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Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 5 out of 21

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knights-errant rise and have risen to be kings and emperors; all we
want now is to find out what king, Christian or pagan, is at war and
has a beautiful daughter; but there will be time enough to think of
that, for, as I have told thee, fame must be won in other quarters
before repairing to the court. There is another thing, too, that is
wanting; for supposing we find a king who is at war and has a
beautiful daughter, and that I have won incredible fame throughout the
universe, I know not how it can be made out that I am of royal
lineage, or even second cousin to an emperor; for the king will not be
willing to give me his daughter in marriage unless he is first
thoroughly satisfied on this point, however much my famous deeds may
deserve it; so that by this deficiency I fear I shall lose what my arm
has fairly earned. True it is I am a gentleman of known house, of
estate and property, and entitled to the five hundred sueldos mulct;
and it may be that the sage who shall write my history will so clear
up my ancestry and pedigree that I may find myself fifth or sixth in
descent from a king; for I would have thee know, Sancho, that there
are two kinds of lineages in the world; some there be tracing and
deriving their descent from kings and princes, whom time has reduced
little by little until they end in a point like a pyramid upside down;
and others who spring from the common herd and go on rising step by
step until they come to be great lords; so that the difference is that
the one were what they no longer are, and the others are what they
formerly were not. And I may be of such that after investigation my
origin may prove great and famous, with which the king, my
father-in-law that is to be, ought to be satisfied; and should he
not be, the princess will so love me that even though she well knew me
to be the son of a water-carrier, she will take me for her lord and
husband in spite of her father; if not, then it comes to seizing her
and carrying her off where I please; for time or death will put an end
to the wrath of her parents."

"It comes to this, too," said Sancho, "what some naughty people say,
'Never ask as a favour what thou canst take by force;' though it would
fit better to say, 'A clear escape is better than good men's prayers.'
I say so because if my lord the king, your worship's father-in-law,
will not condescend to give you my lady the princess, there is nothing
for it but, as your worship says, to seize her and transport her.
But the mischief is that until peace is made and you come into the
peaceful enjoyment of your kingdom, the poor squire is famishing as
far as rewards go, unless it be that the confidante damsel that is
to be his wife comes with the princess, and that with her he tides
over his bad luck until Heaven otherwise orders things; for his
master, I suppose, may as well give her to him at once for a lawful

"Nobody can object to that," said Don Quixote.

"Then since that may be," said Sancho, "there is nothing for it
but to commend ourselves to God, and let fortune take what course it

"God guide it according to my wishes and thy wants," said Don
Quixote, "and mean be he who thinks himself mean."

"In God's name let him be so," said Sancho: "I am an old
Christian, and to fit me for a count that's enough."

"And more than enough for thee," said Don Quixote; "and even wert
thou not, it would make no difference, because I being the king can
easily give thee nobility without purchase or service rendered by
thee, for when I make thee a count, then thou art at once a gentleman;
and they may say what they will, but by my faith they will have to
call thee 'your lordship,' whether they like it or not."

"Not a doubt of it; and I'll know how to support the tittle," said

"Title thou shouldst say, not tittle," said his master.

"So be it," answered Sancho. "I say I will know how to behave, for
once in my life I was beadle of a brotherhood, and the beadle's gown
sat so well on me that all said I looked as if I was to be steward
of the same brotherhood. What will it be, then, when I put a duke's
robe on my back, or dress myself in gold and pearls like a count? I
believe they'll come a hundred leagues to see me."

"Thou wilt look well," said Don Quixote, "but thou must shave thy
beard often, for thou hast it so thick and rough and unkempt, that
if thou dost not shave it every second day at least, they will see
what thou art at the distance of a musket shot."

"What more will it be," said Sancho, "than having a barber, and
keeping him at wages in the house? and even if it be necessary, I will
make him go behind me like a nobleman's equerry."

"Why, how dost thou know that noblemen have equerries behind
them?" asked Don Quixote.

"I will tell you," answered Sancho. "Years ago I was for a month
at the capital and there I saw taking the air a very small gentleman
who they said was a very great man, and a man following him on
horseback in every turn he took, just as if he was his tail. I asked
why this man did not join the other man, instead of always going
behind him; they answered me that he was his equerry, and that it
was the custom with nobles to have such persons behind them, and
ever since then I know it, for I have never forgotten it."

"Thou art right," said Don Quixote, "and in the same way thou mayest
carry thy barber with thee, for customs did not come into use all
together, nor were they all invented at once, and thou mayest be the
first count to have a barber to follow him; and, indeed, shaving one's
beard is a greater trust than saddling one's horse."

"Let the barber business be my look-out," said Sancho; "and your
worship's be it to strive to become a king, and make me a count."

"So it shall be," answered Don Quixote, and raising his eyes he
saw what will be told in the following chapter.



Cide Hamete Benengeli, the Arab and Manchegan author, relates in
this most grave, high-sounding, minute, delightful, and original
history that after the discussion between the famous Don Quixote of La
Mancha and his squire Sancho Panza which is set down at the end of
chapter twenty-one, Don Quixote raised his eyes and saw coming along
the road he was following some dozen men on foot strung together by
the neck, like beads, on a great iron chain, and all with manacles
on their hands. With them there came also two men on horseback and two
on foot; those on horseback with wheel-lock muskets, those on foot
with javelins and swords, and as soon as Sancho saw them he said:

"That is a chain of galley slaves, on the way to the galleys by
force of the king's orders."

"How by force?" asked Don Quixote; "is it possible that the king
uses force against anyone?"

"I do not say that," answered Sancho, "but that these are people
condemned for their crimes to serve by force in the king's galleys."

"In fact," replied Don Quixote, "however it may be, these people are
going where they are taking them by force, and not of their own will."

"Just so," said Sancho.

"Then if so," said Don Quixote, "here is a case for the exercise
of my office, to put down force and to succour and help the wretched."

"Recollect, your worship," said Sancho, "Justice, which is the
king himself, is not using force or doing wrong to such persons, but
punishing them for their crimes."

The chain of galley slaves had by this time come up, and Don Quixote
in very courteous language asked those who were in custody of it to be
good enough to tell him the reason or reasons for which they were
conducting these people in this manner. One of the guards on horseback
answered that they were galley slaves belonging to his majesty, that
they were going to the galleys, and that was all that was to be said
and all he had any business to know.

"Nevertheless," replied Don Quixote, "I should like to know from
each of them separately the reason of his misfortune;" to this he
added more to the same effect to induce them to tell him what he
wanted so civilly that the other mounted guard said to him:

"Though we have here the register and certificate of the sentence of
every one of these wretches, this is no time to take them out or
read them; come and ask themselves; they can tell if they choose,
and they will, for these fellows take a pleasure in doing and
talking about rascalities."

With this permission, which Don Quixote would have taken even had
they not granted it, he approached the chain and asked the first for
what offences he was now in such a sorry case.

He made answer that it was for being a lover.

"For that only?" replied Don Quixote; "why, if for being lovers they
send people to the galleys I might have been rowing in them long ago."

"The love is not the sort your worship is thinking of," said the
galley slave; "mine was that I loved a washerwoman's basket of clean
linen so well, and held it so close in my embrace, that if the arm
of the law had not forced it from me, I should never have let it go of
my own will to this moment; I was caught in the act, there was no
occasion for torture, the case was settled, they treated me to a
hundred lashes on the back, and three years of gurapas besides, and
that was the end of it."

"What are gurapas?" asked Don Quixote.

"Gurapas are galleys," answered the galley slave, who was a young
man of about four-and-twenty, and said he was a native of Piedrahita.

Don Quixote asked the same question of the second, who made no
reply, so downcast and melancholy was he; but the first answered for
him, and said, "He, sir, goes as a canary, I mean as a musician and
a singer."

"What!" said Don Quixote, "for being musicians and singers are
people sent to the galleys too?"

"Yes, sir," answered the galley slave, "for there is nothing worse
than singing under suffering."

"On the contrary, I have heard say," said Don Quixote, "that he
who sings scares away his woes."

"Here it is the reverse," said the galley slave; "for he who sings
once weeps all his life."

"I do not understand it," said Don Quixote; but one of the guards
said to him, "Sir, to sing under suffering means with the non sancta
fraternity to confess under torture; they put this sinner to the
torture and he confessed his crime, which was being a cuatrero, that
is a cattle-stealer, and on his confession they sentenced him to six
years in the galleys, besides two bundred lashes that he has already
had on the back; and he is always dejected and downcast because the
other thieves that were left behind and that march here ill-treat, and
snub, and jeer, and despise him for confessing and not having spirit
enough to say nay; for, say they, 'nay' has no more letters in it than
'yea,' and a culprit is well off when life or death with him depends
on his own tongue and not on that of witnesses or evidence; and to
my thinking they are not very far out."

"And I think so too," answered Don Quixote; then passing on to the
third he asked him what he had asked the others, and the man
answered very readily and unconcernedly, "I am going for five years to
their ladyships the gurapas for the want of ten ducats."

"I will give twenty with pleasure to get you out of that trouble,"
said Don Quixote.

"That," said the galley slave, "is like a man having money at sea
when he is dying of hunger and has no way of buying what he wants; I
say so because if at the right time I had had those twenty ducats that
your worship now offers me, I would have greased the notary's pen
and freshened up the attorney's wit with them, so that to-day I should
be in the middle of the plaza of the Zocodover at Toledo, and not on
this road coupled like a greyhound. But God is great; patience- there,
that's enough of it."

Don Quixote passed on to the fourth, a man of venerable aspect
with a white beard falling below his breast, who on hearing himself
asked the reason of his being there began to weep without answering
a word, but the fifth acted as his tongue and said, "This worthy man
is going to the galleys for four years, after having gone the rounds
in ceremony and on horseback."

"That means," said Sancho Panza, "as I take it, to have been
exposed to shame in public."

"Just so," replied the galley slave, "and the offence for which they
gave him that punishment was having been an ear-broker, nay
body-broker; I mean, in short, that this gentleman goes as a pimp, and
for having besides a certain touch of the sorcerer about him."

"If that touch had not been thrown in," said Don Quixote, "be
would not deserve, for mere pimping, to row in the galleys, but rather
to command and be admiral of them; for the office of pimp is no
ordinary one, being the office of persons of discretion, one very
necessary in a well-ordered state, and only to be exercised by persons
of good birth; nay, there ought to be an inspector and overseer of
them, as in other offices, and recognised number, as with the
brokers on change; in this way many of the evils would be avoided
which are caused by this office and calling being in the hands of
stupid and ignorant people, such as women more or less silly, and
pages and jesters of little standing and experience, who on the most
urgent occasions, and when ingenuity of contrivance is needed, let the
crumbs freeze on the way to their mouths, and know not which is
their right hand. I should like to go farther, and give reasons to
show that it is advisable to choose those who are to hold so necessary
an office in the state, but this is not the fit place for it; some day
I will expound the matter to some one able to see to and rectify it;
all I say now is, that the additional fact of his being a sorcerer has
removed the sorrow it gave me to see these white hairs and this
venerable countenance in so painful a position on account of his being
a pimp; though I know well there are no sorceries in the world that
can move or compel the will as some simple folk fancy, for our will is
free, nor is there herb or charm that can force it. All that certain
silly women and quacks do is to turn men mad with potions and poisons,
pretending that they have power to cause love, for, as I say, it is an
impossibility to compel the will."

