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Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Part 13 out of 20

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degree at having won a victory over such a valiant knight as he fancied
him of the Mirrors to be, and one from whose knightly word he expected to
learn whether the enchantment of his lady still continued; inasmuch as
the said vanquished knight was bound, under the penalty of ceasing to be
one, to return and render him an account of what took place between him
and her. But Don Quixote was of one mind, he of the Mirrors of another,
for he just then had no thought of anything but finding some village
where he could plaster himself, as has been said already. The history
goes on to say, then, that when the bachelor Samson Carrasco recommended
Don Quixote to resume his knight-errantry which he had laid aside, it was
in consequence of having been previously in conclave with the curate and
the barber on the means to be adopted to induce Don Quixote to stay at
home in peace and quiet without worrying himself with his ill-starred
adventures; at which consultation it was decided by the unanimous vote of
all, and on the special advice of Carrasco, that Don Quixote should be
allowed to go, as it seemed impossible to restrain him, and that Samson
should sally forth to meet him as a knight-errant, and do battle with
him, for there would be no difficulty about a cause, and vanquish him,
that being looked upon as an easy matter; and that it should be agreed
and settled that the vanquished was to be at the mercy of the victor.
Then, Don Quixote being vanquished, the bachelor knight was to command
him to return to his village and his house, and not quit it for two
years, or until he received further orders from him; all which it was
clear Don Quixote would unhesitatingly obey, rather than contravene or
fail to observe the laws of chivalry; and during the period of his
seclusion he might perhaps forget his folly, or there might be an
opportunity of discovering some ready remedy for his madness. Carrasco
undertook the task, and Tom Cecial, a gossip and neighbour of Sancho
Panza's, a lively, feather-headed fellow, offered himself as his squire.
Carrasco armed himself in the fashion described, and Tom Cecial, that he
might not be known by his gossip when they met, fitted on over his own
natural nose the false masquerade one that has been mentioned; and so
they followed the same route Don Quixote took, and almost came up with
him in time to be present at the adventure of the cart of Death and
finally encountered them in the grove, where all that the sagacious
reader has been reading about took place; and had it not been for the
extraordinary fancies of Don Quixote, and his conviction that the
bachelor was not the bachelor, senor bachelor would have been
incapacitated for ever from taking his degree of licentiate, all through
not finding nests where he thought to find birds.

Tom Cecial, seeing how ill they had succeeded, and what a sorry end their
expedition had come to, said to the bachelor, "Sure enough, Senor Samson
Carrasco, we are served right; it is easy enough to plan and set about an
enterprise, but it is often a difficult matter to come well out of it.
Don Quixote a madman, and we sane; he goes off laughing, safe, and sound,
and you are left sore and sorry! I'd like to know now which is the
madder, he who is so because he cannot help it, or he who is so of his
own choice?"

To which Samson replied, "The difference between the two sorts of madmen
is, that he who is so will he nil he, will be one always, while he who is
so of his own accord can leave off being one whenever he likes."

"In that case," said Tom Cecial, "I was a madman of my own accord when I
volunteered to become your squire, and, of my own accord, I'll leave off
being one and go home."

"That's your affair," returned Samson, "but to suppose that I am going
home until I have given Don Quixote a thrashing is absurd; and it is not
any wish that he may recover his senses that will make me hunt him out
now, but a wish for the sore pain I am in with my ribs won't let me
entertain more charitable thoughts."

Thus discoursing, the pair proceeded until they reached a town where it
was their good luck to find a bone-setter, with whose help the
unfortunate Samson was cured. Tom Cecial left him and went home, while he
stayed behind meditating vengeance; and the history will return to him
again at the proper time, so as not to omit making merry with Don Quixote



Don Quixote pursued his journey in the high spirits, satisfaction, and
self-complacency already described, fancying himself the most valorous
knight-errant of the age in the world because of his late victory. All
the adventures that could befall him from that time forth he regarded as
already done and brought to a happy issue; he made light of enchantments
and enchanters; he thought no more of the countless drubbings that had
been administered to him in the course of his knight-errantry, nor of the
volley of stones that had levelled half his teeth, nor of the ingratitude
of the galley slaves, nor of the audacity of the Yanguesans and the
shower of stakes that fell upon him; in short, he said to himself that
could he discover any means, mode, or way of disenchanting his lady
Dulcinea, he would not envy the highest fortune that the most fortunate
knight-errant of yore ever reached or could reach.

He was going along entirely absorbed in these fancies, when Sancho said
to him, "Isn't it odd, senor, that I have still before my eyes that
monstrous enormous nose of my gossip, Tom Cecial?"

"And dost thou, then, believe, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that the
Knight of the Mirrors was the bachelor Carrasco, and his squire Tom
Cecial thy gossip?"

"I don't know what to say to that," replied Sancho; "all I know is that
the tokens he gave me about my own house, wife and children, nobody else
but himself could have given me; and the face, once the nose was off, was
the very face of Tom Cecial, as I have seen it many a time in my town and
next door to my own house; and the sound of the voice was just the same."

"Let us reason the matter, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "Come now, by what
process of thinking can it be supposed that the bachelor Samson Carrasco
would come as a knight-errant, in arms offensive and defensive, to fight
with me? Have I ever been by any chance his enemy? Have I ever given him
any occasion to owe me a grudge? Am I his rival, or does he profess arms,
that he should envy the fame I have acquired in them?"

"Well, but what are we to say, senor," returned Sancho, "about that
knight, whoever he is, being so like the bachelor Carrasco, and his
squire so like my gossip, Tom Cecial? And if that be enchantment, as your
worship says, was there no other pair in the world for them to take the
likeness of?"

"It is all," said Don Quixote, "a scheme and plot of the malignant
magicians that persecute me, who, foreseeing that I was to be victorious
in the conflict, arranged that the vanquished knight should display the
countenance of my friend the bachelor, in order that the friendship I
bear him should interpose to stay the edge of my sword and might of my
arm, and temper the just wrath of my heart; so that he who sought to take
my life by fraud and falsehood should save his own. And to prove it, thou
knowest already, Sancho, by experience which cannot lie or deceive, how
easy it is for enchanters to change one countenance into another, turning
fair into foul, and foul into fair; for it is not two days since thou
sawest with thine own eyes the beauty and elegance of the peerless
Dulcinea in all its perfection and natural harmony, while I saw her in
the repulsive and mean form of a coarse country wench, with cataracts in
her eyes and a foul smell in her mouth; and when the perverse enchanter
ventured to effect so wicked a transformation, it is no wonder if he
effected that of Samson Carrasco and thy gossip in order to snatch the
glory of victory out of my grasp. For all that, however, I console
myself, because, after all, in whatever shape he may have been, I have
victorious over my enemy."

"God knows what's the truth of it all," said Sancho; and knowing as he
did that the transformation of Dulcinea had been a device and imposition
of his own, his master's illusions were not satisfactory to him; but he
did not like to reply lest he should say something that might disclose
his trickery.

As they were engaged in this conversation they were overtaken by a man
who was following the same road behind them, mounted on a very handsome
flea-bitten mare, and dressed in a gaban of fine green cloth, with tawny
velvet facings, and a montera of the same velvet. The trappings of the
mare were of the field and jineta fashion, and of mulberry colour and
green. He carried a Moorish cutlass hanging from a broad green and gold
baldric; the buskins were of the same make as the baldric; the spurs were
not gilt, but lacquered green, and so brightly polished that, matching as
they did the rest of his apparel, they looked better than if they had
been of pure gold.

When the traveller came up with them he saluted them courteously, and
spurring his mare was passing them without stopping, but Don Quixote
called out to him, "Gallant sir, if so be your worship is going our road,
and has no occasion for speed, it would be a pleasure to me if we were to
join company."

"In truth," replied he on the mare, "I would not pass you so hastily but
for fear that horse might turn restive in the company of my mare."

"You may safely hold in your mare, senor," said Sancho in reply to this,
"for our horse is the most virtuous and well-behaved horse in the world;
he never does anything wrong on such occasions, and the only time he
misbehaved, my master and I suffered for it sevenfold; I say again your
worship may pull up if you like; for if she was offered to him between
two plates the horse would not hanker after her."

The traveller drew rein, amazed at the trim and features of Don Quixote,
who rode without his helmet, which Sancho carried like a valise in front
of Dapple's pack-saddle; and if the man in green examined Don Quixote
closely, still more closely did Don Quixote examine the man in green, who
struck him as being a man of intelligence. In appearance he was about
fifty years of age, with but few grey hairs, an aquiline cast of
features, and an expression between grave and gay; and his dress and
accoutrements showed him to be a man of good condition. What he in green
thought of Don Quixote of La Mancha was that a man of that sort and shape
he had never yet seen; he marvelled at the length of his hair, his lofty
stature, the lankness and sallowness of his countenance, his armour, his
bearing and his gravity--a figure and picture such as had not been seen
in those regions for many a long day.

Don Quixote saw very plainly the attention with which the traveller was
regarding him, and read his curiosity in his astonishment; and courteous
as he was and ready to please everybody, before the other could ask him
any question he anticipated him by saying, "The appearance I present to
your worship being so strange and so out of the common, I should not be
surprised if it filled you with wonder; but you will cease to wonder when
I tell you, as I do, that I am one of those knights who, as people say,
go seeking adventures. I have left my home, I have mortgaged my estate, I
have given up my comforts, and committed myself to the arms of Fortune,
to bear me whithersoever she may please. My desire was to bring to life
again knight-errantry, now dead, and for some time past, stumbling here,
falling there, now coming down headlong, now raising myself up again, I
have carried out a great portion of my design, succouring widows,
protecting maidens, and giving aid to wives, orphans, and minors, the
proper and natural duty of knights-errant; and, therefore, because of my
many valiant and Christian achievements, I have been already found worthy
to make my way in print to well-nigh all, or most, of the nations of the
earth. Thirty thousand volumes of my history have been printed, and it is
on the high-road to be printed thirty thousand thousands of times, if
heaven does not put a stop to it. In short, to sum up all in a few words,
or in a single one, I may tell you I am Don Quixote of La Mancha,
otherwise called 'The Knight of the Rueful Countenance;' for though
self-praise is degrading, I must perforce sound my own sometimes, that is
to say, when there is no one at hand to do it for me. So that, gentle
sir, neither this horse, nor this lance, nor this shield, nor this
squire, nor all these arms put together, nor the sallowness of my
countenance, nor my gaunt leanness, will henceforth astonish you, now
that you know who I am and what profession I follow."

