Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The History of Don Quixote, Volume II., Complete by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Part 4 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Quiteria! and let the poor Basilio die, Basilio whose poverty clipped the
wings of his happiness, and brought him to the grave!"

And so saying, he seized the staff he had driven into the ground, and
leaving one half of it fixed there, showed it to be a sheath that
concealed a tolerably long rapier; and, what may be called its hilt being
planted in the ground, he swiftly, coolly, and deliberately threw himself
upon it, and in an instant the bloody point and half the steel blade
appeared at his back, the unhappy man falling to the earth bathed in his
blood, and transfixed by his own weapon.

His friends at once ran to his aid, filled with grief at his misery and
sad fate, and Don Quixote, dismounting from Rocinante, hastened to
support him, and took him in his arms, and found he had not yet ceased to
breathe. They were about to draw out the rapier, but the priest who was
standing by objected to its being withdrawn before he had confessed him,
as the instant of its withdrawal would be that of this death. Basilio,
however, reviving slightly, said in a weak voice, as though in pain, "If
thou wouldst consent, cruel Quiteria, to give me thy hand as my bride in
this last fatal moment, I might still hope that my rashness would find
pardon, as by its means I attained the bliss of being thine."

Hearing this the priest bade him think of the welfare of his soul rather
than of the cravings of the body, and in all earnestness implore God's
pardon for his sins and for his rash resolve; to which Basilio replied
that he was determined not to confess unless Quiteria first gave him her
hand in marriage, for that happiness would compose his mind and give him
courage to make his confession.

Don Quixote hearing the wounded man's entreaty, exclaimed aloud that what
Basilio asked was just and reasonable, and moreover a request that might
be easily complied with; and that it would be as much to Senor Camacho's
honour to receive the lady Quiteria as the widow of the brave Basilio as
if he received her direct from her father.

"In this case," said he, "it will be only to say 'yes,' and no
consequences can follow the utterance of the word, for the nuptial couch
of this marriage must be the grave."

Camacho was listening to all this, perplexed and bewildered and not
knowing what to say or do; but so urgent were the entreaties of Basilio's
friends, imploring him to allow Quiteria to give him her hand, so that
his soul, quitting this life in despair, should not be lost, that they
moved, nay, forced him, to say that if Quiteria were willing to give it
he was satisfied, as it was only putting off the fulfillment of his
wishes for a moment. At once all assailed Quiteria and pressed her, some
with prayers, and others with tears, and others with persuasive
arguments, to give her hand to poor Basilio; but she, harder than marble
and more unmoved than any statue, seemed unable or unwilling to utter a
word, nor would she have given any reply had not the priest bade her
decide quickly what she meant to do, as Basilio now had his soul at his
teeth, and there was no time for hesitation.

On this the fair Quiteria, to all appearance distressed, grieved, and
repentant, advanced without a word to where Basilio lay, his eyes already
turned in his head, his breathing short and painful, murmuring the name
of Quiteria between his teeth, and apparently about to die like a heathen
and not like a Christian. Quiteria approached him, and kneeling, demanded
his hand by signs without speaking. Basilio opened his eyes and gazing
fixedly at her, said, "O Quiteria, why hast thou turned compassionate at
a moment when thy compassion will serve as a dagger to rob me of life,
for I have not now the strength left either to bear the happiness thou
givest me in accepting me as thine, or to suppress the pain that is
rapidly drawing the dread shadow of death over my eyes? What I entreat of
thee, O thou fatal star to me, is that the hand thou demandest of me and
wouldst give me, be not given out of complaisance or to deceive me
afresh, but that thou confess and declare that without any constraint
upon thy will thou givest it to me as to thy lawful husband; for it is
not meet that thou shouldst trifle with me at such a moment as this, or
have recourse to falsehoods with one who has dealt so truly by thee."

While uttering these words he showed such weakness that the bystanders
expected each return of faintness would take his life with it. Then
Quiteria, overcome with modesty and shame, holding in her right hand the
hand of Basilio, said, "No force would bend my will; as freely,
therefore, as it is possible for me to do so, I give thee the hand of a
lawful wife, and take thine if thou givest it to me of thine own free
will, untroubled and unaffected by the calamity thy hasty act has brought
upon thee."

"Yes, I give it," said Basilio, "not agitated or distracted, but with
unclouded reason that heaven is pleased to grant me, thus do I give
myself to be thy husband."

"And I give myself to be thy wife," said Quiteria, "whether thou livest
many years, or they carry thee from my arms to the grave."

"For one so badly wounded," observed Sancho at this point, "this young
man has a great deal to say; they should make him leave off billing and
cooing, and attend to his soul; for to my thinking he has it more on his
tongue than at his teeth."

Basilio and Quiteria having thus joined hands, the priest, deeply moved
and with tears in his eyes, pronounced the blessing upon them, and
implored heaven to grant an easy passage to the soul of the newly wedded
man, who, the instant he received the blessing, started nimbly to his
feet and with unparalleled effrontery pulled out the rapier that had been
sheathed in his body. All the bystanders were astounded, and some, more
simple than inquiring, began shouting, "A miracle, a miracle!" But
Basilio replied, "No miracle, no miracle; only a trick, a trick!" The
priest, perplexed and amazed, made haste to examine the wound with both
hands, and found that the blade had passed, not through Basilio's flesh
and ribs, but through a hollow iron tube full of blood, which he had
adroitly fixed at the place, the blood, as was afterwards ascertained,
having been so prepared as not to congeal. In short, the priest and
Camacho and most of those present saw they were tricked and made fools
of. The bride showed no signs of displeasure at the deception; on the
contrary, hearing them say that the marriage, being fraudulent, would not
be valid, she said that she confirmed it afresh, whence they all
concluded that the affair had been planned by agreement and understanding
between the pair, whereat Camacho and his supporters were so mortified
that they proceeded to revenge themselves by violence, and a great number
of them drawing their swords attacked Basilio, in whose protection as
many more swords were in an instant unsheathed, while Don Quixote taking
the lead on horseback, with his lance over his arm and well covered with
his shield, made all give way before him. Sancho, who never found any
pleasure or enjoyment in such doings, retreated to the wine-jars from
which he had taken his delectable skimmings, considering that, as a holy
place, that spot would be respected.

"Hold, sirs, hold!" cried Don Quixote in a loud voice; "we have no right
to take vengeance for wrongs that love may do to us: remember love and
war are the same thing, and as in war it is allowable and common to make
use of wiles and stratagems to overcome the enemy, so in the contests and
rivalries of love the tricks and devices employed to attain the desired
end are justifiable, provided they be not to the discredit or dishonour
of the loved object. Quiteria belonged to Basilio and Basilio to Quiteria
by the just and beneficent disposal of heaven. Camacho is rich, and can
purchase his pleasure when, where, and as it pleases him. Basilio has but
this ewe-lamb, and no one, however powerful he may be, shall take her
from him; these two whom God hath joined man cannot separate; and he who
attempts it must first pass the point of this lance;" and so saying he
brandished it so stoutly and dexterously that he overawed all who did not
know him.

But so deep an impression had the rejection of Quiteria made on Camacho's
mind that it banished her at once from his thoughts; and so the counsels
of the priest, who was a wise and kindly disposed man, prevailed with
him, and by their means he and his partisans were pacified and
tranquillised, and to prove it put up their swords again, inveighing
against the pliancy of Quiteria rather than the craftiness of Basilio;
Camacho maintaining that, if Quiteria as a maiden had such a love for
Basilio, she would have loved him too as a married woman, and that he
ought to thank heaven more for having taken her than for having given

Camacho and those of his following, therefore, being consoled and
pacified, those on Basilio's side were appeased; and the rich Camacho, to
show that he felt no resentment for the trick, and did not care about it,
desired the festival to go on just as if he were married in reality.
Neither Basilio, however, nor his bride, nor their followers would take
any part in it, and they withdrew to Basilio's village; for the poor, if
they are persons of virtue and good sense, have those who follow, honour,
and uphold them, just as the rich have those who flatter and dance
attendance on them. With them they carried Don Quixote, regarding him as
a man of worth and a stout one. Sancho alone had a cloud on his soul, for
he found himself debarred from waiting for Camacho's splendid feast and
festival, which lasted until night; and thus dragged away, he moodily
followed his master, who accompanied Basilio's party, and left behind him
the flesh-pots of Egypt; though in his heart he took them with him, and
their now nearly finished skimmings that he carried in the bucket
conjured up visions before his eyes of the glory and abundance of the
good cheer he was losing. And so, vexed and dejected though not hungry,
without dismounting from Dapple he followed in the footsteps of



Many and great were the attentions shown to Don Quixote by the newly
married couple, who felt themselves under an obligation to him for coming
forward in defence of their cause; and they exalted his wisdom to the
same level with his courage, rating him as a Cid in arms, and a Cicero in
eloquence. Worthy Sancho enjoyed himself for three days at the expense of
the pair, from whom they learned that the sham wound was not a scheme
arranged with the fair Quiteria, but a device of Basilio's, who counted
on exactly the result they had seen; he confessed, it is true, that he
had confided his idea to some of his friends, so that at the proper time
they might aid him in his purpose and insure the success of the

"That," said Don Quixote, "is not and ought not to be called deception
which aims at virtuous ends;" and the marriage of lovers he maintained to
be a most excellent end, reminding them, however, that love has no
greater enemy than hunger and constant want; for love is all gaiety,
enjoyment, and happiness, especially when the lover is in the possession
of the object of his love, and poverty and want are the declared enemies
of all these; which he said to urge Senor Basilio to abandon the practice
of those accomplishments he was skilled in, for though they brought him
fame, they brought him no money, and apply himself to the acquisition of
wealth by legitimate industry, which will never fail those who are
prudent and persevering. The poor man who is a man of honour (if indeed a
poor man can be a man of honour) has a jewel when he has a fair wife, and
if she is taken from him, his honour is taken from him and slain. The
fair woman who is a woman of honour, and whose husband is poor, deserves
to be crowned with the laurels and crowns of victory and triumph. Beauty
by itself attracts the desires of all who behold it, and the royal eagles
and birds of towering flight stoop on it as on a dainty lure; but if
beauty be accompanied by want and penury, then the ravens and the kites
and other birds of prey assail it, and she who stands firm against such
attacks well deserves to be called the crown of her husband. "Remember, O
prudent Basilio," added Don Quixote, "it was the opinion of a certain
sage, I know not whom, that there was not more than one good woman in the
whole world; and his advice was that each one should think and believe
that this one good woman was his own wife, and in this way he would live
happy. I myself am not married, nor, so far, has it ever entered my
thoughts to be so; nevertheless I would venture to give advice to anyone
who might ask it, as to the mode in which he should seek a wife such as
he would be content to marry. The first thing I would recommend him,
would be to look to good name rather than to wealth, for a good woman
does not win a good name merely by being good, but by letting it be seen
that she is so, and open looseness and freedom do much more damage to a
woman's honour than secret depravity. If you take a good woman into your
house it will be an easy matter to keep her good, and even to make her
still better; but if you take a bad one you will find it hard work to
mend her, for it is no very easy matter to pass from one extreme to
another. I do not say it is impossible, but I look upon it as difficult."

Sancho, listening to all this, said to himself, "This master of mine,
when I say anything that has weight and substance, says I might take a
pulpit in hand, and go about the world preaching fine sermons; but I say
of him that, when he begins stringing maxims together and giving advice
not only might he take a pulpit in hand, but two on each finger, and go
into the market-places to his heart's content. Devil take you for a
knight-errant, what a lot of things you know! I used to think in my heart
that the only thing he knew was what belonged to his chivalry; but there
is nothing he won't have a finger in."

Sancho muttered this somewhat aloud, and his master overheard him, and
asked, "What art thou muttering there, Sancho?"

"I'm not saying anything or muttering anything," said Sancho; "I was only
saying to myself that I wish I had heard what your worship has said just
now before I married; perhaps I'd say now, 'The ox that's loose licks
himself well.'"

"Is thy Teresa so bad then, Sancho?"

"She is not very bad," replied Sancho; "but she is not very good; at
least she is not as good as I could wish."

