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Don Quixote

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CHAPTER LXVI.

WHICH TREATS OF WHAT HE WHO READS WILL SEE, OR WHAT HE WHO HAS IT READ TO HIM WILL HEAR

As he left Barcelona, Don Quixote turned gaze upon the spot where he had fallen. “Here Troy was,” said he; “here my ill-luck, not my cowardice, robbed me of all the glory I had won; here Fortune made me the victim of her caprices; here the lustre of my achievements was dimmed; here, in a word, fell my happiness never to rise again.”

“Señor,” said Sancho on hearing this, “it is the part of brave hearts to be patient in adversity just as much as to be glad in prosperity; I judge by myself, for, if when I was a governor I was glad, now that I am a squire and on foot I am not sad; and I have heard say that she whom commonly they call Fortune is a drunken whimsical jade, and, what is more, blind, and therefore neither sees what she does, nor knows whom she casts down or whom she sets up.”

“Thou art a great philosopher, Sancho,” said Don Quixote; “thou speakest very sensibly; I know not who taught thee. But I can tell thee there is no such thing as Fortune in the world, nor does anything which takes place there, be it good or bad, come about by chance, but by the special preordination of heaven; and hence the common saying that ‘each of us is the maker of his own Fortune.’ I have been that of mine; but not with the proper amount of prudence, and my self-confidence has therefore made me pay dearly; for I ought to have reflected that Rocinante’s feeble strength could not resist the mighty bulk of the Knight of the White Moon’s horse. In a word, I ventured it, I did my best, I was overthrown, but though I lost my honour I did not lose nor can I lose the virtue of keeping my word. When I was a knight-errant, daring and valiant, I supported my achievements by hand and deed, and now that I am a humble squire I will support my words by keeping the promise I have given. Forward then, Sancho my friend, let us go to keep the year of the novitiate in our own country, and in that seclusion we shall pick up fresh strength to return to the by me never-forgotten calling of arms.”

“Señor,” returned Sancho, “travelling on foot is not such a pleasant thing that it makes me feel disposed or tempted to make long marches. Let us leave this armour hung up on some tree, instead of someone that has been hanged; and then with me on Dapple’s back and my feet off the ground we will arrange the stages as your worship pleases to measure them out; but to suppose that I am going to travel on foot, and make long ones, is to suppose nonsense.”

“Thou sayest well, Sancho,” said Don Quixote; “let my armour be hung up for a trophy, and under it or round it we will carve on the trees what was inscribed on the trophy of Roland’s armour-

These let none move
Who dareth not his might with Roland prove.”

“That’s the very thing,” said Sancho; “and if it was not that we should feel the want of Rocinante on the road, it would be as well to leave him hung up too.”

“And yet, I had rather not have either him or the armour hung up,” said Don Quixote, “that it may not be said, ‘for good service a bad return.’”

“Your worship is right,” said Sancho; “for, as sensible people hold, ‘the fault of the ass must not be laid on the pack-saddle;’ and, as in this affair the fault is your worship’s, punish yourself and don’t let your anger break out against the already battered and bloody armour, or the meekness of Rocinante, or the tenderness of my feet, trying to make them travel more than is reasonable.”

In converse of this sort the whole of that day went by, as did the four succeeding ones, without anything occurring to interrupt their journey, but on the fifth as they entered a village they found a great number of people at the door of an inn enjoying themselves, as it was a holiday. Upon Don Quixote’s approach a peasant called out, “One of these two gentlemen who come here, and who don’t know the parties, will tell us what we ought to do about our wager.”

“That I will, certainly,” said Don Quixote, “and according to the rights of the case, if I can manage to understand it.”

“Well, here it is, worthy sir,” said the peasant; “a man of this village who is so fat that he weighs twenty stone challenged another, a neighbour of his, who does not weigh more than nine, to run a race. The agreement was that they were to run a distance of a hundred paces with equal weights; and when the challenger was asked how the weights were to be equalised he said that the other, as he weighed nine stone, should put eleven in iron on his back, and that in this way the twenty stone of the thin man would equal the twenty stone of the fat one.”

“Not at all,” exclaimed Sancho at once, before Don Quixote could answer; “it’s for me, that only a few days ago left off being a governor and a judge, as all the world knows, to settle these doubtful questions and give an opinion in disputes of all sorts.”

“Answer in God’s name, Sancho my friend,” said Don Quixote, “for I am not fit to give crumbs to a cat, my wits are so confused and upset.”

With this permission Sancho said to the peasants who stood clustered round him, waiting with open mouths for the decision to come from his, “Brothers, what the fat man requires is not in reason, nor has it a shadow of justice in it; because, if it be true, as they say, that the challenged may choose the weapons, the other has no right to choose such as will prevent and keep him from winning. My decision, therefore, is that the fat challenger prune, peel, thin, trim and correct himself, and take eleven stone of his flesh off his body, here or there, as he pleases, and as suits him best; and being in this way reduced to nine stone weight, he will make himself equal and even with nine stone of his opponent, and they will be able to run on equal terms.”

“By all that’s good,” said one of the peasants as he heard Sancho’s decision, “but the gentleman has spoken like a saint, and given judgment like a canon! But I’ll be bound the fat man won’t part with an ounce of his flesh, not to say eleven stone.”

“The best plan will be for them not to run,” said another, “so that neither the thin man break down under the weight, nor the fat one strip himself of his flesh; let half the wager be spent in wine, and let’s take these gentlemen to the tavern where there’s the best, and ‘over me be the cloak when it rains.’”

“I thank you, sirs,” said Don Quixote; “but I cannot stop for an instant, for sad thoughts and unhappy circumstances force me to seem discourteous and to travel apace;” and spurring Rocinante he pushed on, leaving them wondering at what they had seen and heard, at his own strange figure and at the shrewdness of his servant, for such they took Sancho to be; and another of them observed, “If the servant is so clever, what must the master be? I’ll bet, if they are going to Salamanca to study, they’ll come to be alcaldes of the Court in a trice; for it’s a mere joke—only to read and read, and have interest and good luck; and before a man knows where he is he finds himself with a staff in his hand or a mitre on his head.”

That night master and man passed out in the fields in the open air, and the next day as they were pursuing their journey they saw coming towards them a man on foot with alforjas at the neck and a javelin or spiked staff in his hand, the very cut of a foot courier; who, as soon as he came close to Don Quixote, increased his pace and half running came up to him, and embracing his right thigh, for he could reach no higher, exclaimed with evident pleasure, “O Señor Don Quixote of La Mancha, what happiness it will be to the heart of my lord the duke when he knows your worship is coming back to his castle, for he is still there with my lady the duchess!”

“I do not recognise you, friend,” said Don Quixote, “nor do I know who you are, unless you tell me.”

“I am Tosilos, my lord the duke’s lacquey, Señor Don Quixote,” replied the courier; “he who refused to fight your worship about marrying the daughter of Doña Rodriguez.”

“God bless me!” exclaimed Don Quixote; “is it possible that you are the one whom mine enemies the enchanters changed into the lacquey you speak of in order to rob me of the honour of that battle?”

“Nonsense, good sir!” said the messenger; “there was no enchantment or transformation at all; I entered the lists just as much lacquey Tosilos as I came out of them lacquey Tosilos. I thought to marry without fighting, for the girl had taken my fancy; but my scheme had a very different result, for as soon as your worship had left the castle my lord the duke had a hundred strokes of the stick given me for having acted contrary to the orders he gave me before engaging in the combat; and the end of the whole affair is that the girl has become a nun, and Doña Rodriguez has gone back to Castile, and I am now on my way to Barcelona with a packet of letters for the viceroy which my master is sending him. If your worship would like a drop, sound though warm, I have a gourd here full of the best, and some scraps of Tronchon cheese that will serve as a provocative and wakener of your thirst if so be it is asleep.”

“I take the offer,” said Sancho; “no more compliments about it; pour out, good Tosilos, in spite of all the enchanters in the Indies.”

“Thou art indeed the greatest glutton in the world, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “and the greatest booby on earth, not to be able to see that this courier is enchanted and this Tosilos a sham one; stop with him and take thy fill; I will go on slowly and wait for thee to come up with me.”

The lacquey laughed, unsheathed his gourd, unwalletted his scraps, and taking out a small loaf of bread he and Sancho seated themselves on the green grass, and in peace and good fellowship finished off the contents of the alforjas down to the bottom, so resolutely that they licked the wrapper of the letters, merely because it smelt of cheese.

Said Tosilos to Sancho, “Beyond a doubt, Sancho my friend, this master of thine ought to be a madman.”

“Ought!” said Sancho; “he owes no man anything; he pays for everything, particularly when the coin is madness. I see it plain enough, and I tell him so plain enough; but what’s the use? especially now that it is all over with him, for here he is beaten by the Knight of the White Moon.”

Tosilos begged him to explain what had happened him, but Sancho replied that it would not be good manners to leave his master waiting for him; and that some other day if they met there would be time enough for that; and then getting up, after shaking his doublet and brushing the crumbs out of his beard, he drove Dapple on before him, and bidding adieu to Tosilos left him and rejoined his master, who was waiting for him under the shade of a tree.


CHAPTER LXVII.

OF THE RESOLUTION DON QUIXOTE FORMED TO TURN SHEPHERD AND TAKE TO A LIFE IN THE FIELDS WHILE THE YEAR FOR WHICH HE HAD GIVEN HIS WORD WAS RUNNING ITS COURSE; WITH OTHER EVENTS TRULY DELECTABLE AND HAPPY

If a multitude of reflections used to harass Don Quixote before he had been overthrown, a great many more harassed him since his fall. He was under the shade of a tree, as has been said, and there, like flies on honey, thoughts came crowding upon him and stinging him. Some of them turned upon the disenchantment of Dulcinea, others upon the life he was about to lead in his enforced retirement. Sancho came up and spoke in high praise of the generous disposition of the lacquey Tosilos.

“Is it possible, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “that thou dost still think that he yonder is a real lacquey? Apparently it has escaped thy memory that thou hast seen Dulcinea turned and transformed into a peasant wench, and the Knight of the Mirrors into the bachelor Carrasco; all the work of the enchanters that persecute me. But tell me now, didst thou ask this Tosilos, as thou callest him, what has become of Altisidora, did she weep over my absence, or has she already consigned to oblivion the love thoughts that used to afflict her when I was present?”

“The thoughts that I had,” said Sancho, “were not such as to leave time for asking fool’s questions. Body o’ me, señor! is your worship in a condition now to inquire into other people’s thoughts, above all love thoughts?”

“Look ye, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “there is a great difference between what is done out of love and what is done out of gratitude. A knight may very possibly be proof against love; but it is impossible, strictly speaking, for him to be ungrateful. Altisidora, to all appearance, loved me truly; she gave me the three kerchiefs thou knowest of; she wept at my departure, she cursed me, she abused me, casting shame to the winds she bewailed herself in public; all signs that she adored me; for the wrath of lovers always ends in curses. I had no hopes to give her, nor treasures to offer her, for mine are given to Dulcinea, and the treasures of knights-errant are like those of the fairies,’ illusory and deceptive; all I can give her is the place in my memory I keep for her, without prejudice, however, to that which I hold devoted to Dulcinea, whom thou art wronging by thy remissness in whipping thyself and scourging that flesh—would that I saw it eaten by wolves—which would rather keep itself for the worms than for the relief of that poor lady.”

“Señor,” replied Sancho, “if the truth is to be told, I cannot persuade myself that the whipping of my backside has anything to do with the disenchantment of the enchanted; it is like saying, ‘If your head aches rub ointment on your knees;’ at any rate I’ll make bold to swear that in all the histories dealing with knight-errantry that your worship has read you have never come across anybody disenchanted by whipping; but whether or no I’ll whip myself when I have a fancy for it, and the opportunity serves for scourging myself comfortably.”

“God grant it,” said Don Quixote; “and heaven give thee grace to take it to heart and own the obligation thou art under to help my lady, who is thine also, inasmuch as thou art mine.”

As they pursued their journey talking in this way they came to the very same spot where they had been trampled on by the bulls. Don Quixote recognised it, and said he to Sancho, “This is the meadow where we came upon those gay shepherdesses and gallant shepherds who were trying to revive and imitate the pastoral Arcadia there, an idea as novel as it was happy, in emulation whereof, if so be thou dost approve of it, Sancho, I would have ourselves turn shepherds, at any rate for the time I have to live in retirement. I will buy some ewes and everything else requisite for the pastoral calling; and, I under the name of the shepherd Quixotize and thou as the shepherd Panzino, we will roam the woods and groves and meadows singing songs here, lamenting in elegies there, drinking of the crystal waters of the springs or limpid brooks or flowing rivers. The oaks will yield us their sweet fruit with bountiful hand, the trunks of the hard cork trees a seat, the willows shade, the roses perfume, the widespread meadows carpets tinted with a thousand dyes; the clear pure air will give us breath, the moon and stars lighten the darkness of the night for us, song shall be our delight, lamenting our joy, Apollo will supply us with verses, and love with conceits whereby we shall make ourselves famed for ever, not only in this but in ages to come.”

“Egad,” said Sancho, “but that sort of life squares, nay corners, with my notions; and what is more the bachelor Samson Carrasco and Master Nicholas the barber won’t have well seen it before they’ll want to follow it and turn shepherds along with us; and God grant it may not come into the curate’s head to join the sheepfold too, he’s so jovial and fond of enjoying himself.”

“Thou art in the right of it, Sancho,” said Don Quixote; “and the bachelor Samson Carrasco, if he enters the pastoral fraternity, as no doubt he will, may call himself the shepherd Samsonino, or perhaps the shepherd Carrascon; Nicholas the barber may call himself Niculoso, as old Boscan formerly was called Nemoroso; as for the curate I don’t know what name we can fit to him unless it be something derived from his title, and we call him the shepherd Curiambro. For the shepherdesses whose lovers we shall be, we can pick names as we would pears; and as my lady’s name does just as well for a shepherdess’s as for a princess’s, I need not trouble myself to look for one that will suit her better; to thine, Sancho, thou canst give what name thou wilt.”

“I don’t mean to give her any but Teresona,” said Sancho, “which will go well with her stoutness and with her own right name, as she is called Teresa; and then when I sing her praises in my verses I’ll show how chaste my passion is, for I’m not going to look ‘for better bread than ever came from wheat’ in other men’s houses. It won’t do for the curate to have a shepherdess, for the sake of good example; and if the bachelor chooses to have one, that is his look-out.”

“God bless me, Sancho my friend!” said Don Quixote, “what a life we shall lead! What hautboys and Zamora bagpipes we shall hear, what tabors, timbrels, and rebecks! And then if among all these different sorts of music that of the albogues is heard, almost all the pastoral instruments will be there.”

“What are albogues?” asked Sancho, “for I never in my life heard tell of them or saw them.”

“Albogues,” said Don Quixote, “are brass plates like candlesticks that struck against one another on the hollow side make a noise which, if not very pleasing or harmonious, is not disagreeable and accords very well with the rude notes of the bagpipe and tabor. The word albogue is Morisco, as are all those in our Spanish tongue that begin with al; for example, almohaza, almorzar, alhombra, alguacil, alhucema, almacen, alcancia, and others of the same sort, of which there are not many more; our language has only three that are Morisco and end in i, which are borceguí, zaquizamí, and maravedí. Alhelí and alfaquí are seen to be Arabic, as well by the al at the beginning as by the í they end with. I mention this incidentally, the chance allusion to albogues having reminded me of it; and it will be of great assistance to us in the perfect practice of this calling that I am something of a poet, as thou knowest, and that besides the bachelor Samson Carrasco is an accomplished one. Of the curate I say nothing; but I will wager he has some spice of the poet in him, and no doubt Master Nicholas too, for all barbers, or most of them, are guitar players and stringers of verses. I will bewail my separation; thou shalt glorify thyself as a constant lover; the shepherd Carrascon will figure as a rejected one, and the curate Curiambro as whatever may please him best; and so all will go as gaily as heart could wish.”

To this Sancho made answer, “I am so unlucky, señor, that I’m afraid the day will never come when I’ll see myself at such a calling. O what neat spoons I’ll make when I’m a shepherd! What messes, creams, garlands, pastoral odds and ends! And if they don’t get me a name for wisdom, they’ll not fail to get me one for ingenuity. My daughter Sanchica will bring us our dinner to the pasture. But stay—she’s good-looking, and shepherds there are with more mischief than simplicity in them; I would not have her ‘come for wool and go back shorn;’ love-making and lawless desires are just as common in the fields as in the cities, and in shepherds’ shanties as in royal palaces; ‘do away with the cause, you do away with the sin;’ ‘if eyes don’t see hearts don’t break’ and ‘better a clear escape than good men’s prayers.’”

“A truce to thy proverbs, Sancho,” exclaimed Don Quixote; “any one of those thou hast uttered would suffice to explain thy meaning; many a time have I recommended thee not to be so lavish with proverbs and to exercise some moderation in delivering them; but it seems to me it is only ‘preaching in the desert;’ ‘my mother beats me and I go on with my tricks.”

“It seems to me,” said Sancho, “that your worship is like the common saying, ‘Said the frying-pan to the kettle, Get away, blackbreech.’ You chide me for uttering proverbs, and you string them in couples yourself.”

“Observe, Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “I bring in proverbs to the purpose, and when I quote them they fit like a ring to the finger; thou bringest them in by the head and shoulders, in such a way that thou dost drag them in, rather than introduce them; if I am not mistaken, I have told thee already that proverbs are short maxims drawn from the experience and observation of our wise men of old; but the proverb that is not to the purpose is a piece of nonsense and not a maxim. But enough of this; as nightfall is drawing on let us retire some little distance from the high road to pass the night; what is in store for us to-morrow God knoweth.”

They turned aside, and supped late and poorly, very much against Sancho’s will, who turned over in his mind the hardships attendant upon knight-errantry in woods and forests, even though at times plenty presented itself in castles and houses, as at Don Diego de Miranda’s, at the wedding of Camacho the Rich, and at Don Antonio Moreno’s; he reflected, however, that it could not be always day, nor always night; and so that night he passed in sleeping, and his master in waking.


