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

Part 8 out of 10

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The querist repeated again and again what he had said before, and then
Sancho said, "It seems to me I can set the matter right in a moment, and
in this way; the man swears that he is going to die upon the gallows; but
if he dies upon it, he has sworn the truth, and by the law enacted
deserves to go free and pass over the bridge; but if they don't hang him,
then he has sworn falsely, and by the same law deserves to be hanged."

"It is as the senor governor says," said the messenger; "and as regards a
complete comprehension of the case, there is nothing left to desire or
hesitate about."

"Well then I say," said Sancho, "that of this man they should let pass
the part that has sworn truly, and hang the part that has lied; and in
this way the conditions of the passage will be fully complied with."

"But then, senor governor," replied the querist, "the man will have to be
divided into two parts; and if he is divided of course he will die; and
so none of the requirements of the law will be carried out, and it is
absolutely necessary to comply with it."

"Look here, my good sir," said Sancho; "either I'm a numskull or else
there is the same reason for this passenger dying as for his living and
passing over the bridge; for if the truth saves him the falsehood equally
condemns him; and that being the case it is my opinion you should say to
the gentlemen who sent you to me that as the arguments for condemning him
and for absolving him are exactly balanced, they should let him pass
freely, as it is always more praiseworthy to do good than to do evil;
this I would give signed with my name if I knew how to sign; and what I
have said in this case is not out of my own head, but one of the many
precepts my master Don Quixote gave me the night before I left to become
governor of this island, that came into my mind, and it was this, that
when there was any doubt about the justice of a case I should lean to
mercy; and it is God's will that I should recollect it now, for it fits
this case as if it was made for it."

"That is true," said the majordomo; "and I maintain that Lycurgus
himself, who gave laws to the Lacedemonians, could not have pronounced a
better decision than the great Panza has given; let the morning's
audience close with this, and I will see that the senor governor has
dinner entirely to his liking."

"That's all I ask for--fair play," said Sancho; "give me my dinner, and
then let it rain cases and questions on me, and I'll despatch them in a

The majordomo kept his word, for he felt it against his conscience to
kill so wise a governor by hunger; particularly as he intended to have
done with him that same night, playing off the last joke he was
commissioned to practise upon him.

It came to pass, then, that after he had dined that day, in opposition to
the rules and aphorisms of Doctor Tirteafuera, as they were taking away
the cloth there came a courier with a letter from Don Quixote for the
governor. Sancho ordered the secretary to read it to himself, and if
there was nothing in it that demanded secrecy to read it aloud. The
secretary did so, and after he had skimmed the contents he said, "It may
well be read aloud, for what Senor Don Quixote writes to your worship
deserves to be printed or written in letters of gold, and it is as


When I was expecting to hear of thy stupidities and blunders, friend
Sancho, I have received intelligence of thy displays of good sense, for
which I give special thanks to heaven that can raise the poor from the
dunghill and of fools to make wise men. They tell me thou dost govern as
if thou wert a man, and art a man as if thou wert a beast, so great is
the humility wherewith thou dost comport thyself. But I would have thee
bear in mind, Sancho, that very often it is fitting and necessary for the
authority of office to resist the humility of the heart; for the seemly
array of one who is invested with grave duties should be such as they
require and not measured by what his own humble tastes may lead him to
prefer. Dress well; a stick dressed up does not look like a stick; I do
not say thou shouldst wear trinkets or fine raiment, or that being a
judge thou shouldst dress like a soldier, but that thou shouldst array
thyself in the apparel thy office requires, and that at the same time it
be neat and handsome. To win the good-will of the people thou governest
there are two things, among others, that thou must do; one is to be civil
to all (this, however, I told thee before), and the other to take care
that food be abundant, for there is nothing that vexes the heart of the
poor more than hunger and high prices. Make not many proclamations; but
those thou makest take care that they be good ones, and above all that
they be observed and carried out; for proclamations that are not observed
are the same as if they did not exist; nay, they encourage the idea that
the prince who had the wisdom and authority to make them had not the
power to enforce them; and laws that threaten and are not enforced come
to be like the log, the king of the frogs, that frightened them at first,
but that in time they despised and mounted upon. Be a father to virtue
and a stepfather to vice. Be not always strict, nor yet always lenient,
but observe a mean between these two extremes, for in that is the aim of
wisdom. Visit the gaols, the slaughter-houses, and the market-places; for
the presence of the governor is of great importance in such places; it
comforts the prisoners who are in hopes of a speedy release, it is the
bugbear of the butchers who have then to give just weight, and it is the
terror of the market-women for the same reason. Let it not be seen that
thou art (even if perchance thou art, which I do not believe) covetous, a
follower of women, or a glutton; for when the people and those that have
dealings with thee become aware of thy special weakness they will bring
their batteries to bear upon thee in that quarter, till they have brought
thee down to the depths of perdition. Consider and reconsider, con and
con over again the advices and the instructions I gave thee before thy
departure hence to thy government, and thou wilt see that in them, if
thou dost follow them, thou hast a help at hand that will lighten for
thee the troubles and difficulties that beset governors at every step.
Write to thy lord and lady and show thyself grateful to them, for
ingratitude is the daughter of pride, and one of the greatest sins we
know of; and he who is grateful to those who have been good to him shows
that he will be so to God also who has bestowed and still bestows so many
blessings upon him.

My lady the duchess sent off a messenger with thy suit and another
present to thy wife Teresa Panza; we expect the answer every moment. I
have been a little indisposed through a certain scratching I came in for,
not very much to the benefit of my nose; but it was nothing; for if there
are enchanters who maltreat me, there are also some who defend me. Let me
know if the majordomo who is with thee had any share in the Trifaldi
performance, as thou didst suspect; and keep me informed of everything
that happens thee, as the distance is so short; all the more as I am
thinking of giving over very shortly this idle life I am now leading, for
I was not born for it. A thing has occurred to me which I am inclined to
think will put me out of favour with the duke and duchess; but though I
am sorry for it I do not care, for after all I must obey my calling
rather than their pleasure, in accordance with the common saying, amicus
Plato, sed magis amica veritas. I quote this Latin to thee because I
conclude that since thou hast been a governor thou wilt have learned it.
Adieu; God keep thee from being an object of pity to anyone.


Sancho listened to the letter with great attention, and it was praised
and considered wise by all who heard it; he then rose up from table, and
calling his secretary shut himself in with him in his own room, and
without putting it off any longer set about answering his master Don
Quixote at once; and he bade the secretary write down what he told him
without adding or suppressing anything, which he did, and the answer was
to the following effect.


The pressure of business is so great upon me that I have no time to
scratch my head or even to cut my nails; and I have them so long-God send
a remedy for it. I say this, master of my soul, that you may not be
surprised if I have not until now sent you word of how I fare, well or
ill, in this government, in which I am suffering more hunger than when we
two were wandering through the woods and wastes.

My lord the duke wrote to me the other day to warn me that certain spies
had got into this island to kill me; but up to the present I have not
found out any except a certain doctor who receives a salary in this town
for killing all the governors that come here; he is called Doctor Pedro
Recio, and is from Tirteafuera; so you see what a name he has to make me
dread dying under his hands. This doctor says of himself that he does not
cure diseases when there are any, but prevents them coming, and the
medicines he uses are diet and more diet until he brings one down to bare
bones; as if leanness was not worse than fever.

In short he is killing me with hunger, and I am dying myself of vexation;
for when I thought I was coming to this government to get my meat hot and
my drink cool, and take my ease between holland sheets on feather beds, I
find I have come to do penance as if I was a hermit; and as I don't do it
willingly I suspect that in the end the devil will carry me off.

So far I have not handled any dues or taken any bribes, and I don't know
what to think of it; for here they tell me that the governors that come
to this island, before entering it have plenty of money either given to
them or lent to them by the people of the town, and that this is the
usual custom not only here but with all who enter upon governments.

Last night going the rounds I came upon a fair damsel in man's clothes,
and a brother of hers dressed as a woman; my head-carver has fallen in
love with the girl, and has in his own mind chosen her for a wife, so he
says, and I have chosen youth for a son-in-law; to-day we are going to
explain our intentions to the father of the pair, who is one Diego de la
Llana, a gentleman and an old Christian as much as you please.

I have visited the market-places, as your worship advises me, and
yesterday I found a stall-keeper selling new hazel nuts and proved her to
have mixed a bushel of old empty rotten nuts with a bushel of new; I
confiscated the whole for the children of the charity-school, who will
know how to distinguish them well enough, and I sentenced her not to come
into the market-place for a fortnight; they told me I did bravely. I can
tell your worship it is commonly said in this town that there are no
people worse than the market-women, for they are all barefaced,
unconscionable, and impudent, and I can well believe it from what I have
seen of them in other towns.

I am very glad my lady the duchess has written to my wife Teresa Panza
and sent her the present your worship speaks of; and I will strive to
show myself grateful when the time comes; kiss her hands for me, and tell
her I say she has not thrown it into a sack with a hole in it, as she
will see in the end. I should not like your worship to have any
difference with my lord and lady; for if you fall out with them it is
plain it must do me harm; and as you give me advice to be grateful it
will not do for your worship not to be so yourself to those who have
shown you such kindness, and by whom you have been treated so hospitably
in their castle.

That about the scratching I don't understand; but I suppose it must be
one of the ill-turns the wicked enchanters are always doing your worship;
when we meet I shall know all about it. I wish I could send your worship
something; but I don't know what to send, unless it be some very curious
clyster pipes, to work with bladders, that they make in this island; but
if the office remains with me I'll find out something to send, one way or
another. If my wife Teresa Panza writes to me, pay the postage and send
me the letter, for I have a very great desire to hear how my house and
wife and children are going on. And so, may God deliver your worship from
evil-minded enchanters, and bring me well and peacefully out of this
government, which I doubt, for I expect to take leave of it and my life
together, from the way Doctor Pedro Recio treats me.

Your worship's servant


The secretary sealed the letter, and immediately dismissed the courier;
and those who were carrying on the joke against Sancho putting their
heads together arranged how he was to be dismissed from the government.
Sancho spent the afternoon in drawing up certain ordinances relating to
the good government of what he fancied the island; and he ordained that
there were to be no provision hucksters in the State, and that men might
import wine into it from any place they pleased, provided they declared
the quarter it came from, so that a price might be put upon it according
to its quality, reputation, and the estimation it was held in; and he
that watered his wine, or changed the name, was to forfeit his life for
it. He reduced the prices of all manner of shoes, boots, and stockings,
but of shoes in particular, as they seemed to him to run extravagantly
high. He established a fixed rate for servants' wages, which were
becoming recklessly exorbitant. He laid extremely heavy penalties upon
those who sang lewd or loose songs either by day or night. He decreed
that no blind man should sing of any miracle in verse, unless he could
produce authentic evidence that it was true, for it was his opinion that
most of those the blind men sing are trumped up, to the detriment of the
true ones. He established and created an alguacil of the poor, not to
harass them, but to examine them and see whether they really were so; for
many a sturdy thief or drunkard goes about under cover of a make-believe
crippled limb or a sham sore. In a word, he made so many good rules that
to this day they are preserved there, and are called The constitutions of
the great governor Sancho Panza.



Cide Hamete relates that Don Quixote being now cured of his scratches
felt that the life he was leading in the castle was entirely inconsistent
with the order of chivalry he professed, so he determined to ask the duke
and duchess to permit him to take his departure for Saragossa, as the
time of the festival was now drawing near, and he hoped to win there the
suit of armour which is the prize at festivals of the sort. But one day
at table with the duke and duchess, just as he was about to carry his
resolution into effect and ask for their permission, lo and behold
suddenly there came in through the door of the great hall two women, as
they afterwards proved to be, draped in mourning from head to foot, one
of whom approaching Don Quixote flung herself at full length at his feet,
pressing her lips to them, and uttering moans so sad, so deep, and so
doleful that she put all who heard and saw her into a state of
perplexity; and though the duke and duchess supposed it must be some joke
their servants were playing off upon Don Quixote, still the earnest way
the woman sighed and moaned and wept puzzled them and made them feel
uncertain, until Don Quixote, touched with compassion, raised her up and
made her unveil herself and remove the mantle from her tearful face. She
complied and disclosed what no one could have ever anticipated, for she
disclosed the countenance of Dona Rodriguez, the duenna of the house; the
other female in mourning being her daughter, who had been made a fool of
by the rich farmer's son. All who knew her were filled with astonishment,
and the duke and duchess more than any; for though they thought her a
simpleton and a weak creature, they did not think her capable of crazy
pranks. Dona Rodriguez, at length, turning to her master and mistress
said to them, "Will your excellences be pleased to permit me to speak to
this gentleman for a moment, for it is requisite I should do so in order
to get successfully out of the business in which the boldness of an
evil-minded clown has involved me?"

The duke said that for his part he gave her leave, and that she might
speak with Senor Don Quixote as much as she liked.

She then, turning to Don Quixote and addressing herself to him said,
"Some days since, valiant knight, I gave you an account of the injustice
and treachery of a wicked farmer to my dearly beloved daughter, the
unhappy damsel here before you, and you promised me to take her part and
right the wrong that has been done her; but now it has come to my hearing
that you are about to depart from this castle in quest of such fair
adventures as God may vouchsafe to you; therefore, before you take the
road, I would that you challenge this froward rustic, and compel him to
marry my daughter in fulfillment of the promise he gave her to become her
husband before he seduced her; for to expect that my lord the duke will
do me justice is to ask pears from the elm tree, for the reason I stated
privately to your worship; and so may our Lord grant you good health and
forsake us not."

To these words Don Quixote replied very gravely and solemnly, "Worthy
duenna, check your tears, or rather dry them, and spare your sighs, for I
take it upon myself to obtain redress for your daughter, for whom it
would have been better not to have been so ready to believe lovers'
promises, which are for the most part quickly made and very slowly
performed; and so, with my lord the duke's leave, I will at once go in
quest of this inhuman youth, and will find him out and challenge him and
slay him, if so be he refuses to keep his promised word; for the chief
object of my profession is to spare the humble and chastise the proud; I
mean, to help the distressed and destroy the oppressors."

"There is no necessity," said the duke, "for your worship to take the
trouble of seeking out the rustic of whom this worthy duenna complains,
nor is there any necessity, either, for asking my leave to challenge him;
for I admit him duly challenged, and will take care that he is informed
of the challenge, and accepts it, and comes to answer it in person to
this castle of mine, where I shall afford to both a fair field, observing
all the conditions which are usually and properly observed in such
trials, and observing too justice to both sides, as all princes who offer
a free field to combatants within the limits of their lordships are bound
to do."

"Then with that assurance and your highness's good leave," said Don
Quixote, "I hereby for this once waive my privilege of gentle blood, and
come down and put myself on a level with the lowly birth of the
wrong-doer, making myself equal with him and enabling him to enter into
combat with me; and so, I challenge and defy him, though absent, on the
plea of his malfeasance in breaking faith with this poor damsel, who was
a maiden and now by his misdeed is none; and say that he shall fulfill
the promise he gave her to become her lawful husband, or else stake his
life upon the question."

And then plucking off a glove he threw it down in the middle of the hall,
and the duke picked it up, saying, as he had said before, that he
accepted the challenge in the name of his vassal, and fixed six days
thence as the time, the courtyard of the castle as the place, and for
arms the customary ones of knights, lance and shield and full armour,
with all the other accessories, without trickery, guile, or charms of any
sort, and examined and passed by the judges of the field. "But first of
all," he said, "it is requisite that this worthy duenna and unworthy
damsel should place their claim for justice in the hands of Don Quixote;
for otherwise nothing can be done, nor can the said challenge be brought
to a lawful issue."

"I do so place it," replied the duenna.

"And I too," added her daughter, all in tears and covered with shame and

This declaration having been made, and the duke having settled in his own
mind what he would do in the matter, the ladies in black withdrew, and
the duchess gave orders that for the future they were not to be treated
as servants of hers, but as lady adventurers who came to her house to
demand justice; so they gave them a room to themselves and waited on them
as they would on strangers, to the consternation of the other
women-servants, who did not know where the folly and imprudence of Dona
Rodriguez and her unlucky daughter would stop.

And now, to complete the enjoyment of the feast and bring the dinner to a
satisfactory end, lo and behold the page who had carried the letters and
presents to Teresa Panza, the wife of the governor Sancho, entered the
hall; and the duke and duchess were very well pleased to see him, being
anxious to know the result of his journey; but when they asked him the
page said in reply that he could not give it before so many people or in
a few words, and begged their excellences to be pleased to let it wait
for a private opportunity, and in the meantime amuse themselves with
these letters; and taking out the letters he placed them in the duchess's
hand. One bore by way of address, Letter for my lady the Duchess
So-and-so, of I don't know where; and the other To my husband Sancho
Panza, governor of the island of Barataria, whom God prosper longer than
me. The duchess's bread would not bake, as the saying is, until she had
read her letter; and having looked over it herself and seen that it might
be read aloud for the duke and all present to hear, she read out as


The letter your highness wrote me, my lady, gave me great pleasure, for
indeed I found it very welcome. The string of coral beads is very fine,
and my husband's hunting suit does not fall short of it. All this village
is very much pleased that your ladyship has made a governor of my good
man Sancho; though nobody will believe it, particularly the curate, and
Master Nicholas the barber, and the bachelor Samson Carrasco; but I don't
care for that, for so long as it is true, as it is, they may all say what
they like; though, to tell the truth, if the coral beads and the suit had
not come I would not have believed it either; for in this village
everybody thinks my husband a numskull, and except for governing a flock
of goats, they cannot fancy what sort of government he can be fit for.
God grant it, and direct him according as he sees his children stand in
need of it. I am resolved with your worship's leave, lady of my soul, to
make the most of this fair day, and go to Court to stretch myself at ease
in a coach, and make all those I have envying me already burst their eyes
out; so I beg your excellence to order my husband to send me a small
trifle of money, and to let it be something to speak of, because one's
expenses are heavy at the Court; for a loaf costs a real, and meat thirty
maravedis a pound, which is beyond everything; and if he does not want me
to go let him tell me in time, for my feet are on the fidgets to be off;
and my friends and neighbours tell me that if my daughter and I make a
figure and a brave show at Court, my husband will come to be known far
more by me than I by him, for of course plenty of people will ask, "Who
are those ladies in that coach?" and some servant of mine will answer,
"The wife and daughter of Sancho Panza, governor of the island of
Barataria;" and in this way Sancho will become known, and I'll be thought
well of, and "to Rome for everything." I am as vexed as vexed can be that
they have gathered no acorns this year in our village; for all that I
send your highness about half a peck that I went to the wood to gather
and pick out one by one myself, and I could find no bigger ones; I wish
they were as big as ostrich eggs.

Let not your high mightiness forget to write to me; and I will take care
to answer, and let you know how I am, and whatever news there may be in
this place, where I remain, praying our Lord to have your highness in his
keeping and not to forget me.

Sancha my daughter, and my son, kiss your worship's hands.

She who would rather see your ladyship than write to you,

Your servant,


All were greatly amused by Teresa Panza's letter, but particularly the
duke and duchess; and the duchess asked Don Quixote's opinion whether
they might open the letter that had come for the governor, which she
suspected must be very good. Don Quixote said that to gratify them he
would open it, and did so, and found that it ran as follows.


I got thy letter, Sancho of my soul, and I promise thee and swear as a
Catholic Christian that I was within two fingers' breadth of going mad I
was so happy. I can tell thee, brother, when I came to hear that thou
wert a governor I thought I should have dropped dead with pure joy; and
thou knowest they say sudden joy kills as well as great sorrow; and as
for Sanchica thy daughter, she leaked from sheer happiness. I had before
me the suit thou didst send me, and the coral beads my lady the duchess
sent me round my neck, and the letters in my hands, and there was the
bearer of them standing by, and in spite of all this I verily believed
and thought that what I saw and handled was all a dream; for who could
have thought that a goatherd would come to be a governor of islands? Thou
knowest, my friend, what my mother used to say, that one must live long
to see much; I say it because I expect to see more if I live longer; for
I don't expect to stop until I see thee a farmer of taxes or a collector
of revenue, which are offices where, though the devil carries off those
who make a bad use of them, still they make and handle money. My lady the
duchess will tell thee the desire I have to go to the Court; consider the
matter and let me know thy pleasure; I will try to do honour to thee by
going in a coach.

Neither the curate, nor the barber, nor the bachelor, nor even the
sacristan, can believe that thou art a governor, and they say the whole
thing is a delusion or an enchantment affair, like everything belonging
to thy master Don Quixote; and Samson says he must go in search of thee
and drive the government out of thy head and the madness out of Don
Quixote's skull; I only laugh, and look at my string of beads, and plan
out the dress I am going to make for our daughter out of thy suit. I sent
some acorns to my lady the duchess; I wish they had been gold. Send me
some strings of pearls if they are in fashion in that island. Here is the
news of the village; La Berrueca has married her daughter to a
good-for-nothing painter, who came here to paint anything that might turn
up. The council gave him an order to paint his Majesty's arms over the
door of the town-hall; he asked two ducats, which they paid him in
advance; he worked for eight days, and at the end of them had nothing
painted, and then said he had no turn for painting such trifling things;
he returned the money, and for all that has married on the pretence of
being a good workman; to be sure he has now laid aside his paint-brush
and taken a spade in hand, and goes to the field like a gentleman. Pedro
Lobo's son has received the first orders and tonsure, with the intention
of becoming a priest. Minguilla, Mingo Silvato's granddaughter, found it
out, and has gone to law with him on the score of having given her
promise of marriage. Evil tongues say she is with child by him, but he
denies it stoutly. There are no olives this year, and there is not a drop
of vinegar to be had in the whole village. A company of soldiers passed
through here; when they left they took away with them three of the girls
of the village; I will not tell thee who they are; perhaps they will come
back, and they will be sure to find those who will take them for wives
with all their blemishes, good or bad. Sanchica is making bonelace; she
earns eight maravedis a day clear, which she puts into a moneybox as a
help towards house furnishing; but now that she is a governor's daughter
thou wilt give her a portion without her working for it. The fountain in
the plaza has run dry. A flash of lightning struck the gibbet, and I wish
they all lit there. I look for an answer to this, and to know thy mind
about my going to the Court; and so, God keep thee longer than me, or as
long, for I would not leave thee in this world without me.

Thy wife,


The letters were applauded, laughed over, relished, and admired; and
then, as if to put the seal to the business, the courier arrived,
bringing the one Sancho sent to Don Quixote, and this, too, was read out,
and it raised some doubts as to the governor's simplicity. The duchess
withdrew to hear from the page about his adventures in Sancho's village,
which he narrated at full length without leaving a single circumstance
unmentioned. He gave her the acorns, and also a cheese which Teresa had
given him as being particularly good and superior to those of Tronchon.
The duchess received it with greatest delight, in which we will leave
her, to describe the end of the government of the great Sancho Panza,
flower and mirror of all governors of islands.



To fancy that in this life anything belonging to it will remain for ever
in the same state is an idle fancy; on the contrary, in it everything
seems to go in a circle, I mean round and round. The spring succeeds the
summer, the summer the fall, the fall the autumn, the autumn the winter,
and the winter the spring, and so time rolls with never-ceasing wheel.
Man's life alone, swifter than time, speeds onward to its end without any
hope of renewal, save it be in that other life which is endless and
boundless. Thus saith Cide Hamete the Mahometan philosopher; for there
are many that by the light of nature alone, without the light of faith,
have a comprehension of the fleeting nature and instability of this
present life and the endless duration of that eternal life we hope for;
but our author is here speaking of the rapidity with which Sancho's
government came to an end, melted away, disappeared, vanished as it were
in smoke and shadow. For as he lay in bed on the night of the seventh day
of his government, sated, not with bread and wine, but with delivering
judgments and giving opinions and making laws and proclamations, just as
sleep, in spite of hunger, was beginning to close his eyelids, he heard
such a noise of bell-ringing and shouting that one would have fancied the
whole island was going to the bottom. He sat up in bed and remained
listening intently to try if he could make out what could be the cause of
so great an uproar; not only, however, was he unable to discover what it
was, but as countless drums and trumpets now helped to swell the din of
the bells and shouts, he was more puzzled than ever, and filled with fear
and terror; and getting up he put on a pair of slippers because of the
dampness of the floor, and without throwing a dressing gown or anything
of the kind over him he rushed out of the door of his room, just in time
to see approaching along a corridor a band of more than twenty persons
with lighted torches and naked swords in their hands, all shouting out,
"To arms, to arms, senor governor, to arms! The enemy is in the island in
countless numbers, and we are lost unless your skill and valour come to
our support."

Keeping up this noise, tumult, and uproar, they came to where Sancho
stood dazed and bewildered by what he saw and heard, and as they
approached one of them called out to him, "Arm at once, your lordship, if
you would not have yourself destroyed and the whole island lost."

"What have I to do with arming?" said Sancho. "What do I know about arms
or supports? Better leave all that to my master Don Quixote, who will
settle it and make all safe in a trice; for I, sinner that I am, God help
me, don't understand these scuffles."

"Ah, senor governor," said another, "what slackness of mettle this is!
Arm yourself; here are arms for you, offensive and defensive; come out to
the plaza and be our leader and captain; it falls upon you by right, for
you are our governor."

"Arm me then, in God's name," said Sancho, and they at once produced two
large shields they had come provided with, and placed them upon him over
his shirt, without letting him put on anything else, one shield in front
and the other behind, and passing his arms through openings they had
made, they bound him tight with ropes, so that there he was walled and
boarded up as straight as a spindle and unable to bend his knees or stir
a single step. In his hand they placed a lance, on which he leant to keep
himself from falling, and as soon as they had him thus fixed they bade
him march forward and lead them on and give them all courage; for with
him for their guide and lamp and morning star, they were sure to bring
their business to a successful issue.

"How am I to march, unlucky being that I am?" said Sancho, "when I can't
stir my knee-caps, for these boards I have bound so tight to my body
won't let me. What you must do is carry me in your arms, and lay me
across or set me upright in some postern, and I'll hold it either with
this lance or with my body."

"On, senor governor!" cried another, "it is fear more than the boards
that keeps you from moving; make haste, stir yourself, for there is no
time to lose; the enemy is increasing in numbers, the shouts grow louder,
and the danger is pressing."

Urged by these exhortations and reproaches the poor governor made an
attempt to advance, but fell to the ground with such a crash that he
fancied he had broken himself all to pieces. There he lay like a tortoise
enclosed in its shell, or a side of bacon between two kneading-troughs,
or a boat bottom up on the beach; nor did the gang of jokers feel any
compassion for him when they saw him down; so far from that,
extinguishing their torches they began to shout afresh and to renew the
calls to arms with such energy, trampling on poor Sancho, and slashing at
him over the shield with their swords in such a way that, if he had not
gathered himself together and made himself small and drawn in his head
between the shields, it would have fared badly with the poor governor,
as, squeezed into that narrow compass, he lay, sweating and sweating
again, and commending himself with all his heart to God to deliver him
from his present peril. Some stumbled over him, others fell upon him, and
one there was who took up a position on top of him for some time, and
from thence as if from a watchtower issued orders to the troops, shouting
out, "Here, our side! Here the enemy is thickest! Hold the breach there!
Shut that gate! Barricade those ladders! Here with your stink-pots of
pitch and resin, and kettles of boiling oil! Block the streets with
feather beds!" In short, in his ardour he mentioned every little thing,
and every implement and engine of war by means of which an assault upon a
city is warded off, while the bruised and battered Sancho, who heard and
suffered all, was saying to himself, "O if it would only please the Lord
to let the island be lost at once, and I could see myself either dead or
out of this torture!" Heaven heard his prayer, and when he least expected
it he heard voices exclaiming, "Victory, victory! The enemy retreats
beaten! Come, senor governor, get up, and come and enjoy the victory, and
divide the spoils that have been won from the foe by the might of that
invincible arm."

"Lift me up," said the wretched Sancho in a woebegone voice. They helped
him to rise, and as soon as he was on his feet said, "The enemy I have
beaten you may nail to my forehead; I don't want to divide the spoils of
the foe, I only beg and entreat some friend, if I have one, to give me a
sup of wine, for I'm parched with thirst, and wipe me dry, for I'm
turning to water."

They rubbed him down, fetched him wine and unbound the shields, and he
seated himself upon his bed, and with fear, agitation, and fatigue he
fainted away. Those who had been concerned in the joke were now sorry
they had pushed it so far; however, the anxiety his fainting away had
caused them was relieved by his returning to himself. He asked what
o'clock it was; they told him it was just daybreak. He said no more, and
in silence began to dress himself, while all watched him, waiting to see
what the haste with which he was putting on his clothes meant.

He got himself dressed at last, and then, slowly, for he was sorely
bruised and could not go fast, he proceeded to the stable, followed by
all who were present, and going up to Dapple embraced him and gave him a
loving kiss on the forehead, and said to him, not without tears in his
eyes, "Come along, comrade and friend and partner of my toils and
sorrows; when I was with you and had no cares to trouble me except
mending your harness and feeding your little carcass, happy were my
hours, my days, and my years; but since I left you, and mounted the
towers of ambition and pride, a thousand miseries, a thousand troubles,
and four thousand anxieties have entered into my soul;" and all the while
he was speaking in this strain he was fixing the pack-saddle on the ass,
without a word from anyone. Then having Dapple saddled, he, with great
pain and difficulty, got up on him, and addressing himself to the
majordomo, the secretary, the head-carver, and Pedro Recio the doctor and
several others who stood by, he said, "Make way, gentlemen, and let me go
back to my old freedom; let me go look for my past life, and raise myself
up from this present death. I was not born to be a governor or protect
islands or cities from the enemies that choose to attack them. Ploughing
and digging, vinedressing and pruning, are more in my way than defending
provinces or kingdoms. 'Saint Peter is very well at Rome; I mean each of
us is best following the trade he was born to. A reaping-hook fits my
hand better than a governor's sceptre; I'd rather have my fill of
gazpacho' than be subject to the misery of a meddling doctor who me with
hunger, and I'd rather lie in summer under the shade of an oak, and in
winter wrap myself in a double sheepskin jacket in freedom, than go to
bed between holland sheets and dress in sables under the restraint of a
government. God be with your worships, and tell my lord the duke that
'naked I was born, naked I find myself, I neither lose nor gain;' I mean
that without a farthing I came into this government, and without a
farthing I go out of it, very different from the way governors commonly
leave other islands. Stand aside and let me go; I have to plaster myself,
for I believe every one of my ribs is crushed, thanks to the enemies that
have been trampling over me to-night."

"That is unnecessary, senor governor," said Doctor Recio, "for I will
give your worship a draught against falls and bruises that will soon make
you as sound and strong as ever; and as for your diet I promise your
worship to behave better, and let you eat plentifully of whatever you

"You spoke late," said Sancho. "I'd as soon turn Turk as stay any longer.
Those jokes won't pass a second time. By God I'd as soon remain in this
government, or take another, even if it was offered me between two
plates, as fly to heaven without wings. I am of the breed of the Panzas,
and they are every one of them obstinate, and if they once say 'odds,'
odds it must be, no matter if it is evens, in spite of all the world.
Here in this stable I leave the ant's wings that lifted me up into the
air for the swifts and other birds to eat me, and let's take to level
ground and our feet once more; and if they're not shod in pinked shoes of
cordovan, they won't want for rough sandals of hemp; 'every ewe to her
like,' 'and let no one stretch his leg beyond the length of the sheet;'
and now let me pass, for it's growing late with me."

To this the majordomo said, "Senor governor, we would let your worship go
with all our hearts, though it sorely grieves us to lose you, for your
wit and Christian conduct naturally make us regret you; but it is well
known that every governor, before he leaves the place where he has been
governing, is bound first of all to render an account. Let your worship
do so for the ten days you have held the government, and then you may go
and the peace of God go with you."

"No one can demand it of me," said Sancho, "but he whom my lord the duke
shall appoint; I am going to meet him, and to him I will render an exact
one; besides, when I go forth naked as I do, there is no other proof
needed to show that I have governed like an angel."

"By God the great Sancho is right," said Doctor Recio, "and we should let
him go, for the duke will be beyond measure glad to see him."

They all agreed to this, and allowed him to go, first offering to bear
him company and furnish him with all he wanted for his own comfort or for
the journey. Sancho said he did not want anything more than a little
barley for Dapple, and half a cheese and half a loaf for himself; for the
distance being so short there was no occasion for any better or bulkier
provant. They all embraced him, and he with tears embraced all of them,
and left them filled with admiration not only at his remarks but at his
firm and sensible resolution.



The duke and duchess resolved that the challenge Don Quixote had, for the
reason already mentioned, given their vassal, should be proceeded with;
and as the young man was in Flanders, whither he had fled to escape
having Dona Rodriguez for a mother-in-law, they arranged to substitute
for him a Gascon lacquey, named Tosilos, first of all carefully
instructing him in all he had to do. Two days later the duke told Don
Quixote that in four days from that time his opponent would present
himself on the field of battle armed as a knight, and would maintain that
the damsel lied by half a beard, nay a whole beard, if she affirmed that
he had given her a promise of marriage. Don Quixote was greatly pleased
at the news, and promised himself to do wonders in the lists, and
reckoned it rare good fortune that an opportunity should have offered for
letting his noble hosts see what the might of his strong arm was capable
of; and so in high spirits and satisfaction he awaited the expiration of
the four days, which measured by his impatience seemed spinning
themselves out into four hundred ages. Let us leave them to pass as we do
other things, and go and bear Sancho company, as mounted on Dapple, half
glad, half sad, he paced along on his road to join his master, in whose
society he was happier than in being governor of all the islands in the
world. Well then, it so happened that before he had gone a great way from
the island of his government (and whether it was island, city, town, or
village that he governed he never troubled himself to inquire) he saw
coming along the road he was travelling six pilgrims with staves,
foreigners of that sort that beg for alms singing; who as they drew near
arranged themselves in a line and lifting up their voices all together
began to sing in their own language something that Sancho could not with
the exception of one word which sounded plainly "alms," from which he
gathered that it was alms they asked for in their song; and being, as
Cide Hamete says, remarkably charitable, he took out of his alforias the
half loaf and half cheese he had been provided with, and gave them to
them, explaining to them by signs that he had nothing else to give them.
They received them very gladly, but exclaimed, "Geld! Geld!"

"I don't understand what you want of me, good people," said Sancho.

On this one of them took a purse out of his bosom and showed it to
Sancho, by which he comprehended they were asking for money, and putting
his thumb to his throat and spreading his hand upwards he gave them to
understand that he had not the sign of a coin about him, and urging
Dapple forward he broke through them. But as he was passing, one of them
who had been examining him very closely rushed towards him, and flinging
his arms round him exclaimed in a loud voice and good Spanish, "God bless
me! What's this I see? Is it possible that I hold in my arms my dear
friend, my good neighbour Sancho Panza? But there's no doubt about it,
for I'm not asleep, nor am I drunk just now."

Sancho was surprised to hear himself called by his name and find himself
embraced by a foreign pilgrim, and after regarding him steadily without
speaking he was still unable to recognise him; but the pilgrim perceiving
his perplexity cried, "What! and is it possible, Sancho Panza, that thou
dost not know thy neighbour Ricote, the Morisco shopkeeper of thy

Sancho upon this looking at him more carefully began to recall his
features, and at last recognised him perfectly, and without getting off
the ass threw his arms round his neck saying, "Who the devil could have
known thee, Ricote, in this mummer's dress thou art in? Tell me, who bas
frenchified thee, and how dost thou dare to return to Spain, where if
they catch thee and recognise thee it will go hard enough with thee?"

"If thou dost not betray me, Sancho," said the pilgrim, "I am safe; for
in this dress no one will recognise me; but let us turn aside out of the
road into that grove there where my comrades are going to eat and rest,
and thou shalt eat with them there, for they are very good fellows; I'll
have time enough to tell thee then all that has happened me since I left
our village in obedience to his Majesty's edict that threatened such
severities against the unfortunate people of my nation, as thou hast

Sancho complied, and Ricote having spoken to the other pilgrims they
withdrew to the grove they saw, turning a considerable distance out of
the road. They threw down their staves, took off their pilgrim's cloaks
and remained in their under-clothing; they were all good-looking young
fellows, except Ricote, who was a man somewhat advanced in years. They
carried alforjas all of them, and all apparently well filled, at least
with things provocative of thirst, such as would summon it from two
leagues off. They stretched themselves on the ground, and making a
tablecloth of the grass they spread upon it bread, salt, knives, walnut,
scraps of cheese, and well-picked ham-bones which if they were past
gnawing were not past sucking. They also put down a black dainty called,
they say, caviar, and made of the eggs of fish, a great thirst-wakener.
Nor was there any lack of olives, dry, it is true, and without any
seasoning, but for all that toothsome and pleasant. But what made the
best show in the field of the banquet was half a dozen botas of wine, for
each of them produced his own from his alforjas; even the good Ricote,
who from a Morisco had transformed himself into a German or Dutchman,
took out his, which in size might have vied with the five others. They
then began to eat with very great relish and very leisurely, making the
most of each morsel--very small ones of everything--they took up on the
point of the knife; and then all at the same moment raised their arms and
botas aloft, the mouths placed in their mouths, and all eyes fixed on
heaven just as if they were taking aim at it; and in this attitude they
remained ever so long, wagging their heads from side to side as if in
acknowledgment of the pleasure they were enjoying while they decanted the
bowels of the bottles into their own stomachs.

Sancho beheld all, "and nothing gave him pain;" so far from that, acting
on the proverb he knew so well, "when thou art at Rome do as thou seest,"
he asked Ricote for his bota and took aim like the rest of them, and with
not less enjoyment. Four times did the botas bear being uplifted, but the
fifth it was all in vain, for they were drier and more sapless than a
rush by that time, which made the jollity that had been kept up so far
begin to flag.

Every now and then some one of them would grasp Sancho's right hand in
his own saying, "Espanoli y Tudesqui tuto uno: bon compano;" and Sancho
would answer, "Bon compano, jur a Di!" and then go off into a fit of
laughter that lasted an hour, without a thought for the moment of
anything that had befallen him in his government; for cares have very
little sway over us while we are eating and drinking. At length, the wine
having come to an end with them, drowsiness began to come over them, and
they dropped asleep on their very table and tablecloth. Ricote and Sancho
alone remained awake, for they had eaten more and drunk less, and Ricote
drawing Sancho aside, they seated themselves at the foot of a beech,
leaving the pilgrims buried in sweet sleep; and without once falling into
his own Morisco tongue Ricote spoke as follows in pure Castilian:

"Thou knowest well, neighbour and friend Sancho Panza, how the
proclamation or edict his Majesty commanded to be issued against those of
my nation filled us all with terror and dismay; me at least it did,
insomuch that I think before the time granted us for quitting Spain was
out, the full force of the penalty had already fallen upon me and upon my
children. I decided, then, and I think wisely (just like one who knows
that at a certain date the house he lives in will be taken from him, and
looks out beforehand for another to change into), I decided, I say, to
leave the town myself, alone and without my family, and go to seek out
some place to remove them to comfortably and not in the hurried way in
which the others took their departure; for I saw very plainly, and so did
all the older men among us, that the proclamations were not mere threats,
as some said, but positive enactments which would be enforced at the
appointed time; and what made me believe this was what I knew of the base
and extravagant designs which our people harboured, designs of such a
nature that I think it was a divine inspiration that moved his Majesty to
carry out a resolution so spirited; not that we were all guilty, for some
there were true and steadfast Christians; but they were so few that they
could make no head against those who were not; and it was not prudent to
cherish a viper in the bosom by having enemies in the house. In short it
was with just cause that we were visited with the penalty of banishment,
a mild and lenient one in the eyes of some, but to us the most terrible
that could be inflicted upon us. Wherever we are we weep for Spain; for
after all we were born there and it is our natural fatherland. Nowhere do
we find the reception our unhappy condition needs; and in Barbary and all
the parts of Africa where we counted upon being received, succoured, and
welcomed, it is there they insult and ill-treat us most. We knew not our
good fortune until we lost it; and such is the longing we almost all of
us have to return to Spain, that most of those who like myself know the
language, and there are many who do, come back to it and leave their
wives and children forsaken yonder, so great is their love for it; and
now I know by experience the meaning of the saying, sweet is the love of
one's country.

"I left our village, as I said, and went to France, but though they gave
us a kind reception there I was anxious to see all I could. I crossed
into Italy, and reached Germany, and there it seemed to me we might live
with more freedom, as the inhabitants do not pay any attention to
trifling points; everyone lives as he likes, for in most parts they enjoy
liberty of conscience. I took a house in a town near Augsburg, and then
joined these pilgrims, who are in the habit of coming to Spain in great
numbers every year to visit the shrines there, which they look upon as
their Indies and a sure and certain source of gain. They travel nearly
all over it, and there is no town out of which they do not go full up of
meat and drink, as the saying is, and with a real, at least, in money,
and they come off at the end of their travels with more than a hundred
crowns saved, which, changed into gold, they smuggle out of the kingdom
either in the hollow of their staves or in the patches of their pilgrim's
cloaks or by some device of their own, and carry to their own country in
spite of the guards at the posts and passes where they are searched. Now
my purpose is, Sancho, to carry away the treasure that I left buried,
which, as it is outside the town, I shall be able to do without risk, and
to write, or cross over from Valencia, to my daughter and wife, who I
know are at Algiers, and find some means of bringing them to some French
port and thence to Germany, there to await what it may be God's will to
do with us; for, after all, Sancho, I know well that Ricota my daughter
and Francisca Ricota my wife are Catholic Christians, and though I am not
so much so, still I am more of a Christian than a Moor, and it is always
my prayer to God that he will open the eyes of my understanding and show
me how I am to serve him; but what amazes me and I cannot understand is
why my wife and daughter should have gone to Barbary rather than to
France, where they could live as Christians."

To this Sancho replied, "Remember, Ricote, that may not have been open to
them, for Juan Tiopieyo thy wife's brother took them, and being a true
Moor he went where he could go most easily; and another thing I can tell
thee, it is my belief thou art going in vain to look for what thou hast
left buried, for we heard they took from thy brother-in-law and thy wife
a great quantity of pearls and money in gold which they brought to be

"That may be," said Ricote; "but I know they did not touch my hoard, for
I did not tell them where it was, for fear of accidents; and so, if thou
wilt come with me, Sancho, and help me to take it away and conceal it, I
will give thee two hundred crowns wherewith thou mayest relieve thy
necessities, and, as thou knowest, I know they are many."

"I would do it," said Sancho; "but I am not at all covetous, for I gave
up an office this morning in which, if I was, I might have made the walls
of my house of gold and dined off silver plates before six months were
over; and so for this reason, and because I feel I would be guilty of
treason to my king if I helped his enemies, I would not go with thee if
instead of promising me two hundred crowns thou wert to give me four
hundred here in hand."

"And what office is this thou hast given up, Sancho?" asked Ricote.

"I have given up being governor of an island," said Sancho, "and such a
one, faith, as you won't find the like of easily."

"And where is this island?" said Ricote.

"Where?" said Sancho; "two leagues from here, and it is called the island
of Barataria."

"Nonsense! Sancho," said Ricote; "islands are away out in the sea; there
are no islands on the mainland."

"What? No islands!" said Sancho; "I tell thee, friend Ricote, I left it
this morning, and yesterday I was governing there as I pleased like a
sagittarius; but for all that I gave it up, for it seemed to me a
dangerous office, a governor's."

"And what hast thou gained by the government?" asked Ricote.

"I have gained," said Sancho, "the knowledge that I am no good for
governing, unless it is a drove of cattle, and that the riches that are
to be got by these governments are got at the cost of one's rest and
sleep, ay and even one's food; for in islands the governors must eat
little, especially if they have doctors to look after their health."

"I don't understand thee, Sancho," said Ricote; "but it seems to me all
nonsense thou art talking. Who would give thee islands to govern? Is
there any scarcity in the world of cleverer men than thou art for
governors? Hold thy peace, Sancho, and come back to thy senses, and
consider whether thou wilt come with me as I said to help me to take away
treasure I left buried (for indeed it may be called a treasure, it is so
large), and I will give thee wherewithal to keep thee, as I told thee."

"And I have told thee already, Ricote, that I will not," said Sancho;
"let it content thee that by me thou shalt not be betrayed, and go thy
way in God's name and let me go mine; for I know that well-gotten gain
may be lost, but ill-gotten gain is lost, itself and its owner likewise."

"I will not press thee, Sancho," said Ricote; "but tell me, wert thou in
our village when my wife and daughter and brother-in-law left it?"

"I was so," said Sancho; "and I can tell thee thy daughter left it
looking so lovely that all the village turned out to see her, and
everybody said she was the fairest creature in the world. She wept as she
went, and embraced all her friends and acquaintances and those who came
out to see her, and she begged them all to commend her to God and Our
Lady his mother, and this in such a touching way that it made me weep
myself, though I'm not much given to tears commonly; and, faith, many a
one would have liked to hide her, or go out and carry her off on the
road; but the fear of going against the king's command kept them back.
The one who showed himself most moved was Don Pedro Gregorio, the rich
young heir thou knowest of, and they say he was deep in love with her;
and since she left he has not been seen in our village again, and we all
suspect he has gone after her to steal her away, but so far nothing has
been heard of it."

"I always had a suspicion that gentleman had a passion for my daughter,"
said Ricote; "but as I felt sure of my Ricota's virtue it gave me no
uneasiness to know that he loved her; for thou must have heard it said,
Sancho, that the Morisco women seldom or never engage in amours with the
old Christians; and my daughter, who I fancy thought more of being a
Christian than of lovemaking, would not trouble herself about the
attentions of this heir."

"God grant it," said Sancho, "for it would be a bad business for both of
them; but now let me be off, friend Ricote, for I want to reach where my
master Don Quixote is to-night."

"God be with thee, brother Sancho," said Ricote; "my comrades are
beginning to stir, and it is time, too, for us to continue our journey;"
and then they both embraced, and Sancho mounted Dapple, and Ricote leant
upon his staff, and so they parted.



The length of time he delayed with Ricote prevented Sancho from reaching
the duke's castle that day, though he was within half a league of it when
night, somewhat dark and cloudy, overtook him. This, however, as it was
summer time, did not give him much uneasiness, and he turned aside out of
the road intending to wait for morning; but his ill luck and hard fate so
willed it that as he was searching about for a place to make himself as
comfortable as possible, he and Dapple fell into a deep dark hole that
lay among some very old buildings. As he fell he commended himself with
all his heart to God, fancying he was not going to stop until he reached
the depths of the bottomless pit; but it did not turn out so, for at
little more than thrice a man's height Dapple touched bottom, and he
found himself sitting on him without having received any hurt or damage
whatever. He felt himself all over and held his breath to try whether he
was quite sound or had a hole made in him anywhere, and finding himself
all right and whole and in perfect health he was profuse in his thanks to
God our Lord for the mercy that had been shown him, for he made sure he
had been broken into a thousand pieces. He also felt along the sides of
the pit with his hands to see if it were possible to get out of it
without help, but he found they were quite smooth and afforded no hold
anywhere, at which he was greatly distressed, especially when he heard
how pathetically and dolefully Dapple was bemoaning himself, and no
wonder he complained, nor was it from ill-temper, for in truth he was not
in a very good case. "Alas," said Sancho, "what unexpected accidents
happen at every step to those who live in this miserable world! Who would
have said that one who saw himself yesterday sitting on a throne,
governor of an island, giving orders to his servants and his vassals,
would see himself to-day buried in a pit without a soul to help him, or
servant or vassal to come to his relief? Here must we perish with hunger,
my ass and myself, if indeed we don't die first, he of his bruises and
injuries, and I of grief and sorrow. At any rate I'll not be as lucky as
my master Don Quixote of La Mancha, when he went down into the cave of
that enchanted Montesinos, where he found people to make more of him than
if he had been in his own house; for it seems he came in for a table laid
out and a bed ready made. There he saw fair and pleasant visions, but
here I'll see, I imagine, toads and adders. Unlucky wretch that I am,
what an end my follies and fancies have come to! They'll take up my bones
out of this, when it is heaven's will that I'm found, picked clean, white
and polished, and my good Dapple's with them, and by that, perhaps, it
will be found out who we are, at least by such as have heard that Sancho
Panza never separated from his ass, nor his ass from Sancho Panza.
Unlucky wretches, I say again, that our hard fate should not let us die
in our own country and among our own people, where if there was no help
for our misfortune, at any rate there would be some one to grieve for it
and to close our eyes as we passed away! O comrade and friend, how ill
have I repaid thy faithful services! Forgive me, and entreat Fortune, as
well as thou canst, to deliver us out of this miserable strait we are
both in; and I promise to put a crown of laurel on thy head, and make
thee look like a poet laureate, and give thee double feeds."

In this strain did Sancho bewail himself, and his ass listened to him,
but answered him never a word, such was the distress and anguish the poor
beast found himself in. At length, after a night spent in bitter moanings
and lamentations, day came, and by its light Sancho perceived that it was
wholly impossible to escape out of that pit without help, and he fell to
bemoaning his fate and uttering loud shouts to find out if there was
anyone within hearing; but all his shouting was only crying in the
wilderness, for there was not a soul anywhere in the neighbourhood to
hear him, and then at last he gave himself up for dead. Dapple was lying
on his back, and Sancho helped him to his feet, which he was scarcely
able to keep; and then taking a piece of bread out of his alforjas which
had shared their fortunes in the fall, he gave it to the ass, to whom it
was not unwelcome, saying to him as if he understood him, "With bread all
sorrows are less."

And now he perceived on one side of the pit a hole large enough to admit
a person if he stooped and squeezed himself into a small compass. Sancho
made for it, and entered it by creeping, and found it wide and spacious
on the inside, which he was able to see as a ray of sunlight that
penetrated what might be called the roof showed it all plainly. He
observed too that it opened and widened out into another spacious cavity;
seeing which he made his way back to where the ass was, and with a stone
began to pick away the clay from the hole until in a short time he had
made room for the beast to pass easily, and this accomplished, taking him
by the halter, he proceeded to traverse the cavern to see if there was
any outlet at the other end. He advanced, sometimes in the dark,
sometimes without light, but never without fear; "God Almighty help me!"
said he to himself; "this that is a misadventure to me would make a good
adventure for my master Don Quixote. He would have been sure to take
these depths and dungeons for flowery gardens or the palaces of Galiana,
and would have counted upon issuing out of this darkness and imprisonment
into some blooming meadow; but I, unlucky that I am, hopeless and
spiritless, expect at every step another pit deeper than the first to
open under my feet and swallow me up for good; 'welcome evil, if thou
comest alone.'"

In this way and with these reflections he seemed to himself to have
travelled rather more than half a league, when at last he perceived a dim
light that looked like daylight and found its way in on one side, showing
that this road, which appeared to him the road to the other world, led to
some opening.

Here Cide Hamete leaves him, and returns to Don Quixote, who in high
spirits and satisfaction was looking forward to the day fixed for the
battle he was to fight with him who had robbed Dona Rodriguez's daughter
of her honour, for whom he hoped to obtain satisfaction for the wrong and
injury shamefully done to her. It came to pass, then, that having sallied
forth one morning to practise and exercise himself in what he would have
to do in the encounter he expected to find himself engaged in the next
day, as he was putting Rocinante through his paces or pressing him to the
charge, he brought his feet so close to a pit that but for reining him in
tightly it would have been impossible for him to avoid falling into it.
He pulled him up, however, without a fall, and coming a little closer
examined the hole without dismounting; but as he was looking at it he
heard loud cries proceeding from it, and by listening attentively was
able to make out that he who uttered them was saying, "Ho, above there!
is there any Christian that hears me, or any charitable gentleman that
will take pity on a sinner buried alive, on an unfortunate disgoverned

It struck Don Quixote that it was the voice of Sancho Panza he heard,
whereat he was taken aback and amazed, and raising his own voice as much
as he could, he cried out, "Who is below there? Who is that complaining?"

"Who should be here, or who should complain," was the answer, "but the
forlorn Sancho Panza, for his sins and for his ill-luck governor of the
island of Barataria, squire that was to the famous knight Don Quixote of
La Mancha?"

When Don Quixote heard this his amazement was redoubled and his
perturbation grew greater than ever, for it suggested itself to his mind
that Sancho must be dead, and that his soul was in torment down there;
and carried away by this idea he exclaimed, "I conjure thee by everything
that as a Catholic Christian I can conjure thee by, tell me who thou art;
and if thou art a soul in torment, tell me what thou wouldst have me do
for thee; for as my profession is to give aid and succour to those that
need it in this world, it will also extend to aiding and succouring the
distressed of the other, who cannot help themselves."

"In that case," answered the voice, "your worship who speaks to me must
be my master Don Quixote of La Mancha; nay, from the tone of the voice it
is plain it can be nobody else."

"Don Quixote I am," replied Don Quixote, "he whose profession it is to
aid and succour the living and the dead in their necessities; wherefore
tell me who thou art, for thou art keeping me in suspense; because, if
thou art my squire Sancho Panza, and art dead, since the devils have not
carried thee off, and thou art by God's mercy in purgatory, our holy
mother the Roman Catholic Church has intercessory means sufficient to
release thee from the pains thou art in; and I for my part will plead
with her to that end, so far as my substance will go; without further
delay, therefore, declare thyself, and tell me who thou art."

"By all that's good," was the answer, "and by the birth of whomsoever
your worship chooses, I swear, Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, that I am
your squire Sancho Panza, and that I have never died all my life; but
that, having given up my government for reasons that would require more
time to explain, I fell last night into this pit where I am now, and
Dapple is witness and won't let me lie, for more by token he is here with

Nor was this all; one would have fancied the ass understood what Sancho
said, because that moment he began to bray so loudly that the whole cave
rang again.

"Famous testimony!" exclaimed Don Quixote; "I know that bray as well as
if I was its mother, and thy voice too, my Sancho. Wait while I go to the
duke's castle, which is close by, and I will bring some one to take thee
out of this pit into which thy sins no doubt have brought thee."

"Go, your worship," said Sancho, "and come back quick for God's sake; for
I cannot bear being buried alive any longer, and I'm dying of fear."

Don Quixote left him, and hastened to the castle to tell the duke and
duchess what had happened Sancho, and they were not a little astonished
at it; they could easily understand his having fallen, from the
confirmatory circumstance of the cave which had been in existence there
from time immemorial; but they could not imagine how he had quitted the
government without their receiving any intimation of his coming. To be
brief, they fetched ropes and tackle, as the saying is, and by dint of
many hands and much labour they drew up Dapple and Sancho Panza out of
the darkness into the light of day. A student who saw him remarked,
"That's the way all bad governors should come out of their governments,
as this sinner comes out of the depths of the pit, dead with hunger,
pale, and I suppose without a farthing."

Sancho overheard him and said, "It is eight or ten days, brother growler,
since I entered upon the government of the island they gave me, and all
that time I never had a bellyful of victuals, no not for an hour; doctors
persecuted me and enemies crushed my bones; nor had I any opportunity of
taking bribes or levying taxes; and if that be the case, as it is, I
don't deserve, I think, to come out in this fashion; but 'man proposes
and God disposes;' and God knows what is best, and what suits each one
best; and 'as the occasion, so the behaviour;' and 'let nobody say "I
won't drink of this water;"' and 'where one thinks there are flitches,
there are no pegs;' God knows my meaning and that's enough; I say no
more, though I could."

"Be not angry or annoyed at what thou hearest, Sancho," said Don Quixote,
"or there will never be an end of it; keep a safe conscience and let them
say what they like; for trying to stop slanderers' tongues is like trying
to put gates to the open plain. If a governor comes out of his government
rich, they say he has been a thief; and if he comes out poor, that he has
been a noodle and a blockhead."

"They'll be pretty sure this time," said Sancho, "to set me down for a
fool rather than a thief."

Thus talking, and surrounded by boys and a crowd of people, they reached
the castle, where in one of the corridors the duke and duchess stood
waiting for them; but Sancho would not go up to see the duke until he had
first put up Dapple in the stable, for he said he had passed a very bad
night in his last quarters; then he went upstairs to see his lord and
lady, and kneeling before them he said, "Because it was your highnesses'
pleasure, not because of any desert of my own, I went to govern your
island of Barataria, which 'I entered naked, and naked I find myself; I
neither lose nor gain.' Whether I have governed well or ill, I have had
witnesses who will say what they think fit. I have answered questions, I
have decided causes, and always dying of hunger, for Doctor Pedro Recio
of Tirteafuera, the island and governor doctor, would have it so. Enemies
attacked us by night and put us in a great quandary, but the people of
the island say they came off safe and victorious by the might of my arm;
and may God give them as much health as there's truth in what they say.
In short, during that time I have weighed the cares and responsibilities
governing brings with it, and by my reckoning I find my shoulders can't
bear them, nor are they a load for my loins or arrows for my quiver; and
so, before the government threw me over I preferred to throw the
government over; and yesterday morning I left the island as I found it,
with the same streets, houses, and roofs it had when I entered it. I
asked no loan of anybody, nor did I try to fill my pocket; and though I
meant to make some useful laws, I made hardly any, as I was afraid they
would not be kept; for in that case it comes to the same thing to make
them or not to make them. I quitted the island, as I said, without any
escort except my ass; I fell into a pit, I pushed on through it, until
this morning by the light of the sun I saw an outlet, but not so easy a
one but that, had not heaven sent me my master Don Quixote, I'd have
stayed there till the end of the world. So now my lord and lady duke and
duchess, here is your governor Sancho Panza, who in the bare ten days he
has held the government has come by the knowledge that he would not give
anything to be governor, not to say of an island, but of the whole world;
and that point being settled, kissing your worships' feet, and imitating
the game of the boys when they say, 'leap thou, and give me one,' I take
a leap out of the government and pass into the service of my master Don
Quixote; for after all, though in it I eat my bread in fear and
trembling, at any rate I take my fill; and for my part, so long as I'm
full, it's all alike to me whether it's with carrots or with partridges."