"Thou dost wrong, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "to speak ill of thy wife;
for after all she is the mother of thy children." "We are quits,"
returned Sancho; "for she speaks ill of me whenever she takes it into her
head, especially when she is jealous; and Satan himself could not put up
with her then."

In fine, they remained three days with the newly married couple, by whom
they were entertained and treated like kings. Don Quixote begged the
fencing licentiate to find him a guide to show him the way to the cave of
Montesinos, as he had a great desire to enter it and see with his own
eyes if the wonderful tales that were told of it all over the country
were true. The licentiate said he would get him a cousin of his own, a
famous scholar, and one very much given to reading books of chivalry, who
would have great pleasure in conducting him to the mouth of the very
cave, and would show him the lakes of Ruidera, which were likewise famous
all over La Mancha, and even all over Spain; and he assured him he would
find him entertaining, for he was a youth who could write books good
enough to be printed and dedicated to princes. The cousin arrived at
last, leading an ass in foal, with a pack-saddle covered with a
parti-coloured carpet or sackcloth; Sancho saddled Rocinante, got Dapple
ready, and stocked his alforjas, along with which went those of the
cousin, likewise well filled; and so, commending themselves to God and
bidding farewell to all, they set out, taking the road for the famous
cave of Montesinos.

On the way Don Quixote asked the cousin of what sort and character his
pursuits, avocations, and studies were, to which he replied that he was
by profession a humanist, and that his pursuits and studies were making
books for the press, all of great utility and no less entertainment to
the nation. One was called "The Book of Liveries," in which he described
seven hundred and three liveries, with their colours, mottoes, and
ciphers, from which gentlemen of the court might pick and choose any they
fancied for festivals and revels, without having to go a-begging for them
from anyone, or puzzling their brains, as the saying is, to have them
appropriate to their objects and purposes; "for," said he, "I give the
jealous, the rejected, the forgotten, the absent, what will suit them,
and fit them without fail. I have another book, too, which I shall call
'Metamorphoses, or the Spanish Ovid,' one of rare and original invention,
for imitating Ovid in burlesque style, I show in it who the Giralda of
Seville and the Angel of the Magdalena were, what the sewer of
Vecinguerra at Cordova was, what the bulls of Guisando, the Sierra
Morena, the Leganitos and Lavapies fountains at Madrid, not forgetting
those of the Piojo, of the Cano Dorado, and of the Priora; and all with
their allegories, metaphors, and changes, so that they are amusing,
interesting, and instructive, all at once. Another book I have which I
call 'The Supplement to Polydore Vergil,' which treats of the invention
of things, and is a work of great erudition and research, for I establish
and elucidate elegantly some things of great importance which Polydore
omitted to mention. He forgot to tell us who was the first man in the
world that had a cold in his head, and who was the first to try
salivation for the French disease, but I give it accurately set forth,
and quote more than five-and-twenty authors in proof of it, so you may
perceive I have laboured to good purpose and that the book will be of
service to the whole world."

Sancho, who had been very attentive to the cousin's words, said to him,
"Tell me, senor--and God give you luck in printing your books-can you
tell me (for of course you know, as you know everything) who was the
first man that scratched his head? For to my thinking it must have been
our father Adam."

"So it must," replied the cousin; "for there is no doubt but Adam had a
head and hair; and being the first man in the world he would have
scratched himself sometimes."

"So I think," said Sancho; "but now tell me, who was the first tumbler in
the world?"

"Really, brother," answered the cousin, "I could not at this moment say
positively without having investigated it; I will look it up when I go
back to where I have my books, and will satisfy you the next time we
meet, for this will not be the last time."

"Look here, senor," said Sancho, "don't give yourself any trouble about
it, for I have just this minute hit upon what I asked you. The first
tumbler in the world, you must know, was Lucifer, when they cast or
pitched him out of heaven; for he came tumbling into the bottomless pit."

"You are right, friend," said the cousin; and said Don Quixote, "Sancho,
that question and answer are not thine own; thou hast heard them from
some one else."

"Hold your peace, senor," said Sancho; "faith, if I take to asking
questions and answering, I'll go on from this till to-morrow morning.
Nay! to ask foolish things and answer nonsense I needn't go looking for
help from my neighbours."

"Thou hast said more than thou art aware of, Sancho," said Don Quixote;
"for there are some who weary themselves out in learning and proving
things that, after they are known and proved, are not worth a farthing to
the understanding or memory."

In this and other pleasant conversation the day went by, and that night
they put up at a small hamlet whence it was not more than two leagues to
the cave of Montesinos, so the cousin told Don Quixote, adding, that if
he was bent upon entering it, it would be requisite for him to provide
himself with ropes, so that he might be tied and lowered into its depths.
Don Quixote said that even if it reached to the bottomless pit he meant
to see where it went to; so they bought about a hundred fathoms of rope,
and next day at two in the afternoon they arrived at the cave, the mouth
of which is spacious and wide, but full of thorn and wild-fig bushes and
brambles and briars, so thick and matted that they completely close it up
and cover it over.

On coming within sight of it the cousin, Sancho, and Don Quixote
dismounted, and the first two immediately tied the latter very firmly
with the ropes, and as they were girding and swathing him Sancho said to
him, "Mind what you are about, master mine; don't go burying yourself
alive, or putting yourself where you'll be like a bottle put to cool in a
well; it's no affair or business of your worship's to become the explorer
of this, which must be worse than a Moorish dungeon."

"Tie me and hold thy peace," said Don Quixote, "for an emprise like this,
friend Sancho, was reserved for me;" and said the guide, "I beg of you,
Senor Don Quixote, to observe carefully and examine with a hundred eyes
everything that is within there; perhaps there may be some things for me
to put into my book of 'Transformations.'"

"The drum is in hands that will know how to beat it well enough," said
Sancho Panza.

When he had said this and finished the tying (which was not over the
armour but only over the doublet) Don Quixote observed, "It was careless
of us not to have provided ourselves with a small cattle-bell to be tied
on the rope close to me, the sound of which would show that I was still
descending and alive; but as that is out of the question now, in God's
hand be it to guide me;" and forthwith he fell on his knees and in a low
voice offered up a prayer to heaven, imploring God to aid him and grant
him success in this to all appearance perilous and untried adventure, and
then exclaimed aloud, "O mistress of my actions and movements,
illustrious and peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, if so be the prayers and
supplications of this fortunate lover can reach thy ears, by thy
incomparable beauty I entreat thee to listen to them, for they but ask
thee not to refuse me thy favour and protection now that I stand in such
need of them. I am about to precipitate, to sink, to plunge myself into
the abyss that is here before me, only to let the world know that while
thou dost favour me there is no impossibility I will not attempt and
accomplish." With these words he approached the cavern, and perceived
that it was impossible to let himself down or effect an entrance except
by sheer force or cleaving a passage; so drawing his sword he began to
demolish and cut away the brambles at the mouth of the cave, at the noise
of which a vast multitude of crows and choughs flew out of it so thick
and so fast that they knocked Don Quixote down; and if he had been as
much of a believer in augury as he was a Catholic Christian he would have
taken it as a bad omen and declined to bury himself in such a place. He
got up, however, and as there came no more crows, or night-birds like the
bats that flew out at the same time with the crows, the cousin and Sancho
giving him rope, he lowered himself into the depths of the dread cavern;
and as he entered it Sancho sent his blessing after him, making a
thousand crosses over him and saying, "God, and the Pena de Francia, and
the Trinity of Gaeta guide thee, flower and cream of knights-errant.
There thou goest, thou dare-devil of the earth, heart of steel, arm of
brass; once more, God guide thee and send thee back safe, sound, and
unhurt to the light of this world thou art leaving to bury thyself in the
darkness thou art seeking there;" and the cousin offered up almost the
same prayers and supplications.

Don Quixote kept calling to them to give him rope and more rope, and they
gave it out little by little, and by the time the calls, which came out
of the cave as out of a pipe, ceased to be heard they had let down the
hundred fathoms of rope. They were inclined to pull Don Quixote up again,
as they could give him no more rope; however, they waited about half an
hour, at the end of which time they began to gather in the rope again
with great ease and without feeling any weight, which made them fancy Don
Quixote was remaining below; and persuaded that it was so, Sancho wept
bitterly, and hauled away in great haste in order to settle the question.
When, however, they had come to, as it seemed, rather more than eighty
fathoms they felt a weight, at which they were greatly delighted; and at
last, at ten fathoms more, they saw Don Quixote distinctly, and Sancho
called out to him, saying, "Welcome back, senor, for we had begun to
think you were going to stop there to found a family." But Don Quixote
answered not a word, and drawing him out entirely they perceived he had
his eyes shut and every appearance of being fast asleep.

They stretched him on the ground and untied him, but still he did not
awake; however, they rolled him back and forwards and shook and pulled
him about, so that after some time he came to himself, stretching himself
just as if he were waking up from a deep and sound sleep, and looking
about him he said, "God forgive you, friends; ye have taken me away from
the sweetest and most delightful existence and spectacle that ever human
being enjoyed or beheld. Now indeed do I know that all the pleasures of
this life pass away like a shadow and a dream, or fade like the flower of
the field. O ill-fated Montesinos! O sore-wounded Durandarte! O unhappy
Belerma! O tearful Guadiana, and ye O hapless daughters of Ruidera who
show in your waves the tears that flowed from your beauteous eyes!"

The cousin and Sancho Panza listened with deep attention to the words of
Don Quixote, who uttered them as though with immense pain he drew them up
from his very bowels. They begged of him to explain himself, and tell
them what he had seen in that hell down there.

"Hell do you call it?" said Don Quixote; "call it by no such name, for it
does not deserve it, as ye shall soon see."

He then begged them to give him something to eat, as he was very hungry.
They spread the cousin's sackcloth on the grass, and put the stores of
the alforjas into requisition, and all three sitting down lovingly and
sociably, they made a luncheon and a supper of it all in one; and when
the sackcloth was removed, Don Quixote of La Mancha said, "Let no one
rise, and attend to me, my sons, both of you."



It was about four in the afternoon when the sun, veiled in clouds, with
subdued light and tempered beams, enabled Don Quixote to relate, without
heat or inconvenience, what he had seen in the cave of Montesinos to his
two illustrious hearers, and he began as follows:

"A matter of some twelve or fourteen times a man's height down in this
pit, on the right-hand side, there is a recess or space, roomy enough to
contain a large cart with its mules. A little light reaches it through
some chinks or crevices, communicating with it and open to the surface of
the earth. This recess or space I perceived when I was already growing
weary and disgusted at finding myself hanging suspended by the rope,
travelling downwards into that dark region without any certainty or
knowledge of where I was going, so I resolved to enter it and rest myself
for a while. I called out, telling you not to let out more rope until I
bade you, but you cannot have heard me. I then gathered in the rope you
were sending me, and making a coil or pile of it I seated myself upon it,
ruminating and considering what I was to do to lower myself to the
bottom, having no one to hold me up; and as I was thus deep in thought
and perplexity, suddenly and without provocation a profound sleep fell
upon me, and when I least expected it, I know not how, I awoke and found
myself in the midst of the most beautiful, delightful meadow that nature
could produce or the most lively human imagination conceive. I opened my
eyes, I rubbed them, and found I was not asleep but thoroughly awake.
Nevertheless, I felt my head and breast to satisfy myself whether it was
I myself who was there or some empty delusive phantom; but touch,
feeling, the collected thoughts that passed through my mind, all
convinced me that I was the same then and there that I am this moment.
Next there presented itself to my sight a stately royal palace or castle,
with walls that seemed built of clear transparent crystal; and through
two great doors that opened wide therein, I saw coming forth and
advancing towards me a venerable old man, clad in a long gown of
mulberry-coloured serge that trailed upon the ground. On his shoulders
and breast he had a green satin collegiate hood, and covering his head a
black Milanese bonnet, and his snow-white beard fell below his girdle. He
carried no arms whatever, nothing but a rosary of beads bigger than
fair-sized filberts, each tenth bead being like a moderate ostrich egg;
his bearing, his gait, his dignity and imposing presence held me
spellbound and wondering. He approached me, and the first thing he did
was to embrace me closely, and then he said to me, 'For a long time now,
O valiant knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, we who are here enchanted in
these solitudes have been hoping to see thee, that thou mayest make known
to the world what is shut up and concealed in this deep cave, called the
cave of Montesinos, which thou hast entered, an achievement reserved for
thy invincible heart and stupendous courage alone to attempt. Come with
me, illustrious sir, and I will show thee the marvels hidden within this
transparent castle, whereof I am the alcaide and perpetual warden; for I
am Montesinos himself, from whom the cave takes its name.'