With these words Don Quixote held his peace, and, from the time he took
to answer, the man in green seemed to be at a loss for a reply; after a
long pause, however, he said to him, "You were right when you saw
curiosity in my amazement, sir knight; but you have not succeeded in
removing the astonishment I feel at seeing you; for although you say,
senor, that knowing who you are ought to remove it, it has not done so;
on the contrary, now that I know, I am left more amazed and astonished
than before. What! is it possible that there are knights-errant in the
world in these days, and histories of real chivalry printed? I cannot
realise the fact that there can be anyone on earth now-a-days who aids
widows, or protects maidens, or defends wives, or succours orphans; nor
should I believe it had I not seen it in your worship with my own eyes.
Blessed be heaven! for by means of this history of your noble and genuine
chivalrous deeds, which you say has been printed, the countless stories
of fictitious knights-errant with which the world is filled, so much to
the injury of morality and the prejudice and discredit of good histories,
will have been driven into oblivion."

"There is a good deal to be said on that point," said Don Quixote, "as to
whether the histories of the knights-errant are fiction or not."

"Why, is there anyone who doubts that those histories are false?" said
the man in green.

"I doubt it," said Don Quixote, "but never mind that just now; if our
journey lasts long enough, I trust in God I shall show your worship that
you do wrong in going with the stream of those who regard it as a matter
of certainty that they are not true."

From this last observation of Don Quixote's, the traveller began to have
a suspicion that he was some crazy being, and was waiting him to confirm
it by something further; but before they could turn to any new subject
Don Quixote begged him to tell him who he was, since he himself had
rendered account of his station and life. To this, he in the green gaban
replied "I, Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance, am a gentleman by
birth, native of the village where, please God, we are going to dine
today; I am more than fairly well off, and my name is Don Diego de
Miranda. I pass my life with my wife, children, and friends; my pursuits
are hunting and fishing, but I keep neither hawks nor greyhounds, nothing
but a tame partridge or a bold ferret or two; I have six dozen or so of
books, some in our mother tongue, some Latin, some of them history,
others devotional; those of chivalry have not as yet crossed the
threshold of my door; I am more given to turning over the profane than
the devotional, so long as they are books of honest entertainment that
charm by their style and attract and interest by the invention they
display, though of these there are very few in Spain. Sometimes I dine
with my neighbours and friends, and often invite them; my entertainments
are neat and well served without stint of anything. I have no taste for
tattle, nor do I allow tattling in my presence; I pry not into my
neighbours' lives, nor have I lynx-eyes for what others do. I hear mass
every day; I share my substance with the poor, making no display of good
works, lest I let hypocrisy and vainglory, those enemies that subtly take
possession of the most watchful heart, find an entrance into mine. I
strive to make peace between those whom I know to be at variance; I am
the devoted servant of Our Lady, and my trust is ever in the infinite
mercy of God our Lord."

Sancho listened with the greatest attention to the account of the
gentleman's life and occupation; and thinking it a good and a holy life,
and that he who led it ought to work miracles, he threw himself off
Dapple, and running in haste seized his right stirrup and kissed his foot
again and again with a devout heart and almost with tears.

Seeing this the gentleman asked him, "What are you about, brother? What
are these kisses for?"

"Let me kiss," said Sancho, "for I think your worship is the first saint
in the saddle I ever saw all the days of my life."

"I am no saint," replied the gentleman, "but a great sinner; but you are,
brother, for you must be a good fellow, as your simplicity shows."

Sancho went back and regained his pack-saddle, having extracted a laugh
from his master's profound melancholy, and excited fresh amazement in Don
Diego. Don Quixote then asked him how many children he had, and observed
that one of the things wherein the ancient philosophers, who were without
the true knowledge of God, placed the summum bonum was in the gifts of
nature, in those of fortune, in having many friends, and many and good

"I, Senor Don Quixote," answered the gentleman, "have one son, without
whom, perhaps, I should count myself happier than I am, not because he is
a bad son, but because he is not so good as I could wish. He is eighteen
years of age; he has been for six at Salamanca studying Latin and Greek,
and when I wished him to turn to the study of other sciences I found him
so wrapped up in that of poetry (if that can be called a science) that
there is no getting him to take kindly to the law, which I wished him to
study, or to theology, the queen of them all. I would like him to be an
honour to his family, as we live in days when our kings liberally reward
learning that is virtuous and worthy; for learning without virtue is a
pearl on a dunghill. He spends the whole day in settling whether Homer
expressed himself correctly or not in such and such a line of the Iliad,
whether Martial was indecent or not in such and such an epigram, whether
such and such lines of Virgil are to be understood in this way or in
that; in short, all his talk is of the works of these poets, and those of
Horace, Perseus, Juvenal, and Tibullus; for of the moderns in our own
language he makes no great account; but with all his seeming indifference
to Spanish poetry, just now his thoughts are absorbed in making a gloss
on four lines that have been sent him from Salamanca, which I suspect are
for some poetical tournament."

To all this Don Quixote said in reply, "Children, senor, are portions of
their parents' bowels, and therefore, be they good or bad, are to be
loved as we love the souls that give us life; it is for the parents to
guide them from infancy in the ways of virtue, propriety, and worthy
Christian conduct, so that when grown up they may be the staff of their
parents' old age, and the glory of their posterity; and to force them to
study this or that science I do not think wise, though it may be no harm
to persuade them; and when there is no need to study for the sake of pane
lucrando, and it is the student's good fortune that heaven has given him
parents who provide him with it, it would be my advice to them to let him
pursue whatever science they may see him most inclined to; and though
that of poetry is less useful than pleasurable, it is not one of those
that bring discredit upon the possessor. Poetry, gentle sir, is, as I
take it, like a tender young maiden of supreme beauty, to array, bedeck,
and adorn whom is the task of several other maidens, who are all the rest
of the sciences; and she must avail herself of the help of all, and all
derive their lustre from her. But this maiden will not bear to be
handled, nor dragged through the streets, nor exposed either at the
corners of the market-places, or in the closets of palaces. She is the
product of an Alchemy of such virtue that he who is able to practise it,
will turn her into pure gold of inestimable worth. He that possesses her
must keep her within bounds, not permitting her to break out in ribald
satires or soulless sonnets. She must on no account be offered for sale,
unless, indeed, it be in heroic poems, moving tragedies, or sprightly and
ingenious comedies. She must not be touched by the buffoons, nor by the
ignorant vulgar, incapable of comprehending or appreciating her hidden
treasures. And do not suppose, senor, that I apply the term vulgar here
merely to plebeians and the lower orders; for everyone who is ignorant,
be he lord or prince, may and should be included among the vulgar. He,
then, who shall embrace and cultivate poetry under the conditions I have
named, shall become famous, and his name honoured throughout all the
civilised nations of the earth. And with regard to what you say, senor,
of your son having no great opinion of Spanish poetry, I am inclined to
think that he is not quite right there, and for this reason: the great
poet Homer did not write in Latin, because he was a Greek, nor did Virgil
write in Greek, because he was a Latin; in short, all the ancient poets
wrote in the language they imbibed with their mother's milk, and never
went in quest of foreign ones to express their sublime conceptions; and
that being so, the usage should in justice extend to all nations, and the
German poet should not be undervalued because he writes in his own
language, nor the Castilian, nor even the Biscayan, for writing in his.
But your son, senor, I suspect, is not prejudiced against Spanish poetry,
but against those poets who are mere Spanish verse writers, without any
knowledge of other languages or sciences to adorn and give life and
vigour to their natural inspiration; and yet even in this he may be
wrong; for, according to a true belief, a poet is born one; that is to
say, the poet by nature comes forth a poet from his mother's womb; and
following the bent that heaven has bestowed upon him, without the aid of
study or art, he produces things that show how truly he spoke who said,
'Est Deus in nobis,' etc. At the same time, I say that the poet by nature
who calls in art to his aid will be a far better poet, and will surpass
him who tries to be one relying upon his knowledge of art alone. The
reason is, that art does not surpass nature, but only brings it to
perfection; and thus, nature combined with art, and art with nature, will
produce a perfect poet. To bring my argument to a close, I would say
then, gentle sir, let your son go on as his star leads him, for being so
studious as he seems to be, and having already successfully surmounted
the first step of the sciences, which is that of the languages, with
their help he will by his own exertions reach the summit of polite
literature, which so well becomes an independent gentleman, and adorns,
honours, and distinguishes him, as much as the mitre does the bishop, or
the gown the learned counsellor. If your son write satires reflecting on
the honour of others, chide and correct him, and tear them up; but if he
compose discourses in which he rebukes vice in general, in the style of
Horace, and with elegance like his, commend him; for it is legitimate for
a poet to write against envy and lash the envious in his verse, and the
other vices too, provided he does not single out individuals; there are,
however, poets who, for the sake of saying something spiteful, would run
the risk of being banished to the coast of Pontus. If the poet be pure in
his morals, he will be pure in his verses too; the pen is the tongue of
the mind, and as the thought engendered there, so will be the things that
it writes down. And when kings and princes observe this marvellous
science of poetry in wise, virtuous, and thoughtful subjects, they
honour, value, exalt them, and even crown them with the leaves of that
tree which the thunderbolt strikes not, as if to show that they whose
brows are honoured and adorned with such a crown are not to be assailed
by anyone."

He of the green gaban was filled with astonishment at Don Quixote's
argument, so much so that he began to abandon the notion he had taken up
about his being crazy. But in the middle of the discourse, it being not
very much to his taste, Sancho had turned aside out of the road to beg a
little milk from some shepherds, who were milking their ewes hard by; and
just as the gentleman, highly pleased, was about to renew the
conversation, Don Quixote, raising his head, perceived a cart covered
with royal flags coming along the road they were travelling; and
persuaded that this must be some new adventure, he called aloud to Sancho
to come and bring him his helmet. Sancho, hearing himself called, quitted
the shepherds, and, prodding Dapple vigorously, came up to his master, to
whom there fell a terrific and desperate adventure.