"It is true," said the good old man, "and indeed, sir, as far as the
charge of sorcery goes I was not guilty; as to that of being a pimp
I cannot deny it; but I never thought I was doing any harm by it,
for my only object was that all the world should enjoy itself and live
in peace and quiet, without quarrels or troubles; but my good
intentions were unavailing to save me from going where I never
expect to come back from, with this weight of years upon me and a
urinary ailment that never gives me a moment's ease;" and again he
fell to weeping as before, and such compassion did Sancho feel for him
that he took out a real of four from his bosom and gave it to him in

Don Quixote went on and asked another what his crime was, and the
man answered with no less but rather much more sprightliness than
the last one.

"I am here because I carried the joke too far with a couple of
cousins of mine, and with a couple of other cousins who were none of
mine; in short, I carried the joke so far with them all that it
ended in such a complicated increase of kindred that no accountant
could make it clear: it was all proved against me, I got no favour,
I had no money, I was near having my neck stretched, they sentenced me
to the galleys for six years, I accepted my fate, it is the punishment
of my fault; I am a young man; let life only last, and with that all
will come right. If you, sir, have anything wherewith to help the
poor, God will repay it to you in heaven, and we on earth will take
care in our petitions to him to pray for the life and health of your
worship, that they may be as long and as good as your amiable
appearance deserves."

This one was in the dress of a student, and one of the guards said
he was a great talker and a very elegant Latin scholar.

Behind all these there came a man of thirty, a very personable
fellow, except that when he looked, his eyes turned in a little one
towards the other. He was bound differently from the rest, for he
had to his leg a chain so long that it was wound all round his body,
and two rings on his neck, one attached to the chain, the other to
what they call a "keep-friend" or "friend's foot," from which hung two
irons reaching to his waist with two manacles fixed to them in which
his hands were secured by a big padlock, so that he could neither
raise his hands to his mouth nor lower his head to his hands. Don
Quixote asked why this man carried so many more chains than the
others. The guard replied that it was because he alone had committed
more crimes than all the rest put together, and was so daring and such
a villain, that though they marched him in that fashion they did not
feel sure of him, but were in dread of his making his escape.

"What crimes can he have committed," said Don Quixote, "if they have
not deserved a heavier punishment than being sent to the galleys?"

"He goes for ten years," replied the guard, "which is the same thing
as civil death, and all that need be said is that this good fellow
is the famous Gines de Pasamonte, otherwise called Ginesillo de

"Gently, senor commissary," said the galley slave at this, "let us
have no fixing of names or surnames; my name is Gines, not
Ginesillo, and my family name is Pasamonte, not Parapilla as you
say; let each one mind his own business, and he will be doing enough."

"Speak with less impertinence, master thief of extra measure,"
replied the commissary, "if you don't want me to make you hold your
tongue in spite of your teeth."

"It is easy to see," returned the galley slave, "that man goes as
God pleases, but some one shall know some day whether I am called
Ginesillo de Parapilla or not."

"Don't they call you so, you liar?" said the guard.

"They do," returned Gines, "but I will make them give over calling
me so, or I will be shaved, where, I only say behind my teeth. If you,
sir, have anything to give us, give it to us at once, and God speed
you, for you are becoming tiresome with all this inquisitiveness about
the lives of others; if you want to know about mine, let me tell you I
am Gines de Pasamonte, whose life is written by these fingers."

"He says true," said the commissary, "for he has himself written his
story as grand as you please, and has left the book in the prison in
pawn for two hundred reals."

"And I mean to take it out of pawn," said Gines, "though it were
in for two hundred ducats."

"Is it so good?" said Don Quixote.

"So good is it," replied Gines, "that a fig for 'Lazarillo de
Tormes,' and all of that kind that have been written, or shall be
written compared with it: all I will say about it is that it deals
with facts, and facts so neat and diverting that no lies could match

"And how is the book entitled?" asked Don Quixote.

"The 'Life of Gines de Pasamonte,'" replied the subject of it.

"And is it finished?" asked Don Quixote.

"How can it be finished," said the other, "when my life is not yet
finished? All that is written is from my birth down to the point
when they sent me to the galleys this last time."

"Then you have been there before?" said Don Quixote.

"In the service of God and the king I have been there for four years
before now, and I know by this time what the biscuit and courbash
are like," replied Gines; "and it is no great grievance to me to go
back to them, for there I shall have time to finish my book; I have
still many things left to say, and in the galleys of Spain there is
more than enough leisure; though I do not want much for what I have to
write, for I have it by heart."

"You seem a clever fellow," said Don Quixote.

"And an unfortunate one," replied Gines, "for misfortune always
persecutes good wit."

"It persecutes rogues," said the commissary.

"I told you already to go gently, master commissary," said
Pasamonte; "their lordships yonder never gave you that staff to
ill-treat us wretches here, but to conduct and take us where his
majesty orders you; if not, by the life of-never mind-; it may be that
some day the stains made in the inn will come out in the scouring; let
everyone hold his tongue and behave well and speak better; and now let
us march on, for we have had quite enough of this entertainment."

The commissary lifted his staff to strike Pasamonte in return for
his threats, but Don Quixote came between them, and begged him not
to ill-use him, as it was not too much to allow one who had his
hands tied to have his tongue a trifle free; and turning to the
whole chain of them he said:

"From all you have told me, dear brethren, make out clearly that
though they have punished you for your faults, the punishments you are
about to endure do not give you much pleasure, and that you go to them
very much against the grain and against your will, and that perhaps
this one's want of courage under torture, that one's want of money,
the other's want of advocacy, and lastly the perverted judgment of the
judge may have been the cause of your ruin and of your failure to
obtain the justice you had on your side. All which presents itself now
to my mind, urging, persuading, and even compelling me to
demonstrate in your case the purpose for which Heaven sent me into the
world and caused me to make profession of the order of chivalry to
which I belong, and the vow I took therein to give aid to those in
need and under the oppression of the strong. But as I know that it
is a mark of prudence not to do by foul means what may be done by
fair, I will ask these gentlemen, the guards and commissary, to be
so good as to release you and let you go in peace, as there will be no
lack of others to serve the king under more favourable
circumstances; for it seems to me a hard case to make slaves of
those whom God and nature have made free. Moreover, sirs of the
guard," added Don Quixote, "these poor fellows have done nothing to
you; let each answer for his own sins yonder; there is a God in Heaven
who will not forget to punish the wicked or reward the good; and it is
not fitting that honest men should be the instruments of punishment to
others, they being therein no way concerned. This request I make
thus gently and quietly, that, if you comply with it, I may have
reason for thanking you; and, if you will not voluntarily, this
lance and sword together with the might of my arm shall compel you
to comply with it by force."

"Nice nonsense!" said the commissary; "a fine piece of pleasantry he
has come out with at last! He wants us to let the king's prisoners go,
as if we had any authority to release them, or he to order us to do
so! Go your way, sir, and good luck to you; put that basin straight
that you've got on your head, and don't go looking for three feet on a

'Tis you that are the cat, rat, and rascal," replied Don Quixote,
and acting on the word he fell upon him so suddenly that without
giving him time to defend himself he brought him to the ground
sorely wounded with a lance-thrust; and lucky it was for him that it
was the one that had the musket. The other guards stood
thunderstruck and amazed at this unexpected event, but recovering
presence of mind, those on horseback seized their swords, and those on
foot their javelins, and attacked Don Quixote, who was waiting for
them with great calmness; and no doubt it would have gone badly with
him if the galley slaves, seeing the chance before them of
liberating themselves, had not effected it by contriving to break
the chain on which they were strung. Such was the confusion, that
the guards, now rushing at the galley slaves who were breaking
loose, now to attack Don Quixote who was waiting for them, did nothing
at all that was of any use. Sancho, on his part, gave a helping hand
to release Gines de Pasamonte, who was the first to leap forth upon
the plain free and unfettered, and who, attacking the prostrate
commissary, took from him his sword and the musket, with which, aiming
at one and levelling at another, he, without ever discharging it,
drove every one of the guards off the field, for they took to
flight, as well to escape Pasamonte's musket, as the showers of stones
the now released galley slaves were raining upon them. Sancho was
greatly grieved at the affair, because he anticipated that those who
had fled would report the matter to the Holy Brotherhood, who at the
summons of the alarm-bell would at once sally forth in quest of the
offenders; and he said so to his master, and entreated him to leave
the place at once, and go into hiding in the sierra that was close by.

"That is all very well," said Don Quixote, "but I know what must
be done now;" and calling together all the galley slaves, who were now
running riot, and had stripped the commissary to the skin, he
collected them round him to hear what he had to say, and addressed
them as follows: "To be grateful for benefits received is the part
of persons of good birth, and one of the sins most offensive to God is
ingratitude; I say so because, sirs, ye have already seen by
manifest proof the benefit ye have received of me; in return for which
I desire, and it is my good pleasure that, laden with that chain which
I have taken off your necks, ye at once set out and proceed to the
city of El Toboso, and there present yourselves before the lady
Dulcinea del Toboso, and say to her that her knight, he of the
Rueful Countenance, sends to commend himself to her; and that ye
recount to her in full detail all the particulars of this notable
adventure, up to the recovery of your longed-for liberty; and this
done ye may go where ye will, and good fortune attend you."

Gines de Pasamonte made answer for all, saying, "That which you,
sir, our deliverer, demand of us, is of all impossibilities the most
impossible to comply with, because we cannot go together along the
roads, but only singly and separate, and each one his own way,
endeavouring to hide ourselves in the bowels of the earth to escape
the Holy Brotherhood, which, no doubt, will come out in search of
us. What your worship may do, and fairly do, is to change this service
and tribute as regards the lady Dulcinea del Toboso for a certain
quantity of ave-marias and credos which we will say for your worship's
intention, and this is a condition that can be complied with by
night as by day, running or resting, in peace or in war; but to
imagine that we are going now to return to the flesh-pots of Egypt,
I mean to take up our chain and set out for El Toboso, is to imagine
that it is now night, though it is not yet ten in the morning, and
to ask this of us is like asking pears of the elm tree."

"Then by all that's good," said Don Quixote (now stirred to
wrath), "Don son of a bitch, Don Ginesillo de Paropillo, or whatever
your name is, you will have to go yourself alone, with your tail
between your legs and the whole chain on your back."