Here Sancho brought his long speech to an end, Don Quixote having been
the whole time in dread of his uttering a host of absurdities; and when
he found him leave off with so few, he thanked heaven in his heart. The
duke embraced Sancho and told him he was heartily sorry he had given up
the government so soon, but that he would see that he was provided with
some other post on his estate less onerous and more profitable. The
duchess also embraced him, and gave orders that he should be taken good
care of, as it was plain to see he had been badly treated and worse



The duke and duchess had no reason to regret the joke that had been
played upon Sancho Panza in giving him the government; especially as
their majordomo returned the same day, and gave them a minute account of
almost every word and deed that Sancho uttered or did during the time;
and to wind up with, eloquently described to them the attack upon the
island and Sancho's fright and departure, with which they were not a
little amused. After this the history goes on to say that the day fixed
for the battle arrived, and that the duke, after having repeatedly
instructed his lacquey Tosilos how to deal with Don Quixote so as to
vanquish him without killing or wounding him, gave orders to have the
heads removed from the lances, telling Don Quixote that Christian
charity, on which he plumed himself, could not suffer the battle to be
fought with so much risk and danger to life; and that he must be content
with the offer of a battlefield on his territory (though that was against
the decree of the holy Council, which prohibits all challenges of the
sort) and not push such an arduous venture to its extreme limits. Don
Quixote bade his excellence arrange all matters connected with the affair
as he pleased, as on his part he would obey him in everything. The dread
day, then, having arrived, and the duke having ordered a spacious stand
to be erected facing the court of the castle for the judges of the field
and the appellant duennas, mother and daughter, vast crowds flocked from
all the villages and hamlets of the neighbourhood to see the novel
spectacle of the battle; nobody, dead or alive, in those parts having
ever seen or heard of such a one.

The first person to enter the-field and the lists was the master of the
ceremonies, who surveyed and paced the whole ground to see that there was
nothing unfair and nothing concealed to make the combatants stumble or
fall; then the duennas entered and seated themselves, enveloped in
mantles covering their eyes, nay even their bosoms, and displaying no
slight emotion as Don Quixote appeared in the lists. Shortly afterwards,
accompanied by several trumpets and mounted on a powerful steed that
threatened to crush the whole place, the great lacquey Tosilos made his
appearance on one side of the courtyard with his visor down and stiffly
cased in a suit of stout shining armour. The horse was a manifest
Frieslander, broad-backed and flea-bitten, and with half a hundred of
wool hanging to each of his fetlocks. The gallant combatant came well
primed by his master the duke as to how he was to bear himself against
the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha; being warned that he must on no
account slay him, but strive to shirk the first encounter so as to avoid
the risk of killing him, as he was sure to do if he met him full tilt. He
crossed the courtyard at a walk, and coming to where the duennas were
placed stopped to look at her who demanded him for a husband; the marshal
of the field summoned Don Quixote, who had already presented himself in
the courtyard, and standing by the side of Tosilos he addressed the
duennas, and asked them if they consented that Don Quixote of La Mancha
should do battle for their right. They said they did, and that whatever
he should do in that behalf they declared rightly done, final and valid.
By this time the duke and duchess had taken their places in a gallery
commanding the enclosure, which was filled to overflowing with a
multitude of people eager to see this perilous and unparalleled
encounter. The conditions of the combat were that if Don Quixote proved
the victor his antagonist was to marry the daughter of Dona Rodriguez;
but if he should be vanquished his opponent was released from the promise
that was claimed against him and from all obligations to give
satisfaction. The master of the ceremonies apportioned the sun to them,
and stationed them, each on the spot where he was to stand. The drums
beat, the sound of the trumpets filled the air, the earth trembled under
foot, the hearts of the gazing crowd were full of anxiety, some hoping
for a happy issue, some apprehensive of an untoward ending to the affair,
and lastly, Don Quixote, commending himself with all his heart to God our
Lord and to the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, stood waiting for them to give
the necessary signal for the onset. Our lacquey, however, was thinking of
something very different; he only thought of what I am now going to

It seems that as he stood contemplating his enemy she struck him as the
most beautiful woman he had ever seen all his life; and the little blind
boy whom in our streets they commonly call Love had no mind to let slip
the chance of triumphing over a lacquey heart, and adding it to the list
of his trophies; and so, stealing gently upon him unseen, he drove a dart
two yards long into the poor lacquey's left side and pierced his heart
through and through; which he was able to do quite at his ease, for Love
is invisible, and comes in and goes out as he likes, without anyone
calling him to account for what he does. Well then, when they gave the
signal for the onset our lacquey was in an ecstasy, musing upon the
beauty of her whom he had already made mistress of his liberty, and so he
paid no attention to the sound of the trumpet, unlike Don Quixote, who
was off the instant he heard it, and, at the highest speed Rocinante was
capable of, set out to meet his enemy, his good squire Sancho shouting
lustily as he saw him start, "God guide thee, cream and flower of
knights-errant! God give thee the victory, for thou hast the right on thy
side!" But though Tosilos saw Don Quixote coming at him he never stirred
a step from the spot where he was posted; and instead of doing so called
loudly to the marshal of the field, to whom when he came up to see what
he wanted he said, "Senor, is not this battle to decide whether I marry
or do not marry that lady?" "Just so," was the answer. "Well then," said
the lacquey, "I feel qualms of conscience, and I should lay a-heavy
burden upon it if I were to proceed any further with the combat; I
therefore declare that I yield myself vanquished, and that I am willing
to marry the lady at once."

The marshal of the field was lost in astonishment at the words of
Tosilos; and as he was one of those who were privy to the arrangement of
the affair he knew not what to say in reply. Don Quixote pulled up in mid
career when he saw that his enemy was not coming on to the attack. The
duke could not make out the reason why the battle did not go on; but the
marshal of the field hastened to him to let him know what Tosilos said,
and he was amazed and extremely angry at it. In the meantime Tosilos
advanced to where Dona Rodriguez sat and said in a loud voice, "Senora, I
am willing to marry your daughter, and I have no wish to obtain by strife
and fighting what I can obtain in peace and without any risk to my life."

The valiant Don Quixote heard him, and said, "As that is the case I am
released and absolved from my promise; let them marry by all means, and
as 'God our Lord has given her, may Saint Peter add his blessing.'"

The duke had now descended to the courtyard of the castle, and going up
to Tosilos he said to him, "Is it true, sir knight, that you yield
yourself vanquished, and that moved by scruples of conscience you wish to
marry this damsel?"

"It is, senor," replied Tosilos.

"And he does well," said Sancho, "for what thou hast to give to the
mouse, give to the cat, and it will save thee all trouble."

Tosilos meanwhile was trying to unlace his helmet, and he begged them to
come to his help at once, as his power of breathing was failing him, and
he could not remain so long shut up in that confined space. They removed
it in all haste, and his lacquey features were revealed to public gaze.
At this sight Dona Rodriguez and her daughter raised a mighty outcry,
exclaiming, "This is a trick! This is a trick! They have put Tosilos, my
lord the duke's lacquey, upon us in place of the real husband. The
justice of God and the king against such trickery, not to say roguery!"

"Do not distress yourselves, ladies," said Don Quixote; "for this is no
trickery or roguery; or if it is, it is not the duke who is at the bottom
of it, but those wicked enchanters who persecute me, and who, jealous of
my reaping the glory of this victory, have turned your husband's features
into those of this person, who you say is a lacquey of the duke's; take
my advice, and notwithstanding the malice of my enemies marry him, for
beyond a doubt he is the one you wish for a husband."

When the duke heard this all his anger was near vanishing in a fit of
laughter, and he said, "The things that happen to Senor Don Quixote are
so extraordinary that I am ready to believe this lacquey of mine is not
one; but let us adopt this plan and device; let us put off the marriage
for, say, a fortnight, and let us keep this person about whom we are
uncertain in close confinement, and perhaps in the course of that time he
may return to his original shape; for the spite which the enchanters
entertain against Senor Don Quixote cannot last so long, especially as it
is of so little advantage to them to practise these deceptions and

"Oh, senor," said Sancho, "those scoundrels are well used to changing
whatever concerns my master from one thing into another. A knight that he
overcame some time back, called the Knight of the Mirrors, they turned
into the shape of the bachelor Samson Carrasco of our town and a great
friend of ours; and my lady Dulcinea del Toboso they have turned into a
common country wench; so I suspect this lacquey will have to live and die
a lacquey all the days of his life."

Here the Rodriguez's daughter exclaimed, "Let him be who he may, this man
that claims me for a wife; I am thankful to him for the same, for I had
rather be the lawful wife of a lacquey than the cheated mistress of a
gentleman; though he who played me false is nothing of the kind."

To be brief, all the talk and all that had happened ended in Tosilos
being shut up until it was seen how his transformation turned out. All
hailed Don Quixote as victor, but the greater number were vexed and
disappointed at finding that the combatants they had been so anxiously
waiting for had not battered one another to pieces, just as the boys are
disappointed when the man they are waiting to see hanged does not come
out, because the prosecution or the court has pardoned him. The people
dispersed, the duke and Don Quixote returned to the castle, they locked
up Tosilos, Dona Rodriguez and her daughter remained perfectly contented
when they saw that any way the affair must end in marriage, and Tosilos
wanted nothing else.



Don Quixote now felt it right to quit a life of such idleness as he was
leading in the castle; for he fancied that he was making himself sorely
missed by suffering himself to remain shut up and inactive amid the
countless luxuries and enjoyments his hosts lavished upon him as a
knight, and he felt too that he would have to render a strict account to
heaven of that indolence and seclusion; and so one day he asked the duke
and duchess to grant him permission to take his departure. They gave it,
showing at the same time that they were very sorry he was leaving them.

The duchess gave his wife's letters to Sancho Panza, who shed tears over
them, saying, "Who would have thought that such grand hopes as the news
of my government bred in my wife Teresa Panza's breast would end in my
going back now to the vagabond adventures of my master Don Quixote of La
Mancha? Still I'm glad to see my Teresa behaved as she ought in sending
the acorns, for if she had not sent them I'd have been sorry, and she'd
have shown herself ungrateful. It is a comfort to me that they can't call
that present a bribe; for I had got the government already when she sent
them, and it's but reasonable that those who have had a good turn done
them should show their gratitude, if it's only with a trifle. After all I
went into the government naked, and I come out of it naked; so I can say
with a safe conscience--and that's no small matter--'naked I was born,
naked I find myself, I neither lose nor gain.'"

Thus did Sancho soliloquise on the day of their departure, as Don
Quixote, who had the night before taken leave of the duke and duchess,
coming out made his appearance at an early hour in full armour in the
courtyard of the castle. The whole household of the castle were watching
him from the corridors, and the duke and duchess, too, came out to see
him. Sancho was mounted on his Dapple, with his alforjas, valise, and
proven, supremely happy because the duke's majordomo, the same that had
acted the part of the Trifaldi, had given him a little purse with two
hundred gold crowns to meet the necessary expenses of the road, but of
this Don Quixote knew nothing as yet. While all were, as has been said,
observing him, suddenly from among the duennas and handmaidens the
impudent and witty Altisidora lifted up her voice and said in pathetic

Give ear, cruel knight;
Draw rein; where's the need
Of spurring the flanks
Of that ill-broken steed?
From what art thou flying?
No dragon I am,
Not even a sheep,
But a tender young lamb.
Thou hast jilted a maiden
As fair to behold
As nymph of Diana
Or Venus of old.

Bireno, AEneas, what worse shall I call thee?

Barabbas go with thee! All evil befall thee!

In thy claws, ruthless robber,
Thou bearest away
The heart of a meek
Loving maid for thy prey,
Three kerchiefs thou stealest,
And garters a pair,
From legs than the whitest
Of marble more fair;
And the sighs that pursue thee
Would burn to the ground
Two thousand Troy Towns,
If so many were found.

