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

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Part 5 out of 20

Adobe PDF icon
Download Don Quixote pdf
File size: 2.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Don Quixote raised his eyes and saw coming along the road he was
following some dozen men on foot strung together by the neck, like beads,
on a great iron chain, and all with manacles on their hands. With them
there came also two men on horseback and two on foot; those on horseback
with wheel-lock muskets, those on foot with javelins and swords, and as
soon as Sancho saw them he said:

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

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

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

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

"Just so," said Sancho.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He made answer that it was for being a lover.

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

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

"What are gurapas?" asked Don Quixote.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Is it so good?" said Don Quixote.

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

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

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

"And is it finished?" asked Don Quixote.

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

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

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

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

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

"It persecutes rogues," said the commissary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don Quixote, when he heard the lament and learned the cause, consoled
Sancho with the best arguments he could, entreating him to be patient,
and promising to give him a letter of exchange ordering three out of five
ass-colts that he had at home to be given to him. Sancho took comfort at
this, dried his tears, suppressed his sobs, and returned thanks for the
kindness shown him by Don Quixote. He on his part was rejoiced to the
heart on entering the mountains, as they seemed to him to be just the
place for the adventures he was in quest of. They brought back to his
memory the marvellous adventures that had befallen knights-errant in like
solitudes and wilds, and he went along reflecting on these things, so
absorbed and carried away by them that he had no thought for anything

Nor had Sancho any other care (now that he fancied he was travelling in a
safe quarter) than to satisfy his appetite with such remains as were left
of the clerical spoils, and so he marched behind his master laden with
what Dapple used to carry, emptying the sack and packing his paunch, and
so long as he could go that way, he would not have given a farthing to
meet with another adventure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

"What clue is there?" said Don Quixote.

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

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

"Then your worship understands rhyming too?"

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

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

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

"A correspondence letter, senor?"

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

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

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

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

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

The Knight of the Rueful Countenance was still very anxious to find out
who the owner of the valise could be, conjecturing from the sonnet and
letter, from the money in gold, and from the fineness of the shirts, that
he must be some lover of distinction whom the scorn and cruelty of his
lady had driven to some desperate course; but as in that uninhabited and
rugged spot there was no one to be seen of whom he could inquire, he saw
nothing else for it but to push on, taking whatever road Rocinante
chose--which was where he could make his way--firmly persuaded that among
these wilds he could not fail to meet some rare adventure. As he went
along, then, occupied with these thoughts, he perceived on the summit of
a height that rose before their eyes a man who went springing from rock
to rock and from tussock to tussock with marvellous agility. As well as
he could make out he was unclad, with a thick black beard, long tangled
hair, and bare legs and feet, his thighs were covered by breeches
apparently of tawny velvet but so ragged that they showed his skin in
several places.

He was bareheaded, and notwithstanding the swiftness with which he passed
as has been described, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance observed and
noted all these trifles, and though he made the attempt, he was unable to
follow him, for it was not granted to the feebleness of Rocinante to make
way over such rough ground, he being, moreover, slow-paced and sluggish
by nature. Don Quixote at once came to the conclusion that this was the
owner of the saddle-pad and of the valise, and made up his mind to go in
search of him, even though he should have to wander a year in those
mountains before he found him, and so he directed Sancho to take a short
cut over one side of the mountain, while he himself went by the other,
and perhaps by this means they might light upon this man who had passed
so quickly out of their sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"And is it very perilous, this achievement?"

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

"On my diligence!" said Sancho.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

"Thine till death,

"The Knight of the Rueful Countenance."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

"What wonder is it if Roland was so good a knight and so valiant as
everyone says he was, when, after all, he was enchanted, and nobody could
kill him save by thrusting a corking pin into the sole of his foot, and
he always wore shoes with seven iron soles? Though cunning devices did
not avail him against Bernardo del Carpio, who knew all about them, and
strangled him in his arms at Roncesvalles. But putting the question of
his valour aside, let us come to his losing his wits, for certain it is
that he did lose them in consequence of the proofs he discovered at the
fountain, and the intelligence the shepherd gave him of Angelica having
slept more than two siestas with Medoro, a little curly-headed Moor, and
page to Agramante. If he was persuaded that this was true, and that his
lady had wronged him, it is no wonder that he should have gone mad; but
I, how am I to imitate him in his madness, unless I can imitate him in
the cause of it? For my Dulcinea, I will venture to swear, never saw a
Moor in her life, as he is, in his proper costume, and she is this day as
the mother that bore her, and I should plainly be doing her a wrong if,
fancying anything else, I were to go mad with the same kind of madness as
Roland the Furious. On the other hand, I see that Amadis of Gaul, without
losing his senses and without doing anything mad, acquired as a lover as
much fame as the most famous; for, according to his history, on finding
himself rejected by his lady Oriana, who had ordered him not to appear in
her presence until it should be her pleasure, all he did was to retire to
the Pena Pobre in company with a hermit, and there he took his fill of
weeping until Heaven sent him relief in the midst of his great grief and
need. And if this be true, as it is, why should I now take the trouble to
strip stark naked, or do mischief to these trees which have done me no
harm, or why am I to disturb the clear waters of these brooks which will
give me to drink whenever I have a mind? Long live the memory of Amadis
and let him be imitated so far as is possible by Don Quixote of La
Mancha, of whom it will be said, as was said of the other, that if he did
not achieve great things, he died in attempting them; and if I am not
repulsed or rejected by my Dulcinea, it is enough for me, as I have said,
to be absent from her. And so, now to business; come to my memory ye
deeds of Amadis, and show me how I am to begin to imitate you. I know
already that what he chiefly did was to pray and commend himself to God;
but what am I to do for a rosary, for I have not got one?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"How is that?" said the barber.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It gave them no little amusement, both of them, to see what a good memory
Sancho had, and they complimented him greatly upon it, and begged him to
repeat the letter a couple of times more, so that they too might get it
by heart to write it out by-and-by. Sancho repeated it three times, and
as he did, uttered three thousand more absurdities; then he told them
more about his master but he never said a word about the blanketing that
had befallen himself in that inn, into which he refused to enter. He told
them, moreover, how his lord, if he brought him a favourable answer from
the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, was to put himself in the way of
endeavouring to become an emperor, or at least a monarch; for it had been
so settled between them, and with his personal worth and the might of his
arm it was an easy matter to come to be one: and how on becoming one his
lord was to make a marriage for him (for he would be a widower by that
time, as a matter of course) and was to give him as a wife one of the
damsels of the empress, the heiress of some rich and grand state on the
mainland, having nothing to do with islands of any sort, for he did not
care for them now. All this Sancho delivered with so much
composure--wiping his nose from time to time--and with so little
common-sense that his two hearers were again filled with wonder at the

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest