their


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