Bireno, AEneas, what worse shall I call thee?

Barabbas go with thee! All evil befall thee!

May no bowels of mercy
To Sancho be granted,
And thy Dulcinea
Be left still enchanted,
May thy falsehood to me
Find its punishment in her,
For in my land the just
Often pays for the sinner.
May thy grandest adventures
Discomfitures prove,
May thy joys be all dreams,
And forgotten thy love.

Bireno, AEneas, what worse shall I call thee?

Barabbas go with thee! All evil befall thee!

May thy name be abhorred
For thy conduct to ladies,
From London to England,
From Seville to Cadiz;
May thy cards be unlucky,
Thy hands contain ne'er a
King, seven, or ace
When thou playest primera;
When thy corns are cut
May it be to the quick;
When thy grinders are drawn
May the roots of them stick.

Bireno, AEneas, what worse shall I call thee?

Barabbas go with thee! All evil befall thee!

All the while the unhappy Altisidora was bewailing herself in the above
strain Don Quixote stood staring at her; and without uttering a word in
reply to her he turned round to Sancho and said, "Sancho my friend, I
conjure thee by the life of thy forefathers tell me the truth; say, hast
thou by any chance taken the three kerchiefs and the garters this
love-sick maid speaks of?"

To this Sancho made answer, "The three kerchiefs I have; but the garters,
as much as 'over the hills of Ubeda.'"

The duchess was amazed at Altisidora's assurance; she knew that she was
bold, lively, and impudent, but not so much so as to venture to make free
in this fashion; and not being prepared for the joke, her astonishment
was all the greater. The duke had a mind to keep up the sport, so he
said, "It does not seem to me well done in you, sir knight, that after
having received the hospitality that has been offered you in this very
castle, you should have ventured to carry off even three kerchiefs, not
to say my handmaid's garters. It shows a bad heart and does not tally
with your reputation. Restore her garters, or else I defy you to mortal
combat, for I am not afraid of rascally enchanters changing or altering
my features as they changed his who encountered you into those of my
lacquey, Tosilos."

"God forbid," said Don Quixote, "that I should draw my sword against your
illustrious person from which I have received such great favours. The
kerchiefs I will restore, as Sancho says he has them; as to the garters
that is impossible, for I have not got them, neither has he; and if your
handmaiden here will look in her hiding-places, depend upon it she will
find them. I have never been a thief, my lord duke, nor do I mean to be
so long as I live, if God cease not to have me in his keeping. This
damsel by her own confession speaks as one in love, for which I am not to
blame, and therefore need not ask pardon, either of her or of your
excellence, whom I entreat to have a better opinion of me, and once more
to give me leave to pursue my journey."

"And may God so prosper it, Senor Don Quixote," said the duchess, "that
we may always hear good news of your exploits; God speed you; for the
longer you stay, the more you inflame the hearts of the damsels who
behold you; and as for this one of mine, I will so chastise her that she
will not transgress again, either with her eyes or with her words."

"One word and no more, O valiant Don Quixote, I ask you to hear," said
Altisidora, "and that is that I beg your pardon about the theft of the
garters; for by God and upon my soul I have got them on, and I have
fallen into the same blunder as he did who went looking for his ass being
all the while mounted on it."

"Didn't I say so?" said Sancho. "I'm a likely one to hide thefts! Why if
I wanted to deal in them, opportunities came ready enough to me in my

Don Quixote bowed his head, and saluted the duke and duchess and all the
bystanders, and wheeling Rocinante round, Sancho following him on Dapple,
he rode out of the castle, shaping his course for Saragossa.



When Don Quixote saw himself in open country, free, and relieved from the
attentions of Altisidora, he felt at his ease, and in fresh spirits to
take up the pursuit of chivalry once more; and turning to Sancho he said,
"Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven has
bestowed upon men; no treasures that the earth holds buried or the sea
conceals can compare with it; for freedom, as for honour, life may and
should be ventured; and on the other hand, captivity is the greatest evil
that can fall to the lot of man. I say this, Sancho, because thou hast
seen the good cheer, the abundance we have enjoyed in this castle we are
leaving; well then, amid those dainty banquets and snow-cooled beverages
I felt as though I were undergoing the straits of hunger, because I did
not enjoy them with the same freedom as if they had been mine own; for
the sense of being under an obligation to return benefits and favours
received is a restraint that checks the independence of the spirit. Happy
he, to whom heaven has given a piece of bread for which he is not bound
to give thanks to any but heaven itself!"

"For all your worship says," said Sancho, "it is not becoming that there
should be no thanks on our part for two hundred gold crowns that the
duke's majordomo has given me in a little purse which I carry next my
heart, like a warming plaster or comforter, to meet any chance calls; for
we shan't always find castles where they'll entertain us; now and then we
may light upon roadside inns where they'll cudgel us."

In conversation of this sort the knight and squire errant were pursuing
their journey, when, after they had gone a little more than half a
league, they perceived some dozen men dressed like labourers stretched
upon their cloaks on the grass of a green meadow eating their dinner.
They had beside them what seemed to be white sheets concealing some
objects under them, standing upright or lying flat, and arranged at
intervals. Don Quixote approached the diners, and, saluting them
courteously first, he asked them what it was those cloths covered.
"Senor," answered one of the party, "under these cloths are some images
carved in relief intended for a retablo we are putting up in our village;
we carry them covered up that they may not be soiled, and on our
shoulders that they may not be broken."

"With your good leave," said Don Quixote, "I should like to see them; for
images that are carried so carefully no doubt must be fine ones."

"I should think they were!" said the other; "let the money they cost
speak for that; for as a matter of fact there is not one of them that
does not stand us in more than fifty ducats; and that your worship may
judge; wait a moment, and you shall see with your own eyes;" and getting
up from his dinner he went and uncovered the first image, which proved to
be one of Saint George on horseback with a serpent writhing at his feet
and the lance thrust down its throat with all that fierceness that is
usually depicted. The whole group was one blaze of gold, as the saying
is. On seeing it Don Quixote said, "That knight was one of the best
knights-errant the army of heaven ever owned; he was called Don Saint
George, and he was moreover a defender of maidens. Let us see this next

The man uncovered it, and it was seen to be that of Saint Martin on his
horse, dividing his cloak with the beggar. The instant Don Quixote saw it
he said, "This knight too was one of the Christian adventurers, but I
believe he was generous rather than valiant, as thou mayest perceive,
Sancho, by his dividing his cloak with the beggar and giving him half of
it; no doubt it was winter at the time, for otherwise he would have given
him the whole of it, so charitable was he."

"It was not that, most likely," said Sancho, "but that he held with the
proverb that says, 'For giving and keeping there's need of brains.'"

Don Quixote laughed, and asked them to take off the next cloth,
underneath which was seen the image of the patron saint of the Spains
seated on horseback, his sword stained with blood, trampling on Moors and
treading heads underfoot; and on seeing it Don Quixote exclaimed, "Ay,
this is a knight, and of the squadrons of Christ! This one is called Don
Saint James the Moorslayer, one of the bravest saints and knights the
world ever had or heaven has now."

They then raised another cloth which it appeared covered Saint Paul
falling from his horse, with all the details that are usually given in
representations of his conversion. When Don Quixote saw it, rendered in
such lifelike style that one would have said Christ was speaking and Paul
answering, "This," he said, "was in his time the greatest enemy that the
Church of God our Lord had, and the greatest champion it will ever have;
a knight-errant in life, a steadfast saint in death, an untiring labourer
in the Lord's vineyard, a teacher of the Gentiles, whose school was
heaven, and whose instructor and master was Jesus Christ himself."

There were no more images, so Don Quixote bade them cover them up again,
and said to those who had brought them, "I take it as a happy omen,
brothers, to have seen what I have; for these saints and knights were of
the same profession as myself, which is the calling of arms; only there
is this difference between them and me, that they were saints, and fought
with divine weapons, and I am a sinner and fight with human ones. They
won heaven by force of arms, for heaven suffereth violence; and I, so
far, know not what I have won by dint of my sufferings; but if my
Dulcinea del Toboso were to be released from hers, perhaps with mended
fortunes and a mind restored to itself I might direct my steps in a
better path than I am following at present."

"May God hear and sin be deaf," said Sancho to this.

The men were filled with wonder, as well at the figure as at the words of
Don Quixote, though they did not understand one half of what he meant by
them. They finished their dinner, took their images on their backs, and
bidding farewell to Don Quixote resumed their journey.

Sancho was amazed afresh at the extent of his master's knowledge, as much
as if he had never known him, for it seemed to him that there was no
story or event in the world that he had not at his fingers' ends and
fixed in his memory, and he said to him, "In truth, master mine, if this
that has happened to us to-day is to be called an adventure, it has been
one of the sweetest and pleasantest that have befallen us in the whole
course of our travels; we have come out of it unbelaboured and
undismayed, neither have we drawn sword nor have we smitten the earth
with our bodies, nor have we been left famishing; blessed be God that he
has let me see such a thing with my own eyes!"

"Thou sayest well, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "but remember all times are
not alike nor do they always run the same way; and these things the
vulgar commonly call omens, which are not based upon any natural reason,
will by him who is wise be esteemed and reckoned happy accidents merely.
One of these believers in omens will get up of a morning, leave his
house, and meet a friar of the order of the blessed Saint Francis, and,
as if he had met a griffin, he will turn about and go home. With another
Mendoza the salt is spilt on his table, and gloom is spilt over his
heart, as if nature was obliged to give warning of coming misfortunes by
means of such trivial things as these. The wise man and the Christian
should not trifle with what it may please heaven to do. Scipio on coming
to Africa stumbled as he leaped on shore; his soldiers took it as a bad
omen; but he, clasping the soil with his arms, exclaimed, 'Thou canst not
escape me, Africa, for I hold thee tight between my arms.' Thus, Sancho,
meeting those images has been to me a most happy occurrence."

"I can well believe it," said Sancho; "but I wish your worship would tell
me what is the reason that the Spaniards, when they are about to give
battle, in calling on that Saint James the Moorslayer, say 'Santiago and
close Spain!' Is Spain, then, open, so that it is needful to close it; or
what is the meaning of this form?"

"Thou art very simple, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "God, look you, gave
that great knight of the Red Cross to Spain as her patron saint and
protector, especially in those hard struggles the Spaniards had with the
Moors; and therefore they invoke and call upon him as their defender in
all their battles; and in these he has been many a time seen beating
down, trampling under foot, destroying and slaughtering the Hagarene
squadrons in the sight of all; of which fact I could give thee many
examples recorded in truthful Spanish histories."

Sancho changed the subject, and said to his master, "I marvel, senor, at
the boldness of Altisidora, the duchess's handmaid; he whom they call
Love must have cruelly pierced and wounded her; they say he is a little
blind urchin who, though blear-eyed, or more properly speaking sightless,
if he aims at a heart, be it ever so small, hits it and pierces it
through and through with his arrows. I have heard it said too that the
arrows of Love are blunted and robbed of their points by maidenly modesty
and reserve; but with this Altisidora it seems they are sharpened rather
than blunted."

"Bear in mind, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that love is influenced by no
consideration, recognises no restraints of reason, and is of the same
nature as death, that assails alike the lofty palaces of kings and the
humble cabins of shepherds; and when it takes entire possession of a
heart, the first thing it does is to banish fear and shame from it; and
so without shame Altisidora declared her passion, which excited in my
mind embarrassment rather than commiseration."

"Notable cruelty!" exclaimed Sancho; "unheard-of ingratitude! I can only
say for myself that the very smallest loving word of hers would have
subdued me and made a slave of me. The devil! What a heart of marble,
what bowels of brass, what a soul of mortar! But I can't imagine what it
is that this damsel saw in your worship that could have conquered and
captivated her so. What gallant figure was it, what bold bearing, what
sprightly grace, what comeliness of feature, which of these things by
itself, or what all together, could have made her fall in love with you?
For indeed and in truth many a time I stop to look at your worship from
the sole of your foot to the topmost hair of your head, and I see more to
frighten one than to make one fall in love; moreover I have heard say
that beauty is the first and main thing that excites love, and as your
worship has none at all, I don't know what the poor creature fell in love

"Recollect, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "there are two sorts of beauty,
one of the mind, the other of the body; that of the mind displays and
exhibits itself in intelligence, in modesty, in honourable conduct, in
generosity, in good breeding; and all these qualities are possible and
may exist in an ugly man; and when it is this sort of beauty and not that
of the body that is the attraction, love is apt to spring up suddenly and
violently. I, Sancho, perceive clearly enough that I am not beautiful,
but at the same time I know I am not hideous; and it is enough for an
honest man not to be a monster to be an object of love, if only he
possesses the endowments of mind I have mentioned."

While engaged in this discourse they were making their way through a wood
that lay beyond the road, when suddenly, without expecting anything of
the kind, Don Quixote found himself caught in some nets of green cord
stretched from one tree to another; and unable to conceive what it could
be, he said to Sancho, "Sancho, it strikes me this affair of these nets
will prove one of the strangest adventures imaginable. May I die if the
enchanters that persecute me are not trying to entangle me in them and
delay my journey, by way of revenge for my obduracy towards Altisidora.
Well then let me tell them that if these nets, instead of being green
cord, were made of the hardest diamonds, or stronger than that wherewith
the jealous god of blacksmiths enmeshed Venus and Mars, I would break
them as easily as if they were made of rushes or cotton threads." But
just as he was about to press forward and break through all, suddenly
from among some trees two shepherdesses of surpassing beauty presented
themselves to his sight--or at least damsels dressed like shepherdesses,
save that their jerkins and sayas were of fine brocade; that is to say,
the sayas were rich farthingales of gold embroidered tabby. Their hair,
that in its golden brightness vied with the beams of the sun itself, fell
loose upon their shoulders and was crowned with garlands twined with
green laurel and red everlasting; and their years to all appearance were
not under fifteen nor above eighteen.

Such was the spectacle that filled Sancho with amazement, fascinated Don
Quixote, made the sun halt in his course to behold them, and held all
four in a strange silence. One of the shepherdesses, at length, was the
first to speak and said to Don Quixote, "Hold, sir knight, and do not
break these nets; for they are not spread here to do you any harm, but
only for our amusement; and as I know you will ask why they have been put
up, and who we are, I will tell you in a few words. In a village some two
leagues from this, where there are many people of quality and rich
gentlefolk, it was agreed upon by a number of friends and relations to
come with their wives, sons and daughters, neighbours, friends and
kinsmen, and make holiday in this spot, which is one of the pleasantest
in the whole neighbourhood, setting up a new pastoral Arcadia among
ourselves, we maidens dressing ourselves as shepherdesses and the youths
as shepherds. We have prepared two eclogues, one by the famous poet
Garcilasso, the other by the most excellent Camoens, in its own
Portuguese tongue, but we have not as yet acted them. Yesterday was the
first day of our coming here; we have a few of what they say are called
field-tents pitched among the trees on the bank of an ample brook that
fertilises all these meadows; last night we spread these nets in the
trees here to snare the silly little birds that startled by the noise we
make may fly into them. If you please to be our guest, senor, you will be
welcomed heartily and courteously, for here just now neither care nor
sorrow shall enter."

She held her peace and said no more, and Don Quixote made answer, "Of a
truth, fairest lady, Actaeon when he unexpectedly beheld Diana bathing in
the stream could not have been more fascinated and wonderstruck than I at
the sight of your beauty. I commend your mode of entertainment, and thank
you for the kindness of your invitation; and if I can serve you, you may
command me with full confidence of being obeyed, for my profession is
none other than to show myself grateful, and ready to serve persons of
all conditions, but especially persons of quality such as your appearance
indicates; and if, instead of taking up, as they probably do, but a small
space, these nets took up the whole surface of the globe, I would seek
out new worlds through which to pass, so as not to break them; and that
ye may give some degree of credence to this exaggerated language of mine,
know that it is no less than Don Quixote of La Mancha that makes this
declaration to you, if indeed it be that such a name has reached your

"Ah! friend of my soul," instantly exclaimed the other shepherdess, "what
great good fortune has befallen us! Seest thou this gentleman we have
before us? Well then let me tell thee he is the most valiant and the most
devoted and the most courteous gentleman in all the world, unless a
history of his achievements that has been printed and I have read is
telling lies and deceiving us. I will lay a wager that this good fellow
who is with him is one Sancho Panza his squire, whose drolleries none can

"That's true," said Sancho; "I am that same droll and squire you speak
of, and this gentleman is my master Don Quixote of La Mancha, the same
that's in the history and that they talk about."

"Oh, my friend," said the other, "let us entreat him to stay; for it will
give our fathers and brothers infinite pleasure; I too have heard just
what thou hast told me of the valour of the one and the drolleries of the
other; and what is more, of him they say that he is the most constant and
loyal lover that was ever heard of, and that his lady is one Dulcinea del
Toboso, to whom all over Spain the palm of beauty is awarded."

"And justly awarded," said Don Quixote, "unless, indeed, your unequalled
beauty makes it a matter of doubt. But spare yourselves the trouble,
ladies, of pressing me to stay, for the urgent calls of my profession do
not allow me to take rest under any circumstances."

At this instant there came up to the spot where the four stood a brother
of one of the two shepherdesses, like them in shepherd costume, and as
richly and gaily dressed as they were. They told him that their companion
was the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha, and the other Sancho his
squire, of whom he knew already from having read their history. The gay
shepherd offered him his services and begged that he would accompany him
to their tents, and Don Quixote had to give way and comply. And now the
gave was started, and the nets were filled with a variety of birds that
deceived by the colour fell into the danger they were flying from.
Upwards of thirty persons, all gaily attired as shepherds and
shepherdesses, assembled on the spot, and were at once informed who Don
Quixote and his squire were, whereat they were not a little delighted, as
they knew of him already through his history. They repaired to the tents,
where they found tables laid out, and choicely, plentifully, and neatly
furnished. They treated Don Quixote as a person of distinction, giving
him the place of honour, and all observed him, and were full of
astonishment at the spectacle. At last the cloth being removed, Don
Quixote with great composure lifted up his voice and said:

"One of the greatest sins that men are guilty of is--some will say
pride--but I say ingratitude, going by the common saying that hell is
full of ingrates. This sin, so far as it has lain in my power, I have
endeavoured to avoid ever since I have enjoyed the faculty of reason; and
if I am unable to requite good deeds that have been done me by other
deeds, I substitute the desire to do so; and if that be not enough I make
them known publicly; for he who declares and makes known the good deeds
done to him would repay them by others if it were in his power, and for
the most part those who receive are the inferiors of those who give.
Thus, God is superior to all because he is the supreme giver, and the
offerings of man fall short by an infinite distance of being a full
return for the gifts of God; but gratitude in some degree makes up for
this deficiency and shortcoming. I therefore, grateful for the favour
that has been extended to me here, and unable to make a return in the
same measure, restricted as I am by the narrow limits of my power, offer
what I can and what I have to offer in my own way; and so I declare that
for two full days I will maintain in the middle of this highway leading
to Saragossa, that these ladies disguised as shepherdesses, who are here
present, are the fairest and most courteous maidens in the world,
excepting only the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, sole mistress of my
thoughts, be it said without offence to those who hear me, ladies and

On hearing this Sancho, who had been listening with great attention,
cried out in a loud voice, "Is it possible there is anyone in the world
who will dare to say and swear that this master of mine is a madman? Say,
gentlemen shepherds, is there a village priest, be he ever so wise or
learned, who could say what my master has said; or is there
knight-errant, whatever renown he may have as a man of valour, that could
offer what my master has offered now?"

Don Quixote turned upon Sancho, and with a countenance glowing with anger
said to him, "Is it possible, Sancho, there is anyone in the whole world
who will say thou art not a fool, with a lining to match, and I know not
what trimmings of impertinence and roguery? Who asked thee to meddle in
my affairs, or to inquire whether I am a wise man or a blockhead? Hold
thy peace; answer me not a word; saddle Rocinante if he be unsaddled; and
let us go to put my offer into execution; for with the right that I have
on my side thou mayest reckon as vanquished all who shall venture to
question it;" and in a great rage, and showing his anger plainly, he rose
from his seat, leaving the company lost in wonder, and making them feel
doubtful whether they ought to regard him as a madman or a rational
being. In the end, though they sought to dissuade him from involving
himself in such a challenge, assuring him they admitted his gratitude as
fully established, and needed no fresh proofs to be convinced of his
valiant spirit, as those related in the history of his exploits were
sufficient, still Don Quixote persisted in his resolve; and mounted on
Rocinante, bracing his buckler on his arm and grasping his lance, he
posted himself in the middle of a high road that was not far from the
green meadow. Sancho followed on Dapple, together with all the members of
the pastoral gathering, eager to see what would be the upshot of his
vainglorious and extraordinary proposal.

Don Quixote, then, having, as has been said, planted himself in the
middle of the road, made the welkin ring with words to this effect: "Ho
ye travellers and wayfarers, knights, squires, folk on foot or on
horseback, who pass this way or shall pass in the course of the next two
days! Know that Don Quixote of La Mancha, knight-errant, is posted here
to maintain by arms that the beauty and courtesy enshrined in the nymphs
that dwell in these meadows and groves surpass all upon earth, putting
aside the lady of my heart, Dulcinea del Toboso. Wherefore, let him who
is of the opposite opinion come on, for here I await him."

Twice he repeated the same words, and twice they fell unheard by any
adventurer; but fate, that was guiding affairs for him from better to
better, so ordered it that shortly afterwards there appeared on the road
a crowd of men on horseback, many of them with lances in their hands, all
riding in a compact body and in great haste. No sooner had those who were
with Don Quixote seen them than they turned about and withdrew to some
distance from the road, for they knew that if they stayed some harm might
come to them; but Don Quixote with intrepid heart stood his ground, and
Sancho Panza shielded himself with Rocinante's hind-quarters. The troop
of lancers came up, and one of them who was in advance began shouting to
Don Quixote, "Get out of the way, you son of the devil, or these bulls
will knock you to pieces!"

"Rabble!" returned Don Quixote, "I care nothing for bulls, be they the
fiercest Jarama breeds on its banks. Confess at once, scoundrels, that
what I have declared is true; else ye have to deal with me in combat."

The herdsman had no time to reply, nor Don Quixote to get out of the way
even if he wished; and so the drove of fierce bulls and tame bullocks,
together with the crowd of herdsmen and others who were taking them to be
penned up in a village where they were to be run the next day, passed
over Don Quixote and over Sancho, Rocinante and Dapple, hurling them all
to the earth and rolling them over on the ground. Sancho was left
crushed, Don Quixote scared, Dapple belaboured and Rocinante in no very
sound condition.

They all got up, however, at length, and Don Quixote in great haste,
stumbling here and falling there, started off running after the drove,
shouting out, "Hold! stay! ye rascally rabble, a single knight awaits
you, and he is not of the temper or opinion of those who say, 'For a
flying enemy make a bridge of silver.'" The retreating party in their
haste, however, did not stop for that, or heed his menaces any more than
last year's clouds. Weariness brought Don Quixote to a halt, and more
enraged than avenged he sat down on the road to wait until Sancho,
Rocinante and Dapple came up. When they reached him master and man
mounted once more, and without going back to bid farewell to the mock or
imitation Arcadia, and more in humiliation than contentment, they
continued their journey.

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