Pasamonte, who was anything but meek (being by this time
thoroughly convinced that Don Quixote was not quite right in his
head as he had committed such a vagary as to set them free), finding
himself abused in this fashion, gave the wink to his companions, and
falling back they began to shower stones on Don Quixote at such a rate
that he was quite unable to protect himself with his buckler, and poor
Rocinante no more heeded the spur than if he had been made of brass.
Sancho planted himself behind his ass, and with him sheltered
himself from the hailstorm that poured on both of them. Don Quixote
was unable to shield himself so well but that more pebbles than I
could count struck him full on the body with such force that they
brought him to the ground; and the instant he fell the student pounced
upon him, snatched the basin from his head, and with it struck three
or four blows on his shoulders, and as many more on the ground,
knocking it almost to pieces. They then stripped him of a jacket
that he wore over his armour, and they would have stripped off his
stockings if his greaves had not prevented them. From Sancho they took
his coat, leaving him in his shirt-sleeves; and dividing among
themselves the remaining spoils of the battle, they went each one
his own way, more solicitous about keeping clear of the Holy
Brotherhood they dreaded, than about burdening themselves with the
chain, or going to present themselves before the lady Dulcinea del
Toboso. The ass and Rocinante, Sancho and Don Quixote, were all that
were left upon the spot; the ass with drooping head, serious,
shaking his ears from time to time as if he thought the storm of
stones that assailed them was not yet over; Rocinante stretched beside
his master, for he too had been brought to the ground by a stone;
Sancho stripped, and trembling with fear of the Holy Brotherhood;
and Don Quixote fuming to find himself so served by the very persons
for whom he had done so much.



Seeing himself served in this way, Don Quixote said to his squire,
"I have always heard it said, Sancho, that to do good to boors is to
throw water into the sea. If I had believed thy words, I should have
avoided this trouble; but it is done now, it is only to have
patience and take warning for the future."

"Your worship will take warning as much as I am a Turk," returned
Sancho; "but, as you say this mischief might have been avoided if
you had believed me, believe me now, and a still greater one will be
avoided; for I tell you chivalry is of no account with the Holy
Brotherhood, and they don't care two maravedis for all the
knights-errant in the world; and I can tell you I fancy I hear their
arrows whistling past my ears this minute."

"Thou art a coward by nature, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "but lest
thou shouldst say I am obstinate, and that I never do as thou dost
advise, this once I will take thy advice, and withdraw out of reach of
that fury thou so dreadest; but it must be on one condition, that
never, in life or in death, thou art to say to anyone that I retired
or withdrew from this danger out of fear, but only in compliance
with thy entreaties; for if thou sayest otherwise thou wilt lie
therein, and from this time to that, and from that to this, I give
thee lie, and say thou liest and wilt lie every time thou thinkest
or sayest it; and answer me not again; for at the mere thought that
I am withdrawing or retiring from any danger, above all from this,
which does seem to carry some little shadow of fear with it, I am
ready to take my stand here and await alone, not only that Holy
Brotherhood you talk of and dread, but the brothers of the twelve
tribes of Israel, and the Seven Maccabees, and Castor and Pollux,
and all the brothers and brotherhoods in the world."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "to retire is not to flee, and there is
no wisdom in waiting when danger outweighs hope, and it is the part of
wise men to preserve themselves to-day for to-morrow, and not risk all
in one day; and let me tell you, though I am a clown and a boor, I
have got some notion of what they call safe conduct; so repent not
of having taken my advice, but mount Rocinante if you can, and if
not I will help you; and follow me, for my mother-wit tells me we have
more need of legs than hands just now."

Don Quixote mounted without replying, and, Sancho leading the way on
his ass, they entered the side of the Sierra Morena, which was close
by, as it was Sancho's design to cross it entirely and come out
again at El Viso or Almodovar del Campo, and hide for some days
among its crags so as to escape the search of the Brotherhood should
they come to look for them. He was encouraged in this by perceiving
that the stock of provisions carried by the ass had come safe out of
the fray with the galley slaves, a circumstance that he regarded as
a miracle, seeing how they pillaged and ransacked.

That night they reached the very heart of the Sierra Morena, where
it seemed prudent to Sancho to pass the night and even some days, at
least as many as the stores he carried might last, and so they
encamped between two rocks and among some cork trees; but fatal
destiny, which, according to the opinion of those who have not the
light of the true faith, directs, arranges, and settles everything
in its own way, so ordered it that Gines de Pasamonte, the famous
knave and thief who by the virtue and madness of Don Quixote had
been released from the chain, driven by fear of the Holy
Brotherhood, which he had good reason to dread, resolved to take
hiding in the mountains; and his fate and fear led him to the same
spot to which Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had been led by theirs,
just in time to recognise them and leave them to fall asleep: and as
the wicked are always ungrateful, and necessity leads to evildoing,
and immediate advantage overcomes all considerations of the future,
Gines, who was neither grateful nor well-principled, made up his
mind to steal Sancho Panza's ass, not troubling himself about
Rocinante, as being a prize that was no good either to pledge or sell.
While Sancho slept he stole his ass, and before day dawned he was
far out of reach.

Aurora made her appearance bringing gladness to the earth but
sadness to Sancho Panza, for he found that his Dapple was missing, and
seeing himself bereft of him he began the saddest and most doleful
lament in the world, so loud that Don Quixote awoke at his
exclamations and heard him saying, "O son of my bowels, born in my
very house, my children's plaything, my wife's joy, the envy of my
neighbours, relief of my burdens, and lastly, half supporter of
myself, for with the six-and-twenty maravedis thou didst earn me daily
I met half my charges."

Don Quixote, when he heard the lament and learned the cause,
consoled Sancho with the best arguments he could, entreating him to be
patient, and promising to give him a letter of exchange ordering three
out of five ass-colts that he had at home to be given to him. Sancho
took comfort at this, dried his tears, suppressed his sobs, and
returned thanks for the kindness shown him by Don Quixote. He on his
part was rejoiced to the heart on entering the mountains, as they
seemed to him to be just the place for the adventures he was in
quest of. They brought back to his memory the marvellous adventures
that had befallen knights-errant in like solitudes and wilds, and he
went along reflecting on these things, so absorbed and carried away by
them that he had no thought for anything else. Nor had Sancho any
other care (now that he fancied he was travelling in a safe quarter)
than to satisfy his appetite with such remains as were left of the
clerical spoils, and so he marched behind his master laden with what
Dapple used to carry, emptying the sack and packing his paunch, and so
long as he could go that way, he would not have given a farthing to
meet with another adventure.

While so engaged he raised his eyes and saw that his master had
halted, and was trying with the point of his pike to lift some bulky
object that lay upon the ground, on which he hastened to join him
and help him if it were needful, and reached him just as with the
point of the pike he was raising a saddle-pad with a valise attached
to it, half or rather wholly rotten and torn; but so heavy were they
that Sancho had to help to take them up, and his master directed him
to see what the valise contained. Sancho did so with great alacrity,
and though the valise was secured by a chain and padlock, from its
torn and rotten condition he was able to see its contents, which
were four shirts of fine holland, and other articles of linen no
less curious than clean; and in a handkerchief he found a good lot
of gold crowns, and as soon as he saw them he exclaimed:

"Blessed be all Heaven for sending us an adventure that is good
for something!"

Searching further he found a little memorandum book richly bound;
this Don Quixote asked of him, telling him to take the money and
keep it for himself. Sancho kissed his hands for the favour, and
cleared the valise of its linen, which he stowed away in the provision
sack. Considering the whole matter, Don Quixote observed:

"It seems to me, Sancho- and it is impossible it can be otherwise-
that some strayed traveller must have crossed this sierra and been
attacked and slain by footpads, who brought him to this remote spot to
bury him."

"That cannot be," answered Sancho, "because if they had been robbers
they would not have left this money."

"Thou art right," said Don Quixote, "and I cannot guess or explain
what this may mean; but stay; let us see if in this memorandum book
there is anything written by which we may be able to trace out or
discover what we want to know."

He opened it, and the first thing he found in it, written roughly
but in a very good hand, was a sonnet, and reading it aloud that
Sancho might hear it, he found that it ran as follows:

Or Love is lacking in intelligence,
Or to the height of cruelty attains,
Or else it is my doom to suffer pains
Beyond the measure due to my offence.
But if Love be a God, it follows thence
That he knows all, and certain it remains
No God loves cruelty; then who ordains
This penance that enthrals while it torments?
It were a falsehood, Chloe, thee to name;
Such evil with such goodness cannot live;
And against Heaven I dare not charge the blame,
I only know it is my fate to die.
To him who knows not whence his malady
A miracle alone a cure can give.

"There is nothing to be learned from that rhyme," said Sancho,
"unless by that clue there's in it, one may draw out the ball of the
whole matter."

"What clue is there?" said Don Quixote.

"I thought your worship spoke of a clue in it," said Sancho.

"I only said Chloe," replied Don Quixote; "and that no doubt, is the
name of the lady of whom the author of the sonnet complains; and,
faith, he must be a tolerable poet, or I know little of the craft."

"Then your worship understands rhyming too?"

"And better than thou thinkest," replied Don Quixote, "as thou shalt
see when thou carriest a letter written in verse from beginning to end
to my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, for I would have thee know, Sancho,
that all or most of the knights-errant in days of yore were great
troubadours and great musicians, for both of these accomplishments, or
more properly speaking gifts, are the peculiar property of
lovers-errant: true it is that the verses of the knights of old have
more spirit than neatness in them."

"Read more, your worship," said Sancho, "and you will find something
that will enlighten us."

Don Quixote turned the page and said, "This is prose and seems to be
a letter."

"A correspondence letter, senor?"

"From the beginning it seems to be a love letter," replied Don

"Then let your worship read it aloud," said Sancho, "for I am very
fond of love matters."

"With all my heart," said Don Quixote, and reading it aloud as
Sancho had requested him, he found it ran thus:

Thy false promise and my sure misforutne carry me to a place
whence the news of my death will reach thy ears before the words of my
complaint. Ungrateful one, thou hast rejected me for one more wealthy,
but not more worthy; but if virtue were esteemed wealth I should
neither envy the fortunes of others nor weep for misfortunes of my
own. What thy beauty raised up thy deeds have laid low; by it I
believed thee to be an angel, by them I know thou art a woman. Peace
be with thee who hast sent war to me, and Heaven grant that the deceit
of thy husband be ever hidden from thee, so that thou repent not of
what thou hast done, and I reap not a revenge I would not have.

When he had finished the letter, Don Quixote said, "There is less to
be gathered from this than from the verses, except that he who wrote
it is some rejected lover;" and turning over nearly all the pages of
the book he found more verses and letters, some of which he could
read, while others he could not; but they were all made up of
complaints, laments, misgivings, desires and aversions, favours and
rejections, some rapturous, some doleful. While Don Quixote examined
the book, Sancho examined the valise, not leaving a corner in the
whole of it or in the pad that he did not search, peer into, and
explore, or seam that he did not rip, or tuft of wool that he did
not pick to pieces, lest anything should escape for want of care and
pains; so keen was the covetousness excited in him by the discovery of
the crowns, which amounted to near a hundred; and though he found no
more booty, he held the blanket flights, balsam vomits, stake
benedictions, carriers' fisticuffs, missing alforjas, stolen coat, and
all the hunger, thirst, and weariness he had endured in the service of
his good master, cheap at the price; as he considered himself more
than fully indemnified for all by the payment he received in the
gift of the treasure-trove.