"The instant he told me he was Montesinos, I asked him if the story they
told in the world above here was true, that he had taken out the heart of
his great friend Durandarte from his breast with a little dagger, and
carried it to the lady Belerma, as his friend when at the point of death
had commanded him. He said in reply that they spoke the truth in every
respect except as to the dagger, for it was not a dagger, nor little, but
a burnished poniard sharper than an awl."

"That poniard must have been made by Ramon de Hoces the Sevillian," said

"I do not know," said Don Quixote; "it could not have been by that
poniard maker, however, because Ramon de Hoces was a man of yesterday,
and the affair of Roncesvalles, where this mishap occurred, was long ago;
but the question is of no great importance, nor does it affect or make
any alteration in the truth or substance of the story."

"That is true," said the cousin; "continue, Senor Don Quixote, for I am
listening to you with the greatest pleasure in the world."

"And with no less do I tell the tale," said Don Quixote; "and so, to
proceed--the venerable Montesinos led me into the palace of crystal,
where, in a lower chamber, strangely cool and entirely of alabaster, was
an elaborately wrought marble tomb, upon which I beheld, stretched at
full length, a knight, not of bronze, or marble, or jasper, as are seen
on other tombs, but of actual flesh and bone. His right hand (which
seemed to me somewhat hairy and sinewy, a sign of great strength in its
owner) lay on the side of his heart; but before I could put any question
to Montesinos, he, seeing me gazing at the tomb in amazement, said to me,
'This is my friend Durandarte, flower and mirror of the true lovers and
valiant knights of his time. He is held enchanted here, as I myself and
many others are, by that French enchanter Merlin, who, they say, was the
devil's son; but my belief is, not that he was the devil's son, but that
he knew, as the saying is, a point more than the devil. How or why he
enchanted us, no one knows, but time will tell, and I suspect that time
is not far off. What I marvel at is, that I know it to be as sure as that
it is now day, that Durandarte ended his life in my arms, and that, after
his death, I took out his heart with my own hands; and indeed it must
have weighed more than two pounds, for, according to naturalists, he who
has a large heart is more largely endowed with valour than he who has a
small one. Then, as this is the case, and as the knight did really die,
how comes it that he now moans and sighs from time to time, as if he were
still alive?'

"As he said this, the wretched Durandarte cried out in a loud voice:

O cousin Montesinos!
'T was my last request of thee,
When my soul hath left the body,
And that lying dead I be,
With thy poniard or thy dagger
Cut the heart from out my breast,
And bear it to Belerma.
This was my last request."

On hearing which, the venerable Montesinos fell on his knees before the
unhappy knight, and with tearful eyes exclaimed, 'Long since, Senor
Durandarte, my beloved cousin, long since have I done what you bade me on
that sad day when I lost you; I took out your heart as well as I could,
not leaving an atom of it in your breast, I wiped it with a lace
handkerchief, and I took the road to France with it, having first laid
you in the bosom of the earth with tears enough to wash and cleanse my
hands of the blood that covered them after wandering among your bowels;
and more by token, O cousin of my soul, at the first village I came to
after leaving Roncesvalles, I sprinkled a little salt upon your heart to
keep it sweet, and bring it, if not fresh, at least pickled, into the
presence of the lady Belerma, whom, together with you, myself, Guadiana
your squire, the duenna Ruidera and her seven daughters and two nieces,
and many more of your friends and acquaintances, the sage Merlin has been
keeping enchanted here these many years; and although more than five
hundred have gone by, not one of us has died; Ruidera and her daughters
and nieces alone are missing, and these, because of the tears they shed,
Merlin, out of the compassion he seems to have felt for them, changed
into so many lakes, which to this day in the world of the living, and in
the province of La Mancha, are called the Lakes of Ruidera. The seven
daughters belong to the kings of Spain and the two nieces to the knights
of a very holy order called the Order of St. John. Guadiana your squire,
likewise bewailing your fate, was changed into a river of his own name,
but when he came to the surface and beheld the sun of another heaven, so
great was his grief at finding he was leaving you, that he plunged into
the bowels of the earth; however, as he cannot help following his natural
course, he from time to time comes forth and shows himself to the sun and
the world. The lakes aforesaid send him their waters, and with these, and
others that come to him, he makes a grand and imposing entrance into
Portugal; but for all that, go where he may, he shows his melancholy and
sadness, and takes no pride in breeding dainty choice fish, only coarse
and tasteless sorts, very different from those of the golden Tagus. All
this that I tell you now, O cousin mine, I have told you many times
before, and as you make no answer, I fear that either you believe me not,
or do not hear me, whereat I feel God knows what grief. I have now news
to give you, which, if it serves not to alleviate your sufferings, will
not in any wise increase them. Know that you have here before you (open
your eyes and you will see) that great knight of whom the sage Merlin has
prophesied such great things; that Don Quixote of La Mancha I mean, who
has again, and to better purpose than in past times, revived in these
days knight-errantry, long since forgotten, and by whose intervention and
aid it may be we shall be disenchanted; for great deeds are reserved for
great men.'

"'And if that may not be,' said the wretched Durandarte in a low and
feeble voice, 'if that may not be, then, my cousin, I say "patience and
shuffle;"' and turning over on his side, he relapsed into his former
silence without uttering another word.

"And now there was heard a great outcry and lamentation, accompanied by
deep sighs and bitter sobs. I looked round, and through the crystal wall
I saw passing through another chamber a procession of two lines of fair
damsels all clad in mourning, and with white turbans of Turkish fashion
on their heads. Behind, in the rear of these, there came a lady, for so
from her dignity she seemed to be, also clad in black, with a white veil
so long and ample that it swept the ground. Her turban was twice as large
as the largest of any of the others; her eyebrows met, her nose was
rather flat, her mouth was large but with ruddy lips, and her teeth, of
which at times she allowed a glimpse, were seen to be sparse and ill-set,
though as white as peeled almonds. She carried in her hands a fine cloth,
and in it, as well as I could make out, a heart that had been mummied, so
parched and dried was it. Montesinos told me that all those forming the
procession were the attendants of Durandarte and Belerma, who were
enchanted there with their master and mistress, and that the last, she
who carried the heart in the cloth, was the lady Belerma, who, with her
damsels, four days in the week went in procession singing, or rather
weeping, dirges over the body and miserable heart of his cousin; and that
if she appeared to me somewhat ill-favoured or not so beautiful as fame
reported her, it was because of the bad nights and worse days that she
passed in that enchantment, as I could see by the great dark circles
round her eyes, and her sickly complexion; 'her sallowness, and the rings
round her eyes,' said he, 'are not caused by the periodical ailment usual
with women, for it is many months and even years since she has had any,
but by the grief her own heart suffers because of that which she holds in
her hand perpetually, and which recalls and brings back to her memory the
sad fate of her lost lover; were it not for this, hardly would the great
Dulcinea del Toboso, so celebrated in all these parts, and even in the
world, come up to her for beauty, grace, and gaiety.'

"'Hold hard!' said I at this, 'tell your story as you ought, Senor Don
Montesinos, for you know very well that all comparisons are odious, and
there is no occasion to compare one person with another; the peerless
Dulcinea del Toboso is what she is, and the lady Dona Belerma is what she
is and has been, and that's enough.' To which he made answer, 'Forgive
me, Senor Don Quixote; I own I was wrong and spoke unadvisedly in saying
that the lady Dulcinea could scarcely come up to the lady Belerma; for it
were enough for me to have learned, by what means I know not, that you
are her knight, to make me bite my tongue out before I compared her to
anything save heaven itself.' After this apology which the great
Montesinos made me, my heart recovered itself from the shock I had
received in hearing my lady compared with Belerma."

"Still I wonder," said Sancho, "that your worship did not get upon the
old fellow and bruise every bone of him with kicks, and pluck his beard
until you didn't leave a hair in it."

"Nay, Sancho, my friend," said Don Quixote, "it would not have been right
in me to do that, for we are all bound to pay respect to the aged, even
though they be not knights, but especially to those who are, and who are
enchanted; I only know I gave him as good as he brought in the many other
questions and answers we exchanged."

"I cannot understand, Senor Don Quixote," remarked the cousin here, "how
it is that your worship, in such a short space of time as you have been
below there, could have seen so many things, and said and answered so

"How long is it since I went down?" asked Don Quixote.

"Little better than an hour," replied Sancho.

"That cannot be," returned Don Quixote, "because night overtook me while
I was there, and day came, and it was night again and day again three
times; so that, by my reckoning, I have been three days in those remote
regions beyond our ken."

"My master must be right," replied Sancho; "for as everything that has
happened to him is by enchantment, maybe what seems to us an hour would
seem three days and nights there."

"That's it," said Don Quixote.

"And did your worship eat anything all that time, senor?" asked the

"I never touched a morsel," answered Don Quixote, "nor did I feel hunger,
or think of it."

"And do the enchanted eat?" said the cousin.

"They neither eat," said Don Quixote; "nor are they subject to the
greater excrements, though it is thought that their nails, beards, and
hair grow."

"And do the enchanted sleep, now, senor?" asked Sancho.

"Certainly not," replied Don Quixote; "at least, during those three days
I was with them not one of them closed an eye, nor did I either."

"The proverb, 'Tell me what company thou keepest and I'll tell thee what
thou art,' is to the point here," said Sancho; "your worship keeps
company with enchanted people that are always fasting and watching; what
wonder is it, then, that you neither eat nor sleep while you are with
them? But forgive me, senor, if I say that of all this you have told us
now, may God take me--I was just going to say the devil--if I believe a
single particle."

"What!" said the cousin, "has Senor Don Quixote, then, been lying? Why,
even if he wished it he has not had time to imagine and put together such
a host of lies."

"I don't believe my master lies," said Sancho.

"If not, what dost thou believe?" asked Don Quixote.

"I believe," replied Sancho, "that this Merlin, or those enchanters who
enchanted the whole crew your worship says you saw and discoursed with
down there, stuffed your imagination or your mind with all this rigmarole
you have been treating us to, and all that is still to come."

"All that might be, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "but it is not so, for
everything that I have told you I saw with my own eyes, and touched with
my own hands. But what will you say when I tell you now how, among the
countless other marvellous things Montesinos showed me (of which at
leisure and at the proper time I will give thee an account in the course
of our journey, for they would not be all in place here), he showed me
three country girls who went skipping and capering like goats over the
pleasant fields there, and the instant I beheld them I knew one to be the
peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, and the other two those same country girls
that were with her and that we spoke to on the road from El Toboso! I
asked Montesinos if he knew them, and he told me he did not, but he
thought they must be some enchanted ladies of distinction, for it was
only a few days before that they had made their appearance in those
meadows; but I was not to be surprised at that, because there were a
great many other ladies there of times past and present, enchanted in
various strange shapes, and among them he had recognised Queen Guinevere
and her dame Quintanona, she who poured out the wine for Lancelot when he
came from Britain."

When Sancho Panza heard his master say this he was ready to take leave of
his senses, or die with laughter; for, as he knew the real truth about
the pretended enchantment of Dulcinea, in which he himself had been the
enchanter and concocter of all the evidence, he made up his mind at last
that, beyond all doubt, his master was out of his wits and stark mad, so
he said to him, "It was an evil hour, a worse season, and a sorrowful
day, when your worship, dear master mine, went down to the other world,
and an unlucky moment when you met with Senor Montesinos, who has sent
you back to us like this. You were well enough here above in your full
senses, such as God had given you, delivering maxims and giving advice at
every turn, and not as you are now, talking the greatest nonsense that
can be imagined."

