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Don Quixote by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Part 6 out of 21

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him, it is no wonder that he should have gone mad; but I, how am I
to imitate him in his madness, unless I can imitate him in the cause
of it? For my Dulcinea, I will venture to swear, never saw a Moor in
her life, as he is, in his proper costume, and she is this day as
the mother that bore her, and I should plainly be doing her a wrong
if, fancying anything else, I were to go mad with the same kind of
madness as Roland the Furious. On the other hand, I see that Amadis of
Gaul, without losing his senses and without doing anything mad,
acquired as a lover as much fame as the most famous; for, according to
his history, on finding himself rejected by his lady Oriana, who had
ordered him not to appear in her presence until it should be her
pleasure, all he did was to retire to the Pena Pobre in company with a
hermit, and there he took his fill of weeping until Heaven sent him
relief in the midst of his great grief and need. And if this be
true, as it is, why should I now take the trouble to strip stark
naked, or do mischief to these trees which have done me no harm, or
why am I to disturb the clear waters of these brooks which will give
me to drink whenever I have a mind? Long live the memory of Amadis and
let him be imitated so far as is possible by Don Quixote of La Mancha,
of whom it will be said, as was said of the other, that if he did
not achieve great things, he died in attempting them; and if I am
not repulsed or rejected by my Dulcinea, it is enough for me, as I
have said, to be absent from her. And so, now to business; come to
my memory ye deeds of Amadis, and show me how I am to begin to imitate
you. I know already that what he chiefly did was to pray and commend
himself to God; but what am I to do for a rosary, for I have not got

And then it occurred to him how he might make one, and that was by
tearing a great strip off the tail of his shirt which hung down, and
making eleven knots on it, one bigger than the rest, and this served
him for a rosary all the time he was there, during which he repeated
countless ave-marias. But what distressed him greatly was not having
another hermit there to confess him and receive consolation from;
and so he solaced himself with pacing up and down the little meadow,
and writing and carving on the bark of the trees and on the fine
sand a multitude of verses all in harmony with his sadness, and some
in praise of Dulcinea; but, when he was found there afterwards, the
only ones completely legible that could be discovered were those
that follow here:

Ye on the mountain side that grow,
Ye green things all, trees, shrubs, and bushes,
Are ye aweary of the woe
That this poor aching bosom crushes?
If it disturb you, and I owe
Some reparation, it may be a
Defence for me to let you know
Don Quixote's tears are on the flow,
And all for distant Dulcinea
Del Toboso.

The lealest lover time can show,
Doomed for a lady-love to languish,
Among these solitudes doth go,
A prey to every kind of anguish.
Why Love should like a spiteful foe
Thus use him, he hath no idea,
But hogsheads full- this doth he know-
Don Quixote's tears are on the flow,
And all for distant Dulcinea
Del Toboso.

Adventure-seeking doth he go
Up rugged heights, down rocky valleys,
But hill or dale, or high or low,
Mishap attendeth all his sallies:
Love still pursues him to and fro,
And plies his cruel scourge- ah me! a
Relentless fate, an endless woe;
Don Quixote's tears are on the flow,
And all for distant Dulcinea
Del Toboso.

The addition of "Del Toboso" to Dulcinea's name gave rise to no
little laughter among those who found the above lines, for they
suspected Don Quixote must have fancied that unless he added "del
Toboso" when he introduced the name of Dulcinea the verse would be
unintelligible; which was indeed the fact, as he himself afterwards
admitted. He wrote many more, but, as has been said, these three
verses were all that could be plainly and perfectly deciphered. In
this way, and in sighing and calling on the fauns and satyrs of the
woods and the nymphs of the streams, and Echo, moist and mournful,
to answer, console, and hear him, as well as in looking for herbs to
sustain him, he passed his time until Sancho's return; and had that
been delayed three weeks, as it was three days, the Knight of the
Rueful Countenance would have worn such an altered countenance that
the mother that bore him would not have known him: and here it will be
well to leave him, wrapped up in sighs and verses, to relate how
Sancho Panza fared on his mission.

As for him, coming out upon the high road, he made for El Toboso,
and the next day reached the inn where the mishap of the blanket had
befallen him. As soon as he recognised it he felt as if he were once
more living through the air, and he could not bring himself to enter
it though it was an hour when he might well have done so, for it was
dinner-time, and he longed to taste something hot as it had been all
cold fare with him for many days past. This craving drove him to
draw near to the inn, still undecided whether to go in or not, and
as he was hesitating there came out two persons who at once recognised
him, and said one to the other:

"Senor licentiate, is not he on the horse there Sancho Panza who,
our adventurer's housekeeper told us, went off with her master as

"So it is," said the licentiate, "and that is our friend Don
Quixote's horse;" and if they knew him so well it was because they
were the curate and the barber of his own village, the same who had
carried out the scrutiny and sentence upon the books; and as soon as
they recognised Sancho Panza and Rocinante, being anxious to hear of
Don Quixote, they approached, and calling him by his name the curate
said, "Friend Sancho Panza, where is your master?"

Sancho recognised them at once, and determined to keep secret the
place and circumstances where and under which he had left his
master, so he replied that his master was engaged in a certain quarter
on a certain matter of great importance to him which he could not
disclose for the eyes in his head.

"Nay, nay," said the barber, "if you don't tell us where he is,
Sancho Panza, we will suspect as we suspect already, that you have
murdered and robbed him, for here you are mounted on his horse; in
fact, you must produce the master of the hack, or else take the

"There is no need of threats with me," said Sancho, "for I am not
a man to rob or murder anybody; let his own fate, or God who made him,
kill each one; my master is engaged very much to his taste doing
penance in the midst of these mountains; and then, offhand and without
stopping, he told them how he had left him, what adventures had
befallen him, and how he was carrying a letter to the lady Dulcinea
del Toboso, the daughter of Lorenzo Corchuelo, with whom he was over
head and ears in love. They were both amazed at what Sancho Panza told
them; for though they were aware of Don Quixote's madness and the
nature of it, each time they heard of it they were filled with fresh
wonder. They then asked Sancho Panza to show them the letter he was
carrying to the lady Dulcinea del Toboso. He said it was written in
a note-book, and that his master's directions were that he should have
it copied on paper at the first village he came to. On this the curate
said if he showed it to him, he himself would make a fair copy of
it. Sancho put his hand into his bosom in search of the note-book
but could not find it, nor, if he had been searching until now,
could he have found it, for Don Quixote had kept it, and had never
given it to him, nor had he himself thought of asking for it. When
Sancho discovered he could not find the book his face grew deadly
pale, and in great haste he again felt his body all over, and seeing
plainly it was not to be found, without more ado he seized his beard
with both hands and plucked away half of it, and then, as quick as
he could and without stopping, gave himself half a dozen cuffs on
the face and nose till they were bathed in blood.

Seeing this, the curate and the barber asked him what had happened
him that he gave himself such rough treatment.

"What should happen me?" replied Sancho, "but to have lost from
one hand to the other, in a moment, three ass-colts, each of them like
a castle?"

"How is that?" said the barber.

"I have lost the note-book," said Sancho, "that contained the letter
to Dulcinea, and an order signed by my master in which he directed his
niece to give me three ass-colts out of four or five he had at
home;" and he then told them about the loss of Dapple.

The curate consoled him, telling him that when his master was
found he would get him to renew the order, and make a fresh draft on
paper, as was usual and customary; for those made in notebooks were
never accepted or honoured.

Sancho comforted himself with this, and said if that were so the
loss of Dulcinea's letter did not trouble him much, for he had it
almost by heart, and it could be taken down from him wherever and
whenever they liked.

"Repeat it then, Sancho," said the barber, "and we will write it
down afterwards."

Sancho Panza stopped to scratch his head to bring back the letter to
his memory, and balanced himself now on one foot, now the other, one
moment staring at the ground, the next at the sky, and after having
half gnawed off the end of a finger and kept them in suspense
waiting for him to begin, he said, after a long pause, "By God,
senor licentiate, devil a thing can I recollect of the letter; but
it said at the beginning, 'Exalted and scrubbing Lady.'"

"It cannot have said 'scrubbing,'" said the barber, "but
'superhuman' or 'sovereign.'"

"That is it," said Sancho; "then, as well as I remember, it went on,
'The wounded, and wanting of sleep, and the pierced, kisses your
worship's hands, ungrateful and very unrecognised fair one; and it
said something or other about health and sickness that he was
sending her; and from that it went tailing off until it ended with
'Yours till death, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance."