The Knight of the Rueful Countenance was still very anxious to
find out who the owner of the valise could be, conjecturing from the
sonnet and letter, from the money in gold, and from the fineness of
the shirts, that he must be some lover of distinction whom the scorn
and cruelty of his lady had driven to some desperate course; but as in
that uninhabited and rugged spot there was no one to be seen of whom
he could inquire, he saw nothing else for it but to push on, taking
whatever road Rocinante chose- which was where he could make his
way- firmly persuaded that among these wilds he could not fail to meet
some rare adventure. As he went along, then, occupied with these
thoughts, he perceived on the summit of a height that rose before
their eyes a man who went springing from rock to rock and from tussock
to tussock with marvellous agility. As well as he could make out he
was unclad, with a thick black beard, long tangled hair, and bare legs
and feet, his thighs were covered by breeches apparently of tawny
velvet but so ragged that they showed his skin in several places. He
was bareheaded, and notwithstanding the swiftness with which he passed
as has been described, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance observed
and noted all these trifles, and though he made the attempt, he was
unable to follow him, for it was not granted to the feebleness of
Rocinante to make way over such rough ground, he being, moreover,
slow-paced and sluggish by nature. Don Quixote at once came to the
conclusion that this was the owner of the saddle-pad and of the
valise, and made up his mind to go in search of him, even though he
should have to wander a year in those mountains before he found him,
and so he directed Sancho to take a short cut over one side of the
mountain, while he himself went by the other, and perhaps by this
means they might light upon this man who had passed so quickly out
of their sight.

"I could not do that," said Sancho, "for when I separate from your
worship fear at once lays hold of me, and assails me with all sorts of
panics and fancies; and let what I now say be a notice that from
this time forth I am not going to stir a finger's width from your

"It shall be so," said he of the Rueful Countenance, "and I am
very glad that thou art willing to rely on my courage, which will
never fail thee, even though the soul in thy body fail thee; so come
on now behind me slowly as well as thou canst, and make lanterns of
thine eyes; let us make the circuit of this ridge; perhaps we shall
light upon this man that we saw, who no doubt is no other than the
owner of what we found."

To which Sancho made answer, "Far better would it be not to look for
him, for, if we find him, and he happens to be the owner of the money,
it is plain I must restore it; it would be better, therefore, that
without taking this needless trouble, I should keep possession of it
until in some other less meddlesome and officious way the real owner
may be discovered; and perhaps that will be when I shall have spent
it, and then the king will hold me harmless."

"Thou art wrong there, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for now that we
have a suspicion who the owner is, and have him almost before us, we
are bound to seek him and make restitution; and if we do not see
him, the strong suspicion we have as to his being the owner makes us
as guilty as if he were so; and so, friend Sancho, let not our
search for him give thee any uneasiness, for if we find him it will
relieve mine."

And so saying he gave Rocinante the spur, and Sancho followed him on
foot and loaded, and after having partly made the circuit of the
mountain they found lying in a ravine, dead and half devoured by
dogs and pecked by jackdaws, a mule saddled and bridled, all which
still further strengthened their suspicion that he who had fled was
the owner of the mule and the saddle-pad.

As they stood looking at it they heard a whistle like that of a
shepherd watching his flock, and suddenly on their left there appeared
a great number of goats and behind them on the summit of the
mountain the goatherd in charge of them, a man advanced in years.
Don Quixote called aloud to him and begged him to come down to where
they stood. He shouted in return, asking what had brought them to that
spot, seldom or never trodden except by the feet of goats, or of the
wolves and other wild beasts that roamed around. Sancho in return bade
him come down, and they would explain all to him.

The goatherd descended, and reaching the place where Don Quixote
stood, he said, "I will wager you are looking at that hack mule that
lies dead in the hollow there, and, faith, it has been lying there now
these six months; tell me, have you come upon its master about here?"

"We have come upon nobody," answered Don Quixote, "nor on anything
except a saddle-pad and a little valise that we found not far from

"I found it too," said the goatherd, "but I would not lift it nor go
near it for fear of some ill-luck or being charged with theft, for the
devil is crafty, and things rise up under one's feet to make one
fall without knowing why or wherefore."

"That's exactly what I say," said Sancho; "I found it too, and I
would not go within a stone's throw of it; there I left it, and
there it lies just as it was, for I don't want a dog with a bell."

"Tell me, good man," said Don Quixote, "do you know who is the owner
of this property?"

"All I can tell you," said the goatherd, "is that about six months
ago, more or less, there arrived at a shepherd's hut three leagues,
perhaps, away from this, a youth of well-bred appearance and
manners, mounted on that same mule which lies dead here, and with
the same saddle-pad and valise which you say you found and did not
touch. He asked us what part of this sierra was the most rugged and
retired; we told him that it was where we now are; and so in truth
it is, for if you push on half a league farther, perhaps you will
not be able to find your way out; and I am wondering how you have
managed to come here, for there is no road or path that leads to
this spot. I say, then, that on hearing our answer the youth turned
about and made for the place we pointed out to him, leaving us all
charmed with his good looks, and wondering at his question and the
haste with which we saw him depart in the direction of the sierra; and
after that we saw him no more, until some days afterwards he crossed
the path of one of our shepherds, and without saying a word to him,
came up to him and gave him several cuffs and kicks, and then turned
to the ass with our provisions and took all the bread and cheese it
carried, and having done this made off back again into the sierra with
extraordinary swiftness. When some of us goatherds learned this we
went in search of him for about two days through the most remote
portion of this sierra, at the end of which we found him lodged in the
hollow of a large thick cork tree. He came out to meet us with great
gentleness, with his dress now torn and his face so disfigured and
burned by the sun, that we hardly recognised him but that his clothes,
though torn, convinced us, from the recollection we had of them,
that he was the person we were looking for. He saluted us courteously,
and in a few well-spoken words he told us not to wonder at seeing
him going about in this guise, as it was binding upon him in order
that he might work out a penance which for his many sins had been
imposed upon him. We asked him to tell us who he was, but we were
never able to find out from him: we begged of him too, when he was
in want of food, which he could not do without, to tell us where we
should find him, as we would bring it to him with all good-will and
readiness; or if this were not to his taste, at least to come and
ask it of us and not take it by force from the shepherds. He thanked
us for the offer, begged pardon for the late assault, and promised for
the future to ask it in God's name without offering violence to
anybody. As for fixed abode, he said he had no other than that which
chance offered wherever night might overtake him; and his words
ended in an outburst of weeping so bitter that we who listened to
him must have been very stones had we not joined him in it,
comparing what we saw of him the first time with what we saw now; for,
as I said, he was a graceful and gracious youth, and in his
courteous and polished language showed himself to be of good birth and
courtly breeding, and rustics as we were that listened to him, even to
our rusticity his gentle bearing sufficed to make it plain.

"But in the midst of his conversation he stopped and became
silent, keeping his eyes fixed upon the ground for some time, during
which we stood still waiting anxiously to see what would come of
this abstraction; and with no little pity, for from his behaviour, now
staring at the ground with fixed gaze and eyes wide open without
moving an eyelid, again closing them, compressing his lips and raising
his eyebrows, we could perceive plainly that a fit of madness of
some kind had come upon him; and before long he showed that what we
imagined was the truth, for he arose in a fury from the ground where
he had thrown himself, and attacked the first he found near him with
such rage and fierceness that if we had not dragged him off him, he
would have beaten or bitten him to death, all the while exclaiming,
'Oh faithless Fernando, here, here shalt thou pay the penalty of the
wrong thou hast done me; these hands shall tear out that heart of
thine, abode and dwelling of all iniquity, but of deceit and fraud
above all; and to these he added other words all in effect
upbraiding this Fernando and charging him with treachery and

"We forced him to release his hold with no little difficulty, and
without another word he left us, and rushing off plunged in among
these brakes and brambles, so as to make it impossible for us to
follow him; from this we suppose that madness comes upon him from time
to time, and that some one called Fernando must have done him a
wrong of a grievous nature such as the condition to which it had
brought him seemed to show. All this has been since then confirmed
on those occasions, and they have been many, on which he has crossed
our path, at one time to beg the shepherds to give him some of the
food they carry, at another to take it from them by force; for when
there is a fit of madness upon him, even though the shepherds offer it
freely, he will not accept it but snatches it from them by dint of
blows; but when he is in his senses he begs it for the love of God,
courteously and civilly, and receives it with many thanks and not a
few tears. And to tell you the truth, sirs," continued the goatherd,
"it was yesterday that we resolved, I and four of the lads, two of
them our servants, and the other two friends of mine, to go in
search of him until we find him, and when we do to take him, whether
by force or of his own consent, to the town of Almodovar, which is
eight leagues from this, and there strive to cure him (if indeed his
malady admits of a cure), or learn when he is in his senses who he is,
and if he has relatives to whom we may give notice of his
misfortune. This, sirs, is all I can say in answer to what you have
asked me; and be sure that the owner of the articles you found is he
whom you saw pass by with such nimbleness and so naked."

For Don Quixote had already described how he had seen the man go
bounding along the mountain side, and he was now filled with amazement
at what he heard from the goatherd, and more eager than ever to
discover who the unhappy madman was; and in his heart he resolved,
as he had done before, to search for him all over the mountain, not
leaving a corner or cave unexamined until he had found him. But chance
arranged matters better than he expected or hoped, for at that very
moment, in a gorge on the mountain that opened where they stood, the
youth he wished to find made his appearance, coming along talking to
himself in a way that would have been unintelligible near at hand,
much more at a distance. His garb was what has been described, save
that as he drew near, Don Quixote perceived that a tattered doublet
which he wore was amber-tanned, from which he concluded that one who
wore such garments could not be of very low rank.

Approaching them, the youth greeted them in a harsh and hoarse voice
but with great courtesy. Don Quixote returned his salutation with
equal politeness, and dismounting from Rocinante advanced with
well-bred bearing and grace to embrace him, and held him for some time
close in his arms as if he had known him for a long time. The other,
whom we may call the Ragged One of the Sorry Countenance, as Don
Quixote was of the Rueful, after submitting to the embrace pushed
him back a little and, placing his hands on Don Quixote's shoulders,
stood gazing at him as if seeking to see whether he knew him, not less
amazed, perhaps, at the sight of the face, figure, and armour of Don
Quixote than Don Quixote was at the sight of him. To be brief, the
first to speak after embracing was the Ragged One, and he said what
will be told farther on.



The history relates that it was with the greatest attention Don
Quixote listened to the ragged knight of the Sierra, who began by

"Of a surety, senor, whoever you are, for I know you not, I thank
you for the proofs of kindness and courtesy you have shown me, and
would I were in a condition to requite with something more than
good-will that which you have displayed towards me in the cordial
reception you have given me; but my fate does not afford me any
other means of returning kindnesses done me save the hearty desire
to repay them."

"Mine," replied Don Quixote, "is to be of service to you, so much so
that I had resolved not to quit these mountains until I had found you,
and learned of you whether there is any kind of relief to be found for
that sorrow under which from the strangeness of your life you seem
to labour; and to search for you with all possible diligence, if
search had been necessary. And if your misfortune should prove to be
one of those that refuse admission to any sort of consolation, it
was my purpose to join you in lamenting and mourning over it, so far
as I could; for it is still some comfort in misfortune to find one who
can feel for it. And if my good intentions deserve to be
acknowledged with any kind of courtesy, I entreat you, senor, by
that which I perceive you possess in so high a degree, and likewise
conjure you by whatever you love or have loved best in life, to tell
me who you are and the cause that has brought you to live or die in
these solitudes like a brute beast, dwelling among them in a manner so
foreign to your condition as your garb and appearance show. And I
swear," added Don Quixote, "by the order of knighthood which I have
received, and by my vocation of knight-errant, if you gratify me in
this, to serve you with all the zeal my calling demands of me,
either in relieving your misfortune if it admits of relief, or in
joining you in lamenting it as I promised to do."

The Knight of the Thicket, hearing him of the Rueful Countenance
talk in this strain, did nothing but stare at him, and stare at him
again, and again survey him from head to foot; and when he had
thoroughly examined him, he said to him:

"If you have anything to give me to eat, for God's sake give it
me, and after I have eaten I will do all you ask in acknowledgment
of the goodwill you have displayed towards me."

Sancho from his sack, and the goatherd from his pouch, furnished the
Ragged One with the means of appeasing his hunger, and what they
gave him he ate like a half-witted being, so hastily that he took no
time between mouthfuls, gorging rather than swallowing; and while he
ate neither he nor they who observed him uttered a word. As soon as he
had done he made signs to them to follow him, which they did, and he
led them to a green plot which lay a little farther off round the
corner of a rock. On reaching it he stretched himself upon the
grass, and the others did the same, all keeping silence, until the
Ragged One, settling himself in his place, said:

"If it is your wish, sirs, that I should disclose in a few words the
surpassing extent of my misfortunes, you must promise not to break the
thread of my sad story with any question or other interruption, for
the instant you do so the tale I tell will come to an end."

These words of the Ragged One reminded Don Quixote of the tale his
squire had told him, when he failed to keep count of the goats that
had crossed the river and the story remained unfinished; but to return
to the Ragged One, he went on to say:

"I give you this warning because I wish to pass briefly over the
story of my misfortunes, for recalling them to memory only serves to
add fresh ones, and the less you question me the sooner shall I make
an end of the recital, though I shall not omit to relate anything of
importance in order fully to satisfy your curiosity."

Don Quixote gave the promise for himself and the others, and with
this assurance he began as follows:

"My name is Cardenio, my birthplace one of the best cities of this
Andalusia, my family noble, my parents rich, my misfortune so great
that my parents must have wept and my family grieved over it without
being able by their wealth to lighten it; for the gifts of fortune can
do little to relieve reverses sent by Heaven. In that same country
there was a heaven in which love had placed all the glory I could
desire; such was the beauty of Luscinda, a damsel as noble and as rich
as I, but of happier fortunes, and of less firmness than was due to so
worthy a passion as mine. This Luscinda I loved, worshipped, and
adored from my earliest and tenderest years, and she loved me in all
the innocence and sincerity of childhood. Our parents were aware of
our feelings, and were not sorry to perceive them, for they saw
clearly that as they ripened they must lead at last to a marriage
between us, a thing that seemed almost prearranged by the equality
of our families and wealth. We grew up, and with our growth grew the
love between us, so that the father of Luscinda felt bound for
propriety's sake to refuse me admission to his house, in this
perhaps imitating the parents of that Thisbe so celebrated by the
poets, and this refusal but added love to love and flame to flame; for
though they enforced silence upon our tongues they could not impose it
upon our pens, which can make known the heart's secrets to a loved one
more freely than tongues; for many a time the presence of the object
of love shakes the firmest will and strikes dumb the boldest tongue.
Ah heavens! how many letters did I write her, and how many dainty
modest replies did I receive! how many ditties and love-songs did I
compose in which my heart declared and made known its feelings,
described its ardent longings, revelled in its recollections and
dallied with its desires! At length growing impatient and feeling my
heart languishing with longing to see her, I resolved to put into
execution and carry out what seemed to me the best mode of winning
my desired and merited reward, to ask her of her father for my
lawful wife, which I did. To this his answer was that he thanked me
for the disposition I showed to do honour to him and to regard
myself as honoured by the bestowal of his treasure; but that as my
father was alive it was his by right to make this demand, for if it
were not in accordance with his full will and pleasure, Luscinda was
not to be taken or given by stealth. I thanked him for his kindness,
reflecting that there was reason in what he said, and that my father
would assent to it as soon as I should tell him, and with that view
I went the very same instant to let him know what my desires were.
When I entered the room where he was I found him with an open letter
in his hand, which, before I could utter a word, he gave me, saying,
'By this letter thou wilt see, Cardenio, the disposition the Duke
Ricardo has to serve thee.' This Duke Ricardo, as you, sirs,
probably know already, is a grandee of Spain who has his seat in the
best part of this Andalusia. I took and read the letter, which was
couched in terms so flattering that even I myself felt it would be
wrong in my father not to comply with the request the duke made in it,
which was that he would send me immediately to him, as he wished me to
become the companion, not servant, of his eldest son, and would take
upon himself the charge of placing me in a position corresponding to
the esteem in which he held me. On reading the letter my voice
failed me, and still more when I heard my father say, 'Two days
hence thou wilt depart, Cardenio, in accordance with the duke's
wish, and give thanks to God who is opening a road to thee by which
thou mayest attain what I know thou dost deserve; and to these words
he added others of fatherly counsel. The time for my departure
arrived; I spoke one night to Luscinda, I told her all that had
occurred, as I did also to her father, entreating him to allow some
delay, and to defer the disposal of her hand until I should see what
the Duke Ricardo sought of me: he gave me the promise, and she
confirmed it with vows and swoonings unnumbered. Finally, I
presented myself to the duke, and was received and treated by him so
kindly that very soon envy began to do its work, the old servants
growing envious of me, and regarding the duke's inclination to show me
favour as an injury to themselves. But the one to whom my arrival gave
the greatest pleasure was the duke's second son, Fernando by name, a
gallant youth, of noble, generous, and amorous disposition, who very
soon made so intimate a friend of me that it was remarked by
everybody; for though the elder was attached to me, and showed me
kindness, he did not carry his affectionate treatment to the same
length as Don Fernando. It so happened, then, that as between
friends no secret remains unshared, and as the favour I enjoyed with
Don Fernando had grown into friendship, he made all his thoughts known
to me, and in particular a love affair which troubled his mind a
little. He was deeply in love with a peasant girl, a vassal of his
father's, the daughter of wealthy parents, and herself so beautiful,
modest, discreet, and virtuous, that no one who knew her was able to
decide in which of these respects she was most highly gifted or most
excelled. The attractions of the fair peasant raised the passion of
Don Fernando to such a point that, in order to gain his object and
overcome her virtuous resolutions, he determined to pledge his word to
her to become her husband, for to attempt it in any other way was to
attempt an impossibility. Bound to him as I was by friendship, I
strove by the best arguments and the most forcible examples I could
think of to restrain and dissuade him from such a course; but
perceiving I produced no effect I resolved to make the Duke Ricardo,
his father, acquainted with the matter; but Don Fernando, being
sharp-witted and shrewd, foresaw and apprehended this, perceiving that
by my duty as a good servant I was bound not to keep concealed a thing
so much opposed to the honour of my lord the duke; and so, to
mislead and deceive me, he told me he could find no better way of
effacing from his mind the beauty that so enslaved him than by
absenting himself for some months, and that he wished the absence to
be effected by our going, both of us, to my father's house under the
pretence, which he would make to the duke, of going to see and buy
some fine horses that there were in my city, which produces the best
in the world. When I heard him say so, even if his resolution had
not been so good a one I should have hailed it as one of the
happiest that could be imagined, prompted by my affection, seeing what
a favourable chance and opportunity it offered me of returning to
see my Luscinda. With this thought and wish I commended his idea and
encouraged his design, advising him to put it into execution as
quickly as possible, as, in truth, absence produced its effect in
spite of the most deeply rooted feelings. But, as afterwards appeared,
when he said this to me he had already enjoyed the peasant girl
under the title of husband, and was waiting for an opportunity of
making it known with safety to himself, being in dread of what his
father the duke would do when he came to know of his folly. It
happened, then, that as with young men love is for the most part
nothing more than appetite, which, as its final object is enjoyment,
comes to an end on obtaining it, and that which seemed to be love
takes to flight, as it cannot pass the limit fixed by nature, which
fixes no limit to true love- what I mean is that after Don Fernando
had enjoyed this peasant girl his passion subsided and his eagerness
cooled, and if at first he feigned a wish to absent himself in order
to cure his love, he was now in reality anxious to go to avoid keeping
his promise.

"The duke gave him permission, and ordered me to accompany him; we
arrived at my city, and my father gave him the reception due to his
rank; I saw Luscinda without delay, and, though it had not been dead
or deadened, my love gathered fresh life. To my sorrow I told the
story of it to Don Fernando, for I thought that in virtue of the great
friendship he bore me I was bound to conceal nothing from him. I
extolled her beauty, her gaiety, her wit, so warmly, that my praises
excited in him a desire to see a damsel adorned by such attractions.
To my misfortune I yielded to it, showing her to him one night by
the light of a taper at a window where we used to talk to one another.
As she appeared to him in her dressing-gown, she drove all the
beauties he had seen until then out of his recollection; speech failed
him, his head turned, he was spell-bound, and in the end love-smitten,
as you will see in the course of the story of my misfortune; and to
inflame still further his passion, which he hid from me and revealed
to Heaven alone, it so happened that one day he found a note of hers
entreating me to demand her of her father in marriage, so delicate, so
modest, and so tender, that on reading it he told me that in
Luscinda alone were combined all the charms of beauty and
understanding that were distributed among all the other women in the
world. It is true, and I own it now, that though I knew what good
cause Don Fernando had to praise Luscinda, it gave me uneasiness to
hear these praises from his mouth, and I began to fear, and with
reason to feel distrust of him, for there was no moment when he was
not ready to talk of Luscinda, and he would start the subject
himself even though he dragged it in unseasonably, a circumstance that
aroused in me a certain amount of jealousy; not that I feared any
change in the constancy or faith of Luscinda; but still my fate led me
to forebode what she assured me against. Don Fernando contrived always
to read the letters I sent to Luscinda and her answers to me, under
the pretence that he enjoyed the wit and sense of both. It so
happened, then, that Luscinda having begged of me a book of chivalry
to read, one that she was very fond of, Amadis of Gaul-"

Don Quixote no sooner heard a book of chivalry mentioned, than he

"Had your worship told me at the beginning of your story that the
Lady Luscinda was fond of books of chivalry, no other laudation
would have been requisite to impress upon me the superiority of her
understanding, for it could not have been of the excellence you
describe had a taste for such delightful reading been wanting; so,
as far as I am concerned, you need waste no more words in describing
her beauty, worth, and intelligence; for, on merely hearing what her
taste was, I declare her to be the most beautiful and the most
intelligent woman in the world; and I wish your worship had, along
with Amadis of Gaul, sent her the worthy Don Rugel of Greece, for I
know the Lady Luscinda would greatly relish Daraida and Garaya, and
the shrewd sayings of the shepherd Darinel, and the admirable verses
of his bucolics, sung and delivered by him with such sprightliness,
wit, and ease; but a time may come when this omission can be remedied,
and to rectify it nothing more is needed than for your worship to be
so good as to come with me to my village, for there I can give you
more than three hundred books which are the delight of my soul and the
entertainment of my life;- though it occurs to me that I have not
got one of them now, thanks to the spite of wicked and envious
enchanters;- but pardon me for having broken the promise we made not
to interrupt your discourse; for when I hear chivalry or
knights-errant mentioned, I can no more help talking about them than
the rays of the sun can help giving heat, or those of the moon
moisture; pardon me, therefore, and proceed, for that is more to the
purpose now."