"As I know thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "I heed not thy words."

"Nor I your worship's," said Sancho, "whether you beat me or kill me for
those I have spoken, and will speak if you don't correct and mend your
own. But tell me, while we are still at peace, how or by what did you
recognise the lady our mistress; and if you spoke to her, what did you
say, and what did she answer?"

"I recognised her," said Don Quixote, "by her wearing the same garments
she wore when thou didst point her out to me. I spoke to her, but she did
not utter a word in reply; on the contrary, she turned her back on me and
took to flight, at such a pace that crossbow bolt could not have
overtaken her. I wished to follow her, and would have done so had not
Montesinos recommended me not to take the trouble as it would be useless,
particularly as the time was drawing near when it would be necessary for
me to quit the cavern. He told me, moreover, that in course of time he
would let me know how he and Belerma, and Durandarte, and all who were
there, were to be disenchanted. But of all I saw and observed down there,
what gave me most pain was, that while Montesinos was speaking to me, one
of the two companions of the hapless Dulcinea approached me on one
without my having seen her coming, and with tears in her eyes said to me,
in a low, agitated voice, 'My lady Dulcinea del Toboso kisses your
worship's hands, and entreats you to do her the favour of letting her
know how you are; and, being in great need, she also entreats your
worship as earnestly as she can to be so good as to lend her half a dozen
reals, or as much as you may have about you, on this new dimity petticoat
that I have here; and she promises to repay them very speedily.' I was
amazed and taken aback by such a message, and turning to Senor Montesinos
I asked him, 'Is it possible, Senor Montesinos, that persons of
distinction under enchantment can be in need?' To which he replied,
'Believe me, Senor Don Quixote, that which is called need is to be met
with everywhere, and penetrates all quarters and reaches everyone, and
does not spare even the enchanted; and as the lady Dulcinea del Toboso
sends to beg those six reals, and the pledge is to all appearance a good
one, there is nothing for it but to give them to her, for no doubt she
must be in some great strait.' 'I will take no pledge of her,' I replied,
'nor yet can I give her what she asks, for all I have is four reals;
which I gave (they were those which thou, Sancho, gavest me the other day
to bestow in alms upon the poor I met along the road), and I said, 'Tell
your mistress, my dear, that I am grieved to the heart because of her
distresses, and wish I was a Fucar to remedy them, and that I would have
her know that I cannot be, and ought not be, in health while deprived of
the happiness of seeing her and enjoying her discreet conversation, and
that I implore her as earnestly as I can, to allow herself to be seen and
addressed by this her captive servant and forlorn knight. Tell her, too,
that when she least expects it she will hear it announced that I have
made an oath and vow after the fashion of that which the Marquis of
Mantua made to avenge his nephew Baldwin, when he found him at the point
of death in the heart of the mountains, which was, not to eat bread off a
tablecloth, and other trifling matters which he added, until he had
avenged him; and I will make the same to take no rest, and to roam the
seven regions of the earth more thoroughly than the Infante Don Pedro of
Portugal ever roamed them, until I have disenchanted her.' 'All that and
more, you owe my lady,' the damsel's answer to me, and taking the four
reals, instead of making me a curtsey she cut a caper, springing two full
yards into the air."

"O blessed God!" exclaimed Sancho aloud at this, "is it possible that
such things can be in the world, and that enchanters and enchantments can
have such power in it as to have changed my master's right senses into a
craze so full of absurdity! O senor, senor, for God's sake, consider
yourself, have a care for your honour, and give no credit to this silly
stuff that has left you scant and short of wits."

"Thou talkest in this way because thou lovest me, Sancho," said Don
Quixote; "and not being experienced in the things of the world,
everything that has some difficulty about it seems to thee impossible;
but time will pass, as I said before, and I will tell thee some of the
things I saw down there which will make thee believe what I have related
now, the truth of which admits of neither reply nor question."



He who translated this great history from the original written by its
first author, Cide Hamete Benengeli, says that on coming to the chapter
giving the adventures of the cave of Montesinos he found written on the
margin of it, in Hamete's own hand, these exact words:

"I cannot convince or persuade myself that everything that is written in
the preceding chapter could have precisely happened to the valiant Don
Quixote; and for this reason, that all the adventures that have occurred
up to the present have been possible and probable; but as for this one of
the cave, I see no way of accepting it as true, as it passes all
reasonable bounds. For me to believe that Don Quixote could lie, he being
the most truthful gentleman and the noblest knight of his time, is
impossible; he would not have told a lie though he were shot to death
with arrows. On the other hand, I reflect that he related and told the
story with all the circumstances detailed, and that he could not in so
short a space have fabricated such a vast complication of absurdities;
if, then, this adventure seems apocryphal, it is no fault of mine; and
so, without affirming its falsehood or its truth, I write it down. Decide
for thyself in thy wisdom, reader; for I am not bound, nor is it in my
power, to do more; though certain it is they say that at the time of his
death he retracted, and said he had invented it, thinking it matched and
tallied with the adventures he had read of in his histories." And then he
goes on to say:

The cousin was amazed as well at Sancho's boldness as at the patience of
his master, and concluded that the good temper the latter displayed arose
from the happiness he felt at having seen his lady Dulcinea, even
enchanted as she was; because otherwise the words and language Sancho had
addressed to him deserved a thrashing; for indeed he seemed to him to
have been rather impudent to his master, to whom he now observed, "I,
Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, look upon the time I have spent in
travelling with your worship as very well employed, for I have gained
four things in the course of it; the first is that I have made your
acquaintance, which I consider great good fortune; the second, that I
have learned what the cave of Montesinos contains, together with the
transformations of Guadiana and of the lakes of Ruidera; which will be of
use to me for the Spanish Ovid that I have in hand; the third, to have
discovered the antiquity of cards, that they were in use at least in the
time of Charlemagne, as may be inferred from the words you say Durandarte
uttered when, at the end of that long spell while Montesinos was talking
to him, he woke up and said, 'Patience and shuffle.' This phrase and
expression he could not have learned while he was enchanted, but only
before he had become so, in France, and in the time of the aforesaid
emperor Charlemagne. And this demonstration is just the thing for me for
that other book I am writing, the 'Supplement to Polydore Vergil on the
Invention of Antiquities;' for I believe he never thought of inserting
that of cards in his book, as I mean to do in mine, and it will be a
matter of great importance, particularly when I can cite so grave and
veracious an authority as Senor Durandarte. And the fourth thing is, that
I have ascertained the source of the river Guadiana, heretofore unknown
to mankind."

"You are right," said Don Quixote; "but I should like to know, if by
God's favour they grant you a licence to print those books of yours-which
I doubt--to whom do you mean dedicate them?"

"There are lords and grandees in Spain to whom they can be dedicated,"
said the cousin.

"Not many," said Don Quixote; "not that they are unworthy of it, but
because they do not care to accept books and incur the obligation of
making the return that seems due to the author's labour and courtesy. One
prince I know who makes up for all the rest, and more-how much more, if I
ventured to say, perhaps I should stir up envy in many a noble breast;
but let this stand over for some more convenient time, and let us go and
look for some place to shelter ourselves in to-night."

"Not far from this," said the cousin, "there is a hermitage, where there
lives a hermit, who they say was a soldier, and who has the reputation of
being a good Christian and a very intelligent and charitable man. Close
to the hermitage he has a small house which he built at his own cost, but
though small it is large enough for the reception of guests."

"Has this hermit any hens, do you think?" asked Sancho.

"Few hermits are without them," said Don Quixote; "for those we see
now-a-days are not like the hermits of the Egyptian deserts who were clad
in palm-leaves, and lived on the roots of the earth. But do not think
that by praising these I am disparaging the others; all I mean to say is
that the penances of those of the present day do not come up to the
asceticism and austerity of former times; but it does not follow from
this that they are not all worthy; at least I think them so; and at the
worst the hypocrite who pretends to be good does less harm than the open

At this point they saw approaching the spot where they stood a man on
foot, proceeding at a rapid pace, and beating a mule loaded with lances
and halberds. When he came up to them, he saluted them and passed on
without stopping. Don Quixote called to him, "Stay, good fellow; you seem
to be making more haste than suits that mule."

"I cannot stop, senor," answered the man; "for the arms you see I carry
here are to be used tomorrow, so I must not delay; God be with you. But
if you want to know what I am carrying them for, I mean to lodge to-night
at the inn that is beyond the hermitage, and if you be going the same
road you will find me there, and I will tell you some curious things;
once more God be with you;" and he urged on his mule at such a pace that
Don Quixote had no time to ask him what these curious things were that he
meant to tell them; and as he was somewhat inquisitive, and always
tortured by his anxiety to learn something new, he decided to set out at
once, and go and pass the night at the inn instead of stopping at the
hermitage, where the cousin would have had them halt. Accordingly they
mounted and all three took the direct road for the inn, which they
reached a little before nightfall. On the road the cousin proposed they
should go up to the hermitage to drink a sup. The instant Sancho heard
this he steered his Dapple towards it, and Don Quixote and the cousin did
the same; but it seems Sancho's bad luck so ordered it that the hermit
was not at home, for so a sub-hermit they found in the hermitage told
them. They called for some of the best. She replied that her master had
none, but that if they liked cheap water she would give it with great

"If I found any in water," said Sancho, "there are wells along the road
where I could have had enough of it. Ah, Camacho's wedding, and plentiful
house of Don Diego, how often do I miss you!"

Leaving the hermitage, they pushed on towards the inn, and a little
farther they came upon a youth who was pacing along in front of them at
no great speed, so that they overtook him. He carried a sword over his
shoulder, and slung on it a budget or bundle of his clothes apparently,
probably his breeches or pantaloons, and his cloak and a shirt or two;
for he had on a short jacket of velvet with a gloss like satin on it in
places, and had his shirt out; his stockings were of silk, and his shoes
square-toed as they wear them at court. His age might have been eighteen
or nineteen; he was of a merry countenance, and to all appearance of an
active habit, and he went along singing seguidillas to beguile the
wearisomeness of the road. As they came up with him he was just finishing
one, which the cousin got by heart and they say ran thus--

I'm off to the wars
For the want of pence,
Oh, had I but money
I'd show more sense.

The first to address him was Don Quixote, who said, "You travel very
airily, sir gallant; whither bound, may we ask, if it is your pleasure to
tell us?"

To which the youth replied, "The heat and my poverty are the reason of my
travelling so airily, and it is to the wars that I am bound."

"How poverty?" asked Don Quixote; "the heat one can understand."

"Senor," replied the youth, "in this bundle I carry velvet pantaloons to
match this jacket; if I wear them out on the road, I shall not be able to
make a decent appearance in them in the city, and I have not the
wherewithal to buy others; and so for this reason, as well as to keep
myself cool, I am making my way in this fashion to overtake some
companies of infantry that are not twelve leagues off, in which I shall
enlist, and there will be no want of baggage trains to travel with after
that to the place of embarkation, which they say will be Carthagena; I
would rather have the King for a master, and serve him in the wars, than
serve a court pauper."

"And did you get any bounty, now?" asked the cousin.

"If I had been in the service of some grandee of Spain or personage of
distinction," replied the youth, "I should have been safe to get it; for
that is the advantage of serving good masters, that out of the servants'
hall men come to be ancients or captains, or get a good pension. But I,
to my misfortune, always served place-hunters and adventurers, whose keep
and wages were so miserable and scanty that half went in paying for the
starching of one's collars; it would be a miracle indeed if a page
volunteer ever got anything like a reasonable bounty."

"And tell me, for heaven's sake," asked Don Quixote, "is it possible, my
friend, that all the time you served you never got any livery?"

"They gave me two," replied the page; "but just as when one quits a
religious community before making profession, they strip him of the dress
of the order and give him back his own clothes, so did my masters return
me mine; for as soon as the business on which they came to court was
finished, they went home and took back the liveries they had given merely
for show."