It gave them no little amusement, both of them, to see what a good
memory Sancho had, and they complimented him greatly upon it, and
begged him to repeat the letter a couple of times more, so that they
too might get it by heart to write it out by-and-by. Sancho repeated
it three times, and as he did, uttered three thousand more
absurdities; then he told them more about his master but he never said
a word about the blanketing that had befallen himself in that inn,
into which he refused to enter. He told them, moreover, how his
lord, if he brought him a favourable answer from the lady Dulcinea del
Toboso, was to put himself in the way of endeavouring to become an
emperor, or at least a monarch; for it had been so settled between
them, and with his personal worth and the might of his arm it was an
easy matter to come to be one: and how on becoming one his lord was to
make a marriage for him (for he would be a widower by that time, as
a matter of course) and was to give him as a wife one of the damsels
of the empress, the heiress of some rich and grand state on the
mainland, having nothing to do with islands of any sort, for he did
not care for them now. All this Sancho delivered with so much
composure- wiping his nose from time to time- and with so little
common-sense that his two hearers were again filled with wonder at the
force of Don Quixote's madness that could run away with this poor
man's reason. They did not care to take the trouble of disabusing
him of his error, as they considered that since it did not in any
way hurt his conscience it would be better to leave him in it, and
they would have all the more amusement in listening to his
simplicities; and so they bade him pray to God for his lord's
health, as it was a very likely and a very feasible thing for him in
course of time to come to be an emperor, as he said, or at least an
archbishop or some other dignitary of equal rank.

To which Sancho made answer, "If fortune, sirs, should bring
things about in such a way that my master should have a mind,
instead of being an emperor, to be an archbishop, I should like to
know what archbishops-errant commonly give their squires?"

"They commonly give them," said the curate, some simple benefice
or cure, or some place as sacristan which brings them a good fixed
income, not counting the altar fees, which may be reckoned at as
much more."

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"Luscinda to Cardenio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"But while I was in the city, uncertain what to do, as I could not
find Don Fernando, I heard notice given by the public crier offering a
great reward to anyone who should find me, and giving the
particulars of my age and of the very dress I wore; and I heard it
said that the lad who came with me had taken me away from my
father's house; a thing that cut me to the heart, showing how low my
good name had fallen, since it was not enough that I should lose it by
my flight, but they must add with whom I had fled, and that one so
much beneath me and so unworthy of my consideration. The instant I
heard the notice I quitted the city with my servant, who now began
to show signs of wavering in his fidelity to me, and the same night,
for fear of discovery, we entered the most thickly wooded part of
these mountains. But, as is commonly said, one evil calls up another
and the end of one misfortune is apt to be the beginning of one
still greater, and so it proved in my case; for my worthy servant,
until then so faithful and trusty when he found me in this lonely
spot, moved more by his own villainy than by my beauty, sought to take
advantage of the opportunity which these solitudes seemed to present
him, and with little shame and less fear of God and respect for me,
began to make overtures to me; and finding that I replied to the
effrontery of his proposals with justly severe language, he laid aside
the entreaties which he had employed at first, and began to use
violence. But just Heaven, that seldom fails to watch over and aid
good intentions, so aided mine that with my slight strength and with
little exertion I pushed him over a precipice, where I left him,
whether dead or alive I know not; and then, with greater speed than
seemed possible in my terror and fatigue, I made my way into the
mountains, without any other thought or purpose save that of hiding
myself among them, and escaping my father and those despatched in
search of me by his orders. It is now I know not how many months since
with this object I came here, where I met a herdsman who engaged me as
his servant at a place in the heart of this Sierra, and all this
time I have been serving him as herd, striving to keep always afield
to hide these locks which have now unexpectedly betrayed me. But all
my care and pains were unavailing, for my master made the discovery
that I was not a man, and harboured the same base designs as my
servant; and as fortune does not always supply a remedy in cases of
difficulty, and I had no precipice or ravine at hand down which to
fling the master and cure his passion, as I had in the servant's case,
I thought it a lesser evil to leave him and again conceal myself among
these crags, than make trial of my strength and argument with him. So,
as I say, once more I went into hiding to seek for some place where
I might with sighs and tears implore Heaven to have pity on my misery,
and grant me help and strength to escape from it, or let me die
among the solitudes, leaving no trace of an unhappy being who, by no
fault of hers, has furnished matter for talk and scandal at home and



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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