While Don Quixote was saying this, Cardenio allowed his head to fall
upon his breast, and seemed plunged in deep thought; and though
twice Don Quixote bade him go on with his story, he neither looked
up nor uttered a word in reply; but after some time he raised his head
and said, "I cannot get rid of the idea, nor will anyone in the
world remove it, or make me think otherwise -and he would be a
blockhead who would hold or believe anything else than that that
arrant knave Master Elisabad made free with Queen Madasima."

"That is not true, by all that's good," said Don Quixote in high
wrath, turning upon him angrily, as his way was; "and it is a very
great slander, or rather villainy. Queen Madasima was a very
illustrious lady, and it is not to be supposed that so exalted a
princess would have made free with a quack; and whoever maintains
the contrary lies like a great scoundrel, and I will give him to
know it, on foot or on horseback, armed or unarmed, by night or by
day, or as he likes best."

Cardenio was looking at him steadily, and his mad fit having now
come upon him, he had no disposition to go on with his story, nor
would Don Quixote have listened to it, so much had what he had heard
about Madasima disgusted him. Strange to say, he stood up for her as
if she were in earnest his veritable born lady; to such a pass had his
unholy books brought him. Cardenio, then, being, as I said, now mad,
when he heard himself given the lie, and called a scoundrel and
other insulting names, not relishing the jest, snatched up a stone
that he found near him, and with it delivered such a blow on Don
Quixote's breast that he laid him on his back. Sancho Panza, seeing
his master treated in this fashion, attacked the madman with his
closed fist; but the Ragged One received him in such a way that with a
blow of his fist he stretched him at his feet, and then mounting
upon him crushed his ribs to his own satisfaction; the goatherd, who
came to the rescue, shared the same fate; and having beaten and
pummelled them all he left them and quietly withdrew to his
hiding-place on the mountain. Sancho rose, and with the rage he felt
at finding himself so belaboured without deserving it, ran to take
vengeance on the goatherd, accusing him of not giving them warning
that this man was at times taken with a mad fit, for if they had known
it they would have been on their guard to protect themselves. The
goatherd replied that he had said so, and that if he had not heard
him, that was no fault of his. Sancho retorted, and the goatherd
rejoined, and the altercation ended in their seizing each other by the
beard, and exchanging such fisticuffs that if Don Quixote had not made
peace between them, they would have knocked one another to pieces.

"Leave me alone, Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance," said Sancho,
grappling with the goatherd, "for of this fellow, who is a clown
like myself, and no dubbed knight, I can safely take satisfaction
for the affront he has offered me, fighting with him hand to hand like
an honest man."

"That is true," said Don Quixote, "but I know that he is not to
blame for what has happened."

With this he pacified them, and again asked the goatherd if it would
be possible to find Cardenio, as he felt the greatest anxiety to
know the end of his story. The goatherd told him, as he had told him
before, that there was no knowing of a certainty where his lair was;
but that if he wandered about much in that neighbourhood he could
not fail to fall in with him either in or out of his senses.



Don Quixote took leave of the goatherd, and once more mounting
Rocinante bade Sancho follow him, which he having no ass, did very
discontentedly. They proceeded slowly, making their way into the
most rugged part of the mountain, Sancho all the while dying to have a
talk with his master, and longing for him to begin, so that there
should be no breach of the injunction laid upon him; but unable to
keep silence so long he said to him:

"Senor Don Quixote, give me your worship's blessing and dismissal,
for I'd like to go home at once to my wife and children with whom I
can at any rate talk and converse as much as I like; for to want me to
go through these solitudes day and night and not speak to you when I
have a mind is burying me alive. If luck would have it that animals
spoke as they did in the days of Guisopete, it would not be so bad,
because I could talk to Rocinante about whatever came into my head,
and so put up with my ill-fortune; but it is a hard case, and not to
be borne with patience, to go seeking adventures all one's life and
get nothing but kicks and blanketings, brickbats and punches, and with
all this to have to sew up one's mouth without daring to say what is
in one's heart, just as if one were dumb."

"I understand thee, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "thou art dying to
have the interdict I placed upon thy tongue removed; consider it
removed, and say what thou wilt while we are wandering in these

"So be it," said Sancho; "let me speak now, for God knows what
will happen by-and-by; and to take advantage of the permit at once,
I ask, what made your worship stand up so for that Queen Majimasa,
or whatever her name is, or what did it matter whether that abbot
was a friend of hers or not? for if your worship had let that pass
-and you were not a judge in the matter- it is my belief the madman
would have gone on with his story, and the blow of the stone, and
the kicks, and more than half a dozen cuffs would have been escaped."

"In faith, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "if thou knewest as I do
what an honourable and illustrious lady Queen Madasima was, I know
thou wouldst say I had great patience that I did not break in pieces
the mouth that uttered such blasphemies, for a very great blasphemy it
is to say or imagine that a queen has made free with a surgeon. The
truth of the story is that that Master Elisabad whom the madman
mentioned was a man of great prudence and sound judgment, and served
as governor and physician to the queen, but to suppose that she was
his mistress is nonsense deserving very severe punishment; and as a
proof that Cardenio did not know what he was saying, remember when
he said it he was out of his wits."

"That is what I say," said Sancho; "there was no occasion for
minding the words of a madman; for if good luck had not helped your
worship, and he had sent that stone at your head instead of at your
breast, a fine way we should have been in for standing up for my
lady yonder, God confound her! And then, would not Cardenio have
gone free as a madman?"

"Against men in their senses or against madmen," said Don Quixote,
"every knight-errant is bound to stand up for the honour of women,
whoever they may be, much more for queens of such high degree and
dignity as Queen Madasima, for whom I have a particular regard on
account of her amiable qualities; for, besides being extremely
beautiful, she was very wise, and very patient under her
misfortunes, of which she had many; and the counsel and society of the
Master Elisabad were a great help and support to her in enduring her
afflictions with wisdom and resignation; hence the ignorant and
ill-disposed vulgar took occasion to say and think that she was his
mistress; and they lie, I say it once more, and will lie two hundred
times more, all who think and say so."

"I neither say nor think so," said Sancho; "let them look to it;
with their bread let them eat it; they have rendered account to God
whether they misbehaved or not; I come from my vineyard, I know
nothing; I am not fond of prying into other men's lives; he who buys
and lies feels it in his purse; moreover, naked was I born, naked I
find myself, I neither lose nor gain; but if they did, what is that to
me? many think there are flitches where there are no hooks; but who
can put gates to the open plain? moreover they said of God-"

"God bless me," said Don Quixote, "what a set of absurdities thou
art stringing together! What has what we are talking about got to do
with the proverbs thou art threading one after the other? for God's
sake hold thy tongue, Sancho, and henceforward keep to prodding thy
ass and don't meddle in what does not concern thee; and understand
with all thy five senses that everything I have done, am doing, or
shall do, is well founded on reason and in conformity with the rules
of chivalry, for I understand them better than all the world that
profess them."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "is it a good rule of chivalry that we
should go astray through these mountains without path or road, looking
for a madman who when he is found will perhaps take a fancy to
finish what he began, not his story, but your worship's head and my
ribs, and end by breaking them altogether for us?"

"Peace, I say again, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for let me tell
thee it is not so much the desire of finding that madman that leads me
into these regions as that which I have of performing among them an
achievement wherewith I shall win eternal name and fame throughout the
known world; and it shall be such that I shall thereby set the seal on
all that can make a knight-errant perfect and famous."

"And is it very perilous, this achievement?"

"No," replied he of the Rueful Countenance; "though it may be in the
dice that we may throw deuce-ace instead of sixes; but all will depend
on thy diligence."

"On my diligence!" said Sancho.

"Yes," said Don Quixote, "for if thou dost return soon from the
place where I mean to send thee, my penance will be soon over, and
my glory will soon begin. But as it is not right to keep thee any
longer in suspense, waiting to see what comes of my words, I would
have thee know, Sancho, that the famous Amadis of Gaul was one of
the most perfect knights-errant- I am wrong to say he was one; he
stood alone, the first, the only one, the lord of all that were in the
world in his time. A fig for Don Belianis, and for all who say he
equalled him in any respect, for, my oath upon it, they are
deceiving themselves! I say, too, that when a painter desires to
become famous in his art he endeavours to copy the originals of the
rarest painters that he knows; and the same rule holds good for all
the most important crafts and callings that serve to adorn a state;
thus must he who would be esteemed prudent and patient imitate
Ulysses, in whose person and labours Homer presents to us a lively
picture of prudence and patience; as Virgil, too, shows us in the
person of AEneas the virtue of a pious son and the sagacity of a brave
and skilful captain; not representing or describing them as they were,
but as they ought to be, so as to leave the example of their virtues
to posterity. In the same way Amadis was the polestar, day-star, sun
of valiant and devoted knights, whom all we who fight under the banner
of love and chivalry are bound to imitate. This, then, being so, I
consider, friend Sancho, that the knight-errant who shall imitate
him most closely will come nearest to reaching the perfection of
chivalry. Now one of the instances in which this knight most
conspicuously showed his prudence, worth, valour, endurance,
fortitude, and love, was when he withdrew, rejected by the Lady
Oriana, to do penance upon the Pena Pobre, changing his name into that
of Beltenebros, a name assuredly significant and appropriate to the
life which he had voluntarily adopted. So, as it is easier for me to
imitate him in this than in cleaving giants asunder, cutting off
serpents' heads, slaying dragons, routing armies, destroying fleets,
and breaking enchantments, and as this place is so well suited for a
similar purpose, I must not allow the opportunity to escape which
now so conveniently offers me its forelock."

"What is it in reality," said Sancho, "that your worship means to do
in such an out-of-the-way place as this?"

"Have I not told thee," answered Don Quixote, "that I mean to
imitate Amadis here, playing the victim of despair, the madman, the
maniac, so as at the same time to imitate the valiant Don Roland, when
at the fountain he had evidence of the fair Angelica having
disgraced herself with Medoro and through grief thereat went mad,
and plucked up trees, troubled the waters of the clear springs, slew
destroyed flocks, burned down huts, levelled houses, dragged mares
after him, and perpetrated a hundred thousand other outrages worthy of
everlasting renown and record? And though I have no intention of
imitating Roland, or Orlando, or Rotolando (for he went by all these
names), step by step in all the mad things he did, said, and
thought, I will make a rough copy to the best of my power of all
that seems to me most essential; but perhaps I shall content myself
with the simple imitation of Amadis, who without giving way to any
mischievous madness but merely to tears and sorrow, gained as much
fame as the most famous."

"It seems to me," said Sancho, "that the knights who behaved in this
way had provocation and cause for those follies and penances; but what
cause has your worship for going mad? What lady has rejected you, or
what evidence have you found to prove that the lady Dulcinea del
Toboso has been trifling with Moor or Christian?"