"What spilorceria!--as an Italian would say," said Don Quixote; "but for
all that, consider yourself happy in having left court with as worthy an
object as you have, for there is nothing on earth more honourable or
profitable than serving, first of all God, and then one's king and
natural lord, particularly in the profession of arms, by which, if not
more wealth, at least more honour is to be won than by letters, as I have
said many a time; for though letters may have founded more great houses
than arms, still those founded by arms have I know not what superiority
over those founded by letters, and a certain splendour belonging to them
that distinguishes them above all. And bear in mind what I am now about
to say to you, for it will be of great use and comfort to you in time of
trouble; it is, not to let your mind dwell on the adverse chances that
may befall you; for the worst of all is death, and if it be a good death,
the best of all is to die. They asked Julius Caesar, the valiant Roman
emperor, what was the best death. He answered, that which is unexpected,
which comes suddenly and unforeseen; and though he answered like a pagan,
and one without the knowledge of the true God, yet, as far as sparing our
feelings is concerned, he was right; for suppose you are killed in the
first engagement or skirmish, whether by a cannon ball or blown up by
mine, what matters it? It is only dying, and all is over; and according
to Terence, a soldier shows better dead in battle, than alive and safe in
flight; and the good soldier wins fame in proportion as he is obedient to
his captains and those in command over him. And remember, my son, that it
is better for the soldier to smell of gunpowder than of civet, and that
if old age should come upon you in this honourable calling, though you
may be covered with wounds and crippled and lame, it will not come upon
you without honour, and that such as poverty cannot lessen; especially
now that provisions are being made for supporting and relieving old and
disabled soldiers; for it is not right to deal with them after the
fashion of those who set free and get rid of their black slaves when they
are old and useless, and, turning them out of their houses under the
pretence of making them free, make them slaves to hunger, from which they
cannot expect to be released except by death. But for the present I won't
say more than get ye up behind me on my horse as far as the inn, and sup
with me there, and to-morrow you shall pursue your journey, and God give
you as good speed as your intentions deserve."

The page did not accept the invitation to mount, though he did that to
supper at the inn; and here they say Sancho said to himself, "God be with
you for a master; is it possible that a man who can say things so many
and so good as he has said just now, can say that he saw the impossible
absurdities he reports about the cave of Montesinos? Well, well, we shall

And now, just as night was falling, they reached the inn, and it was not
without satisfaction that Sancho perceived his master took it for a real
inn, and not for a castle as usual. The instant they entered Don Quixote
asked the landlord after the man with the lances and halberds, and was
told that he was in the stable seeing to his mule; which was what Sancho
and the cousin proceeded to do for their beasts, giving the best manger
and the best place in the stable to Rocinante.



Don Quixote's bread would not bake, as the common saying is, until he had
heard and learned the curious things promised by the man who carried the
arms. He went to seek him where the innkeeper said he was and having
found him, bade him say now at any rate what he had to say in answer to
the question he had asked him on the road. "The tale of my wonders must
be taken more leisurely and not standing," said the man; "let me finish
foddering my beast, good sir; and then I'll tell you things that will
astonish you."

"Don't wait for that," said Don Quixote; "I'll help you in everything,"
and so he did, sifting the barley for him and cleaning out the manger; a
degree of humility which made the other feel bound to tell him with a
good grace what he had asked; so seating himself on a bench, with Don
Quixote beside him, and the cousin, the page, Sancho Panza, and the
landlord, for a senate and an audience, he began his story in this way:

"You must know that in a village four leagues and a half from this inn,
it so happened that one of the regidors, by the tricks and roguery of a
servant girl of his (it's too long a tale to tell), lost an ass; and
though he did all he possibly could to find it, it was all to no purpose.
A fortnight might have gone by, so the story goes, since the ass had been
missing, when, as the regidor who had lost it was standing in the plaza,
another regidor of the same town said to him, 'Pay me for good news,
gossip; your ass has turned up.' 'That I will, and well, gossip,' said
the other; 'but tell us, where has he turned up?' 'In the forest,' said
the finder; 'I saw him this morning without pack-saddle or harness of any
sort, and so lean that it went to one's heart to see him. I tried to
drive him before me and bring him to you, but he is already so wild and
shy that when I went near him he made off into the thickest part of the
forest. If you have a mind that we two should go back and look for him,
let me put up this she-ass at my house and I'll be back at once.' 'You
will be doing me a great kindness,' said the owner of the ass, 'and I'll
try to pay it back in the same coin.' It is with all these circumstances,
and in the very same way I am telling it now, that those who know all
about the matter tell the story. Well then, the two regidors set off on
foot, arm in arm, for the forest, and coming to the place where they
hoped to find the ass they could not find him, nor was he to be seen
anywhere about, search as they might. Seeing, then, that there was no
sign of him, the regidor who had seen him said to the other, 'Look here,
gossip; a plan has occurred to me, by which, beyond a doubt, we shall
manage to discover the animal, even if he is stowed away in the bowels of
the earth, not to say the forest. Here it is. I can bray to perfection,
and if you can ever so little, the thing's as good as done.' 'Ever so
little did you say, gossip?' said the other; 'by God, I'll not give in to
anybody, not even to the asses themselves.' 'We'll soon see,' said the
second regidor, 'for my plan is that you should go one side of the
forest, and I the other, so as to go all round about it; and every now
and then you will bray and I will bray; and it cannot be but that the ass
will hear us, and answer us if he is in the forest.' To which the owner
of the ass replied, 'It's an excellent plan, I declare, gossip, and
worthy of your great genius;' and the two separating as agreed, it so
fell out that they brayed almost at the same moment, and each, deceived
by the braying of the other, ran to look, fancying the ass had turned up
at last. When they came in sight of one another, said the loser, 'Is it
possible, gossip, that it was not my ass that brayed?' 'No, it was I,'
said the other. 'Well then, I can tell you, gossip,' said the ass's
owner, 'that between you and an ass there is not an atom of difference as
far as braying goes, for I never in all my life saw or heard anything
more natural.' 'Those praises and compliments belong to you more justly
than to me, gossip,' said the inventor of the plan; 'for, by the God that
made me, you might give a couple of brays odds to the best and most
finished brayer in the world; the tone you have got is deep, your voice
is well kept up as to time and pitch, and your finishing notes come thick
and fast; in fact, I own myself beaten, and yield the palm to you, and
give in to you in this rare accomplishment.' 'Well then,' said the owner,
'I'll set a higher value on myself for the future, and consider that I
know something, as I have an excellence of some sort; for though I always
thought I brayed well, I never supposed I came up to the pitch of
perfection you say.' 'And I say too,' said the second, 'that there are
rare gifts going to loss in the world, and that they are ill bestowed
upon those who don't know how to make use of them.' 'Ours,' said the
owner of the ass, 'unless it is in cases like this we have now in hand,
cannot be of any service to us, and even in this God grant they may be of
some use.' So saying they separated, and took to their braying once more,
but every instant they were deceiving one another, and coming to meet one
another again, until they arranged by way of countersign, so as to know
that it was they and not the ass, to give two brays, one after the other.
In this way, doubling the brays at every step, they made the complete
circuit of the forest, but the lost ass never gave them an answer or even
the sign of one. How could the poor ill-starred brute have answered,
when, in the thickest part of the forest, they found him devoured by
wolves? As soon as he saw him his owner said, 'I was wondering he did not
answer, for if he wasn't dead he'd have brayed when he heard us, or he'd
have been no ass; but for the sake of having heard you bray to such
perfection, gossip, I count the trouble I have taken to look for him well
bestowed, even though I have found him dead.' 'It's in a good hand,
gossip,' said the other; 'if the abbot sings well, the acolyte is not
much behind him.' So they returned disconsolate and hoarse to their
village, where they told their friends, neighbours, and acquaintances
what had befallen them in their search for the ass, each crying up the
other's perfection in braying. The whole story came to be known and
spread abroad through the villages of the neighbourhood; and the devil,
who never sleeps, with his love for sowing dissensions and scattering
discord everywhere, blowing mischief about and making quarrels out of
nothing, contrived to make the people of the other towns fall to braying
whenever they saw anyone from our village, as if to throw the braying of
our regidors in our teeth. Then the boys took to it, which was the same
thing for it as getting into the hands and mouths of all the devils of
hell; and braying spread from one town to another in such a way that the
men of the braying town are as easy to be known as blacks are to be known
from whites, and the unlucky joke has gone so far that several times the
scoffed have come out in arms and in a body to do battle with the
scoffers, and neither king nor rook, fear nor shame, can mend matters.
To-morrow or the day after, I believe, the men of my town, that is, of
the braying town, are going to take the field against another village two
leagues away from ours, one of those that persecute us most; and that we
may turn out well prepared I have bought these lances and halberds you
have seen. These are the curious things I told you I had to tell, and if
you don't think them so, I have got no others;" and with this the worthy
fellow brought his story to a close.

Just at this moment there came in at the gate of the inn a man entirely
clad in chamois leather, hose, breeches, and doublet, who said in a loud
voice, "Senor host, have you room? Here's the divining ape and the show
of the Release of Melisendra just coming."

"Ods body!" said the landlord, "why, it's Master Pedro! We're in for a
grand night!" I forgot to mention that the said Master Pedro had his left
eye and nearly half his cheek covered with a patch of green taffety,
showing that something ailed all that side. "Your worship is welcome,
Master Pedro," continued the landlord; "but where are the ape and the
show, for I don't see them?" "They are close at hand," said he in the
chamois leather, "but I came on first to know if there was any room."
"I'd make the Duke of Alva himself clear out to make room for Master
Pedro," said the landlord; "bring in the ape and the show; there's
company in the inn to-night that will pay to see that and the cleverness
of the ape." "So be it by all means," said the man with the patch; "I'll
lower the price, and be well satisfied if I only pay my expenses; and now
I'll go back and hurry on the cart with the ape and the show;" and with
this he went out of the inn.

Don Quixote at once asked the landlord what this Master Pedro was, and
what was the show and what was the ape he had with him; which the
landlord replied, "This is a famous puppet-showman, who for some time
past has been going about this Mancha de Aragon, exhibiting a show of the
release of Melisendra by the famous Don Gaiferos, one of the best and
best-represented stories that have been seen in this part of the kingdom
for many a year; he has also with him an ape with the most extraordinary
gift ever seen in an ape or imagined in a human being; for if you ask him
anything, he listens attentively to the question, and then jumps on his
master's shoulder, and pressing close to his ear tells him the answer
which Master Pedro then delivers. He says a great deal more about things
past than about things to come; and though he does not always hit the
truth in every case, most times he is not far wrong, so that he makes us
fancy he has got the devil in him. He gets two reals for every question
if the ape answers; I mean if his master answers for him after he has
whispered into his ear; and so it is believed that this same Master Pedro
is very rich. He is a 'gallant man' as they say in Italy, and good
company, and leads the finest life in the world; talks more than six,
drinks more than a dozen, and all by his tongue, and his ape, and his

Master Pedro now came back, and in a cart followed the show and the
ape--a big one, without a tail and with buttocks as bare as felt, but not
vicious-looking. As soon as Don Quixote saw him, he asked him, "Can you
tell me, sir fortune-teller, what fish do we catch, and how will it be
with us? See, here are my two reals," and he bade Sancho give them to
Master Pedro; but he answered for the ape and said, "Senor, this animal
does not give any answer or information touching things that are to come;
of things past he knows something, and more or less of things present."

"Gad," said Sancho, "I would not give a farthing to be told what's past
with me, for who knows that better than I do myself? And to pay for being
told what I know would be mighty foolish. But as you know things present,
here are my two reals, and tell me, most excellent sir ape, what is my
wife Teresa Panza doing now, and what is she diverting herself with?"

Master Pedro refused to take the money, saying, "I will not receive
payment in advance or until the service has been first rendered;" and
then with his right hand he gave a couple of slaps on his left shoulder,
and with one spring the ape perched himself upon it, and putting his
mouth to his master's ear began chattering his teeth rapidly; and having
kept this up as long as one would be saying a credo, with another spring
he brought himself to the ground, and the same instant Master Pedro ran
in great haste and fell upon his knees before Don Quixote, and embracing
his legs exclaimed, "These legs do I embrace as I would embrace the two
pillars of Hercules, O illustrious reviver of knight-errantry, so long
consigned to oblivion! O never yet duly extolled knight, Don Quixote of
La Mancha, courage of the faint-hearted, prop of the tottering, arm of
the fallen, staff and counsel of all who are unfortunate!"

Don Quixote was thunderstruck, Sancho astounded, the cousin staggered,
the page astonished, the man from the braying town agape, the landlord in
perplexity, and, in short, everyone amazed at the words of the
puppet-showman, who went on to say, "And thou, worthy Sancho Panza, the
best squire and squire to the best knight in the world! Be of good cheer,
for thy good wife Teresa is well, and she is at this moment hackling a
pound of flax; and more by token she has at her left hand a jug with a
broken spout that holds a good drop of wine, with which she solaces
herself at her work."

"That I can well believe," said Sancho. "She is a lucky one, and if it
was not for her jealousy I would not change her for the giantess
Andandona, who by my master's account was a very clever and worthy woman;
my Teresa is one of those that won't let themselves want for anything,
though their heirs may have to pay for it."

"Now I declare," said Don Quixote, "he who reads much and travels much
sees and knows a great deal. I say so because what amount of persuasion
could have persuaded me that there are apes in the world that can divine
as I have seen now with my own eyes? For I am that very Don Quixote of La
Mancha this worthy animal refers to, though he has gone rather too far in
my praise; but whatever I may be, I thank heaven that it has endowed me
with a tender and compassionate heart, always disposed to do good to all
and harm to none."

"If I had money," said the page, "I would ask senor ape what will happen
me in the peregrination I am making."

To this Master Pedro, who had by this time risen from Don Quixote's feet,
replied, "I have already said that this little beast gives no answer as
to the future; but if he did, not having money would be of no
consequence, for to oblige Senor Don Quixote, here present, I would give
up all the profits in the world. And now, because I have promised it, and
to afford him pleasure, I will set up my show and offer entertainment to
all who are in the inn, without any charge whatever." As soon as he heard
this, the landlord, delighted beyond measure, pointed out a place where
the show might be fixed, which was done at once.

Don Quixote was not very well satisfied with the divinations of the ape,
as he did not think it proper that an ape should divine anything, either
past or future; so while Master Pedro was arranging the show, he retired
with Sancho into a corner of the stable, where, without being overheard
by anyone, he said to him, "Look here, Sancho, I have been seriously
thinking over this ape's extraordinary gift, and have come to the
conclusion that beyond doubt this Master Pedro, his master, has a pact,
tacit or express, with the devil."

"If the packet is express from the devil," said Sancho, "it must be a
very dirty packet no doubt; but what good can it do Master Pedro to have
such packets?"

"Thou dost not understand me, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "I only mean he
must have made some compact with the devil to infuse this power into the
ape, that he may get his living, and after he has grown rich he will give
him his soul, which is what the enemy of mankind wants; this I am led to
believe by observing that the ape only answers about things past or
present, and the devil's knowledge extends no further; for the future he
knows only by guesswork, and that not always; for it is reserved for God
alone to know the times and the seasons, and for him there is neither
past nor future; all is present. This being as it is, it is clear that
this ape speaks by the spirit of the devil; and I am astonished they have
not denounced him to the Holy Office, and put him to the question, and
forced it out of him by whose virtue it is that he divines; because it is
certain this ape is not an astrologer; neither his master nor he sets up,
or knows how to set up, those figures they call judiciary, which are now
so common in Spain that there is not a jade, or page, or old cobbler,
that will not undertake to set up a figure as readily as pick up a knave
of cards from the ground, bringing to nought the marvellous truth of the
science by their lies and ignorance. I know of a lady who asked one of
these figure schemers whether her little lap-dog would be in pup and
would breed, and how many and of what colour the little pups would be. To
which senor astrologer, after having set up his figure, made answer that
the bitch would be in pup, and would drop three pups, one green, another
bright red, and the third parti-coloured, provided she conceived between
eleven and twelve either of the day or night, and on a Monday or
Saturday; but as things turned out, two days after this the bitch died of
a surfeit, and senor planet-ruler had the credit all over the place of
being a most profound astrologer, as most of these planet-rulers have."

"Still," said Sancho, "I would be glad if your worship would make Master
Pedro ask his ape whether what happened your worship in the cave of
Montesinos is true; for, begging your worship's pardon, I, for my part,
take it to have been all flam and lies, or at any rate something you

"That may be," replied Don Quixote; "however, I will do what you suggest;
though I have my own scruples about it."

At this point Master Pedro came up in quest of Don Quixote, to tell him
the show was now ready and to come and see it, for it was worth seeing.
Don Quixote explained his wish, and begged him to ask his ape at once to
tell him whether certain things which had happened to him in the cave of
Montesinos were dreams or realities, for to him they appeared to partake
of both. Upon this Master Pedro, without answering, went back to fetch
the ape, and, having placed it in front of Don Quixote and Sancho, said:
"See here, senor ape, this gentleman wishes to know whether certain
things which happened to him in the cave called the cave of Montesinos
were false or true." On his making the usual sign the ape mounted on his
left shoulder and seemed to whisper in his ear, and Master Pedro said at
once, "The ape says that the things you saw or that happened to you in
that cave are, part of them false, part true; and that he only knows this
and no more as regards this question; but if your worship wishes to know
more, on Friday next he will answer all that may be asked him, for his
virtue is at present exhausted, and will not return to him till Friday,
as he has said."

"Did I not say, senor," said Sancho, "that I could not bring myself to
believe that all your worship said about the adventures in the cave was
true, or even the half of it?"

"The course of events will tell, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "time,
that discloses all things, leaves nothing that it does not drag into the
light of day, though it be buried in the bosom of the earth. But enough
of that for the present; let us go and see Master Pedro's show, for I am
sure there must be something novel in it."

"Something!" said Master Pedro; "this show of mine has sixty thousand
novel things in it; let me tell you, Senor Don Quixote, it is one of the
best-worth-seeing things in the world this day; but operibus credite et
non verbis, and now let's get to work, for it is growing late, and we
have a great deal to do and to say and show."

Don Quixote and Sancho obeyed him and went to where the show was already
put up and uncovered, set all around with lighted wax tapers which made
it look splendid and bright. When they came to it Master Pedro ensconced
himself inside it, for it was he who had to work the puppets, and a boy,
a servant of his, posted himself outside to act as showman and explain
the mysteries of the exhibition, having a wand in his hand to point to
the figures as they came out. And so, all who were in the inn being
arranged in front of the show, some of them standing, and Don Quixote,
Sancho, the page, and cousin, accommodated with the best places, the
interpreter began to say what he will hear or see who reads or hears the
next chapter.



All were silent, Tyrians and Trojans; I mean all who were watching the
show were hanging on the lips of the interpreter of its wonders, when
drums and trumpets were heard to sound inside it and cannon to go off.
The noise was soon over, and then the boy lifted up his voice and said,
"This true story which is here represented to your worships is taken word
for word from the French chronicles and from the Spanish ballads that are
in everybody's mouth, and in the mouth of the boys about the streets. Its
subject is the release by Senor Don Gaiferos of his wife Melisendra, when
a captive in Spain at the hands of the Moors in the city of Sansuena, for
so they called then what is now called Saragossa; and there you may see
how Don Gaiferos is playing at the tables, just as they sing it--

At tables playing Don Gaiferos sits,
For Melisendra is forgotten now.

And that personage who appears there with a crown on his head and a
sceptre in his hand is the Emperor Charlemagne, the supposed father of
Melisendra, who, angered to see his son-in-law's inaction and unconcern,
comes in to chide him; and observe with what vehemence and energy he
chides him, so that you would fancy he was going to give him half a dozen
raps with his sceptre; and indeed there are authors who say he did give
them, and sound ones too; and after having said a great deal to him about
imperilling his honour by not effecting the release of his wife, he said,
so the tale runs,

Enough I've said, see to it now.

Observe, too, how the emperor turns away, and leaves Don Gaiferos fuming;
and you see now how in a burst of anger, he flings the table and the
board far from him and calls in haste for his armour, and asks his cousin
Don Roland for the loan of his sword, Durindana, and how Don Roland
refuses to lend it, offering him his company in the difficult enterprise
he is undertaking; but he, in his valour and anger, will not accept it,
and says that he alone will suffice to rescue his wife, even though she
were imprisoned deep in the centre of the earth, and with this he retires
to arm himself and set out on his journey at once. Now let your worships
turn your eyes to that tower that appears there, which is supposed to be
one of the towers of the alcazar of Saragossa, now called the Aljaferia;
that lady who appears on that balcony dressed in Moorish fashion is the
peerless Melisendra, for many a time she used to gaze from thence upon
the road to France, and seek consolation in her captivity by thinking of
Paris and her husband. Observe, too, a new incident which now occurs,
such as, perhaps, never was seen. Do you not see that Moor, who silently
and stealthily, with his finger on his lip, approaches Melisendra from
behind? Observe now how he prints a kiss upon her lips, and what a hurry
she is in to spit, and wipe them with the white sleeve of her smock, and
how she bewails herself, and tears her fair hair as though it were to
blame for the wrong. Observe, too, that the stately Moor who is in that
corridor is King Marsilio of Sansuena, who, having seen the Moor's
insolence, at once orders him (though his kinsman and a great favourite
of his) to be seized and given two hundred lashes, while carried through
the streets of the city according to custom, with criers going before him
and officers of justice behind; and here you see them come out to execute
the sentence, although the offence has been scarcely committed; for among
the Moors there are no indictments nor remands as with us."

Here Don Quixote called out, "Child, child, go straight on with your
story, and don't run into curves and slants, for to establish a fact
clearly there is need of a great deal of proof and confirmation;" and
said Master Pedro from within, "Boy, stick to your text and do as the
gentleman bids you; it's the best plan; keep to your plain song, and
don't attempt harmonies, for they are apt to break down from being over

"I will," said the boy, and he went on to say, "This figure that you see
here on horseback, covered with a Gascon cloak, is Don Gaiferos himself,
whom his wife, now avenged of the insult of the amorous Moor, and taking
her stand on the balcony of the tower with a calmer and more tranquil
countenance, has perceived without recognising him; and she addresses her
husband, supposing him to be some traveller, and holds with him all that
conversation and colloquy in the ballad that runs--

If you, sir knight, to France are bound,
Oh! for Gaiferos ask--

which I do not repeat here because prolixity begets disgust; suffice it
to observe how Don Gaiferos discovers himself, and that by her joyful
gestures Melisendra shows us she has recognised him; and what is more, we
now see she lowers herself from the balcony to place herself on the
haunches of her good husband's horse. But ah! unhappy lady, the edge of
her petticoat has caught on one of the bars of the balcony and she is
left hanging in the air, unable to reach the ground. But you see how
compassionate heaven sends aid in our sorest need; Don Gaiferos advances,
and without minding whether the rich petticoat is torn or not, he seizes
her and by force brings her to the ground, and then with one jerk places
her on the haunches of his horse, astraddle like a man, and bids her hold
on tight and clasp her arms round his neck, crossing them on his breast
so as not to fall, for the lady Melisendra was not used to that style of
riding. You see, too, how the neighing of the horse shows his
satisfaction with the gallant and beautiful burden he bears in his lord
and lady. You see how they wheel round and quit the city, and in joy and
gladness take the road to Paris. Go in peace, O peerless pair of true
lovers! May you reach your longed-for fatherland in safety, and may
fortune interpose no impediment to your prosperous journey; may the eyes
of your friends and kinsmen behold you enjoying in peace and tranquillity
the remaining days of your life--and that they may be as many as those of

Here Master Pedro called out again and said, "Simplicity, boy! None of
your high flights; all affectation is bad."

The interpreter made no answer, but went on to say, "There was no want of
idle eyes, that see everything, to see Melisendra come down and mount,
and word was brought to King Marsilio, who at once gave orders to sound
the alarm; and see what a stir there is, and how the city is drowned with
the sound of the bells pealing in the towers of all the mosques."

"Nay, nay," said Don Quixote at this; "on that point of the bells Master
Pedro is very inaccurate, for bells are not in use among the Moors; only
kettledrums, and a kind of small trumpet somewhat like our clarion; to
ring bells this way in Sansuena is unquestionably a great absurdity."