CHAPTER LXVIII.

OF THE BRISTLY ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE

The night was somewhat dark, for though there was a moon in the sky it was not in a quarter where she could be seen; for sometimes the lady Diana goes on a stroll to the antipodes, and leaves the mountains all black and the valleys in darkness. Don Quixote obeyed nature so far as to sleep his first sleep, but did not give way to the second, very different from Sancho, who never had any second, because with him sleep lasted from night till morning, wherein he showed what a sound constitution and few cares he had. Don Quixote’s cares kept him restless, so much so that he awoke Sancho and said to him, “I am amazed, Sancho, at the unconcern of thy temperament. I believe thou art made of marble or hard brass, incapable of any emotion or feeling whatever. I lie awake while thou sleepest, I weep while thou singest, I am faint with fasting while thou art sluggish and torpid from pure repletion. It is the duty of good servants to share the sufferings and feel the sorrows of their masters, if it be only for the sake of appearances. See the calmness of the night, the solitude of the spot, inviting us to break our slumbers by a vigil of some sort. Rise as thou livest, and retire a little distance, and with a good heart and cheerful courage give thyself three or four hundred lashes on account of Dulcinea’s disenchantment score; and this I entreat of thee, making it a request, for I have no desire to come to grips with thee a second time, as I know thou hast a heavy hand. As soon as thou hast laid them on we will pass the rest of the night, I singing my separation, thou thy constancy, making a beginning at once with the pastoral life we are to follow at our village.”

“Señor,” replied Sancho, “I’m no monk to get up out of the middle of my sleep and scourge myself, nor does it seem to me that one can pass from one extreme of the pain of whipping to the other of music. Will your worship let me sleep, and not worry me about whipping myself? or you’ll make me swear never to touch a hair of my doublet, not to say my flesh.”

“O hard heart!” said Don Quixote, “O pitiless squire! O bread ill-bestowed and favours ill-acknowledged, both those I have done thee and those I mean to do thee! Through me hast thou seen thyself a governor, and through me thou seest thyself in immediate expectation of being a count, or obtaining some other equivalent title, for I—post tenebras spero lucem.”

“I don’t know what that is,” said Sancho; “all I know is that so long as I am asleep I have neither fear nor hope, trouble nor glory; and good luck betide him that invented sleep, the cloak that covers over all a man’s thoughts, the food that removes hunger, the drink that drives away thirst, the fire that warms the cold, the cold that tempers the heat, and, to wind up with, the universal coin wherewith everything is bought, the weight and balance that makes the shepherd equal with the king and the fool with the wise man. Sleep, I have heard say, has only one fault, that it is like death; for between a sleeping man and a dead man there is very little difference.”

“Never have I heard thee speak so elegantly as now, Sancho,” said Don Quixote; “and here I begin to see the truth of the proverb thou dost sometimes quote, ‘Not with whom thou art bred, but with whom thou art fed.’”

“Ha, by my life, master mine,” said Sancho, “it’s not I that am stringing proverbs now, for they drop in pairs from your worship’s mouth faster than from mine; only there is this difference between mine and yours, that yours are well-timed and mine are untimely; but anyhow, they are all proverbs.”

At this point they became aware of a harsh indistinct noise that seemed to spread through all the valleys around. Don Quixote stood up and laid his hand upon his sword, and Sancho ensconced himself under Dapple and put the bundle of armour on one side of him and the ass’s pack-saddle on the other, in fear and trembling as great as Don Quixote’s perturbation. Each instant the noise increased and came nearer to the two terrified men, or at least to one, for as to the other, his courage is known to all. The fact of the matter was that some men were taking above six hundred pigs to sell at a fair, and were on their way with them at that hour, and so great was the noise they made and their grunting and blowing, that they deafened the ears of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and they could not make out what it was. The wide-spread grunting drove came on in a surging mass, and without showing any respect for Don Quixote’s dignity or Sancho’s, passed right over the pair of them, demolishing Sancho’s entrenchments, and not only upsetting Don Quixote but sweeping Rocinante off his feet into the bargain; and what with the trampling and the grunting, and the pace at which the unclean beasts went, pack-saddle, armour, Dapple and Rocinante were left scattered on the ground and Sancho and Don Quixote at their wits’ end.

Sancho got up as well as he could and begged his master to give him his sword, saying he wanted to kill half a dozen of those dirty unmannerly pigs, for he had by this time found out that that was what they were.

“Let them be, my friend,” said Don Quixote; “this insult is the penalty of my sin; and it is the righteous chastisement of heaven that jackals should devour a vanquished knight, and wasps sting him and pigs trample him under foot.”

“I suppose it is the chastisement of heaven, too,” said Sancho, “that flies should prick the squires of vanquished knights, and lice eat them, and hunger assail them. If we squires were the sons of the knights we serve, or their very near relations, it would be no wonder if the penalty of their misdeeds overtook us, even to the fourth generation. But what have the Panzas to do with the Quixotes? Well, well, let’s lie down again and sleep out what little of the night there’s left, and God will send us dawn and we shall be all right.”

“Sleep thou, Sancho,” returned Don Quixote, “for thou wast born to sleep as I was born to watch; and during the time it now wants of dawn I will give a loose rein to my thoughts, and seek a vent for them in a little madrigal which, unknown to thee, I composed in my head last night.”

“I should think,” said Sancho, “that the thoughts that allow one to make verses cannot be of great consequence; let your worship string verses as much as you like and I’ll sleep as much as I can;” and forthwith, taking the space of ground he required, he muffled himself up and fell into a sound sleep, undisturbed by bond, debt, or trouble of any sort. Don Quixote, propped up against the trunk of a beech or a cork tree—for Cide Hamete does not specify what kind of tree it was—sang in this strain to the accompaniment of his own sighs:

When in my mind
I muse, O Love, upon thy cruelty,
To death I flee,
In hope therein the end of all to find.

But drawing near
That welcome haven in my sea of woe,
Such joy I know,
That life revives, and still I linger here.

Thus life doth slay,
And death again to life restoreth me;
Strange destiny,
That deals with life and death as with a play!
He accompanied each verse with many sighs and not a few tears, just like one whose heart was pierced with grief at his defeat and his separation from Dulcinea.

And now daylight came, and the sun smote Sancho on the eyes with his beams. He awoke, roused himself up, shook himself and stretched his lazy limbs, and seeing the havoc the pigs had made with his stores he cursed the drove, and more besides. Then the pair resumed their journey, and as evening closed in they saw coming towards them some ten men on horseback and four or five on foot. Don Quixote’s heart beat quick and Sancho’s quailed with fear, for the persons approaching them carried lances and bucklers, and were in very warlike guise. Don Quixote turned to Sancho and said, “If I could make use of my weapons, and my promise had not tied my hands, I would count this host that comes against us but cakes and fancy bread; but perhaps it may prove something different from what we apprehend.” The men on horseback now came up, and raising their lances surrounded Don Quixote in silence, and pointed them at his back and breast, menacing him with death. One of those on foot, putting his finger to his lips as a sign to him to be silent, seized Rocinante’s bridle and drew him out of the road, and the others driving Sancho and Dapple before them, and all maintaining a strange silence, followed in the steps of the one who led Don Quixote. The latter two or three times attempted to ask where they were taking him to and what they wanted, but the instant he began to open his lips they threatened to close them with the points of their lances; and Sancho fared the same way, for the moment he seemed about to speak one of those on foot punched him with a goad, and Dapple likewise, as if he too wanted to talk. Night set in, they quickened their pace, and the fears of the two prisoners grew greater, especially as they heard themselves assailed with—“Get on, ye Troglodytes;” “Silence, ye barbarians;” “March, ye cannibals;” “No murmuring, ye Scythians;” “Don’t open your eyes, ye murderous Polyphemes, ye blood-thirsty lions,” and suchlike names with which their captors harassed the ears of the wretched master and man. Sancho went along saying to himself, “We, tortolites, barbers, animals! I don’t like those names at all; ‘it’s in a bad wind our corn is being winnowed;’ ‘misfortune comes upon us all at once like sticks on a dog,’ and God grant it may be no worse than them that this unlucky adventure has in store for us.”

Don Quixote rode completely dazed, unable with the aid of all his wits to make out what could be the meaning of these abusive names they called them, and the only conclusion he could arrive at was that there was no good to be hoped for and much evil to be feared. And now, about an hour after midnight, they reached a castle which Don Quixote saw at once was the duke’s, where they had been but a short time before. “God bless me!” said he, as he recognised the mansion, “what does this mean? It is all courtesy and politeness in this house; but with the vanquished good turns into evil, and evil into worse.”

They entered the chief court of the castle and found it prepared and fitted up in a style that added to their amazement and doubled their fears, as will be seen in the following chapter.


CHAPTER LXIX.

OF THE STRANGEST AND MOST EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE IN THE WHOLE COURSE OF THIS GREAT HISTORY

The horsemen dismounted, and, together with the men on foot, without a moment’s delay taking up Sancho and Don Quixote bodily, they carried them into the court, all round which near a hundred torches fixed in sockets were burning, besides above five hundred lamps in the corridors, so that in spite of the night, which was somewhat dark, the want of daylight could not be perceived. In the middle of the court was a catafalque, raised about two yards above the ground and covered completely by an immense canopy of black velvet, and on the steps all round it white wax tapers burned in more than a hundred silver candlesticks. Upon the catafalque was seen the dead body of a damsel so lovely that by her beauty she made death itself look beautiful. She lay with her head resting upon a cushion of brocade and crowned with a garland of sweet-smelling flowers of divers sorts, her hands crossed upon her bosom, and between them a branch of yellow palm of victory. On one side of the court was erected a stage, where upon two chairs were seated two persons who from having crowns on their heads and sceptres in their hands appeared to be kings of some sort, whether real or mock ones. By the side of this stage, which was reached by steps, were two other chairs on which the men carrying the prisoners seated Don Quixote and Sancho, all in silence, and by signs giving them to understand that they too were to be silent; which, however, they would have been without any signs, for their amazement at all they saw held them tongue-tied. And now two persons of distinction, who were at once recognised by Don Quixote as his hosts the duke and duchess, ascended the stage attended by a numerous suite, and seated themselves on two gorgeous chairs close to the two kings, as they seemed to be. Who would not have been amazed at this? Nor was this all, for Don Quixote had perceived that the dead body on the catafalque was that of the fair Altisidora. As the duke and duchess mounted the stage Don Quixote and Sancho rose and made them a profound obeisance, which they returned by bowing their heads slightly. At this moment an official crossed over, and approaching Sancho threw over him a robe of black buckram painted all over with flames of fire, and taking off his cap put upon his head a mitre such as those undergoing the sentence of the Holy Office wear; and whispered in his ear that he must not open his lips, or they would put a gag upon him, or take his life. Sancho surveyed himself from head to foot and saw himself all ablaze with flames; but as they did not burn him, he did not care two farthings for them. He took off the mitre and seeing it painted with devils he put it on again, saying to himself, “Well, so far those don’t burn me nor do these carry me off.” Don Quixote surveyed him too, and though fear had got the better of his faculties, he could not help smiling to see the figure Sancho presented. And now from underneath the catafalque, so it seemed, there rose a low sweet sound of flutes, which, coming unbroken by human voice (for there silence itself kept silence), had a soft and languishing effect. Then, beside the pillow of what seemed to be the dead body, suddenly appeared a fair youth in a Roman habit, who, to the accompaniment of a harp which he himself played, sang in a sweet and clear voice these two stanzas:

While fair Altisidora, who the sport
    Of cold Don Quixote’s cruelty hath been,
Returns to life, and in this magic court
    The dames in sables come to grace the scene,
And while her matrons all in seemly sort
    My lady robes in baize and bombazine,
Her beauty and her sorrows will I sing
With defter quill than touched the Thracian string.

But not in life alone, methinks, to me
    Belongs the office; Lady, when my tongue
Is cold in death, believe me, unto thee
    My voice shall raise its tributary song.
My soul, from this strait prison-house set free,
    As o’er the Stygian lake it floats along,
Thy praises singing still shall hold its way,
And make the waters of oblivion stay.

At this point one of the two that looked like kings exclaimed, “Enough, enough, divine singer! It would be an endless task to put before us now the death and the charms of the peerless Altisidora, not dead as the ignorant world imagines, but living in the voice of fame and in the penance which Sancho Panza, here present, has to undergo to restore her to the long-lost light. Do thou, therefore, O Rhadamanthus, who sittest in judgment with me in the murky caverns of Dis, as thou knowest all that the inscrutable fates have decreed touching the resuscitation of this damsel, announce and declare it at once, that the happiness we look forward to from her restoration be no longer deferred.”

No sooner had Minos the fellow judge of Rhadamanthus said this, than Rhadamanthus rising up said:

“Ho, officials of this house, high and low, great and small, make haste hither one and all, and print on Sancho’s face four-and-twenty smacks, and give him twelve pinches and six pin thrusts in the back and arms; for upon this ceremony depends the restoration of Altisidora.”

On hearing this Sancho broke silence and cried out, “By all that’s good, I’ll as soon let my face be smacked or handled as turn Moor. Body o’ me! What has handling my face got to do with the resurrection of this damsel? ‘The old woman took kindly to the blits;’ they enchant Dulcinea, and whip me in order to disenchant her; Altisidora dies of ailments God was pleased to send her, and to bring her to life again they must give me four-and-twenty smacks, and prick holes in my body with pins, and raise weals on my arms with pinches! Try those jokes on a brother-in-law; ‘I’m an old dog, and “tus, tus” is no use with me.’”

“Thou shalt die,” said Rhadamanthus in a loud voice; “relent, thou tiger; humble thyself, proud Nimrod; suffer and he silent, for no impossibilities are asked of thee; it is not for thee to inquire into the difficulties in this matter; smacked thou must be, pricked thou shalt see thyself, and with pinches thou must be made to howl. Ho, I say, officials, obey my orders; or by the word of an honest man, ye shall see what ye were born for.”

At this some six duennas, advancing across the court, made their appearance in procession, one after the other, four of them with spectacles, and all with their right hands uplifted, showing four fingers of wrist to make their hands look longer, as is the fashion now-a-days. No sooner had Sancho caught sight of them than, bellowing like a bull, he exclaimed, “I might let myself be handled by all the world; but allow duennas to touch me—not a bit of it! Scratch my face, as my master was served in this very castle; run me through the body with burnished daggers; pinch my arms with red-hot pincers; I’ll bear all in patience to serve these gentlefolk; but I won’t let duennas touch me, though the devil should carry me off!”

Here Don Quixote, too, broke silence, saying to Sancho, “Have patience, my son, and gratify these noble persons, and give all thanks to heaven that it has infused such virtue into thy person, that by its sufferings thou canst disenchant the enchanted and restore to life the dead.”

The duennas were now close to Sancho, and he, having become more tractable and reasonable, settling himself well in his chair presented his face and beard to the first, who delivered him a smack very stoutly laid on, and then made him a low curtsey.

“Less politeness and less paint, señora duenna,” said Sancho; “by God your hands smell of vinegar-wash.”

In line, all the duennas smacked him and several others of the household pinched him; but what he could not stand was being pricked by the pins; and so, apparently out of patience, he started up out of his chair, and seizing a lighted torch that stood near him fell upon the duennas and the whole set of his tormentors, exclaiming, “Begone, ye ministers of hell; I’m not made of brass not to feel such out-of-the-way tortures.”

At this instant Altisidora, who probably was tired of having been so long lying on her back, turned on her side; seeing which the bystanders cried out almost with one voice, “Altisidora is alive! Altisidora lives!”

Rhadamanthus bade Sancho put away his wrath, as the object they had in view was now attained. When Don Quixote saw Altisidora move, he went on his knees to Sancho saying to him, “Now is the time, son of my bowels, not to call thee my squire, for thee to give thyself some of those lashes thou art bound to lay on for the disenchantment of Dulcinea. Now, I say, is the time when the virtue that is in thee is ripe, and endowed with efficacy to work the good that is looked for from thee.”

To which Sancho made answer, “That’s trick upon trick, I think, and not honey upon pancakes; a nice thing it would be for a whipping to come now, on the top of pinches, smacks, and pin-proddings! You had better take a big stone and tie it round my neck, and pitch me into a well; I should not mind it much, if I’m to be always made the cow of the wedding for the cure of other people’s ailments. Leave me alone; or else by God I’ll fling the whole thing to the dogs, let come what may.”

Altisidora had by this time sat up on the catafalque, and as she did so the clarions sounded, accompanied by the flutes, and the voices of all present exclaiming, “Long life to Altisidora! long life to Altisidora!” The duke and duchess and the kings Minos and Rhadamanthus stood up, and all, together with Don Quixote and Sancho, advanced to receive her and take her down from the catafalque; and she, making as though she were recovering from a swoon, bowed her head to the duke and duchess and to the kings, and looking sideways at Don Quixote, said to him, “God forgive thee, insensible knight, for through thy cruelty I have been, to me it seems, more than a thousand years in the other world; and to thee, the most compassionate upon earth, I render thanks for the life I am now in possession of. From this day forth, friend Sancho, count as thine six smocks of mine which I bestow upon thee, to make as many shirts for thyself, and if they are not all quite whole, at any rate they are all clean.”

Sancho kissed her hands in gratitude, kneeling, and with the mitre in his hand. The duke bade them take it from him, and give him back his cap and doublet and remove the flaming robe. Sancho begged the duke to let them leave him the robe and mitre; as he wanted to take them home for a token and memento of that unexampled adventure. The duchess said they must leave them with him; for he knew already what a great friend of his she was. The duke then gave orders that the court should be cleared, and that all should retire to their chambers, and that Don Quixote and Sancho should be conducted to their old quarters.


CHAPTER LXX.

WHICH FOLLOWS SIXTY-NINE AND DEALS WITH MATTERS INDISPENSABLE FOR THE CLEAR COMPREHENSION OF THIS HISTORY

Sancho slept that night in a cot in the same chamber with Don Quixote, a thing he would have gladly excused if he could for he knew very well that with questions and answers his master would not let him sleep, and he was in no humour for talking much, as he still felt the pain of his late martyrdom, which interfered with his freedom of speech; and it would have been more to his taste to sleep in a hovel alone, than in that luxurious chamber in company. And so well founded did his apprehension prove, and so correct was his anticipation, that scarcely had his master got into bed when he said, “What dost thou think of to-night’s adventure, Sancho? Great and mighty is the power of cold-hearted scorn, for thou with thine own eyes hast seen Altisidora slain, not by arrows, nor by the sword, nor by any warlike weapon, nor by deadly poisons, but by the thought of the sternness and scorn with which I have always treated her.”

“She might have died and welcome,” said Sancho, “when she pleased and how she pleased; and she might have left me alone, for I never made her fall in love or scorned her. I don’t know nor can I imagine how the recovery of Altisidora, a damsel more fanciful than wise, can have, as I have said before, anything to do with the sufferings of Sancho Panza. Now I begin to see plainly and clearly that there are enchanters and enchanted people in the world; and may God deliver me from them, since I can’t deliver myself; and so I beg of your worship to let me sleep and not ask me any more questions, unless you want me to throw myself out of the window.”

“Sleep, Sancho my friend,” said Don Quixote, “if the pinprodding and pinches thou hast received and the smacks administered to thee will let thee.”

“No pain came up to the insult of the smacks,” said Sancho, “for the simple reason that it was duennas, confound them, that gave them to me; but once more I entreat your worship to let me sleep, for sleep is relief from misery to those who are miserable when awake.”

“Be it so, and God be with thee,” said Don Quixote.

They fell asleep, both of them, and Cide Hamete, the author of this great history, took this opportunity to record and relate what it was that induced the duke and duchess to get up the elaborate plot that has been described. The bachelor Samson Carrasco, he says, not forgetting how he as the Knight of the Mirrors had been vanquished and overthrown by Don Quixote, which defeat and overthrow upset all his plans, resolved to try his hand again, hoping for better luck than he had before; and so, having learned where Don Quixote was from the page who brought the letter and present to Sancho’s wife, Teresa Panza, he got himself new armour and another horse, and put a white moon upon his shield, and to carry his arms he had a mule led by a peasant, not by Tom Cecial his former squire for fear he should be recognised by Sancho or Don Quixote. He came to the duke’s castle, and the duke informed him of the road and route Don Quixote had taken with the intention of being present at the jousts at Saragossa. He told him, too, of the jokes he had practised upon him, and of the device for the disenchantment of Dulcinea at the expense of Sancho’s backside; and finally he gave him an account of the trick Sancho had played upon his master, making him believe that Dulcinea was enchanted and turned into a country wench; and of how the duchess, his wife, had persuaded Sancho that it was he himself who was deceived, inasmuch as Dulcinea was really enchanted; at which the bachelor laughed not a little, and marvelled as well at the sharpness and simplicity of Sancho as at the length to which Don Quixote’s madness went. The duke begged of him if he found him (whether he overcame him or not) to return that way and let him know the result. This the bachelor did; he set out in quest of Don Quixote, and not finding him at Saragossa, he went on, and how he fared has been already told. He returned to the duke’s castle and told him all, what the conditions of the combat were, and how Don Quixote was now, like a loyal knight-errant, returning to keep his promise of retiring to his village for a year, by which time, said the bachelor, he might perhaps be cured of his madness; for that was the object that had led him to adopt these disguises, as it was a sad thing for a gentleman of such good parts as Don Quixote to be a madman. And so he took his leave of the duke, and went home to his village to wait there for Don Quixote, who was coming after him. Thereupon the duke seized the opportunity of practising this mystification upon him; so much did he enjoy everything connected with Sancho and Don Quixote. He had the roads about the castle far and near, everywhere he thought Don Quixote was likely to pass on his return, occupied by large numbers of his servants on foot and on horseback, who were to bring him to the castle, by fair means or foul, if they met him. They did meet him, and sent word to the duke, who, having already settled what was to be done, as soon as he heard of his arrival, ordered the torches and lamps in the court to be lit and Altisidora to be placed on the catafalque with all the pomp and ceremony that has been described, the whole affair being so well arranged and acted that it differed but little from reality. And Cide Hamete says, moreover, that for his part he considers the concocters of the joke as crazy as the victims of it, and that the duke and duchess were not two fingers’ breadth removed from being something like fools themselves when they took such pains to make game of a pair of fools.

As for the latter, one was sleeping soundly and the other lying awake occupied with his desultory thoughts, when daylight came to them bringing with it the desire to rise; for the lazy down was never a delight to Don Quixote, victor or vanquished. Altisidora, come back from death to life as Don Quixote fancied, following up the freak of her lord and lady, entered the chamber, crowned with the garland she had worn on the catafalque and in a robe of white taffeta embroidered with gold flowers, her hair flowing loose over her shoulders, and leaning upon a staff of fine black ebony. Don Quixote, disconcerted and in confusion at her appearance, huddled himself up and well-nigh covered himself altogether with the sheets and counterpane of the bed, tongue-tied, and unable to offer her any civility. Altisidora seated herself on a chair at the head of the bed, and, after a deep sigh, said to him in a feeble, soft voice, “When women of rank and modest maidens trample honour under foot, and give a loose to the tongue that breaks through every impediment, publishing abroad the inmost secrets of their hearts, they are reduced to sore extremities. Such a one am I, Señor Don Quixote of La Mancha, crushed, conquered, love-smitten, but yet patient under suffering and virtuous, and so much so that my heart broke with grief and I lost my life. For the last two days I have been dead, slain by the thought of the cruelty with which thou hast treated me, obdurate knight,

O harder thou than marble to my plaint;

or at least believed to be dead by all who saw me; and had it not been that Love, taking pity on me, let my recovery rest upon the sufferings of this good squire, there I should have remained in the other world.”

“Love might very well have let it rest upon the sufferings of my ass, and I should have been obliged to him,” said Sancho. “But tell me, señora—and may heaven send you a tenderer lover than my master—what did you see in the other world? What goes on in hell? For of course that’s where one who dies in despair is bound for.”

“To tell you the truth,” said Altisidora, “I cannot have died outright, for I did not go into hell; had I gone in, it is very certain I should never have come out again, do what I might. The truth is, I came to the gate, where some dozen or so of devils were playing tennis, all in breeches and doublets, with falling collars trimmed with Flemish bonelace, and ruffles of the same that served them for wristbands, with four fingers’ breadth of the arms exposed to make their hands look longer; in their hands they held rackets of fire; but what amazed me still more was that books, apparently full of wind and rubbish, served them for tennis balls, a strange and marvellous thing; this, however, did not astonish me so much as to observe that, although with players it is usual for the winners to be glad and the losers sorry, there in that game all were growling, all were snarling, and all were cursing one another.” “That’s no wonder,” said Sancho; “for devils, whether playing or not, can never be content, win or lose.”

“Very likely,” said Altisidora; “but there is another thing that surprises me too, I mean surprised me then, and that was that no ball outlasted the first throw or was of any use a second time; and it was wonderful the constant succession there was of books, new and old. To one of them, a brand-new, well-bound one, they gave such a stroke that they knocked the guts out of it and scattered the leaves about. ‘Look what book that is,’ said one devil to another, and the other replied, ‘It is the “Second Part of the History of Don Quixote of La Mancha,” not by Cide Hamete, the original author, but by an Aragonese who by his own account is of Tordesillas.’ ‘Out of this with it,’ said the first, ‘and into the depths of hell with it out of my sight.’ ‘Is it so bad?’ said the other. ‘So bad is it,’ said the first, ‘that if I had set myself deliberately to make a worse, I could not have done it.’ They then went on with their game, knocking other books about; and I, having heard them mention the name of Don Quixote whom I love and adore so, took care to retain this vision in my memory.”

“A vision it must have been, no doubt,” said Don Quixote, “for there is no other I in the world; this history has been going about here for some time from hand to hand, but it does not stay long in any, for everybody gives it a taste of his foot. I am not disturbed by hearing that I am wandering in a fantastic shape in the darkness of the pit or in the daylight above, for I am not the one that history treats of. If it should be good, faithful, and true, it will have ages of life; but if it should be bad, from its birth to its burial will not be a very long journey.”

Altisidora was about to proceed with her complaint against Don Quixote, when he said to her, “I have several times told you, señora, that it grieves me you should have set your affections upon me, as from mine they can only receive gratitude, but no return. I was born to belong to Dulcinea del Toboso, and the fates, if there are any, dedicated me to her; and to suppose that any other beauty can take the place she occupies in my heart is to suppose an impossibility. This frank declaration should suffice to make you retire within the bounds of your modesty, for no one can bind himself to do impossibilities.”

Hearing this, Altisidora, with a show of anger and agitation, exclaimed, “God’s life! Don Stockfish, soul of a mortar, stone of a date, more obstinate and obdurate than a clown asked a favour when he has his mind made up, if I fall upon you I’ll tear your eyes out! Do you fancy, Don Vanquished, Don Cudgelled, that I died for your sake? All that you have seen to-night has been make-believe; I’m not the woman to let the black of my nail suffer for such a camel, much less die!”

“That I can well believe,” said Sancho; “for all that about lovers pining to death is absurd; they may talk of it, but as for doing it—Judas may believe that!”

While they were talking, the musician, singer, and poet, who had sung the two stanzas given above came in, and making a profound obeisance to Don Quixote said, “Will your worship, sir knight, reckon and retain me in the number of your most faithful servants, for I have long been a great admirer of yours, as well because of your fame as because of your achievements?” “Will your worship tell me who you are,” replied Don Quixote, “so that my courtesy may be answerable to your deserts?” The young man replied that he was the musician and songster of the night before. “Of a truth,” said Don Quixote, “your worship has a most excellent voice; but what you sang did not seem to me very much to the purpose; for what have Garcilasso’s stanzas to do with the death of this lady?”

“Don’t be surprised at that,” returned the musician; “for with the callow poets of our day the way is for every one to write as he pleases and pilfer where he chooses, whether it be germane to the matter or not, and now-a-days there is no piece of silliness they can sing or write that is not set down to poetic licence.”

Don Quixote was about to reply, but was prevented by the duke and duchess, who came in to see him, and with them there followed a long and delightful conversation, in the course of which Sancho said so many droll and saucy things that he left the duke and duchess wondering not only at his simplicity but at his sharpness. Don Quixote begged their permission to take his departure that same day, inasmuch as for a vanquished knight like himself it was fitter he should live in a pig-sty than in a royal palace. They gave it very readily, and the duchess asked him if Altisidora was in his good graces.

He replied, “Señora, let me tell your ladyship that this damsel’s ailment comes entirely of idleness, and the cure for it is honest and constant employment. She herself has told me that lace is worn in hell; and as she must know how to make it, let it never be out of her hands; for when she is occupied in shifting the bobbins to and fro, the image or images of what she loves will not shift to and fro in her thoughts; this is the truth, this is my opinion, and this is my advice.”

“And mine,” added Sancho; “for I never in all my life saw a lace-maker that died for love; when damsels are at work their minds are more set on finishing their tasks than on thinking of their loves. I speak from my own experience; for when I’m digging I never think of my old woman; I mean my Teresa Panza, whom I love better than my own eyelids.” “You say well, Sancho,” said the duchess, “and I will take care that my Altisidora employs herself henceforward in needlework of some sort; for she is extremely expert at it.” “There is no occasion to have recourse to that remedy, señora,” said Altisidora; “for the mere thought of the cruelty with which this vagabond villain has treated me will suffice to blot him out of my memory without any other device; with your highness’s leave I will retire, not to have before my eyes, I won’t say his rueful countenance, but his abominable, ugly looks.” “That reminds me of the common saying, that ‘he that rails is ready to forgive,’” said the duke.

Altisidora then, pretending to wipe away her tears with a handkerchief, made an obeisance to her master and mistress and quitted the room.

“Ill luck betide thee, poor damsel,” said Sancho, “ill luck betide thee! Thou hast fallen in with a soul as dry as a rush and a heart as hard as oak; had it been me, i’faith ‘another cock would have crowed to thee.’”

So the conversation came to an end, and Don Quixote dressed himself and dined with the duke and duchess, and set out the same evening.