"There is the point," replied Don Quixote, "and that is the beauty
of this business of mine; no thanks to a knight-errant for going mad
when he has cause; the thing is to turn crazy without any provocation,
and let my lady know, if I do this in the dry, what I would do in
the moist; moreover I have abundant cause in the long separation I
have endured from my lady till death, Dulcinea del Toboso; for as thou
didst hear that shepherd Ambrosio say the other day, in absence all
ills are felt and feared; and so, friend Sancho, waste no time in
advising me against so rare, so happy, and so unheard-of an imitation;
mad I am, and mad I must be until thou returnest with the answer to
a letter that I mean to send by thee to my lady Dulcinea; and if it be
such as my constancy deserves, my insanity and penance will come to an
end; and if it be to the opposite effect, I shall become mad in
earnest, and, being so, I shall suffer no more; thus in whatever way
she may answer I shall escape from the struggle and affliction in
which thou wilt leave me, enjoying in my senses the boon thou
bearest me, or as a madman not feeling the evil thou bringest me.
But tell me, Sancho, hast thou got Mambrino's helmet safe? for I saw
thee take it up from the ground when that ungrateful wretch tried to
break it in pieces but could not, by which the fineness of its
temper may be seen."

To which Sancho made answer, "By the living God, Sir Knight of the
Rueful Countenance, I cannot endure or bear with patience some of
the things that your worship says; and from them I begin to suspect
that all you tell me about chivalry, and winning kingdoms and empires,
and giving islands, and bestowing other rewards and dignities after
the custom of knights-errant, must be all made up of wind and lies,
and all pigments or figments, or whatever we may call them; for what
would anyone think that heard your worship calling a barber's basin
Mambrino's helmet without ever seeing the mistake all this time, but
that one who says and maintains such things must have his brains
addled? I have the basin in my sack all dinted, and I am taking it
home to have it mended, to trim my beard in it, if, by God's grace,
I am allowed to see my wife and children some day or other."

"Look here, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "by him thou didst swear by
just now I swear thou hast the most limited understanding that any
squire in the world has or ever had. Is it possible that all this time
thou hast been going about with me thou hast never found out that
all things belonging to knights-errant seem to be illusions and
nonsense and ravings, and to go always by contraries? And not
because it really is so, but because there is always a swarm of
enchanters in attendance upon us that change and alter everything with
us, and turn things as they please, and according as they are disposed
to aid or destroy us; thus what seems to thee a barber's basin seems
to me Mambrino's helmet, and to another it will seem something else;
and rare foresight it was in the sage who is on my side to make what
is really and truly Mambrine's helmet seem a basin to everybody,
for, being held in such estimation as it is, all the world would
pursue me to rob me of it; but when they see it is only a barber's
basin they do not take the trouble to obtain it; as was plainly
shown by him who tried to break it, and left it on the ground
without taking it, for, by my faith, had he known it he would never
have left it behind. Keep it safe, my friend, for just now I have no
need of it; indeed, I shall have to take off all this armour and
remain as naked as I was born, if I have a mind to follow Roland
rather than Amadis in my penance."

Thus talking they reached the foot of a high mountain which stood
like an isolated peak among the others that surrounded it. Past its
base there flowed a gentle brook, all around it spread a meadow so
green and luxuriant that it was a delight to the eyes to look upon it,
and forest trees in abundance, and shrubs and flowers, added to the
charms of the spot. Upon this place the Knight of the Rueful
Countenance fixed his choice for the performance of his penance, and
as he beheld it exclaimed in a loud voice as though he were out of his

"This is the place, oh, ye heavens, that I select and choose for
bewailing the misfortune in which ye yourselves have plunged me:
this is the spot where the overflowings of mine eyes shall swell the
waters of yon little brook, and my deep and endless sighs shall stir
unceasingly the leaves of these mountain trees, in testimony and token
of the pain my persecuted heart is suffering. Oh, ye rural deities,
whoever ye be that haunt this lone spot, give ear to the complaint
of a wretched lover whom long absence and brooding jealousy have
driven to bewail his fate among these wilds and complain of the hard
heart of that fair and ungrateful one, the end and limit of all
human beauty! Oh, ye wood nymphs and dryads, that dwell in the
thickets of the forest, so may the nimble wanton satyrs by whom ye are
vainly wooed never disturb your sweet repose, help me to lament my
hard fate or at least weary not at listening to it! Oh, Dulcinea del
Toboso, day of my night, glory of my pain, guide of my path, star of
my fortune, so may Heaven grant thee in full all thou seekest of it,
bethink thee of the place and condition to which absence from thee has
brought me, and make that return in kindness that is due to my
fidelity! Oh, lonely trees, that from this day forward shall bear me
company in my solitude, give me some sign by the gentle movement of
your boughs that my presence is not distasteful to you! Oh, thou, my
squire, pleasant companion in my prosperous and adverse fortunes,
fix well in thy memory what thou shalt see me do here, so that thou
mayest relate and report it to the sole cause of all," and so saying
he dismounted from Rocinante, and in an instant relieved him of saddle
and bridle, and giving him a slap on the croup, said, "He gives thee
freedom who is bereft of it himself, oh steed as excellent in deed
as thou art unfortunate in thy lot; begone where thou wilt, for thou
bearest written on thy forehead that neither Astolfo's hippogriff, nor
the famed Frontino that cost Bradamante so dear, could equal thee in

Seeing this Sancho said, "Good luck to him who has saved us the
trouble of stripping the pack-saddle off Dapple! By my faith he
would not have gone without a slap on the croup and something said
in his praise; though if he were here I would not let anyone strip
him, for there would be no occasion, as he had nothing of the lover or
victim of despair about him, inasmuch as his master, which I was while
it was God's pleasure, was nothing of the sort; and indeed, Sir Knight
of the Rueful Countenance, if my departure and your worship's
madness are to come off in earnest, it will be as well to saddle
Rocinante again in order that he may supply the want of Dapple,
because it will save me time in going and returning: for if I go on
foot I don't know when I shall get there or when I shall get back,
as I am, in truth, a bad walker."

"I declare, Sancho," returned Don Quixote, "it shall be as thou
wilt, for thy plan does not seem to me a bad one, and three days hence
thou wilt depart, for I wish thee to observe in the meantime what I do
and say for her sake, that thou mayest be able to tell it."

"But what more have I to see besides what I have seen?" said Sancho.

"Much thou knowest about it!" said Don Quixote. "I have now got to
tear up my garments, to scatter about my armour, knock my head against
these rocks, and more of the same sort of thing, which thou must

"For the love of God," said Sancho, "be careful, your worship, how
you give yourself those knocks on the head, for you may come across
such a rock, and in such a way, that the very first may put an end
to the whole contrivance of this penance; and I should think, if
indeed knocks on the head seem necessary to you, and this business
cannot be done without them, you might be content -as the whole
thing is feigned, and counterfeit, and in joke- you might be
content, I say, with giving them to yourself in the water, or
against something soft, like cotton; and leave it all to me; for
I'll tell my lady that your worship knocked your head against a
point of rock harder than a diamond."

"I thank thee for thy good intentions, friend Sancho," answered
Don Quixote, "but I would have thee know that all these things I am
doing are not in joke, but very much in earnest, for anything else
would be a transgression of the ordinances of chivalry, which forbid
us to tell any lie whatever under the penalties due to apostasy; and
to do one thing instead of another is just the same as lying; so my
knocks on the head must be real, solid, and valid, without anything
sophisticated or fanciful about them, and it will be needful to
leave me some lint to dress my wounds, since fortune has compelled
us to do without the balsam we lost."

"It was worse losing the ass," replied Sancho, "for with him lint
and all were lost; but I beg of your worship not to remind me again of
that accursed liquor, for my soul, not to say my stomach, turns at
hearing the very name of it; and I beg of you, too, to reckon as
past the three days you allowed me for seeing the mad things you do,
for I take them as seen already and pronounced upon, and I will tell
wonderful stories to my lady; so write the letter and send me off at
once, for I long to return and take your worship out of this purgatory
where I am leaving you."

"Purgatory dost thou call it, Sancho?" said Don Quixote, "rather
call it hell, or even worse if there be anything worse."

"For one who is in hell," said Sancho, "nulla est retentio, as I
have heard say."

"I do not understand what retentio means," said Don Quixote.

"Retentio," answered Sancho, "means that whoever is in hell never
comes nor can come out of it, which will be the opposite case with
your worship or my legs will be idle, that is if I have spurs to
enliven Rocinante: let me once get to El Toboso and into the
presence of my lady Dulcinea, and I will tell her such things of the
follies and madnesses (for it is all one) that your worship has done
and is still doing, that I will manage to make her softer than a glove
though I find her harder than a cork tree; and with her sweet and
honeyed answer I will come back through the air like a witch, and take
your worship out of this purgatory that seems to be hell but is not,
as there is hope of getting out of it; which, as I have said, those in
hell have not, and I believe your worship will not say anything to the

"That is true," said he of the Rueful Countenance, "but how shall we
manage to write the letter?"

"And the ass-colt order too," added Sancho.

"All shall be included," said Don Quixote; "and as there is no
paper, it would be well done to write it on the leaves of trees, as
the ancients did, or on tablets of wax; though that would be as hard
to find just now as paper. But it has just occurred to me how it may
be conveniently and even more than conveniently written, and that is
in the note-book that belonged to Cardenio, and thou wilt take care to
have it copied on paper, in a good hand, at the first village thou
comest to where there is a schoolmaster, or if not, any sacristan will
copy it; but see thou give it not to any notary to copy, for they
write a law hand that Satan could not make out."

"But what is to be done about the signature?" said Sancho.

"The letters of Amadis were never signed," said Don Quixote.

"That is all very well," said Sancho, "but the order must needs be
signed, and if it is copied they will say the signature is false,
and I shall be left without ass-colts."

"The order shall go signed in the same book," said Don Quixote, "and
on seeing it my niece will make no difficulty about obeying it; as
to the loveletter thou canst put by way of signature, 'Yours till
death, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance.' And it will be no
great matter if it is in some other person's hand, for as well as I
recollect Dulcinea can neither read nor write, nor in the whole course
of her life has she seen handwriting or letter of mine, for my love
and hers have been always platonic, not going beyond a modest look,
and even that so seldom that I can safely swear I have not seen her
four times in all these twelve years I have been loving her more
than the light of these eyes that the earth will one day devour; and
perhaps even of those four times she has not once perceived that I was
looking at her: such is the retirement and seclusion in which her
father Lorenzo Corchuelo and her mother Aldonza Nogales have brought
her up."

"So, so!" said Sancho; "Lorenzo Corchuelo's daughter is the lady
Dulcinea del Toboso, otherwise called Aldonza Lorenzo?"

"She it is," said Don Quixote, "and she it is that is worthy to be
lady of the whole universe."

"I know her well," said Sancho, "and let me tell you she can fling a
crowbar as well as the lustiest lad in all the town. Giver of all
good! but she is a brave lass, and a right and stout one, and fit to
be helpmate to any knight-errant that is or is to be, who may make her
his lady: the whoreson wench, what sting she has and what a voice! I
can tell you one day she posted herself on the top of the belfry of
the village to call some labourers of theirs that were in a ploughed
field of her father's, and though they were better than half a
league off they heard her as well as if they were at the foot of the
tower; and the best of her is that she is not a bit prudish, for she
has plenty of affability, and jokes with everybody, and has a grin and
a jest for everything. So, Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance, I say
you not only may and ought to do mad freaks for her sake, but you have
a good right to give way to despair and hang yourself; and no one
who knows of it but will say you did well, though the devil should
take you; and I wish I were on my road already, simply to see her, for
it is many a day since I saw her, and she must be altered by this
time, for going about the fields always, and the sun and the air spoil
women's looks greatly. But I must own the truth to your worship, Senor
Don Quixote; until now I have been under a great mistake, for I
believed truly and honestly that the lady Dulcinea must be some
princess your worship was in love with, or some person great enough to
deserve the rich presents you have sent her, such as the Biscayan
and the galley slaves, and many more no doubt, for your worship must
have won many victories in the time when I was not yet your squire.
But all things considered, what good can it do the lady Aldonza
Lorenzo, I mean the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, to have the vanquished
your worship sends or will send coming to her and going down on
their knees before her? Because may be when they came she'd be
hackling flax or threshing on the threshing floor, and they'd be
ashamed to see her, and she'd laugh, or resent the present."

"I have before now told thee many times, Sancho," said Don
Quixote, "that thou art a mighty great chatterer, and that with a
blunt wit thou art always striving at sharpness; but to show thee what
a fool thou art and how rational I am, I would have thee listen to a
short story. Thou must know that a certain widow, fair, young,
independent, and rich, and above all free and easy, fell in love
with a sturdy strapping young lay-brother; his superior came to know
of it, and one day said to the worthy widow by way of brotherly
remonstrance, 'I am surprised, senora, and not without good reason,
that a woman of such high standing, so fair, and so rich as you are,
should have fallen in love with such a mean, low, stupid fellow as
So-and-so, when in this house there are so many masters, graduates,
and divinity students from among whom you might choose as if they were
a lot of pears, saying this one I'll take, that I won't take;' but she
replied to him with great sprightliness and candour, 'My dear sir, you
are very much mistaken, and your ideas are very old-fashioned, if
you think that I have made a bad choice in So-and-so, fool as he
seems; because for all I want with him he knows as much and more
philosophy than Aristotle.' In the same way, Sancho, for all I want
with Dulcinea del Toboso she is just as good as the most exalted
princess on earth. It is not to be supposed that all those poets who
sang the praises of ladies under the fancy names they give them, had
any such mistresses. Thinkest thou that the Amarillises, the
Phillises, the Sylvias, the Dianas, the Galateas, the Filidas, and all
the rest of them, that the books, the ballads, the barber's shops, the
theatres are full of, were really and truly ladies of flesh and blood,
and mistresses of those that glorify and have glorified them?
Nothing of the kind; they only invent them for the most part to
furnish a subject for their verses, and that they may pass for lovers,
or for men valiant enough to be so; and so it suffices me to think and
believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is fair and virtuous; and as
to her pedigree it is very little matter, for no one will examine into
it for the purpose of conferring any order upon her, and I, for my
part, reckon her the most exalted princess in the world. For thou
shouldst know, Sancho, if thou dost not know, that two things alone
beyond all others are incentives to love, and these are great beauty
and a good name, and these two things are to be found in Dulcinea in
the highest degree, for in beauty no one equals her and in good name
few approach her; and to put the whole thing in a nutshell, I persuade
myself that all I say is as I say, neither more nor less, and I
picture her in my imagination as I would have her to be, as well in
beauty as in condition; Helen approaches her not nor does Lucretia
come up to her, nor any other of the famous women of times past,
Greek, Barbarian, or Latin; and let each say what he will, for if in
this I am taken to task by the ignorant, I shall not be censured by
the critical."

"I say that your worship is entirely right," said Sancho, "and
that I am an ass. But I know not how the name of ass came into my
mouth, for a rope is not to be mentioned in the house of him who has
been hanged; but now for the letter, and then, God be with you, I am

Don Quixote took out the note-book, and, retiring to one side,
very deliberately began to write the letter, and when he had
finished it he called to Sancho, saying he wished to read it to him,
so that he might commit it to memory, in case of losing it on the
road; for with evil fortune like his anything might be apprehended. To
which Sancho replied, "Write it two or three times there in the book
and give it to me, and I will carry it very carefully, because to
expect me to keep it in my memory is all nonsense, for I have such a
bad one that I often forget my own name; but for all that repeat it to
me, as I shall like to hear it, for surely it will run as if it was in

"Listen," said Don Quixote, "this is what it says:


"Sovereign and exalted Lady,- The pierced by the point of absence,
the wounded to the heart's core, sends thee, sweetest Dulcinea del
Toboso, the health that he himself enjoys not. If thy beauty
despises me, if thy worth is not for me, if thy scorn is my
affliction, though I be sufficiently long-suffering, hardly shall I
endure this anxiety, which, besides being oppressive, is protracted.
My good squire Sancho will relate to thee in full, fair ingrate,
dear enemy, the condition to which I am reduced on thy account: if
it be thy pleasure to give me relief, I am thine; if not, do as may be
pleasing to thee; for by ending my life I shall satisfy thy cruelty
and my desire.

"Thine till death,

"The Knight of the Rueful Countenance."

"By the life of my father," said Sancho, when he heard the letter,
"it is the loftiest thing I ever heard. Body of me! how your worship
says everything as you like in it! And how well you fit in 'The Knight
of the Rueful Countenance' into the signature. I declare your worship
is indeed the very devil, and there is nothing you don't know."

"Everything is needed for the calling I follow," said Don Quixote.

"Now then," said Sancho, "let your worship put the order for the
three ass-colts on the other side, and sign it very plainly, that they
may recognise it at first sight."

"With all my heart," said Don Quixote, and as he had written it he
read it to this effect:

"Mistress Niece,- By this first of ass-colts please pay to Sancho
Panza, my squire, three of the five I left at home in your charge:
said three ass-colts to be paid and delivered for the same number
received here in hand, which upon this and upon his receipt shall be
duly paid. Done in the heart of the Sierra Morena, the
twenty-seventh of August of this present year."

"That will do," said Sancho; "now let your worship sign it."

"There is no need to sign it," said Don Quixote, "but merely to
put my flourish, which is the same as a signature, and enough for
three asses, or even three hundred."

"I can trust your worship," returned Sancho; "let me go and saddle
Rocinante, and be ready to give me your blessing, for I mean to go
at once without seeing the fooleries your worship is going to do; I'll
say I saw you do so many that she will not want any more."

"At any rate, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "I should like- and there
is reason for it- I should like thee, I say, to see me stripped to the
skin and performing a dozen or two of insanities, which I can get done
in less than half an hour; for having seen them with thine own eyes,
thou canst then safely swear to the rest that thou wouldst add; and
I promise thee thou wilt not tell of as many as I mean to perform."

"For the love of God, master mine," said Sancho, "let me not see
your worship stripped, for it will sorely grieve me, and I shall not
be able to keep from tears, and my head aches so with all I shed
last night for Dapple, that I am not fit to begin any fresh weeping;
but if it is your worship's pleasure that I should see some
insanities, do them in your clothes, short ones, and such as come
readiest to hand; for I myself want nothing of the sort, and, as I
have said, it will be a saving of time for my return, which will be
with the news your worship desires and deserves. If not, let the
lady Dulcinea look to it; if she does not answer reasonably, I swear
as solemnly as I can that I will fetch a fair answer out of her
stomach with kicks and cuffs; for why should it be borne that a
knight-errant as famous as your worship should go mad without rhyme or
reason for a -? Her ladyship had best not drive me to say it, for by
God I will speak out and let off everything cheap, even if it
doesn't sell: I am pretty good at that! she little knows me; faith, if
she knew me she'd be in awe of me."

"In faith, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "to all appearance thou art no
sounder in thy wits than I."

"I am not so mad," answered Sancho, "but I am more peppery; but
apart from all this, what has your worship to eat until I come back?
Will you sally out on the road like Cardenio to force it from the

"Let not that anxiety trouble thee," replied Don Quixote, "for
even if I had it I should not eat anything but the herbs and the
fruits which this meadow and these trees may yield me; the beauty of
this business of mine lies in not eating, and in performing other

"Do you know what I am afraid of?" said Sancho upon this; "that I
shall not be able to find my way back to this spot where I am
leaving you, it is such an out-of-the-way place."

"Observe the landmarks well," said Don Quixote, "for I will try
not to go far from this neighbourhood, and I will even take care to
mount the highest of these rocks to see if I can discover thee
returning; however, not to miss me and lose thyself, the best plan
will be to cut some branches of the broom that is so abundant about
here, and as thou goest to lay them at intervals until thou hast
come out upon the plain; these will serve thee, after the fashion of
the clue in the labyrinth of Theseus, as marks and signs for finding
me on thy return."

"So I will," said Sancho Panza, and having cut some, he asked his
master's blessing, and not without many tears on both sides, took
his leave of him, and mounting Rocinante, of whom Don Quixote
charged him earnestly to have as much care as of his own person, he
set out for the plain, strewing at intervals the branches of broom
as his master had recommended him; and so he went his way, though
Don Quixote still entreated him to see him do were it only a couple of
mad acts. He had not gone a hundred paces, however, when he returned
and said:

"I must say, senor, your worship said quite right, that in order
to be able to swear without a weight on my conscience that I had
seen you do mad things, it would be well for me to see if it were only
one; though in your worship's remaining here I have seen a very
great one."

"Did I not tell thee so?" said Don Quixote. "Wait, Sancho, and I
will do them in the saying of a credo," and pulling off his breeches
in all haste he stripped himself to his skin and his shirt, and
then, without more ado, he cut a couple of gambados in the air, and
a couple of somersaults, heels over head, making such a display
that, not to see it a second time, Sancho wheeled Rocinante round, and
felt easy, and satisfied in his mind that he could swear he had left
his master mad; and so we will leave him to follow his road until
his return, which was a quick one.



Returning to the proceedings of him of the Rueful Countenance when
he found himself alone, the history says that when Don Quixote had
completed the performance of the somersaults or capers, naked from the
waist down and clothed from the waist up, and saw that Sancho had gone
off without waiting to see any more crazy feats, he climbed up to
the top of a high rock, and there set himself to consider what he
had several times before considered without ever coming to any
conclusion on the point, namely whether it would be better and more to
his purpose to imitate the outrageous madness of Roland, or the
melancholy madness of Amadis; and communing with himself he said:

"What wonder is it if Roland was so good a knight and so valiant
as everyone says he was, when, after all, he was enchanted, and nobody
could kill him save by thrusting a corking pin into the sole of his
foot, and he always wore shoes with seven iron soles? Though cunning
devices did not avail him against Bernardo del Carpio, who knew all
about them, and strangled him in his arms at Roncesvalles. But putting
the question of his valour aside, let us come to his losing his
wits, for certain it is that he did lose them in consequence of the
proofs he discovered at the fountain, and the intelligence the
shepherd gave him of Angelica having slept more than two siestas
with Medoro, a little curly-headed Moor, and page to Agramante. If
he was persuaded that this was true, and that his lady had wronged

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