On hearing this, Master Pedro stopped ringing, and said, "Don't look into
trifles, Senor Don Quixote, or want to have things up to a pitch of
perfection that is out of reach. Are there not almost every day a
thousand comedies represented all round us full of thousands of
inaccuracies and absurdities, and, for all that, they have a successful
run, and are listened to not only with applause, but with admiration and
all the rest of it? Go on, boy, and don't mind; for so long as I fill my
pouch, no matter if I show as many inaccuracies as there are motes in a

"True enough," said Don Quixote; and the boy went on: "See what a
numerous and glittering crowd of horsemen issues from the city in pursuit
of the two faithful lovers, what a blowing of trumpets there is, what
sounding of horns, what beating of drums and tabors; I fear me they will
overtake them and bring them back tied to the tail of their own horse,
which would be a dreadful sight."

Don Quixote, however, seeing such a swarm of Moors and hearing such a
din, thought it would be right to aid the fugitives, and standing up he
exclaimed in a loud voice, "Never, while I live, will I permit foul play
to be practised in my presence on such a famous knight and fearless lover
as Don Gaiferos. Halt! ill-born rabble, follow him not nor pursue him, or
ye will have to reckon with me in battle!" and suiting the action to the
word, he drew his sword, and with one bound placed himself close to the
show, and with unexampled rapidity and fury began to shower down blows on
the puppet troop of Moors, knocking over some, decapitating others,
maiming this one and demolishing that; and among many more he delivered
one down stroke which, if Master Pedro had not ducked, made himself
small, and got out of the way, would have sliced off his head as easily
as if it had been made of almond-paste. Master Pedro kept shouting, "Hold
hard! Senor Don Quixote! can't you see they're not real Moors you're
knocking down and killing and destroying, but only little pasteboard
figures! Look--sinner that I am!--how you're wrecking and ruining all
that I'm worth!" But in spite of this, Don Quixote did not leave off
discharging a continuous rain of cuts, slashes, downstrokes, and
backstrokes, and at length, in less than the space of two credos, he
brought the whole show to the ground, with all its fittings and figures
shivered and knocked to pieces, King Marsilio badly wounded, and the
Emperor Charlemagne with his crown and head split in two. The whole
audience was thrown into confusion, the ape fled to the roof of the inn,
the cousin was frightened, and even Sancho Panza himself was in mighty
fear, for, as he swore after the storm was over, he had never seen his
master in such a furious passion.

The complete destruction of the show being thus accomplished, Don Quixote
became a little calmer, said, "I wish I had here before me now all those
who do not or will not believe how useful knights-errant are in the
world; just think, if I had not been here present, what would have become
of the brave Don Gaiferos and the fair Melisendra! Depend upon it, by
this time those dogs would have overtaken them and inflicted some outrage
upon them. So, then, long live knight-errantry beyond everything living
on earth this day!"

"Let it live, and welcome," said Master Pedro at this in a feeble voice,
"and let me die, for I am so unfortunate that I can say with King Don

Yesterday was I lord of Spain
To-day I've not a turret left
That I may call mine own.

Not half an hour, nay, barely a minute ago, I saw myself lord of kings
and emperors, with my stables filled with countless horses, and my trunks
and bags with gay dresses unnumbered; and now I find myself ruined and
laid low, destitute and a beggar, and above all without my ape, for, by
my faith, my teeth will have to sweat for it before I have him caught;
and all through the reckless fury of sir knight here, who, they say,
protects the fatherless, and rights wrongs, and does other charitable
deeds; but whose generous intentions have been found wanting in my case
only, blessed and praised be the highest heavens! Verily, knight of the
rueful figure he must be to have disfigured mine."

Sancho Panza was touched by Master Pedro's words, and said to him, "Don't
weep and lament, Master Pedro; you break my heart; let me tell you my
master, Don Quixote, is so catholic and scrupulous a Christian that, if
he can make out that he has done you any wrong, he will own it, and be
willing to pay for it and make it good, and something over and above."

"Only let Senor Don Quixote pay me for some part of the work he has
destroyed," said Master Pedro, "and I would be content, and his worship
would ease his conscience, for he cannot be saved who keeps what is
another's against the owner's will, and makes no restitution."

"That is true," said Don Quixote; "but at present I am not aware that I
have got anything of yours, Master Pedro."

"What!" returned Master Pedro; "and these relics lying here on the bare
hard ground--what scattered and shattered them but the invincible
strength of that mighty arm? And whose were the bodies they belonged to
but mine? And what did I get my living by but by them?"

"Now am I fully convinced," said Don Quixote, "of what I had many a time
before believed; that the enchanters who persecute me do nothing more
than put figures like these before my eyes, and then change and turn them
into what they please. In truth and earnest, I assure you gentlemen who
now hear me, that to me everything that has taken place here seemed to
take place literally, that Melisendra was Melisendra, Don Gaiferos Don
Gaiferos, Marsilio Marsilio, and Charlemagne Charlemagne. That was why my
anger was roused; and to be faithful to my calling as a knight-errant I
sought to give aid and protection to those who fled, and with this good
intention I did what you have seen. If the result has been the opposite
of what I intended, it is no fault of mine, but of those wicked beings
that persecute me; but, for all that, I am willing to condemn myself in
costs for this error of mine, though it did not proceed from malice; let
Master Pedro see what he wants for the spoiled figures, for I agree to
pay it at once in good and current money of Castile."

Master Pedro made him a bow, saying, "I expected no less of the rare
Christianity of the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha, true helper and
protector of all destitute and needy vagabonds; master landlord here and
the great Sancho Panza shall be the arbitrators and appraisers between
your worship and me of what these dilapidated figures are worth or may be

The landlord and Sancho consented, and then Master Pedro picked up from
the ground King Marsilio of Saragossa with his head off, and said, "Here
you see how impossible it is to restore this king to his former state, so
I think, saving your better judgments, that for his death, decease, and
demise, four reals and a half may be given me."

"Proceed," said Don Quixote.

"Well then, for this cleavage from top to bottom," continued Master
Pedro, taking up the split Emperor Charlemagne, "it would not be much if
I were to ask five reals and a quarter."

"It's not little," said Sancho.

"Nor is it much," said the landlord; "make it even, and say five reals."

"Let him have the whole five and a quarter," said Don Quixote; "for the
sum total of this notable disaster does not stand on a quarter more or
less; and make an end of it quickly, Master Pedro, for it's getting on to
supper-time, and I have some hints of hunger."

"For this figure," said Master Pedro, "that is without a nose, and wants
an eye, and is the fair Melisendra, I ask, and I am reasonable in my
charge, two reals and twelve maravedis."

"The very devil must be in it," said Don Quixote, "if Melisendra and her
husband are not by this time at least on the French border, for the horse
they rode on seemed to me to fly rather than gallop; so you needn't try
to sell me the cat for the hare, showing me here a noseless Melisendra
when she is now, may be, enjoying herself at her ease with her husband in
France. God help every one to his own, Master Pedro, and let us all
proceed fairly and honestly; and now go on."

Master Pedro, perceiving that Don Quixote was beginning to wander, and
return to his original fancy, was not disposed to let him escape, so he
said to him, "This cannot be Melisendra, but must be one of the damsels
that waited on her; so if I'm given sixty maravedis for her, I'll be
content and sufficiently paid."

And so he went on, putting values on ever so many more smashed figures,
which, after the two arbitrators had adjusted them to the satisfaction of
both parties, came to forty reals and three-quarters; and over and above
this sum, which Sancho at once disbursed, Master Pedro asked for two
reals for his trouble in catching the ape.

"Let him have them, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "not to catch the ape, but
to get drunk; and two hundred would I give this minute for the good news,
to anyone who could tell me positively, that the lady Dona Melisandra and
Senor Don Gaiferos were now in France and with their own people."

"No one could tell us that better than my ape," said Master Pedro; "but
there's no devil that could catch him now; I suspect, however, that
affection and hunger will drive him to come looking for me to-night; but
to-morrow will soon be here and we shall see."

In short, the puppet-show storm passed off, and all supped in peace and
good fellowship at Don Quixote's expense, for he was the height of
generosity. Before it was daylight the man with the lances and halberds
took his departure, and soon after daybreak the cousin and the page came
to bid Don Quixote farewell, the former returning home, the latter
resuming his journey, towards which, to help him, Don Quixote gave him
twelve reals. Master Pedro did not care to engage in any more palaver
with Don Quixote, whom he knew right well; so he rose before the sun, and
having got together the remains of his show and caught his ape, he too
went off to seek his adventures. The landlord, who did not know Don
Quixote, was as much astonished at his mad freaks as at his generosity.
To conclude, Sancho, by his master's orders, paid him very liberally, and
taking leave of him they quitted the inn at about eight in the morning
and took to the road, where we will leave them to pursue their journey,
for this is necessary in order to allow certain other matters to be set
forth, which are required to clear up this famous history.



Cide Hamete, the chronicler of this great history, begins this chapter
with these words, "I swear as a Catholic Christian;" with regard to which
his translator says that Cide Hamete's swearing as a Catholic Christian,
he being--as no doubt he was--a Moor, only meant that, just as a Catholic
Christian taking an oath swears, or ought to swear, what is true, and
tell the truth in what he avers, so he was telling the truth, as much as
if he swore as a Catholic Christian, in all he chose to write about
Quixote, especially in declaring who Master Pedro was and what was the
divining ape that astonished all the villages with his divinations. He
says, then, that he who has read the First Part of this history will
remember well enough the Gines de Pasamonte whom, with other galley
slaves, Don Quixote set free in the Sierra Morena: a kindness for which
he afterwards got poor thanks and worse payment from that evil-minded,
ill-conditioned set. This Gines de Pasamonte--Don Ginesillo de Parapilla,
Don Quixote called him--it was that stole Dapple from Sancho Panza;
which, because by the fault of the printers neither the how nor the when
was stated in the First Part, has been a puzzle to a good many people,
who attribute to the bad memory of the author what was the error of the
press. In fact, however, Gines stole him while Sancho Panza was asleep on
his back, adopting the plan and device that Brunello had recourse to when
he stole Sacripante's horse from between his legs at the siege of
Albracca; and, as has been told, Sancho afterwards recovered him. This
Gines, then, afraid of being caught by the officers of justice, who were
looking for him to punish him for his numberless rascalities and offences
(which were so many and so great that he himself wrote a big book giving
an account of them), resolved to shift his quarters into the kingdom of
Aragon, and cover up his left eye, and take up the trade of a
puppet-showman; for this, as well as juggling, he knew how to practise to
perfection. From some released Christians returning from Barbary, it so
happened, he bought the ape, which he taught to mount upon his shoulder
on his making a certain sign, and to whisper, or seem to do so, in his
ear. Thus prepared, before entering any village whither he was bound with
his show and his ape, he used to inform himself at the nearest village,
or from the most likely person he could find, as to what particular
things had happened there, and to whom; and bearing them well in mind,
the first thing he did was to exhibit his show, sometimes one story,
sometimes another, but all lively, amusing, and familiar. As soon as the
exhibition was over he brought forward the accomplishments of his ape,
assuring the public that he divined all the past and the present, but as
to the future he had no skill. For each question answered he asked two
reals, and for some he made a reduction, just as he happened to feel the
pulse of the questioners; and when now and then he came to houses where
things that he knew of had happened to the people living there, even if
they did not ask him a question, not caring to pay for it, he would make
the sign to the ape and then declare that it had said so and so, which
fitted the case exactly. In this way he acquired a prodigious name and
all ran after him; on other occasions, being very crafty, he would answer
in such a way that the answers suited the questions; and as no one
cross-questioned him or pressed him to tell how his ape divined, he made
fools of them all and filled his pouch. The instant he entered the inn he
knew Don Quixote and Sancho, and with that knowledge it was easy for him
to astonish them and all who were there; but it would have cost him dear
had Don Quixote brought down his hand a little lower when he cut off King
Marsilio's head and destroyed all his horsemen, as related in the
preceeding chapter.