The history tells that when Don Quixote called out to Sancho to bring him
his helmet, Sancho was buying some curds the shepherds agreed to sell
him, and flurried by the great haste his master was in did not know what
to do with them or what to carry them in; so, not to lose them, for he
had already paid for them, he thought it best to throw them into his
master's helmet, and acting on this bright idea he went to see what his
master wanted with him. He, as he approached, exclaimed to him:

"Give me that helmet, my friend, for either I know little of adventures,
or what I observe yonder is one that will, and does, call upon me to arm

He of the green gaban, on hearing this, looked in all directions, but
could perceive nothing, except a cart coming towards them with two or
three small flags, which led him to conclude it must be carrying treasure
of the King's, and he said so to Don Quixote. He, however, would not
believe him, being always persuaded and convinced that all that happened
to him must be adventures and still more adventures; so he replied to the
gentleman, "He who is prepared has his battle half fought; nothing is
lost by my preparing myself, for I know by experience that I have
enemies, visible and invisible, and I know not when, or where, or at what
moment, or in what shapes they will attack me;" and turning to Sancho he
called for his helmet; and Sancho, as he had no time to take out the
curds, had to give it just as it was. Don Quixote took it, and without
perceiving what was in it thrust it down in hot haste upon his head; but
as the curds were pressed and squeezed the whey began to run all over his
face and beard, whereat he was so startled that he cried out to Sancho:

"Sancho, what's this? I think my head is softening, or my brains are
melting, or I am sweating from head to foot! If I am sweating it is not
indeed from fear. I am convinced beyond a doubt that the adventure which
is about to befall me is a terrible one. Give me something to wipe myself
with, if thou hast it, for this profuse sweat is blinding me."

Sancho held his tongue, and gave him a cloth, and gave thanks to God at
the same time that his master had not found out what was the matter. Don
Quixote then wiped himself, and took off his helmet to see what it was
that made his head feel so cool, and seeing all that white mash inside
his helmet he put it to his nose, and as soon as he had smelt it he

"By the life of my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, but it is curds thou hast
put here, thou treacherous, impudent, ill-mannered squire!"

To which, with great composure and pretended innocence, Sancho replied,
"If they are curds let me have them, your worship, and I'll eat them; but
let the devil eat them, for it must have been he who put them there. I
dare to dirty your helmet! You have guessed the offender finely! Faith,
sir, by the light God gives me, it seems I must have enchanters too, that
persecute me as a creature and limb of your worship, and they must have
put that nastiness there in order to provoke your patience to anger, and
make you baste my ribs as you are wont to do. Well, this time, indeed,
they have missed their aim, for I trust to my master's good sense to see
that I have got no curds or milk, or anything of the sort; and that if I
had it is in my stomach I would put it and not in the helmet."

"May be so," said Don Quixote. All this the gentleman was observing, and
with astonishment, more especially when, after having wiped himself
clean, his head, face, beard, and helmet, Don Quixote put it on, and
settling himself firmly in his stirrups, easing his sword in the
scabbard, and grasping his lance, he cried, "Now, come who will, here am
I, ready to try conclusions with Satan himself in person!"

By this time the cart with the flags had come up, unattended by anyone
except the carter on a mule, and a man sitting in front. Don Quixote
planted himself before it and said, "Whither are you going, brothers?
What cart is this? What have you got in it? What flags are those?"

To this the carter replied, "The cart is mine; what is in it is a pair of
wild caged lions, which the governor of Oran is sending to court as a
present to his Majesty; and the flags are our lord the King's, to show
that what is here is his property."

"And are the lions large?" asked Don Quixote.

"So large," replied the man who sat at the door of the cart, "that
larger, or as large, have never crossed from Africa to Spain; I am the
keeper, and I have brought over others, but never any like these. They
are male and female; the male is in that first cage and the female in the
one behind, and they are hungry now, for they have eaten nothing to-day,
so let your worship stand aside, for we must make haste to the place
where we are to feed them."

Hereupon, smiling slightly, Don Quixote exclaimed, "Lion-whelps to me! to
me whelps of lions, and at such a time! Then, by God! those gentlemen who
send them here shall see if I am a man to be frightened by lions. Get
down, my good fellow, and as you are the keeper open the cages, and turn
me out those beasts, and in the midst of this plain I will let them know
who Don Quixote of La Mancha is, in spite and in the teeth of the
enchanters who send them to me."

"So, so," said the gentleman to himself at this; "our worthy knight has
shown of what sort he is; the curds, no doubt, have softened his skull
and brought his brains to a head."

At this instant Sancho came up to him, saying, "Senor, for God's sake do
something to keep my master, Don Quixote, from tackling these lions; for
if he does they'll tear us all to pieces here."

"Is your master then so mad," asked the gentleman, "that you believe and
are afraid he will engage such fierce animals?"

"He is not mad," said Sancho, "but he is venturesome."

"I will prevent it," said the gentleman; and going over to Don Quixote,
who was insisting upon the keeper's opening the cages, he said to him,
"Sir knight, knights-errant should attempt adventures which encourage the
hope of a successful issue, not those which entirely withhold it; for
valour that trenches upon temerity savours rather of madness than of
courage; moreover, these lions do not come to oppose you, nor do they
dream of such a thing; they are going as presents to his Majesty, and it
will not be right to stop them or delay their journey."

"Gentle sir," replied Don Quixote, "you go and mind your tame partridge
and your bold ferret, and leave everyone to manage his own business; this
is mine, and I know whether these gentlemen the lions come to me or not;"
and then turning to the keeper he exclaimed, "By all that's good, sir
scoundrel, if you don't open the cages this very instant, I'll pin you to
the cart with this lance."

The carter, seeing the determination of this apparition in armour, said
to him, "Please your worship, for charity's sake, senor, let me unyoke
the mules and place myself in safety along with them before the lions are
turned out; for if they kill them on me I am ruined for life, for all I
possess is this cart and mules."

"O man of little faith," replied Don Quixote, "get down and unyoke; you
will soon see that you are exerting yourself for nothing, and that you
might have spared yourself the trouble."

The carter got down and with all speed unyoked the mules, and the keeper
called out at the top of his voice, "I call all here to witness that
against my will and under compulsion I open the cages and let the lions
loose, and that I warn this gentleman that he will be accountable for all
the harm and mischief which these beasts may do, and for my salary and
dues as well. You, gentlemen, place yourselves in safety before I open,
for I know they will do me no harm."

Once more the gentleman strove to persuade Don Quixote not to do such a
mad thing, as it was tempting God to engage in such a piece of folly. To
this, Don Quixote replied that he knew what he was about. The gentleman
in return entreated him to reflect, for he knew he was under a delusion.

"Well, senor," answered Don Quixote, "if you do not like to be a
spectator of this tragedy, as in your opinion it will be, spur your
flea-bitten mare, and place yourself in safety."

Hearing this, Sancho with tears in his eyes entreated him to give up an
enterprise compared with which the one of the windmills, and the awful
one of the fulling mills, and, in fact, all the feats he had attempted in
the whole course of his life, were cakes and fancy bread. "Look ye,
senor," said Sancho, "there's no enchantment here, nor anything of the
sort, for between the bars and chinks of the cage I have seen the paw of
a real lion, and judging by that I reckon the lion such a paw could
belong to must be bigger than a mountain."

"Fear at any rate," replied Don Quixote, "will make him look bigger to
thee than half the world. Retire, Sancho, and leave me; and if I die here
thou knowest our old compact; thou wilt repair to Dulcinea--I say no
more." To these he added some further words that banished all hope of his
giving up his insane project. He of the green gaban would have offered
resistance, but he found himself ill-matched as to arms, and did not
think it prudent to come to blows with a madman, for such Don Quixote now
showed himself to be in every respect; and the latter, renewing his
commands to the keeper and repeating his threats, gave warning to the
gentleman to spur his mare, Sancho his Dapple, and the carter his mules,
all striving to get away from the cart as far as they could before the
lions broke loose. Sancho was weeping over his master's death, for this
time he firmly believed it was in store for him from the claws of the
lions; and he cursed his fate and called it an unlucky hour when he
thought of taking service with him again; but with all his tears and
lamentations he did not forget to thrash Dapple so as to put a good space
between himself and the cart. The keeper, seeing that the fugitives were
now some distance off, once more entreated and warned him as before; but
he replied that he heard him, and that he need not trouble himself with
any further warnings or entreaties, as they would be fruitless, and bade
him make haste.

During the delay that occurred while the keeper was opening the first
cage, Don Quixote was considering whether it would not be well to do
battle on foot, instead of on horseback, and finally resolved to fight on
foot, fearing that Rocinante might take fright at the sight of the lions;
he therefore sprang off his horse, flung his lance aside, braced his
buckler on his arm, and drawing his sword, advanced slowly with
marvellous intrepidity and resolute courage, to plant himself in front of
the cart, commending himself with all his heart to God and to his lady

It is to be observed, that on coming to this passage, the author of this
veracious history breaks out into exclamations. "O doughty Don Quixote!
high-mettled past extolling! Mirror, wherein all the heroes of the world
may see themselves! Second modern Don Manuel de Leon, once the glory and
honour of Spanish knighthood! In what words shall I describe this dread
exploit, by what language shall I make it credible to ages to come, what
eulogies are there unmeet for thee, though they be hyperboles piled on
hyperboles! On foot, alone, undaunted, high-souled, with but a simple
sword, and that no trenchant blade of the Perrillo brand, a shield, but
no bright polished steel one, there stoodst thou, biding and awaiting the
two fiercest lions that Africa's forests ever bred! Thy own deeds be thy
praise, valiant Manchegan, and here I leave them as they stand, wanting
the words wherewith to glorify them!"

Here the author's outburst came to an end, and he proceeded to take up
the thread of his story, saying that the keeper, seeing that Don Quixote
had taken up his position, and that it was impossible for him to avoid
letting out the male without incurring the enmity of the fiery and daring
knight, flung open the doors of the first cage, containing, as has been
said, the lion, which was now seen to be of enormous size, and grim and
hideous mien. The first thing he did was to turn round in the cage in
which he lay, and protrude his claws, and stretch himself thoroughly; he
next opened his mouth, and yawned very leisurely, and with near two
palms' length of tongue that he had thrust forth, he licked the dust out
of his eyes and washed his face; having done this, he put his head out of
the cage and looked all round with eyes like glowing coals, a spectacle
and demeanour to strike terror into temerity itself. Don Quixote merely
observed him steadily, longing for him to leap from the cart and come to
close quarters with him, when he hoped to hew him in pieces.

So far did his unparalleled madness go; but the noble lion, more
courteous than arrogant, not troubling himself about silly bravado, after
having looked all round, as has been said, turned about and presented his
hind-quarters to Don Quixote, and very coolly and tranquilly lay down
again in the cage. Seeing this, Don Quixote ordered the keeper to take a
stick to him and provoke him to make him come out.

"That I won't," said the keeper; "for if I anger him, the first he'll
tear in pieces will be myself. Be satisfied, sir knight, with what you
have done, which leaves nothing more to be said on the score of courage,
and do not seek to tempt fortune a second time. The lion has the door
open; he is free to come out or not to come out; but as he has not come
out so far, he will not come out to-day. Your worship's great courage has
been fully manifested already; no brave champion, so it strikes me, is
bound to do more than challenge his enemy and wait for him on the field;
if his adversary does not come, on him lies the disgrace, and he who
waits for him carries off the crown of victory."

"That is true," said Don Quixote; "close the door, my friend, and let me
have, in the best form thou canst, what thou hast seen me do, by way of
certificate; to wit, that thou didst open for the lion, that I waited for
him, that he did not come out, that I still waited for him, and that
still he did not come out, and lay down again. I am not bound to do more;
enchantments avaunt, and God uphold the right, the truth, and true
chivalry! Close the door as I bade thee, while I make signals to the
fugitives that have left us, that they may learn this exploit from thy

The keeper obeyed, and Don Quixote, fixing on the point of his lance the
cloth he had wiped his face with after the deluge of curds, proceeded to
recall the others, who still continued to fly, looking back at every
step, all in a body, the gentleman bringing up the rear. Sancho, however,
happening to observe the signal of the white cloth, exclaimed, "May I
die, if my master has not overcome the wild beasts, for he is calling to

They all stopped, and perceived that it was Don Quixote who was making
signals, and shaking off their fears to some extent, they approached
slowly until they were near enough to hear distinctly Don Quixote's voice
calling to them. They returned at length to the cart, and as they came
up, Don Quixote said to the carter, "Put your mules to once more,
brother, and continue your journey; and do thou, Sancho, give him two
gold crowns for himself and the keeper, to compensate for the delay they
have incurred through me."

"That will I give with all my heart," said Sancho; "but what has become
of the lions? Are they dead or alive?"

The keeper, then, in full detail, and bit by bit, described the end of
the contest, exalting to the best of his power and ability the valour of
Don Quixote, at the sight of whom the lion quailed, and would not and
dared not come out of the cage, although he had held the door open ever
so long; and showing how, in consequence of his having represented to the
knight that it was tempting God to provoke the lion in order to force him
out, which he wished to have done, he very reluctantly, and altogether
against his will, had allowed the door to be closed.

"What dost thou think of this, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Are there any
enchantments that can prevail against true valour? The enchanters may be
able to rob me of good fortune, but of fortitude and courage they

Sancho paid the crowns, the carter put to, the keeper kissed Don
Quixote's hands for the bounty bestowed upon him, and promised to give an
account of the valiant exploit to the King himself, as soon as he saw him
at court.

"Then," said Don Quixote, "if his Majesty should happen to ask who
performed it, you must say THE KNIGHT OF THE LIONS; for it is my desire
that into this the name I have hitherto borne of Knight of the Rueful
Countenance be from this time forward changed, altered, transformed, and
turned; and in this I follow the ancient usage of knights-errant, who
changed their names when they pleased, or when it suited their purpose."

The cart went its way, and Don Quixote, Sancho, and he of the green gaban
went theirs. All this time, Don Diego de Miranda had not spoken a word,
being entirely taken up with observing and noting all that Don Quixote
did and said, and the opinion he formed was that he was a man of brains
gone mad, and a madman on the verge of rationality. The first part of his
history had not yet reached him, for, had he read it, the amazement with
which his words and deeds filled him would have vanished, as he would
then have understood the nature of his madness; but knowing nothing of
it, he took him to be rational one moment, and crazy the next, for what
he said was sensible, elegant, and well expressed, and what he did,
absurd, rash, and foolish; and said he to himself, "What could be madder
than putting on a helmet full of curds, and then persuading oneself that
enchanters are softening one's skull; or what could be greater rashness
and folly than wanting to fight lions tooth and nail?"

Don Quixote roused him from these reflections and this soliloquy by
saying, "No doubt, Senor Don Diego de Miranda, you set me down in your
mind as a fool and a madman, and it would be no wonder if you did, for my
deeds do not argue anything else. But for all that, I would have you take
notice that I am neither so mad nor so foolish as I must have seemed to
you. A gallant knight shows to advantage bringing his lance to bear
adroitly upon a fierce bull under the eyes of his sovereign, in the midst
of a spacious plaza; a knight shows to advantage arrayed in glittering
armour, pacing the lists before the ladies in some joyous tournament, and
all those knights show to advantage that entertain, divert, and, if we
may say so, honour the courts of their princes by warlike exercises, or
what resemble them; but to greater advantage than all these does a
knight-errant show when he traverses deserts, solitudes, cross-roads,
forests, and mountains, in quest of perilous adventures, bent on bringing
them to a happy and successful issue, all to win a glorious and lasting
renown. To greater advantage, I maintain, does the knight-errant show
bringing aid to some widow in some lonely waste, than the court knight
dallying with some city damsel. All knights have their own special parts
to play; let the courtier devote himself to the ladies, let him add
lustre to his sovereign's court by his liveries, let him entertain poor
gentlemen with the sumptuous fare of his table, let him arrange
joustings, marshal tournaments, and prove himself noble, generous, and
magnificent, and above all a good Christian, and so doing he will fulfil
the duties that are especially his; but let the knight-errant explore the
corners of the earth and penetrate the most intricate labyrinths, at each
step let him attempt impossibilities, on desolate heaths let him endure
the burning rays of the midsummer sun, and the bitter inclemency of the
winter winds and frosts; let no lions daunt him, no monsters terrify him,
no dragons make him quail; for to seek these, to attack those, and to
vanquish all, are in truth his main duties. I, then, as it has fallen to
my lot to be a member of knight-errantry, cannot avoid attempting all
that to me seems to come within the sphere of my duties; thus it was my
bounden duty to attack those lions that I just now attacked, although I
knew it to be the height of rashness; for I know well what valour is,
that it is a virtue that occupies a place between two vicious extremes,
cowardice and temerity; but it will be a lesser evil for him who is
valiant to rise till he reaches the point of rashness, than to sink until
he reaches the point of cowardice; for, as it is easier for the prodigal
than for the miser to become generous, so it is easier for a rash man to
prove truly valiant than for a coward to rise to true valour; and believe
me, Senor Don Diego, in attempting adventures it is better to lose by a
card too many than by a card too few; for to hear it said, 'such a knight
is rash and daring,' sounds better than 'such a knight is timid and

"I protest, Senor Don Quixote," said Don Diego, "everything you have said
and done is proved correct by the test of reason itself; and I believe,
if the laws and ordinances of knight-errantry should be lost, they might
be found in your worship's breast as in their own proper depository and
muniment-house; but let us make haste, and reach my village, where you
shall take rest after your late exertions; for if they have not been of
the body they have been of the spirit, and these sometimes tend to
produce bodily fatigue."

"I take the invitation as a great favour and honour, Senor Don Diego,"
replied Don Quixote; and pressing forward at a better pace than before,
at about two in the afternoon they reached the village and house of Don
Diego, or, as Don Quixote called him, "The Knight of the Green Gaban."



Don Quixote found Don Diego de Miranda's house built in village style,
with his arms in rough stone over the street door; in the patio was the
store-room, and at the entrance the cellar, with plenty of wine-jars
standing round, which, coming from El Toboso, brought back to his memory
his enchanted and transformed Dulcinea; and with a sigh, and not thinking
of what he was saying, or in whose presence he was, he exclaimed--

"O ye sweet treasures, to my sorrow found!
Once sweet and welcome when 'twas heaven's good-will.

"O ye Tobosan jars, how ye bring back to my memory the
sweet object of my bitter regrets!"

The student poet, Don Diego's son, who had come out with his mother to
receive him, heard this exclamation, and both mother and son were filled
with amazement at the extraordinary figure he presented; he, however,
dismounting from Rocinante, advanced with great politeness to ask
permission to kiss the lady's hand, while Don Diego said, "Senora, pray
receive with your wonted kindness Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, whom
you see before you, a knight-errant, and the bravest and wisest in the

The lady, whose name was Dona Christina, received him with every sign of
good-will and great courtesy, and Don Quixote placed himself at her
service with an abundance of well-chosen and polished phrases. Almost the
same civilities were exchanged between him and the student, who listening
to Don Quixote, took him to be a sensible, clear-headed person.

Here the author describes minutely everything belonging to Don Diego's
mansion, putting before us in his picture the whole contents of a rich
gentleman-farmer's house; but the translator of the history thought it
best to pass over these and other details of the same sort in silence, as
they are not in harmony with the main purpose of the story, the strong
point of which is truth rather than dull digressions.

They led Don Quixote into a room, and Sancho removed his armour, leaving
him in loose Walloon breeches and chamois-leather doublet, all stained
with the rust of his armour; his collar was a falling one of scholastic
cut, without starch or lace, his buskins buff-coloured, and his shoes
polished. He wore his good sword, which hung in a baldric of sea-wolf's
skin, for he had suffered for many years, they say, from an ailment of
the kidneys; and over all he threw a long cloak of good grey cloth. But
first of all, with five or six buckets of water (for as regard the number
of buckets there is some dispute), he washed his head and face, and still
the water remained whey-coloured, thanks to Sancho's greediness and
purchase of those unlucky curds that turned his master so white. Thus
arrayed, and with an easy, sprightly, and gallant air, Don Quixote passed
out into another room, where the student was waiting to entertain him
while the table was being laid; for on the arrival of so distinguished a
guest, Dona Christina was anxious to show that she knew how and was able
to give a becoming reception to those who came to her house.

While Don Quixote was taking off his armour, Don Lorenzo (for so Don
Diego's son was called) took the opportunity to say to his father, "What
are we to make of this gentleman you have brought home to us, sir? For
his name, his appearance, and your describing him as a knight-errant have
completely puzzled my mother and me."

"I don't know what to say, my son," replied. Don Diego; "all I can tell
thee is that I have seen him act the acts of the greatest madman in the
world, and heard him make observations so sensible that they efface and
undo all he does; do thou talk to him and feel the pulse of his wits, and
as thou art shrewd, form the most reasonable conclusion thou canst as to
his wisdom or folly; though, to tell the truth, I am more inclined to
take him to be mad than sane."

With this Don Lorenzo went away to entertain Don Quixote as has been
said, and in the course of the conversation that passed between them Don
Quixote said to Don Lorenzo, "Your father, Senor Don Diego de Miranda,
has told me of the rare abilities and subtle intellect you possess, and,
above all, that you are a great poet."

"A poet, it may be," replied Don Lorenzo, "but a great one, by no means.
It is true that I am somewhat given to poetry and to reading good poets,
but not so much so as to justify the title of 'great' which my father
gives me."

"I do not dislike that modesty," said Don Quixote; "for there is no poet
who is not conceited and does not think he is the best poet in the

"There is no rule without an exception," said Don Lorenzo; "there may be
some who are poets and yet do not think they are."

"Very few," said Don Quixote; "but tell me, what verses are those which
you have now in hand, and which your father tells me keep you somewhat
restless and absorbed? If it be some gloss, I know something about
glosses, and I should like to hear them; and if they are for a poetical
tournament, contrive to carry off the second prize; for the first always
goes by favour or personal standing, the second by simple justice; and so
the third comes to be the second, and the first, reckoning in this way,
will be third, in the same way as licentiate degrees are conferred at the
universities; but, for all that, the title of first is a great

"So far," said Don Lorenzo to himself, "I should not take you to be a
madman; but let us go on." So he said to him, "Your worship has
apparently attended the schools; what sciences have you studied?"

"That of knight-errantry," said Don Quixote, "which is as good as that of
poetry, and even a finger or two above it."

"I do not know what science that is," said Don Lorenzo, "and until now I
have never heard of it."

"It is a science," said Don Quixote, "that comprehends in itself all or
most of the sciences in the world, for he who professes it must be a
jurist, and must know the rules of justice, distributive and equitable,
so as to give to each one what belongs to him and is due to him. He must
be a theologian, so as to be able to give a clear and distinctive reason
for the Christian faith he professes, wherever it may be asked of him. He
must be a physician, and above all a herbalist, so as in wastes and
solitudes to know the herbs that have the property of healing wounds, for
a knight-errant must not go looking for some one to cure him at every
step. He must be an astronomer, so as to know by the stars how many hours
of the night have passed, and what clime and quarter of the world he is
in. He must know mathematics, for at every turn some occasion for them
will present itself to him; and, putting it aside that he must be adorned
with all the virtues, cardinal and theological, to come down to minor
particulars, he must, I say, be able to swim as well as Nicholas or
Nicolao the Fish could, as the story goes; he must know how to shoe a
horse, and repair his saddle and bridle; and, to return to higher
matters, he must be faithful to God and to his lady; he must be pure in
thought, decorous in words, generous in works, valiant in deeds, patient
in suffering, compassionate towards the needy, and, lastly, an upholder
of the truth though its defence should cost him his life. Of all these
qualities, great and small, is a true knight-errant made up; judge then,
Senor Don Lorenzo, whether it be a contemptible science which the knight
who studies and professes it has to learn, and whether it may not compare
with the very loftiest that are taught in the schools."

"If that be so," replied Don Lorenzo, "this science, I protest, surpasses

"How, if that be so?" said Don Quixote.

"What I mean to say," said Don Lorenzo, "is, that I doubt whether there
are now, or ever were, any knights-errant, and adorned with such

"Many a time," replied Don Quixote, "have I said what I now say once
more, that the majority of the world are of opinion that there never were
any knights-errant in it; and as it is my opinion that, unless heaven by
some miracle brings home to them the truth that there were and are, all
the pains one takes will be in vain (as experience has often proved to
me), I will not now stop to disabuse you of the error you share with the
multitude. All I shall do is to pray to heaven to deliver you from it,
and show you how beneficial and necessary knights-errant were in days of
yore, and how useful they would be in these days were they but in vogue;
but now, for the sins of the people, sloth and indolence, gluttony and
luxury are triumphant."

"Our guest has broken out on our hands," said Don Lorenzo to himself at
this point; "but, for all that, he is a glorious madman, and I should be
a dull blockhead to doubt it."

Here, being summoned to dinner, they brought their colloquy to a close.
Don Diego asked his son what he had been able to make out as to the wits
of their guest. To which he replied, "All the doctors and clever scribes
in the world will not make sense of the scrawl of his madness; he is a
madman full of streaks, full of lucid intervals."

They went in to dinner, and the repast was such as Don Diego said on the
road he was in the habit of giving to his guests, neat, plentiful, and
tasty; but what pleased Don Quixote most was the marvellous silence that
reigned throughout the house, for it was like a Carthusian monastery.

When the cloth had been removed, grace said and their hands washed, Don
Quixote earnestly pressed Don Lorenzo to repeat to him his verses for the
poetical tournament, to which he replied, "Not to be like those poets
who, when they are asked to recite their verses, refuse, and when they
are not asked for them vomit them up, I will repeat my gloss, for which I
do not expect any prize, having composed it merely as an exercise of

"A discerning friend of mine," said Don Quixote, "was of opinion that no
one ought to waste labour in glossing verses; and the reason he gave was
that the gloss can never come up to the text, and that often or most
frequently it wanders away from the meaning and purpose aimed at in the
glossed lines; and besides, that the laws of the gloss were too strict,
as they did not allow interrogations, nor 'said he,' nor 'I say,' nor
turning verbs into nouns, or altering the construction, not to speak of
other restrictions and limitations that fetter gloss-writers, as you no
doubt know."

"Verily, Senor Don Quixote," said Don Lorenzo, "I wish I could catch your
worship tripping at a stretch, but I cannot, for you slip through my
fingers like an eel."

"I don't understand what you say, or mean by slipping," said Don Quixote.

"I will explain myself another time," said Don Lorenzo; "for the present
pray attend to the glossed verses and the gloss, which run thus:

Could 'was' become an 'is' for me,
Then would I ask no more than this;
Or could, for me, the time that is
Become the time that is to be!--


Dame Fortune once upon a day
To me was bountiful and kind;
But all things change; she changed her mind,
And what she gave she took away.
O Fortune, long I've sued to thee;
The gifts thou gavest me restore,
For, trust me, I would ask no more,
Could 'was' become an 'is' for me.

No other prize I seek to gain,
No triumph, glory, or success,
Only the long-lost happiness,
The memory whereof is pain.
One taste, methinks, of bygone bliss
The heart-consuming fire might stay;
And, so it come without delay,
Then would I ask no more than this.

I ask what cannot be, alas!
That time should ever be, and then
Come back to us, and be again,
No power on earth can bring to pass;
For fleet of foot is he, I wis,
And idly, therefore, do we pray
That what for aye hath left us may
Become for us the time that is.

Perplexed, uncertain, to remain
'Twixt hope and fear, is death, not life;
'Twere better, sure, to end the strife,
And dying, seek release from pain.
And yet, thought were the best for me.
Anon the thought aside I fling,
And to the present fondly cling,
And dread the time that is to be."

When Don Lorenzo had finished reciting his gloss, Don Quixote stood up,
and in a loud voice, almost a shout, exclaimed as he grasped Don
Lorenzo's right hand in his, "By the highest heavens, noble youth, but
you are the best poet on earth, and deserve to be crowned with laurel,
not by Cyprus or by Gaeta--as a certain poet, God forgive him, said--but
by the Academies of Athens, if they still flourished, and by those that
flourish now, Paris, Bologna, Salamanca. Heaven grant that the judges who
rob you of the first prize--that Phoebus may pierce them with his arrows,
and the Muses never cross the thresholds of their doors. Repeat me some
of your long-measure verses, senor, if you will be so good, for I want
thoroughly to feel the pulse of your rare genius."

Is there any need to say that Don Lorenzo enjoyed hearing himself praised
by Don Quixote, albeit he looked upon him as a madman? power of flattery,
how far-reaching art thou, and how wide are the bounds of thy pleasant
jurisdiction! Don Lorenzo gave a proof of it, for he complied with Don
Quixote's request and entreaty, and repeated to him this sonnet on the
fable or story of Pyramus and Thisbe.


The lovely maid, she pierces now the wall;
Heart-pierced by her young Pyramus doth lie;
And Love spreads wing from Cyprus isle to fly,
A chink to view so wondrous great and small.
There silence speaketh, for no voice at all
Can pass so strait a strait; but love will ply
Where to all other power 'twere vain to try;
For love will find a way whate'er befall.
Impatient of delay, with reckless pace
The rash maid wins the fatal spot where she
Sinks not in lover's arms but death's embrace.
So runs the strange tale, how the lovers twain
One sword, one sepulchre, one memory,
Slays, and entombs, and brings to life again.

"Blessed be God," said Don Quixote when he had heard Don Lorenzo's
sonnet, "that among the hosts there are of irritable poets I have found
one consummate one, which, senor, the art of this sonnet proves to me
that you are!"

For four days was Don Quixote most sumptuously entertained in Don Diego's
house, at the end of which time he asked his permission to depart,
telling him he thanked him for the kindness and hospitality he had
received in his house, but that, as it did not become knights-errant to
give themselves up for long to idleness and luxury, he was anxious to
fulfill the duties of his calling in seeking adventures, of which he was
informed there was an abundance in that neighbourhood, where he hoped to
employ his time until the day came round for the jousts at Saragossa, for
that was his proper destination; and that, first of all, he meant to
enter the cave of Montesinos, of which so many marvellous things were
reported all through the country, and at the same time to investigate and
explore the origin and true source of the seven lakes commonly called the
lakes of Ruidera.

Don Diego and his son commended his laudable resolution, and bade him
furnish himself with all he wanted from their house and belongings, as
they would most gladly be of service to him; which, indeed, his personal
worth and his honourable profession made incumbent upon them.

The day of his departure came at length, as welcome to Don Quixote as it
was sad and sorrowful to Sancho Panza, who was very well satisfied with
the abundance of Don Diego's house, and objected to return to the
starvation of the woods and wilds and the short-commons of his
ill-stocked alforjas; these, however, he filled and packed with what he
considered needful. On taking leave, Don Quixote said to Don Lorenzo, "I
know not whether I have told you already, but if I have I tell you once
more, that if you wish to spare yourself fatigue and toil in reaching the
inaccessible summit of the temple of fame, you have nothing to do but to
turn aside out of the somewhat narrow path of poetry and take the still
narrower one of knight-errantry, wide enough, however, to make you an
emperor in the twinkling of an eye."

In this speech Don Quixote wound up the evidence of his madness, but
still better in what he added when he said, "God knows, I would gladly
take Don Lorenzo with me to teach him how to spare the humble, and
trample the proud under foot, virtues that are part and parcel of the
profession I belong to; but since his tender age does not allow of it,
nor his praiseworthy pursuits permit it, I will simply content myself
with impressing it upon your worship that you will become famous as a
poet if you are guided by the opinion of others rather than by your own;
because no fathers or mothers ever think their own children ill-favoured,
and this sort of deception prevails still more strongly in the case of
the children of the brain."

Both father and son were amazed afresh at the strange medley Don Quixote
talked, at one moment sense, at another nonsense, and at the pertinacity
and persistence he displayed in going through thick and thin in quest of
his unlucky adventures, which he made the end and aim of his desires.
There was a renewal of offers of service and civilities, and then, with
the gracious permission of the lady of the castle, they took their
departure, Don Quixote on Rocinante, and Sancho on Dapple.



Don Quixote had gone but a short distance beyond Don Diego's village,
when he fell in with a couple of either priests or students, and a couple
of peasants, mounted on four beasts of the ass kind. One of the students
carried, wrapped up in a piece of green buckram by way of a portmanteau,
what seemed to be a little linen and a couple of pairs of-ribbed
stockings; the other carried nothing but a pair of new fencing-foils with
buttons. The peasants carried divers articles that showed they were on
their way from some large town where they had bought them, and were
taking them home to their village; and both students and peasants were
struck with the same amazement that everybody felt who saw Don Quixote
for the first time, and were dying to know who this man, so different
from ordinary men, could be. Don Quixote saluted them, and after
ascertaining that their road was the same as his, made them an offer of
his company, and begged them to slacken their pace, as their young asses
travelled faster than his horse; and then, to gratify them, he told them
in a few words who he was and the calling and profession he followed,
which was that of a knight-errant seeking adventures in all parts of the
world. He informed them that his own name was Don Quixote of La Mancha,
and that he was called, by way of surname, the Knight of the Lions.

All this was Greek or gibberish to the peasants, but not so to the
students, who very soon perceived the crack in Don Quixote's pate; for
all that, however, they regarded him with admiration and respect, and one
of them said to him, "If you, sir knight, have no fixed road, as it is
the way with those who seek adventures not to have any, let your worship
come with us; you will see one of the finest and richest weddings that up
to this day have ever been celebrated in La Mancha, or for many a league

Don Quixote asked him if it was some prince's, that he spoke of it in
this way. "Not at all," said the student; "it is the wedding of a farmer
and a farmer's daughter, he the richest in all this country, and she the
fairest mortal ever set eyes on. The display with which it is to be
attended will be something rare and out of the common, for it will be
celebrated in a meadow adjoining the town of the bride, who is called,
par excellence, Quiteria the fair, as the bridegroom is called Camacho
the rich. She is eighteen, and he twenty-two, and they are fairly
matched, though some knowing ones, who have all the pedigrees in the
world by heart, will have it that the family of the fair Quiteria is
better than Camacho's; but no one minds that now-a-days, for wealth can
solder a great many flaws. At any rate, Camacho is free-handed, and it is
his fancy to screen the whole meadow with boughs and cover it in
overhead, so that the sun will have hard work if he tries to get in to
reach the grass that covers the soil. He has provided dancers too, not
only sword but also bell-dancers, for in his own town there are those who
ring the changes and jingle the bells to perfection; of shoe-dancers I
say nothing, for of them he has engaged a host. But none of these things,
nor of the many others I have omitted to mention, will do more to make
this a memorable wedding than the part which I suspect the despairing
Basilio will play in it. This Basilio is a youth of the same village as
Quiteria, and he lived in the house next door to that of her parents, of
which circumstance Love took advantage to reproduce to the word the
long-forgotten loves of Pyramus and Thisbe; for Basilio loved Quiteria
from his earliest years, and she responded to his passion with countless
modest proofs of affection, so that the loves of the two children,
Basilio and Quiteria, were the talk and the amusement of the town. As
they grew up, the father of Quiteria made up his mind to refuse Basilio
his wonted freedom of access to the house, and to relieve himself of
constant doubts and suspicions, he arranged a match for his daughter with
the rich Camacho, as he did not approve of marrying her to Basilio, who
had not so large a share of the gifts of fortune as of nature; for if the
truth be told ungrudgingly, he is the most agile youth we know, a mighty
thrower of the bar, a first-rate wrestler, and a great ball-player; he
runs like a deer, and leaps better than a goat, bowls over the nine-pins
as if by magic, sings like a lark, plays the guitar so as to make it
speak, and, above all, handles a sword as well as the best."

"For that excellence alone," said Don Quixote at this, "the youth
deserves to marry, not merely the fair Quiteria, but Queen Guinevere
herself, were she alive now, in spite of Launcelot and all who would try
to prevent it."

"Say that to my wife," said Sancho, who had until now listened in
silence, "for she won't hear of anything but each one marrying his equal,
holding with the proverb 'each ewe to her like.' What I would like is
that this good Basilio (for I am beginning to take a fancy to him
already) should marry this lady Quiteria; and a blessing and good luck--I
meant to say the opposite--on people who would prevent those who love one
another from marrying."

"If all those who love one another were to marry," said Don Quixote, "it
would deprive parents of the right to choose, and marry their children to
the proper person and at the proper time; and if it was left to daughters
to choose husbands as they pleased, one would be for choosing her
father's servant, and another, some one she has seen passing in the
street and fancies gallant and dashing, though he may be a drunken bully;
for love and fancy easily blind the eyes of the judgment, so much wanted
in choosing one's way of life; and the matrimonial choice is very liable
to error, and it needs great caution and the special favour of heaven to
make it a good one. He who has to make a long journey, will, if he is
wise, look out for some trusty and pleasant companion to accompany him
before he sets out. Why, then, should not he do the same who has to make
the whole journey of life down to the final halting-place of death, more
especially when the companion has to be his companion in bed, at board,
and everywhere, as the wife is to her husband? The companionship of one's
wife is no article of merchandise, that, after it has been bought, may be
returned, or bartered, or changed; for it is an inseparable accident that
lasts as long as life lasts; it is a noose that, once you put it round
your neck, turns into a Gordian knot, which, if the scythe of Death does
not cut it, there is no untying. I could say a great deal more on this
subject, were I not prevented by the anxiety I feel to know if the senor
licentiate has anything more to tell about the story of Basilio."

To this the student, bachelor, or, as Don Quixote called him, licentiate,
replied, "I have nothing whatever to say further, but that from the
moment Basilio learned that the fair Quiteria was to be married to
Camacho the rich, he has never been seen to smile, or heard to utter
rational word, and he always goes about moody and dejected, talking to
himself in a way that shows plainly he is out of his senses. He eats
little and sleeps little, and all he eats is fruit, and when he sleeps,
if he sleeps at all, it is in the field on the hard earth like a brute
beast. Sometimes he gazes at the sky, at other times he fixes his eyes on
the earth in such an abstracted way that he might be taken for a clothed
statue, with its drapery stirred by the wind. In short, he shows such
signs of a heart crushed by suffering, that all we who know him believe
that when to-morrow the fair Quiteria says 'yes,' it will be his sentence
of death."

"God will guide it better," said Sancho, "for God who gives the wound
gives the salve; nobody knows what will happen; there are a good many
hours between this and to-morrow, and any one of them, or any moment, the
house may fall; I have seen the rain coming down and the sun shining all
at one time; many a one goes to bed in good health who can't stir the
next day. And tell me, is there anyone who can boast of having driven a
nail into the wheel of fortune? No, faith; and between a woman's 'yes'
and 'no' I wouldn't venture to put the point of a pin, for there would
not be room for it; if you tell me Quiteria loves Basilio heart and soul,
then I'll give him a bag of good luck; for love, I have heard say, looks
through spectacles that make copper seem gold, poverty wealth, and blear
eyes pearls."

"What art thou driving at, Sancho? curses on thee!" said Don Quixote;
"for when thou takest to stringing proverbs and sayings together, no one
can understand thee but Judas himself, and I wish he had thee. Tell me,
thou animal, what dost thou know about nails or wheels, or anything

"Oh, if you don't understand me," replied Sancho, "it is no wonder my
words are taken for nonsense; but no matter; I understand myself, and I
know I have not said anything very foolish in what I have said; only your
worship, senor, is always gravelling at everything I say, nay, everything
I do."

"Cavilling, not gravelling," said Don Quixote, "thou prevaricator of
honest language, God confound thee!"

"Don't find fault with me, your worship," returned Sancho, "for you know
I have not been bred up at court or trained at Salamanca, to know whether
I am adding or dropping a letter or so in my words. Why! God bless me,
it's not fair to force a Sayago-man to speak like a Toledan; maybe there
are Toledans who do not hit it off when it comes to polished talk."

"That is true," said the licentiate, "for those who have been bred up in
the Tanneries and the Zocodover cannot talk like those who are almost all
day pacing the cathedral cloisters, and yet they are all Toledans. Pure,
correct, elegant and lucid language will be met with in men of courtly
breeding and discrimination, though they may have been born in
Majalahonda; I say of discrimination, because there are many who are not
so, and discrimination is the grammar of good language, if it be
accompanied by practice. I, sirs, for my sins have studied canon law at
Salamanca, and I rather pique myself on expressing my meaning in clear,
plain, and intelligible language."

"If you did not pique yourself more on your dexterity with those foils
you carry than on dexterity of tongue," said the other student, "you
would have been head of the degrees, where you are now tail."

"Look here, bachelor Corchuelo," returned the licentiate, "you have the
most mistaken idea in the world about skill with the sword, if you think
it useless."

"It is no idea on my part, but an established truth," replied Corchuelo;
"and if you wish me to prove it to you by experiment, you have swords
there, and it is a good opportunity; I have a steady hand and a strong
arm, and these joined with my resolution, which is not small, will make
you confess that I am not mistaken. Dismount and put in practice your
positions and circles and angles and science, for I hope to make you see
stars at noonday with my rude raw swordsmanship, in which, next to God, I
place my trust that the man is yet to be born who will make me turn my
back, and that there is not one in the world I will not compel to give

"As to whether you turn your back or not, I do not concern myself,"
replied the master of fence; "though it might be that your grave would be
dug on the spot where you planted your foot the first time; I mean that
you would be stretched dead there for despising skill with the sword."

"We shall soon see," replied Corchuelo, and getting off his ass briskly,
he drew out furiously one of the swords the licentiate carried on his

"It must not be that way," said Don Quixote at this point; "I will be the
director of this fencing match, and judge of this often disputed
question;" and dismounting from Rocinante and grasping his lance, he
planted himself in the middle of the road, just as the licentiate, with
an easy, graceful bearing and step, advanced towards Corchuelo, who came
on against him, darting fire from his eyes, as the saying is. The other
two of the company, the peasants, without dismounting from their asses,
served as spectators of the mortal tragedy. The cuts, thrusts, down
strokes, back strokes and doubles, that Corchuelo delivered were past
counting, and came thicker than hops or hail. He attacked like an angry
lion, but he was met by a tap on the mouth from the button of the
licentiate's sword that checked him in the midst of his furious onset,
and made him kiss it as if it were a relic, though not as devoutly as
relics are and ought to be kissed. The end of it was that the licentiate
reckoned up for him by thrusts every one of the buttons of the short
cassock he wore, tore the skirts into strips, like the tails of a
cuttlefish, knocked off his hat twice, and so completely tired him out,
that in vexation, anger, and rage, he took the sword by the hilt and
flung it away with such force, that one of the peasants that were there,
who was a notary, and who went for it, made an affidavit afterwards that
he sent it nearly three-quarters of a league, which testimony will serve,
and has served, to show and establish with all certainty that strength is
overcome by skill.

Corchuelo sat down wearied, and Sancho approaching him said, "By my
faith, senor bachelor, if your worship takes my advice, you will never
challenge anyone to fence again, only to wrestle and throw the bar, for
you have the youth and strength for that; but as for these fencers as
they call them, I have heard say they can put the point of a sword
through the eye of a needle."

"I am satisfied with having tumbled off my donkey," said Corchuelo, "and
with having had the truth I was so ignorant of proved to me by
experience;" and getting up he embraced the licentiate, and they were
better friends than ever; and not caring to wait for the notary who had
gone for the sword, as they saw he would be a long time about it, they
resolved to push on so as to reach the village of Quiteria, to which they
all belonged, in good time.

During the remainder of the journey the licentiate held forth to them on
the excellences of the sword, with such conclusive arguments, and such
figures and mathematical proofs, that all were convinced of the value of
the science, and Corchuelo cured of his dogmatism.

It grew dark; but before they reached the town it seemed to them all as
if there was a heaven full of countless glittering stars in front of it.
They heard, too, the pleasant mingled notes of a variety of instruments,
flutes, drums, psalteries, pipes, tabors, and timbrels, and as they drew
near they perceived that the trees of a leafy arcade that had been
constructed at the entrance of the town were filled with lights
unaffected by the wind, for the breeze at the time was so gentle that it
had not power to stir the leaves on the trees. The musicians were the
life of the wedding, wandering through the pleasant grounds in separate
bands, some dancing, others singing, others playing the various
instruments already mentioned. In short, it seemed as though mirth and
gaiety were frisking and gambolling all over the meadow. Several other
persons were engaged in erecting raised benches from which people might
conveniently see the plays and dances that were to be performed the next
day on the spot dedicated to the celebration of the marriage of Camacho
the rich and the obsequies of Basilio. Don Quixote would not enter the
village, although the peasant as well as the bachelor pressed him; he
excused himself, however, on the grounds, amply sufficient in his
opinion, that it was the custom of knights-errant to sleep in the fields
and woods in preference to towns, even were it under gilded ceilings; and
so turned aside a little out of the road, very much against Sancho's
will, as the good quarters he had enjoyed in the castle or house of Don
Diego came back to his mind.



Scarce had the fair Aurora given bright Phoebus time to dry the liquid
pearls upon her golden locks with the heat of his fervent rays, when Don
Quixote, shaking off sloth from his limbs, sprang to his feet and called
to his squire Sancho, who was still snoring; seeing which Don Quixote ere
he roused him thus addressed him: "Happy thou, above all the dwellers on
the face of the earth, that, without envying or being envied, sleepest
with tranquil mind, and that neither enchanters persecute nor
enchantments affright. Sleep, I say, and will say a hundred times,
without any jealous thoughts of thy mistress to make thee keep ceaseless
vigils, or any cares as to how thou art to pay the debts thou owest, or
find to-morrow's food for thyself and thy needy little family, to
interfere with thy repose. Ambition breaks not thy rest, nor doth this
world's empty pomp disturb thee, for the utmost reach of thy anxiety is
to provide for thy ass, since upon my shoulders thou hast laid the
support of thyself, the counterpoise and burden that nature and custom
have imposed upon masters. The servant sleeps and the master lies awake
thinking how he is to feed him, advance him, and reward him. The distress
of seeing the sky turn brazen, and withhold its needful moisture from the
earth, is not felt by the servant but by the master, who in time of
scarcity and famine must support him who has served him in times of
plenty and abundance."

To all this Sancho made no reply because he was asleep, nor would he have
wakened up so soon as he did had not Don Quixote brought him to his
senses with the butt of his lance. He awoke at last, drowsy and lazy, and
casting his eyes about in every direction, observed, "There comes, if I
don't mistake, from the quarter of that arcade a steam and a smell a
great deal more like fried rashers than galingale or thyme; a wedding
that begins with smells like that, by my faith, ought to be plentiful and

"Have done, thou glutton," said Don Quixote; "come, let us go and witness
this bridal, and see what the rejected Basilio does."

"Let him do what he likes," returned Sancho; "be he not poor, he would
marry Quiteria. To make a grand match for himself, and he without a
farthing; is there nothing else? Faith, senor, it's my opinion the poor
man should be content with what he can get, and not go looking for
dainties in the bottom of the sea. I will bet my arm that Camacho could
bury Basilio in reals; and if that be so, as no doubt it is, what a fool
Quiteria would be to refuse the fine dresses and jewels Camacho must have
given her and will give her, and take Basilio's bar-throwing and
sword-play. They won't give a pint of wine at the tavern for a good cast
of the bar or a neat thrust of the sword. Talents and accomplishments
that can't be turned into money, let Count Dirlos have them; but when
such gifts fall to one that has hard cash, I wish my condition of life
was as becoming as they are. On a good foundation you can raise a good
building, and the best foundation in the world is money."

"For God's sake, Sancho," said Don Quixote here, "stop that harangue; it
is my belief, if thou wert allowed to continue all thou beginnest every
instant, thou wouldst have no time left for eating or sleeping; for thou
wouldst spend it all in talking."

"If your worship had a good memory," replied Sancho, "you would remember
the articles of our agreement before we started from home this last time;
one of them was that I was to be let say all I liked, so long as it was
not against my neighbour or your worship's authority; and so far, it
seems to me, I have not broken the said article."

"I remember no such article, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "and even if it
were so, I desire you to hold your tongue and come along; for the
instruments we heard last night are already beginning to enliven the
valleys again, and no doubt the marriage will take place in the cool of
the morning, and not in the heat of the afternoon."

Sancho did as his master bade him, and putting the saddle on Rocinante
and the pack-saddle on Dapple, they both mounted and at a leisurely pace
entered the arcade. The first thing that presented itself to Sancho's
eyes was a whole ox spitted on a whole elm tree, and in the fire at which
it was to be roasted there was burning a middling-sized mountain of
faggots, and six stewpots that stood round the blaze had not been made in
the ordinary mould of common pots, for they were six half wine-jars, each
fit to hold the contents of a slaughter-house; they swallowed up whole
sheep and hid them away in their insides without showing any more sign of
them than if they were pigeons. Countless were the hares ready skinned
and the plucked fowls that hung on the trees for burial in the pots,
numberless the wildfowl and game of various sorts suspended from the
branches that the air might keep them cool. Sancho counted more than
sixty wine skins of over six gallons each, and all filled, as it proved
afterwards, with generous wines. There were, besides, piles of the
whitest bread, like the heaps of corn one sees on the threshing-floors.
There was a wall made of cheeses arranged like open brick-work, and two
cauldrons full of oil, bigger than those of a dyer's shop, served for
cooking fritters, which when fried were taken out with two mighty
shovels, and plunged into another cauldron of prepared honey that stood
close by. Of cooks and cook-maids there were over fifty, all clean,
brisk, and blithe. In the capacious belly of the ox were a dozen soft
little sucking-pigs, which, sewn up there, served to give it tenderness
and flavour. The spices of different kinds did not seem to have been
bought by the pound but by the quarter, and all lay open to view in a
great chest. In short, all the preparations made for the wedding were in
rustic style, but abundant enough to feed an army.

Sancho observed all, contemplated all, and everything won his heart. The
first to captivate and take his fancy were the pots, out of which he
would have very gladly helped himself to a moderate pipkinful; then the
wine skins secured his affections; and lastly, the produce of the
frying-pans, if, indeed, such imposing cauldrons may be called
frying-pans; and unable to control himself or bear it any longer, he
approached one of the busy cooks and civilly but hungrily begged
permission to soak a scrap of bread in one of the pots; to which the cook
made answer, "Brother, this is not a day on which hunger is to have any
sway, thanks to the rich Camacho; get down and look about for a ladle and
skim off a hen or two, and much good may they do you."

"I don't see one," said Sancho.

"Wait a bit," said the cook; "sinner that I am! how particular and
bashful you are!" and so saying, he seized a bucket and plunging it into
one of the half jars took up three hens and a couple of geese, and said
to Sancho, "Fall to, friend, and take the edge off your appetite with
these skimmings until dinner-time comes."

"I have nothing to put them in," said Sancho.

"Well then," said the cook, "take spoon and all; for Camacho's wealth and
happiness furnish everything."

While Sancho fared thus, Don Quixote was watching the entrance, at one
end of the arcade, of some twelve peasants, all in holiday and gala
dress, mounted on twelve beautiful mares with rich handsome field
trappings and a number of little bells attached to their petrals, who,
marshalled in regular order, ran not one but several courses over the
meadow, with jubilant shouts and cries of "Long live Camacho and
Quiteria! he as rich as she is fair; and she the fairest on earth!"

Hearing this, Don Quixote said to himself, "It is easy to see these folk
have never seen my Dulcinea del Toboso; for if they had they would be
more moderate in their praises of this Quiteria of theirs."

Shortly after this, several bands of dancers of various sorts began to
enter the arcade at different points, and among them one of sword-dancers
composed of some four-and-twenty lads of gallant and high-spirited mien,
clad in the finest and whitest of linen, and with handkerchiefs
embroidered in various colours with fine silk; and one of those on the
mares asked an active youth who led them if any of the dancers had been
wounded. "As yet, thank God, no one has been wounded," said he, "we are
all safe and sound;" and he at once began to execute complicated figures
with the rest of his comrades, with so many turns and so great dexterity,
that although Don Quixote was well used to see dances of the same kind,
he thought he had never seen any so good as this. He also admired another
that came in composed of fair young maidens, none of whom seemed to be
under fourteen or over eighteen years of age, all clad in green stuff,
with their locks partly braided, partly flowing loose, but all of such
bright gold as to vie with the sunbeams, and over them they wore garlands
of jessamine, roses, amaranth, and honeysuckle. At their head were a
venerable old man and an ancient dame, more brisk and active, however,
than might have been expected from their years. The notes of a Zamora
bagpipe accompanied them, and with modesty in their countenances and in
their eyes, and lightness in their feet, they looked the best dancers in
the world.

Following these there came an artistic dance of the sort they call
"speaking dances." It was composed of eight nymphs in two files, with the
god Cupid leading one and Interest the other, the former furnished with
wings, bow, quiver and arrows, the latter in a rich dress of gold and
silk of divers colours. The nymphs that followed Love bore their names
written on white parchment in large letters on their backs. "Poetry" was
the name of the first, "Wit" of the second, "Birth" of the third, and
"Valour" of the fourth. Those that followed Interest were distinguished
in the same way; the badge of the first announced "Liberality," that of
the second "Largess," the third "Treasure," and the fourth "Peaceful
Possession." In front of them all came a wooden castle drawn by four wild
men, all clad in ivy and hemp stained green, and looking so natural that
they nearly terrified Sancho. On the front of the castle and on each of
the four sides of its frame it bore the inscription "Castle of Caution."
Four skillful tabor and flute players accompanied them, and the dance
having been opened, Cupid, after executing two figures, raised his eyes
and bent his bow against a damsel who stood between the turrets of the
castle, and thus addressed her:

I am the mighty God whose sway
Is potent over land and sea.
The heavens above us own me; nay,
The shades below acknowledge me.
I know not fear, I have my will,
Whate'er my whim or fancy be;
For me there's no impossible,
I order, bind, forbid, set free.

Having concluded the stanza he discharged an arrow at the top of the
castle, and went back to his place. Interest then came forward and went
through two more figures, and as soon as the tabors ceased, he said:

But mightier than Love am I,
Though Love it be that leads me on,
Than mine no lineage is more high,
Or older, underneath the sun.
To use me rightly few know how,
To act without me fewer still,
For I am Interest, and I vow
For evermore to do thy will.

Interest retired, and Poetry came forward, and when she had gone through
her figures like the others, fixing her eyes on the damsel of the castle,
she said:

With many a fanciful conceit,
Fair Lady, winsome Poesy
Her soul, an offering at thy feet,
Presents in sonnets unto thee.
If thou my homage wilt not scorn,
Thy fortune, watched by envious eyes,
On wings of poesy upborne
Shall be exalted to the skies.

Poetry withdrew, and on the side of Interest Liberality advanced, and
after having gone through her figures, said:

To give, while shunning each extreme,
The sparing hand, the over-free,
Therein consists, so wise men deem,
The virtue Liberality.
But thee, fair lady, to enrich,
Myself a prodigal I'll prove,
A vice not wholly shameful, which
May find its fair excuse in love.

In the same manner all the characters of the two bands advanced and
retired, and each executed its figures, and delivered its verses, some of
them graceful, some burlesque, but Don Quixote's memory (though he had an
excellent one) only carried away those that have been just quoted. All
then mingled together, forming chains and breaking off again with
graceful, unconstrained gaiety; and whenever Love passed in front of the
castle he shot his arrows up at it, while Interest broke gilded pellets
against it. At length, after they had danced a good while, Interest drew
out a great purse, made of the skin of a large brindled cat and to all
appearance full of money, and flung it at the castle, and with the force
of the blow the boards fell asunder and tumbled down, leaving the damsel
exposed and unprotected. Interest and the characters of his band
advanced, and throwing a great chain of gold over her neck pretended to
take her and lead her away captive, on seeing which, Love and his
supporters made as though they would release her, the whole action being
to the accompaniment of the tabors and in the form of a regular dance.
The wild men made peace between them, and with great dexterity readjusted
and fixed the boards of the castle, and the damsel once more ensconced
herself within; and with this the dance wound up, to the great enjoyment
of the beholders.

Don Quixote asked one of the nymphs who it was that had composed and
arranged it. She replied that it was a beneficiary of the town who had a
nice taste in devising things of the sort. "I will lay a wager," said Don
Quixote, "that the same bachelor or beneficiary is a greater friend of
Camacho's than of Basilio's, and that he is better at satire than at
vespers; he has introduced the accomplishments of Basilio and the riches
of Camacho very neatly into the dance." Sancho Panza, who was listening
to all this, exclaimed, "The king is my cock; I stick to Camacho." "It is
easy to see thou art a clown, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and one of that
sort that cry 'Long life to the conqueror.'"

"I don't know of what sort I am," returned Sancho, "but I know very well
I'll never get such elegant skimmings off Basilio's pots as these I have
got off Camacho's;" and he showed him the bucketful of geese and hens,
and seizing one began to eat with great gaiety and appetite, saying, "A
fig for the accomplishments of Basilio! As much as thou hast so much art
thou worth, and as much as thou art worth so much hast thou. As a
grandmother of mine used to say, there are only two families in the
world, the Haves and the Haven'ts; and she stuck to the Haves; and to
this day, Senor Don Quixote, people would sooner feel the pulse of
'Have,' than of 'Know;' an ass covered with gold looks better than a
horse with a pack-saddle. So once more I say I stick to Camacho, the
bountiful skimmings of whose pots are geese and hens, hares and rabbits;
but of Basilio's, if any ever come to hand, or even to foot, they'll be
only rinsings."

"Hast thou finished thy harangue, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Of course I
have finished it," replied Sancho, "because I see your worship takes
offence at it; but if it was not for that, there was work enough cut out
for three days."

"God grant I may see thee dumb before I die, Sancho," said Don Quixote.

"At the rate we are going," said Sancho, "I'll be chewing clay before
your worship dies; and then, maybe, I'll be so dumb that I'll not say a
word until the end of the world, or, at least, till the day of judgment."

"Even should that happen, O Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thy silence will
never come up to all thou hast talked, art talking, and wilt talk all thy
life; moreover, it naturally stands to reason, that my death will come
before thine; so I never expect to see thee dumb, not even when thou art
drinking or sleeping, and that is the utmost I can say."

"In good faith, senor," replied Sancho, "there's no trusting that
fleshless one, I mean Death, who devours the lamb as soon as the sheep,
and, as I have heard our curate say, treads with equal foot upon the
lofty towers of kings and the lowly huts of the poor. That lady is more
mighty than dainty, she is no way squeamish, she devours all and is ready
for all, and fills her alforjas with people of all sorts, ages, and
ranks. She is no reaper that sleeps out the noontide; at all times she is
reaping and cutting down, as well the dry grass as the green; she never
seems to chew, but bolts and swallows all that is put before her, for she
has a canine appetite that is never satisfied; and though she has no
belly, she shows she has a dropsy and is athirst to drink the lives of
all that live, as one would drink a jug of cold water."

"Say no more, Sancho," said Don Quixote at this; "don't try to better it,
and risk a fall; for in truth what thou hast said about death in thy
rustic phrase is what a good preacher might have said. I tell thee,
Sancho, if thou hadst discretion equal to thy mother wit, thou mightst
take a pulpit in hand, and go about the world preaching fine sermons."
"He preaches well who lives well," said Sancho, "and I know no more
theology than that."

"Nor needst thou," said Don Quixote, "but I cannot conceive or make out
how it is that, the fear of God being the beginning of wisdom, thou, who
art more afraid of a lizard than of him, knowest so much."

"Pass judgment on your chivalries, senor," returned Sancho, "and don't
set yourself up to judge of other men's fears or braveries, for I am as
good a fearer of God as my neighbours; but leave me to despatch these
skimmings, for all the rest is only idle talk that we shall be called to
account for in the other world;" and so saying, he began a fresh attack
on the bucket, with such a hearty appetite that he aroused Don Quixote's,
who no doubt would have helped him had he not been prevented by what must
be told farther on.



While Don Quixote and Sancho were engaged in the discussion set forth the
last chapter, they heard loud shouts and a great noise, which were
uttered and made by the men on the mares as they went at full gallop,
shouting, to receive the bride and bridegroom, who were approaching with
musical instruments and pageantry of all sorts around them, and
accompanied by the priest and the relatives of both, and all the most
distinguished people of the surrounding villages. When Sancho saw the
bride, he exclaimed, "By my faith, she is not dressed like a country
girl, but like some fine court lady; egad, as well as I can make out, the
patena she wears rich coral, and her green Cuenca stuff is thirty-pile
velvet; and then the white linen trimming--by my oath, but it's satin!
Look at her hands--jet rings on them! May I never have luck if they're
not gold rings, and real gold, and set with pearls as white as a curdled
milk, and every one of them worth an eye of one's head! Whoreson baggage,
what hair she has! if it's not a wig, I never saw longer or fairer all
the days of my life. See how bravely she bears herself--and her shape!
Wouldn't you say she was like a walking palm tree loaded with clusters of
dates? for the trinkets she has hanging from her hair and neck look just
like them. I swear in my heart she is a brave lass, and fit 'to pass over
the banks of Flanders.'"

Don Quixote laughed at Sancho's boorish eulogies and thought that, saving
his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, he had never seen a more beautiful woman.
The fair Quiteria appeared somewhat pale, which was, no doubt, because of
the bad night brides always pass dressing themselves out for their
wedding on the morrow. They advanced towards a theatre that stood on one
side of the meadow decked with carpets and boughs, where they were to
plight their troth, and from which they were to behold the dances and
plays; but at the moment of their arrival at the spot they heard a loud
outcry behind them, and a voice exclaiming, "Wait a little, ye, as
inconsiderate as ye are hasty!" At these words all turned round, and
perceived that the speaker was a man clad in what seemed to be a loose
black coat garnished with crimson patches like flames. He was crowned (as
was presently seen) with a crown of gloomy cypress, and in his hand he
held a long staff. As he approached he was recognised by everyone as the
gay Basilio, and all waited anxiously to see what would come of his
words, in dread of some catastrophe in consequence of his appearance at
such a moment. He came up at last weary and breathless, and planting
himself in front of the bridal pair, drove his staff, which had a steel
spike at the end, into the ground, and, with a pale face and eyes fixed
on Quiteria, he thus addressed her in a hoarse, trembling voice:

"Well dost thou know, ungrateful Quiteria, that according to the holy law
we acknowledge, so long as live thou canst take no husband; nor art thou
ignorant either that, in my hopes that time and my own exertions would
improve my fortunes, I have never failed to observe the respect due to
thy honour; but thou, casting behind thee all thou owest to my true love,
wouldst surrender what is mine to another whose wealth serves to bring
him not only good fortune but supreme happiness; and now to complete it
(not that I think he deserves it, but inasmuch as heaven is pleased to
bestow it upon him), I will, with my own hands, do away with the obstacle
that may interfere with it, and remove myself from between you. Long live
the rich Camacho! many a happy year may he live with the ungrateful
Quiteria! and let the poor Basilio die, Basilio whose poverty clipped the
wings of his happiness, and brought him to the grave!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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