So much for Master Pedro and his ape; and now to return to Don Quixote of
La Mancha. After he had left the inn he determined to visit, first of
all, the banks of the Ebro and that neighbourhood, before entering the
city of Saragossa, for the ample time there was still to spare before the
jousts left him enough for all. With this object in view he followed the
road and travelled along it for two days, without meeting any adventure
worth committing to writing until on the third day, as he was ascending a
hill, he heard a great noise of drums, trumpets, and musket-shots. At
first he imagined some regiment of soldiers was passing that way, and to
see them he spurred Rocinante and mounted the hill. On reaching the top
he saw at the foot of it over two hundred men, as it seemed to him, armed
with weapons of various sorts, lances, crossbows, partisans, halberds,
and pikes, and a few muskets and a great many bucklers. He descended the
slope and approached the band near enough to see distinctly the flags,
make out the colours and distinguish the devices they bore, especially
one on a standard or ensign of white satin, on which there was painted in
a very life-like style an ass like a little sard, with its head up, its
mouth open and its tongue out, as if it were in the act and attitude of
braying; and round it were inscribed in large characters these two lines--

They did not bray in vain,
Our alcaldes twain.

From this device Don Quixote concluded that these people must be from the
braying town, and he said so to Sancho, explaining to him what was
written on the standard. At the same time he observed that the man who
had told them about the matter was wrong in saying that the two who
brayed were regidors, for according to the lines of the standard they
were alcaldes. To which Sancho replied, "Senor, there's nothing to stick
at in that, for maybe the regidors who brayed then came to be alcaldes of
their town afterwards, and so they may go by both titles; moreover, it
has nothing to do with the truth of the story whether the brayers were
alcaldes or regidors, provided at any rate they did bray; for an alcalde
is just as likely to bray as a regidor." They perceived, in short,
clearly that the town which had been twitted had turned out to do battle
with some other that had jeered it more than was fair or neighbourly.

Don Quixote proceeded to join them, not a little to Sancho's uneasiness,
for he never relished mixing himself up in expeditions of that sort. The
members of the troop received him into the midst of them, taking him to
be some one who was on their side. Don Quixote, putting up his visor,
advanced with an easy bearing and demeanour to the standard with the ass,
and all the chief men of the army gathered round him to look at him,
staring at him with the usual amazement that everybody felt on seeing him
for the first time. Don Quixote, seeing them examining him so
attentively, and that none of them spoke to him or put any question to
him, determined to take advantage of their silence; so, breaking his own,
he lifted up his voice and said, "Worthy sirs, I entreat you as earnestly
as I can not to interrupt an argument I wish to address to you, until you
find it displeases or wearies you; and if that come to pass, on the
slightest hint you give me I will put a seal upon my lips and a gag upon
my tongue."

They all bade him say what he liked, for they would listen to him

With this permission Don Quixote went on to say, "I, sirs, am a
knight-errant whose calling is that of arms, and whose profession is to
protect those who require protection, and give help to such as stand in
need of it. Some days ago I became acquainted with your misfortune and
the cause which impels you to take up arms again and again to revenge
yourselves upon your enemies; and having many times thought over your
business in my mind, I find that, according to the laws of combat, you
are mistaken in holding yourselves insulted; for a private individual
cannot insult an entire community; unless it be by defying it
collectively as a traitor, because he cannot tell who in particular is
guilty of the treason for which he defies it. Of this we have an example
in Don Diego Ordonez de Lara, who defied the whole town of Zamora,
because he did not know that Vellido Dolfos alone had committed the
treachery of slaying his king; and therefore he defied them all, and the
vengeance and the reply concerned all; though, to be sure, Senor Don
Diego went rather too far, indeed very much beyond the limits of a
defiance; for he had no occasion to defy the dead, or the waters, or the
fishes, or those yet unborn, and all the rest of it as set forth; but let
that pass, for when anger breaks out there's no father, governor, or
bridle to check the tongue. The case being, then, that no one person can
insult a kingdom, province, city, state, or entire community, it is clear
there is no reason for going out to avenge the defiance of such an
insult, inasmuch as it is not one. A fine thing it would be if the people
of the clock town were to be at loggerheads every moment with everyone
who called them by that name,--or the Cazoleros, Berengeneros,
Ballenatos, Jaboneros, or the bearers of all the other names and titles
that are always in the mouth of the boys and common people! It would be a
nice business indeed if all these illustrious cities were to take huff
and revenge themselves and go about perpetually making trombones of their
swords in every petty quarrel! No, no; God forbid! There are four things
for which sensible men and well-ordered States ought to take up arms,
draw their swords, and risk their persons, lives, and properties. The
first is to defend the Catholic faith; the second, to defend one's life,
which is in accordance with natural and divine law; the third, in defence
of one's honour, family, and property; the fourth, in the service of
one's king in a just war; and if to these we choose to add a fifth (which
may be included in the second), in defence of one's country. To these
five, as it were capital causes, there may be added some others that may
be just and reasonable, and make it a duty to take up arms; but to take
them up for trifles and things to laugh at and he amused by rather than
offended, looks as though he who did so was altogether wanting in common
sense. Moreover, to take an unjust revenge (and there cannot be any just
one) is directly opposed to the sacred law that we acknowledge, wherein
we are commanded to do good to our enemies and to love them that hate us;
a command which, though it seems somewhat difficult to obey, is only so
to those who have in them less of God than of the world, and more of the
flesh than of the spirit; for Jesus Christ, God and true man, who never
lied, and could not and cannot lie, said, as our law-giver, that his yoke
was easy and his burden light; he would not, therefore, have laid any
command upon us that it was impossible to obey. Thus, sirs, you are bound
to keep quiet by human and divine law."

"The devil take me," said Sancho to himself at this, "but this master of
mine is a tologian; or, if not, faith, he's as like one as one egg is
like another."

Don Quixote stopped to take breath, and, observing that silence was still
preserved, had a mind to continue his discourse, and would have done so
had not Sancho interposed with his smartness; for he, seeing his master
pause, took the lead, saying, "My lord Don Quixote of La Mancha, who once
was called the Knight of the Rueful Countenance, but now is called the
Knight of the Lions, is a gentleman of great discretion who knows Latin
and his mother tongue like a bachelor, and in everything that he deals
with or advises proceeds like a good soldier, and has all the laws and
ordinances of what they call combat at his fingers' ends; so you have
nothing to do but to let yourselves be guided by what he says, and on my
head be it if it is wrong. Besides which, you have been told that it is
folly to take offence at merely hearing a bray. I remember when I was a
boy I brayed as often as I had a fancy, without anyone hindering me, and
so elegantly and naturally that when I brayed all the asses in the town
would bray; but I was none the less for that the son of my parents who
were greatly respected; and though I was envied because of the gift by
more than one of the high and mighty ones of the town, I did not care two
farthings for it; and that you may see I am telling the truth, wait a bit
and listen, for this art, like swimming, once learnt is never forgotten;"
and then, taking hold of his nose, he began to bray so vigorously that
all the valleys around rang again.

One of those, however, that stood near him, fancying he was mocking them,
lifted up a long staff he had in his hand and smote him such a blow with
it that Sancho dropped helpless to the ground. Don Quixote, seeing him so
roughly handled, attacked the man who had struck him lance in hand, but
so many thrust themselves between them that he could not avenge him. Far
from it, finding a shower of stones rained upon him, and crossbows and
muskets unnumbered levelled at him, he wheeled Rocinante round and, as
fast as his best gallop could take him, fled from the midst of them,
commending himself to God with all his heart to deliver him out of this
peril, in dread every step of some ball coming in at his back and coming
out at his breast, and every minute drawing his breath to see whether it
had gone from him. The members of the band, however, were satisfied with
seeing him take to flight, and did not fire on him. They put up Sancho,
scarcely restored to his senses, on his ass, and let him go after his
master; not that he was sufficiently in his wits to guide the beast, but
Dapple followed the footsteps of Rocinante, from whom he could not remain
a moment separated. Don Quixote having got some way off looked back, and
seeing Sancho coming, waited for him, as he perceived that no one
followed him. The men of the troop stood their ground till night, and as
the enemy did not come out to battle, they returned to their town
exulting; and had they been aware of the ancient custom of the Greeks,
they would have erected a trophy on the spot.



When the brave man flees, treachery is manifest and it is for wise men to
reserve themselves for better occasions. This proved to be the case with
Don Quixote, who, giving way before the fury of the townsfolk and the
hostile intentions of the angry troop, took to flight and, without a
thought of Sancho or the danger in which he was leaving him, retreated to
such a distance as he thought made him safe. Sancho, lying across his
ass, followed him, as has been said, and at length came up, having by
this time recovered his senses, and on joining him let himself drop off
Dapple at Rocinante's feet, sore, bruised, and belaboured. Don Quixote
dismounted to examine his wounds, but finding him whole from head to
foot, he said to him, angrily enough, "In an evil hour didst thou take to
braying, Sancho! Where hast thou learned that it is well done to mention
the rope in the house of the man that has been hanged? To the music of
brays what harmonies couldst thou expect to get but cudgels? Give thanks
to God, Sancho, that they signed the cross on thee just now with a stick,
and did not mark thee per signum crucis with a cutlass."

"I'm not equal to answering," said Sancho, "for I feel as if I was
speaking through my shoulders; let us mount and get away from this; I'll
keep from braying, but not from saying that knights-errant fly and leave
their good squires to be pounded like privet, or made meal of at the
hands of their enemies."

"He does not fly who retires," returned Don Quixote; "for I would have
thee know, Sancho, that the valour which is not based upon a foundation
of prudence is called rashness, and the exploits of the rash man are to
be attributed rather to good fortune than to courage; and so I own that I
retired, but not that I fled; and therein I have followed the example of
many valiant men who have reserved themselves for better times; the
histories are full of instances of this, but as it would not be any good
to thee or pleasure to me, I will not recount them to thee now."

Sancho was by this time mounted with the help of Don Quixote, who then
himself mounted Rocinante, and at a leisurely pace they proceeded to take
shelter in a grove which was in sight about a quarter of a league off.
Every now and then Sancho gave vent to deep sighs and dismal groans, and
on Don Quixote asking him what caused such acute suffering, he replied
that, from the end of his back-bone up to the nape of his neck, he was so
sore that it nearly drove him out of his senses.

"The cause of that soreness," said Don Quixote, "will be, no doubt, that
the staff wherewith they smote thee being a very long one, it caught thee
all down the back, where all the parts that are sore are situated, and
had it reached any further thou wouldst be sorer still."

"By God," said Sancho, "your worship has relieved me of a great doubt,
and cleared up the point for me in elegant style! Body o' me! is the
cause of my soreness such a mystery that there's any need to tell me I am
sore everywhere the staff hit me? If it was my ankles that pained me
there might be something in going divining why they did, but it is not
much to divine that I'm sore where they thrashed me. By my faith, master
mine, the ills of others hang by a hair; every day I am discovering more
and more how little I have to hope for from keeping company with your
worship; for if this time you have allowed me to be drubbed, the next
time, or a hundred times more, we'll have the blanketings of the other
day over again, and all the other pranks which, if they have fallen on my
shoulders now, will be thrown in my teeth by-and-by. I would do a great
deal better (if I was not an ignorant brute that will never do any good
all my life), I would do a great deal better, I say, to go home to my
wife and children and support them and bring them up on what God may
please to give me, instead of following your worship along roads that
lead nowhere and paths that are none at all, with little to drink and
less to eat. And then when it comes to sleeping! Measure out seven feet
on the earth, brother squire, and if that's not enough for you, take as
many more, for you may have it all your own way and stretch yourself to
your heart's content. Oh that I could see burnt and turned to ashes the
first man that meddled with knight-errantry or at any rate the first who
chose to be squire to such fools as all the knights-errant of past times
must have been! Of those of the present day I say nothing, because, as
your worship is one of them, I respect them, and because I know your
worship knows a point more than the devil in all you say and think."

"I would lay a good wager with you, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that now
that you are talking on without anyone to stop you, you don't feel a pain
in your whole body. Talk away, my son, say whatever comes into your head

Book of the day: