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´╗┐Title: Don Quixote
Author: Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Don Quixote" ***

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by Miguel de Cervantes [Saavedra]

Translated by John Ormsby


Volume I.























































It was with considerable reluctance that I abandoned in favour of the
present undertaking what had long been a favourite project: that of a new
edition of Shelton's "Don Quixote," which has now become a somewhat
scarce book. There are some--and I confess myself to be one--for whom
Shelton's racy old version, with all its defects, has a charm that no
modern translation, however skilful or correct, could possess. Shelton
had the inestimable advantage of belonging to the same generation as
Cervantes; "Don Quixote" had to him a vitality that only a contemporary
could feel; it cost him no dramatic effort to see things as Cervantes saw
them; there is no anachronism in his language; he put the Spanish of
Cervantes into the English of Shakespeare. Shakespeare himself most
likely knew the book; he may have carried it home with him in his
saddle-bags to Stratford on one of his last journeys, and under the
mulberry tree at New Place joined hands with a kindred genius in its

But it was soon made plain to me that to hope for even a moderate
popularity for Shelton was vain. His fine old crusted English would, no
doubt, be relished by a minority, but it would be only by a minority. His
warmest admirers must admit that he is not a satisfactory representative
of Cervantes. His translation of the First Part was very hastily made and
was never revised by him. It has all the freshness and vigour, but also a
full measure of the faults, of a hasty production. It is often very
literal--barbarously literal frequently--but just as often very loose. He
had evidently a good colloquial knowledge of Spanish, but apparently not
much more. It never seems to occur to him that the same translation of a
word will not suit in every case.

It is often said that we have no satisfactory translation of "Don
Quixote." To those who are familiar with the original, it savours of
truism or platitude to say so, for in truth there can be no thoroughly
satisfactory translation of "Don Quixote" into English or any other
language. It is not that the Spanish idioms are so utterly unmanageable,
or that the untranslatable words, numerous enough no doubt, are so
superabundant, but rather that the sententious terseness to which the
humour of the book owes its flavour is peculiar to Spanish, and can at
best be only distantly imitated in any other tongue.

The history of our English translations of "Don Quixote" is instructive.
Shelton's, the first in any language, was made, apparently, about 1608,
but not published till 1612. This of course was only the First Part. It
has been asserted that the Second, published in 1620, is not the work of
Shelton, but there is nothing to support the assertion save the fact that
it has less spirit, less of what we generally understand by "go," about
it than the first, which would be only natural if the first were the work
of a young man writing currente calamo, and the second that of a
middle-aged man writing for a bookseller. On the other hand, it is closer
and more literal, the style is the same, the very same translations, or
mistranslations, occur in it, and it is extremely unlikely that a new
translator would, by suppressing his name, have allowed Shelton to carry
off the credit.

In 1687 John Phillips, Milton's nephew, produced a "Don Quixote" "made
English," he says, "according to the humour of our modern language." His
"Quixote" is not so much a translation as a travesty, and a travesty that
for coarseness, vulgarity, and buffoonery is almost unexampled even in
the literature of that day.

Ned Ward's "Life and Notable Adventures of Don Quixote, merrily
translated into Hudibrastic Verse" (1700), can scarcely be reckoned a
translation, but it serves to show the light in which "Don Quixote" was
regarded at the time.

A further illustration may be found in the version published in 1712 by
Peter Motteux, who had then recently combined tea-dealing with
literature. It is described as "translated from the original by several
hands," but if so all Spanish flavour has entirely evaporated under the
manipulation of the several hands. The flavour that it has, on the other
hand, is distinctly Franco-cockney. Anyone who compares it carefully with
the original will have little doubt that it is a concoction from Shelton
and the French of Filleau de Saint Martin, eked out by borrowings from
Phillips, whose mode of treatment it adopts. It is, to be sure, more
decent and decorous, but it treats "Don Quixote" in the same fashion as a
comic book that cannot be made too comic.

To attempt to improve the humour of "Don Quixote" by an infusion of
cockney flippancy and facetiousness, as Motteux's operators did, is not
merely an impertinence like larding a sirloin of prize beef, but an
absolute falsification of the spirit of the book, and it is a proof of
the uncritical way in which "Don Quixote" is generally read that this
worse than worthless translation--worthless as failing to represent,
worse than worthless as misrepresenting--should have been favoured as it
has been.

It had the effect, however, of bringing out a translation undertaken and
executed in a very different spirit, that of Charles Jervas, the portrait
painter, and friend of Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, and Gay. Jervas has been
allowed little credit for his work, indeed it may be said none, for it is
known to the world in general as Jarvis's. It was not published until
after his death, and the printers gave the name according to the current
pronunciation of the day. It has been the most freely used and the most
freely abused of all the translations. It has seen far more editions than
any other, it is admitted on all hands to be by far the most faithful,
and yet nobody seems to have a good word to say for it or for its author.
Jervas no doubt prejudiced readers against himself in his preface, where
among many true words about Shelton, Stevens, and Motteux, he rashly and
unjustly charges Shelton with having translated not from the Spanish, but
from the Italian version of Franciosini, which did not appear until ten
years after Shelton's first volume. A suspicion of incompetence, too,
seems to have attached to him because he was by profession a painter and
a mediocre one (though he has given us the best portrait we have of
Swift), and this may have been strengthened by Pope's remark that he
"translated 'Don Quixote' without understanding Spanish." He has been
also charged with borrowing from Shelton, whom he disparaged. It is true
that in a few difficult or obscure passages he has followed Shelton, and
gone astray with him; but for one case of this sort, there are fifty
where he is right and Shelton wrong. As for Pope's dictum, anyone who
examines Jervas's version carefully, side by side with the original, will
see that he was a sound Spanish scholar, incomparably a better one than
Shelton, except perhaps in mere colloquial Spanish. He was, in fact, an
honest, faithful, and painstaking translator, and he has left a version
which, whatever its shortcomings may be, is singularly free from errors
and mistranslations.

The charge against it is that it is stiff, dry--"wooden" in a word,-and
no one can deny that there is a foundation for it. But it may be pleaded
for Jervas that a good deal of this rigidity is due to his abhorrence of
the light, flippant, jocose style of his predecessors. He was one of the
few, very few, translators that have shown any apprehension of the
unsmiling gravity which is the essence of Quixotic humour; it seemed to
him a crime to bring Cervantes forward smirking and grinning at his own
good things, and to this may be attributed in a great measure the ascetic
abstinence from everything savouring of liveliness which is the
characteristic of his translation. In most modern editions, it should be
observed, his style has been smoothed and smartened, but without any
reference to the original Spanish, so that if he has been made to read
more agreeably he has also been robbed of his chief merit of fidelity.

Smollett's version, published in 1755, may be almost counted as one of
these. At any rate it is plain that in its construction Jervas's
translation was very freely drawn upon, and very little or probably no
heed given to the original Spanish.

The later translations may be dismissed in a few words. George Kelly's,
which appeared in 1769, "printed for the Translator," was an impudent
imposture, being nothing more than Motteux's version with a few of the
words, here and there, artfully transposed; Charles Wilmot's (1774) was
only an abridgment like Florian's, but not so skilfully executed; and the
version published by Miss Smirke in 1818, to accompany her brother's
plates, was merely a patchwork production made out of former
translations. On the latest, Mr. A. J. Duffield's, it would be in every
sense of the word impertinent in me to offer an opinion here. I had not
even seen it when the present undertaking was proposed to me, and since
then I may say vidi tantum, having for obvious reasons resisted the
temptation which Mr. Duffield's reputation and comely volumes hold out to
every lover of Cervantes.

From the foregoing history of our translations of "Don Quixote," it will
be seen that there are a good many people who, provided they get the mere
narrative with its full complement of facts, incidents, and adventures
served up to them in a form that amuses them, care very little whether
that form is the one in which Cervantes originally shaped his ideas. On
the other hand, it is clear that there are many who desire to have not
merely the story he tells, but the story as he tells it, so far at least
as differences of idiom and circumstances permit, and who will give a
preference to the conscientious translator, even though he may have
acquitted himself somewhat awkwardly.

But after all there is no real antagonism between the two classes; there
is no reason why what pleases the one should not please the other, or why
a translator who makes it his aim to treat "Don Quixote" with the respect
due to a great classic, should not be as acceptable even to the careless
reader as the one who treats it as a famous old jest-book. It is not a
question of caviare to the general, or, if it is, the fault rests with
him who makes so. The method by which Cervantes won the ear of the
Spanish people ought, mutatis mutandis, to be equally effective with the
great majority of English readers. At any rate, even if there are readers
to whom it is a matter of indifference, fidelity to the method is as much
a part of the translator's duty as fidelity to the matter. If he can
please all parties, so much the better; but his first duty is to those
who look to him for as faithful a representation of his author as it is
in his power to give them, faithful to the letter so long as fidelity is
practicable, faithful to the spirit so far as he can make it.

My purpose here is not to dogmatise on the rules of translation, but to
indicate those I have followed, or at least tried to the best of my
ability to follow, in the present instance. One which, it seems to me,
cannot be too rigidly followed in translating "Don Quixote," is to avoid
everything that savours of affectation. The book itself is, indeed, in
one sense a protest against it, and no man abhorred it more than
Cervantes. For this reason, I think, any temptation to use antiquated or
obsolete language should be resisted. It is after all an affectation, and
one for which there is no warrant or excuse. Spanish has probably
undergone less change since the seventeenth century than any language in
Europe, and by far the greater and certainly the best part of "Don
Quixote" differs but little in language from the colloquial Spanish of
the present day. Except in the tales and Don Quixote's speeches, the
translator who uses the simplest and plainest everyday language will
almost always be the one who approaches nearest to the original.

Seeing that the story of "Don Quixote" and all its characters and
incidents have now been for more than two centuries and a half familiar
as household words in English mouths, it seems to me that the old
familiar names and phrases should not be changed without good reason. Of
course a translator who holds that "Don Quixote" should receive the
treatment a great classic deserves, will feel himself bound by the
injunction laid upon the Morisco in Chap. IX not to omit or add anything.


Four generations had laughed over "Don Quixote" before it occurred to
anyone to ask, who and what manner of man was this Miguel de Cervantes
Saavedra whose name is on the title-page; and it was too late for a
satisfactory answer to the question when it was proposed to add a life of
the author to the London edition published at Lord Carteret's instance in
1738. All traces of the personality of Cervantes had by that time
disappeared. Any floating traditions that may once have existed,
transmitted from men who had known him, had long since died out, and of
other record there was none; for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
were incurious as to "the men of the time," a reproach against which the
nineteenth has, at any rate, secured itself, if it has produced no
Shakespeare or Cervantes. All that Mayans y Siscar, to whom the task was
entrusted, or any of those who followed him, Rios, Pellicer, or
Navarrete, could do was to eke out the few allusions Cervantes makes to
himself in his various prefaces with such pieces of documentary evidence
bearing upon his life as they could find.

This, however, has been done by the last-named biographer to such good
purpose that he has superseded all predecessors. Thoroughness is the
chief characteristic of Navarrete's work. Besides sifting, testing, and
methodising with rare patience and judgment what had been previously
brought to light, he left, as the saying is, no stone unturned under
which anything to illustrate his subject might possibly be found.
Navarrete has done all that industry and acumen could do, and it is no
fault of his if he has not given us what we want. What Hallam says of
Shakespeare may be applied to the almost parallel case of Cervantes: "It
is not the register of his baptism, or the draft of his will, or the
orthography of his name that we seek; no letter of his writing, no record
of his conversation, no character of him drawn ... by a contemporary has
been produced."

It is only natural, therefore, that the biographers of Cervantes, forced
to make brick without straw, should have recourse largely to conjecture,
and that conjecture should in some instances come by degrees to take the
place of established fact. All that I propose to do here is to separate
what is matter of fact from what is matter of conjecture, and leave it to
the reader's judgment to decide whether the data justify the inference or

The men whose names by common consent stand in the front rank of Spanish
literature, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Calderon, Garcilaso de la
Vega, the Mendozas, Gongora, were all men of ancient families, and,
curiously, all, except the last, of families that traced their origin to
the same mountain district in the North of Spain. The family of Cervantes
is commonly said to have been of Galician origin, and unquestionably it
was in possession of lands in Galicia at a very early date; but I think
the balance of the evidence tends to show that the "solar," the original
site of the family, was at Cervatos in the north-west corner of Old
Castile, close to the junction of Castile, Leon, and the Asturias. As it
happens, there is a complete history of the Cervantes family from the
tenth century down to the seventeenth extant under the title of
"Illustrious Ancestry, Glorious Deeds, and Noble Posterity of the Famous
Nuno Alfonso, Alcaide of Toledo," written in 1648 by the industrious
genealogist Rodrigo Mendez Silva, who availed himself of a manuscript
genealogy by Juan de Mena, the poet laureate and historiographer of John

The origin of the name Cervantes is curious. Nuno Alfonso was almost as
distinguished in the struggle against the Moors in the reign of Alfonso
VII as the Cid had been half a century before in that of Alfonso VI, and
was rewarded by divers grants of land in the neighbourhood of Toledo. On
one of his acquisitions, about two leagues from the city, he built
himself a castle which he called Cervatos, because "he was lord of the
solar of Cervatos in the Montana," as the mountain region extending from
the Basque Provinces to Leon was always called. At his death in battle in
1143, the castle passed by his will to his son Alfonso Munio, who, as
territorial or local surnames were then coming into vogue in place of the
simple patronymic, took the additional name of Cervatos. His eldest son
Pedro succeeded him in the possession of the castle, and followed his
example in adopting the name, an assumption at which the younger son,
Gonzalo, seems to have taken umbrage.

Everyone who has paid even a flying visit to Toledo will remember the
ruined castle that crowns the hill above the spot where the bridge of
Alcantara spans the gorge of the Tagus, and with its broken outline and
crumbling walls makes such an admirable pendant to the square solid
Alcazar towering over the city roofs on the opposite side. It was built,
or as some say restored, by Alfonso VI shortly after his occupation of
Toledo in 1085, and called by him San Servando after a Spanish martyr, a
name subsequently modified into San Servan (in which form it appears in
the "Poem of the Cid"), San Servantes, and San Cervantes: with regard to
which last the "Handbook for Spain" warns its readers against the
supposition that it has anything to do with the author of "Don Quixote."
Ford, as all know who have taken him for a companion and counsellor on
the roads of Spain, is seldom wrong in matters of literature or history.
In this instance, however, he is in error. It has everything to do with
the author of "Don Quixote," for it is in fact these old walls that have
given to Spain the name she is proudest of to-day. Gonzalo, above
mentioned, it may be readily conceived, did not relish the appropriation
by his brother of a name to which he himself had an equal right, for
though nominally taken from the castle, it was in reality derived from
the ancient territorial possession of the family, and as a set-off, and
to distinguish himself (diferenciarse) from his brother, he took as a
surname the name of the castle on the bank of the Tagus, in the building
of which, according to a family tradition, his great-grandfather had a

Both brothers founded families. The Cervantes branch had more tenacity;
it sent offshoots in various directions, Andalusia, Estremadura, Galicia,
and Portugal, and produced a goodly line of men distinguished in the
service of Church and State. Gonzalo himself, and apparently a son of
his, followed Ferdinand III in the great campaign of 1236-48 that gave
Cordova and Seville to Christian Spain and penned up the Moors in the
kingdom of Granada, and his descendants intermarried with some of the
noblest families of the Peninsula and numbered among them soldiers,
magistrates, and Church dignitaries, including at least two

Of the line that settled in Andalusia, Deigo de Cervantes, Commander of
the Order of Santiago, married Juana Avellaneda, daughter of Juan Arias
de Saavedra, and had several sons, of whom one was Gonzalo Gomez,
Corregidor of Jerez and ancestor of the Mexican and Columbian branches of
the family; and another, Juan, whose son Rodrigo married Dona Leonor de
Cortinas, and by her had four children, Rodrigo, Andrea, Luisa, and
Miguel, our author.

The pedigree of Cervantes is not without its bearing on "Don Quixote." A
man who could look back upon an ancestry of genuine knights-errant
extending from well-nigh the time of Pelayo to the siege of Granada was
likely to have a strong feeling on the subject of the sham chivalry of
the romances. It gives a point, too, to what he says in more than one
place about families that have once been great and have tapered away
until they have come to nothing, like a pyramid. It was the case of his

He was born at Alcala de Henares and baptised in the church of Santa
Maria Mayor on the 9th of October, 1547. Of his boyhood and youth we know
nothing, unless it be from the glimpse he gives us in the preface to his
"Comedies" of himself as a boy looking on with delight while Lope de
Rueda and his company set up their rude plank stage in the plaza and
acted the rustic farces which he himself afterwards took as the model of
his interludes. This first glimpse, however, is a significant one, for it
shows the early development of that love of the drama which exercised
such an influence on his life and seems to have grown stronger as he grew
older, and of which this very preface, written only a few months before
his death, is such a striking proof. He gives us to understand, too, that
he was a great reader in his youth; but of this no assurance was needed,
for the First Part of "Don Quixote" alone proves a vast amount of
miscellaneous reading, romances of chivalry, ballads, popular poetry,
chronicles, for which he had no time or opportunity except in the first
twenty years of his life; and his misquotations and mistakes in matters
of detail are always, it may be noticed, those of a man recalling the
reading of his boyhood.

Other things besides the drama were in their infancy when Cervantes was a
boy. The period of his boyhood was in every way a transition period for
Spain. The old chivalrous Spain had passed away. The new Spain was the
mightiest power the world had seen since the Roman Empire and it had not
yet been called upon to pay the price of its greatness. By the policy of
Ferdinand and Ximenez the sovereign had been made absolute, and the
Church and Inquisition adroitly adjusted to keep him so. The nobles, who
had always resisted absolutism as strenuously as they had fought the
Moors, had been divested of all political power, a like fate had befallen
the cities, the free constitutions of Castile and Aragon had been swept
away, and the only function that remained to the Cortes was that of
granting money at the King's dictation.

The transition extended to literature. Men who, like Garcilaso de la Vega
and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, followed the Italian wars, had brought back
from Italy the products of the post-Renaissance literature, which took
root and flourished and even threatened to extinguish the native growths.
Damon and Thyrsis, Phyllis and Chloe had been fairly naturalised in
Spain, together with all the devices of pastoral poetry for investing
with an air of novelty the idea of a dispairing shepherd and inflexible
shepherdess. As a set-off against this, the old historical and
traditional ballads, and the true pastorals, the songs and ballads of
peasant life, were being collected assiduously and printed in the
cancioneros that succeeded one another with increasing rapidity. But the
most notable consequence, perhaps, of the spread of printing was the
flood of romances of chivalry that had continued to pour from the press
ever since Garci Ordonez de Montalvo had resuscitated "Amadis of Gaul" at
the beginning of the century.

For a youth fond of reading, solid or light, there could have been no
better spot in Spain than Alcala de Henares in the middle of the
sixteenth century. It was then a busy, populous university town,
something more than the enterprising rival of Salamanca, and altogether a
very different place from the melancholy, silent, deserted Alcala the
traveller sees now as he goes from Madrid to Saragossa. Theology and
medicine may have been the strong points of the university, but the town
itself seems to have inclined rather to the humanities and light
literature, and as a producer of books Alcala was already beginning to
compete with the older presses of Toledo, Burgos, Salamanca and Seville.

A pendant to the picture Cervantes has given us of his first playgoings
might, no doubt, have been often seen in the streets of Alcala at that
time; a bright, eager, tawny-haired boy peering into a book-shop where
the latest volumes lay open to tempt the public, wondering, it may be,
what that little book with the woodcut of the blind beggar and his boy,
that called itself "Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes, segunda impresion,"
could be about; or with eyes brimming over with merriment gazing at one
of those preposterous portraits of a knight-errant in outrageous panoply
and plumes with which the publishers of chivalry romances loved to
embellish the title-pages of their folios. If the boy was the father of
the man, the sense of the incongruous that was strong at fifty was lively
at ten, and some such reflections as these may have been the true genesis
of "Don Quixote."

For his more solid education, we are told, he went to Salamanca. But why
Rodrigo de Cervantes, who was very poor, should have sent his son to a
university a hundred and fifty miles away when he had one at his own
door, would be a puzzle, if we had any reason for supposing that he did
so. The only evidence is a vague statement by Professor Tomas Gonzalez,
that he once saw an old entry of the matriculation of a Miguel de
Cervantes. This does not appear to have been ever seen again; but even if
it had, and if the date corresponded, it would prove nothing, as there
were at least two other Miguels born about the middle of the century; one
of them, moreover, a Cervantes Saavedra, a cousin, no doubt, who was a
source of great embarrassment to the biographers.

That he was a student neither at Salamanca nor at Alcala is best proved
by his own works. No man drew more largely upon experience than he did,
and he has nowhere left a single reminiscence of student life-for the
"Tia Fingida," if it be his, is not one--nothing, not even "a college
joke," to show that he remembered days that most men remember best. All
that we know positively about his education is that Juan Lopez de Hoyos,
a professor of humanities and belles-lettres of some eminence, calls him
his "dear and beloved pupil." This was in a little collection of verses
by different hands on the death of Isabel de Valois, second queen of
Philip II, published by the professor in 1569, to which Cervantes
contributed four pieces, including an elegy, and an epitaph in the form
of a sonnet. It is only by a rare chance that a "Lycidas" finds its way
into a volume of this sort, and Cervantes was no Milton. His verses are
no worse than such things usually are; so much, at least, may be said for

By the time the book appeared he had left Spain, and, as fate ordered it,
for twelve years, the most eventful ones of his life. Giulio, afterwards
Cardinal, Acquaviva had been sent at the end of 1568 to Philip II by the
Pope on a mission, partly of condolence, partly political, and on his
return to Rome, which was somewhat brusquely expedited by the King, he
took Cervantes with him as his camarero (chamberlain), the office he
himself held in the Pope's household. The post would no doubt have led to
advancement at the Papal Court had Cervantes retained it, but in the
summer of 1570 he resigned it and enlisted as a private soldier in
Captain Diego Urbina's company, belonging to Don Miguel de Moncada's
regiment, but at that time forming a part of the command of Marc Antony
Colonna. What impelled him to this step we know not, whether it was
distaste for the career before him, or purely military enthusiasm. It may
well have been the latter, for it was a stirring time; the events,
however, which led to the alliance between Spain, Venice, and the Pope,
against the common enemy, the Porte, and to the victory of the combined
fleets at Lepanto, belong rather to the history of Europe than to the
life of Cervantes. He was one of those that sailed from Messina, in
September 1571, under the command of Don John of Austria; but on the
morning of the 7th of October, when the Turkish fleet was sighted, he was
lying below ill with fever. At the news that the enemy was in sight he
rose, and, in spite of the remonstrances of his comrades and superiors,
insisted on taking his post, saying he preferred death in the service of
God and the King to health. His galley, the Marquesa, was in the thick of
the fight, and before it was over he had received three gunshot wounds,
two in the breast and one in the left hand or arm. On the morning after
the battle, according to Navarrete, he had an interview with the
commander-in-chief, Don John, who was making a personal inspection of the
wounded, one result of which was an addition of three crowns to his pay,
and another, apparently, the friendship of his general.

How severely Cervantes was wounded may be inferred from the fact, that
with youth, a vigorous frame, and as cheerful and buoyant a temperament
as ever invalid had, he was seven months in hospital at Messina before he
was discharged. He came out with his left hand permanently disabled; he
had lost the use of it, as Mercury told him in the "Viaje del Parnaso"
for the greater glory of the right. This, however, did not absolutely
unfit him for service, and in April 1572 he joined Manuel Ponce de Leon's
company of Lope de Figueroa's regiment, in which, it seems probable, his
brother Rodrigo was serving, and shared in the operations of the next
three years, including the capture of the Goletta and Tunis. Taking
advantage of the lull which followed the recapture of these places by the
Turks, he obtained leave to return to Spain, and sailed from Naples in
September 1575 on board the Sun galley, in company with his brother
Rodrigo, Pedro Carrillo de Quesada, late Governor of the Goletta, and
some others, and furnished with letters from Don John of Austria and the
Duke of Sesa, the Viceroy of Sicily, recommending him to the King for the
command of a company, on account of his services; a dono infelice as
events proved. On the 26th they fell in with a squadron of Algerine
galleys, and after a stout resistance were overpowered and carried into

By means of a ransomed fellow-captive the brothers contrived to inform
their family of their condition, and the poor people at Alcala at once
strove to raise the ransom money, the father disposing of all he
possessed, and the two sisters giving up their marriage portions. But
Dali Mami had found on Cervantes the letters addressed to the King by Don
John and the Duke of Sesa, and, concluding that his prize must be a
person of great consequence, when the money came he refused it scornfully
as being altogether insufficient. The owner of Rodrigo, however, was more
easily satisfied; ransom was accepted in his case, and it was arranged
between the brothers that he should return to Spain and procure a vessel
in which he was to come back to Algiers and take off Miguel and as many
of their comrades as possible. This was not the first attempt to escape
that Cervantes had made. Soon after the commencement of his captivity he
induced several of his companions to join him in trying to reach Oran,
then a Spanish post, on foot; but after the first day's journey, the Moor
who had agreed to act as their guide deserted them, and they had no
choice but to return. The second attempt was more disastrous. In a garden
outside the city on the sea-shore, he constructed, with the help of the
gardener, a Spaniard, a hiding-place, to which he brought, one by one,
fourteen of his fellow-captives, keeping them there in secrecy for
several months, and supplying them with food through a renegade known as
El Dorador, "the Gilder." How he, a captive himself, contrived to do all
this, is one of the mysteries of the story. Wild as the project may
appear, it was very nearly successful. The vessel procured by Rodrigo
made its appearance off the coast, and under cover of night was
proceeding to take off the refugees, when the crew were alarmed by a
passing fishing boat, and beat a hasty retreat. On renewing the attempt
shortly afterwards, they, or a portion of them at least, were taken
prisoners, and just as the poor fellows in the garden were exulting in
the thought that in a few moments more freedom would be within their
grasp, they found themselves surrounded by Turkish troops, horse and
foot. The Dorador had revealed the whole scheme to the Dey Hassan.

When Cervantes saw what had befallen them, he charged his companions to
lay all the blame upon him, and as they were being bound he declared
aloud that the whole plot was of his contriving, and that nobody else had
any share in it. Brought before the Dey, he said the same. He was
threatened with impalement and with torture; and as cutting off ears and
noses were playful freaks with the Algerines, it may be conceived what
their tortures were like; but nothing could make him swerve from his
original statement that he and he alone was responsible. The upshot was
that the unhappy gardener was hanged by his master, and the prisoners
taken possession of by the Dey, who, however, afterwards restored most of
them to their masters, but kept Cervantes, paying Dali Mami 500 crowns
for him. He felt, no doubt, that a man of such resource, energy, and
daring, was too dangerous a piece of property to be left in private
hands; and he had him heavily ironed and lodged in his own prison. If he
thought that by these means he could break the spirit or shake the
resolution of his prisoner, he was soon undeceived, for Cervantes
contrived before long to despatch a letter to the Governor of Oran,
entreating him to send him some one that could be trusted, to enable him
and three other gentlemen, fellow-captives of his, to make their escape;
intending evidently to renew his first attempt with a more trustworthy
guide. Unfortunately the Moor who carried the letter was stopped just
outside Oran, and the letter being found upon him, he was sent back to
Algiers, where by the order of the Dey he was promptly impaled as a
warning to others, while Cervantes was condemned to receive two thousand
blows of the stick, a number which most likely would have deprived the
world of "Don Quixote," had not some persons, who they were we know not,
interceded on his behalf.

After this he seems to have been kept in still closer confinement than
before, for nearly two years passed before he made another attempt. This
time his plan was to purchase, by the aid of a Spanish renegade and two
Valencian merchants resident in Algiers, an armed vessel in which he and
about sixty of the leading captives were to make their escape; but just
as they were about to put it into execution one Doctor Juan Blanco de
Paz, an ecclesiastic and a compatriot, informed the Dey of the plot.
Cervantes by force of character, by his self-devotion, by his untiring
energy and his exertions to lighten the lot of his companions in misery,
had endeared himself to all, and become the leading spirit in the captive
colony, and, incredible as it may seem, jealousy of his influence and the
esteem in which he was held, moved this man to compass his destruction by
a cruel death. The merchants finding that the Dey knew all, and fearing
that Cervantes under torture might make disclosures that would imperil
their own lives, tried to persuade him to slip away on board a vessel
that was on the point of sailing for Spain; but he told them they had
nothing to fear, for no tortures would make him compromise anybody, and
he went at once and gave himself up to the Dey.

As before, the Dey tried to force him to name his accomplices. Everything
was made ready for his immediate execution; the halter was put round his
neck and his hands tied behind him, but all that could be got from him
was that he himself, with the help of four gentlemen who had since left
Algiers, had arranged the whole, and that the sixty who were to accompany
him were not to know anything of it until the last moment. Finding he
could make nothing of him, the Dey sent him back to prison more heavily
ironed than before.

The poverty-stricken Cervantes family had been all this time trying once
more to raise the ransom money, and at last a sum of three hundred ducats
was got together and entrusted to the Redemptorist Father Juan Gil, who
was about to sail for Algiers. The Dey, however, demanded more than
double the sum offered, and as his term of office had expired and he was
about to sail for Constantinople, taking all his slaves with him, the
case of Cervantes was critical. He was already on board heavily ironed,
when the Dey at length agreed to reduce his demand by one-half, and
Father Gil by borrowing was able to make up the amount, and on September
19, 1580, after a captivity of five years all but a week, Cervantes was
at last set free. Before long he discovered that Blanco de Paz, who
claimed to be an officer of the Inquisition, was now concocting on false
evidence a charge of misconduct to be brought against him on his return
to Spain. To checkmate him Cervantes drew up a series of twenty-five
questions, covering the whole period of his captivity, upon which he
requested Father Gil to take the depositions of credible witnesses before
a notary. Eleven witnesses taken from among the principal captives in
Algiers deposed to all the facts above stated and to a great deal more
besides. There is something touching in the admiration, love, and
gratitude we see struggling to find expression in the formal language of
the notary, as they testify one after another to the good deeds of
Cervantes, how he comforted and helped the weak-hearted, how he kept up
their drooping courage, how he shared his poor purse with this deponent,
and how "in him this deponent found father and mother."

On his return to Spain he found his old regiment about to march for
Portugal to support Philip's claim to the crown, and utterly penniless
now, had no choice but to rejoin it. He was in the expeditions to the
Azores in 1582 and the following year, and on the conclusion of the war
returned to Spain in the autumn of 1583, bringing with him the manuscript
of his pastoral romance, the "Galatea," and probably also, to judge by
internal evidence, that of the first portion of "Persiles and
Sigismunda." He also brought back with him, his biographers assert, an
infant daughter, the offspring of an amour, as some of them with great
circumstantiality inform us, with a Lisbon lady of noble birth, whose
name, however, as well as that of the street she lived in, they omit to
mention. The sole foundation for all this is that in 1605 there certainly
was living in the family of Cervantes a Dona Isabel de Saavedra, who is
described in an official document as his natural daughter, and then
twenty years of age.

With his crippled left hand promotion in the army was hopeless, now that
Don John was dead and he had no one to press his claims and services, and
for a man drawing on to forty life in the ranks was a dismal prospect; he
had already a certain reputation as a poet; he made up his mind,
therefore, to cast his lot with literature, and for a first venture
committed his "Galatea" to the press. It was published, as Salva y Mallen
shows conclusively, at Alcala, his own birth-place, in 1585 and no doubt
helped to make his name more widely known, but certainly did not do him
much good in any other way.

While it was going through the press, he married Dona Catalina de
Palacios Salazar y Vozmediano, a lady of Esquivias near Madrid, and
apparently a friend of the family, who brought him a fortune which may
possibly have served to keep the wolf from the door, but if so, that was
all. The drama had by this time outgrown market-place stages and
strolling companies, and with his old love for it he naturally turned to
it for a congenial employment. In about three years he wrote twenty or
thirty plays, which he tells us were performed without any throwing of
cucumbers or other missiles, and ran their course without any hisses,
outcries, or disturbance. In other words, his plays were not bad enough
to be hissed off the stage, but not good enough to hold their own upon
it. Only two of them have been preserved, but as they happen to be two of
the seven or eight he mentions with complacency, we may assume they are
favourable specimens, and no one who reads the "Numancia" and the "Trato
de Argel" will feel any surprise that they failed as acting dramas.
Whatever merits they may have, whatever occasional they may show, they
are, as regards construction, incurably clumsy. How completely they
failed is manifest from the fact that with all his sanguine temperament
and indomitable perseverance he was unable to maintain the struggle to
gain a livelihood as a dramatist for more than three years; nor was the
rising popularity of Lope the cause, as is often said, notwithstanding
his own words to the contrary. When Lope began to write for the stage is
uncertain, but it was certainly after Cervantes went to Seville.

Among the "Nuevos Documentos" printed by Senor Asensio y Toledo is one
dated 1592, and curiously characteristic of Cervantes. It is an agreement
with one Rodrigo Osorio, a manager, who was to accept six comedies at
fifty ducats (about 6l.) apiece, not to be paid in any case unless it
appeared on representation that the said comedy was one of the best that
had ever been represented in Spain. The test does not seem to have been
ever applied; perhaps it was sufficiently apparent to Rodrigo Osorio that
the comedies were not among the best that had ever been represented.
Among the correspondence of Cervantes there might have been found, no
doubt, more than one letter like that we see in the "Rake's Progress,"
"Sir, I have read your play, and it will not doo."

He was more successful in a literary contest at Saragossa in 1595 in
honour of the canonisation of St. Jacinto, when his composition won the
first prize, three silver spoons. The year before this he had been
appointed a collector of revenues for the kingdom of Granada. In order to
remit the money he had collected more conveniently to the treasury, he
entrusted it to a merchant, who failed and absconded; and as the
bankrupt's assets were insufficient to cover the whole, he was sent to
prison at Seville in September 1597. The balance against him, however,
was a small one, about 26l., and on giving security for it he was
released at the end of the year.

It was as he journeyed from town to town collecting the king's taxes,
that he noted down those bits of inn and wayside life and character that
abound in the pages of "Don Quixote:" the Benedictine monks with
spectacles and sunshades, mounted on their tall mules; the strollers in
costume bound for the next village; the barber with his basin on his
head, on his way to bleed a patient; the recruit with his breeches in his
bundle, tramping along the road singing; the reapers gathered in the
venta gateway listening to "Felixmarte of Hircania" read out to them; and
those little Hogarthian touches that he so well knew how to bring in, the
ox-tail hanging up with the landlord's comb stuck in it, the wine-skins
at the bed-head, and those notable examples of hostelry art, Helen going
off in high spirits on Paris's arm, and Dido on the tower dropping tears
as big as walnuts. Nay, it may well be that on those journeys into remote
regions he came across now and then a specimen of the pauper gentleman,
with his lean hack and his greyhound and his books of chivalry, dreaming
away his life in happy ignorance that the world had changed since his
great-grandfather's old helmet was new. But it was in Seville that he
found out his true vocation, though he himself would not by any means
have admitted it to be so. It was there, in Triana, that he was first
tempted to try his hand at drawing from life, and first brought his
humour into play in the exquisite little sketch of "Rinconete y
Cortadillo," the germ, in more ways than one, of "Don Quixote."

Where and when that was written, we cannot tell. After his imprisonment
all trace of Cervantes in his official capacity disappears, from which it
may be inferred that he was not reinstated. That he was still in Seville
in November 1598 appears from a satirical sonnet of his on the elaborate
catafalque erected to testify the grief of the city at the death of
Philip II, but from this up to 1603 we have no clue to his movements. The
words in the preface to the First Part of "Don Quixote" are generally
held to be conclusive that he conceived the idea of the book, and wrote
the beginning of it at least, in a prison, and that he may have done so
is extremely likely.

There is a tradition that Cervantes read some portions of his work to a
select audience at the Duke of Bejar's, which may have helped to make the
book known; but the obvious conclusion is that the First Part of "Don
Quixote" lay on his hands some time before he could find a publisher bold
enough to undertake a venture of so novel a character; and so little
faith in it had Francisco Robles of Madrid, to whom at last he sold it,
that he did not care to incur the expense of securing the copyright for
Aragon or Portugal, contenting himself with that for Castile. The
printing was finished in December, and the book came out with the new
year, 1605. It is often said that "Don Quixote" was at first received
coldly. The facts show just the contrary. No sooner was it in the hands
of the public than preparations were made to issue pirated editions at
Lisbon and Valencia, and to bring out a second edition with the
additional copyrights for Aragon and Portugal, which he secured in

No doubt it was received with something more than coldness by certain
sections of the community. Men of wit, taste, and discrimination among
the aristocracy gave it a hearty welcome, but the aristocracy in general
were not likely to relish a book that turned their favourite reading into
ridicule and laughed at so many of their favourite ideas. The dramatists
who gathered round Lope as their leader regarded Cervantes as their
common enemy, and it is plain that he was equally obnoxious to the other
clique, the culto poets who had Gongora for their chief. Navarrete, who
knew nothing of the letter above mentioned, tries hard to show that the
relations between Cervantes and Lope were of a very friendly sort, as
indeed they were until "Don Quixote" was written. Cervantes, indeed, to
the last generously and manfully declared his admiration of Lope's
powers, his unfailing invention, and his marvellous fertility; but in the
preface of the First Part of "Don Quixote" and in the verses of "Urganda
the Unknown," and one or two other places, there are, if we read between
the lines, sly hits at Lope's vanities and affectations that argue no
personal good-will; and Lope openly sneers at "Don Quixote" and
Cervantes, and fourteen years after his death gives him only a few lines
of cold commonplace in the "Laurel de Apolo," that seem all the colder
for the eulogies of a host of nonentities whose names are found nowhere

In 1601 Valladolid was made the seat of the Court, and at the beginning
of 1603 Cervantes had been summoned thither in connection with the
balance due by him to the Treasury, which was still outstanding. He
remained at Valladolid, apparently supporting himself by agencies and
scrivener's work of some sort; probably drafting petitions and drawing up
statements of claims to be presented to the Council, and the like. So, at
least, we gather from the depositions taken on the occasion of the death
of a gentleman, the victim of a street brawl, who had been carried into
the house in which he lived. In these he himself is described as a man
who wrote and transacted business, and it appears that his household then
consisted of his wife, the natural daughter Isabel de Saavedra already
mentioned, his sister Andrea, now a widow, her daughter Constanza, a
mysterious Magdalena de Sotomayor calling herself his sister, for whom
his biographers cannot account, and a servant-maid.

Meanwhile "Don Quixote" had been growing in favour, and its author's name
was now known beyond the Pyrenees. In 1607 an edition was printed at
Brussels. Robles, the Madrid publisher, found it necessary to meet the
demand by a third edition, the seventh in all, in 1608. The popularity of
the book in Italy was such that a Milan bookseller was led to bring out
an edition in 1610; and another was called for in Brussels in 1611. It
might naturally have been expected that, with such proofs before him that
he had hit the taste of the public, Cervantes would have at once set
about redeeming his rather vague promise of a second volume.

But, to all appearance, nothing was farther from his thoughts. He had
still by him one or two short tales of the same vintage as those he had
inserted in "Don Quixote" and instead of continuing the adventures of Don
Quixote, he set to work to write more of these "Novelas Exemplares" as he
afterwards called them, with a view to making a book of them.

The novels were published in the summer of 1613, with a dedication to the
Conde de Lemos, the Maecenas of the day, and with one of those chatty
confidential prefaces Cervantes was so fond of. In this, eight years and
a half after the First Part of "Don Quixote" had appeared, we get the
first hint of a forthcoming Second Part. "You shall see shortly," he
says, "the further exploits of Don Quixote and humours of Sancho Panza."
His idea of "shortly" was a somewhat elastic one, for, as we know by the
date to Sancho's letter, he had barely one-half of the book completed
that time twelvemonth.

But more than poems, or pastorals, or novels, it was his dramatic
ambition that engrossed his thoughts. The same indomitable spirit that
kept him from despair in the bagnios of Algiers, and prompted him to
attempt the escape of himself and his comrades again and again, made him
persevere in spite of failure and discouragement in his efforts to win
the ear of the public as a dramatist. The temperament of Cervantes was
essentially sanguine. The portrait he draws in the preface to the novels,
with the aquiline features, chestnut hair, smooth untroubled forehead,
and bright cheerful eyes, is the very portrait of a sanguine man. Nothing
that the managers might say could persuade him that the merits of his
plays would not be recognised at last if they were only given a fair
chance. The old soldier of the Spanish Salamis was bent on being the
Aeschylus of Spain. He was to found a great national drama, based on the
true principles of art, that was to be the envy of all nations; he was to
drive from the stage the silly, childish plays, the "mirrors of nonsense
and models of folly" that were in vogue through the cupidity of the
managers and shortsightedness of the authors; he was to correct and
educate the public taste until it was ripe for tragedies on the model of
the Greek drama--like the "Numancia" for instance--and comedies that
would not only amuse but improve and instruct. All this he was to do,
could he once get a hearing: there was the initial difficulty.

He shows plainly enough, too, that "Don Quixote" and the demolition of
the chivalry romances was not the work that lay next his heart. He was,
indeed, as he says himself in his preface, more a stepfather than a
father to "Don Quixote." Never was great work so neglected by its author.
That it was written carelessly, hastily, and by fits and starts, was not
always his fault, but it seems clear he never read what he sent to the
press. He knew how the printers had blundered, but he never took the
trouble to correct them when the third edition was in progress, as a man
who really cared for the child of his brain would have done. He appears
to have regarded the book as little more than a mere libro de
entretenimiento, an amusing book, a thing, as he says in the "Viaje," "to
divert the melancholy moody heart at any time or season." No doubt he had
an affection for his hero, and was very proud of Sancho Panza. It would
have been strange indeed if he had not been proud of the most humorous
creation in all fiction. He was proud, too, of the popularity and success
of the book, and beyond measure delightful is the naivete with which he
shows his pride in a dozen passages in the Second Part. But it was not
the success he coveted. In all probability he would have given all the
success of "Don Quixote," nay, would have seen every copy of "Don
Quixote" burned in the Plaza Mayor, for one such success as Lope de Vega
was enjoying on an average once a week.

And so he went on, dawdling over "Don Quixote," adding a chapter now and
again, and putting it aside to turn to "Persiles and Sigismunda"--which,
as we know, was to be the most entertaining book in the language, and the
rival of "Theagenes and Chariclea"--or finishing off one of his darling
comedies; and if Robles asked when "Don Quixote" would be ready, the
answer no doubt was: En breve-shortly, there was time enough for that. At
sixty-eight he was as full of life and hope and plans for the future as a
boy of eighteen.

Nemesis was coming, however. He had got as far as Chapter LIX, which at
his leisurely pace he could hardly have reached before October or
November 1614, when there was put into his hand a small octave lately
printed at Tarragona, and calling itself "Second Volume of the Ingenious
Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha: by the Licentiate Alonso Fernandez de
Avellaneda of Tordesillas." The last half of Chapter LIX and most of the
following chapters of the Second Part give us some idea of the effect
produced upon him, and his irritation was not likely to be lessened by
the reflection that he had no one to blame but himself. Had Avellaneda,
in fact, been content with merely bringing out a continuation to "Don
Quixote," Cervantes would have had no reasonable grievance. His own
intentions were expressed in the very vaguest language at the end of the
book; nay, in his last words, "forse altro cantera con miglior plettro,"
he seems actually to invite some one else to continue the work, and he
made no sign until eight years and a half had gone by; by which time
Avellaneda's volume was no doubt written.

In fact Cervantes had no case, or a very bad one, as far as the mere
continuation was concerned. But Avellaneda chose to write a preface to
it, full of such coarse personal abuse as only an ill-conditioned man
could pour out. He taunts Cervantes with being old, with having lost his
hand, with having been in prison, with being poor, with being friendless,
accuses him of envy of Lope's success, of petulance and querulousness,
and so on; and it was in this that the sting lay. Avellaneda's reason for
this personal attack is obvious enough. Whoever he may have been, it is
clear that he was one of the dramatists of Lope's school, for he has the
impudence to charge Cervantes with attacking him as well as Lope in his
criticism on the drama. His identification has exercised the best critics
and baffled all the ingenuity and research that has been brought to bear
on it. Navarrete and Ticknor both incline to the belief that Cervantes
knew who he was; but I must say I think the anger he shows suggests an
invisible assailant; it is like the irritation of a man stung by a
mosquito in the dark. Cervantes from certain solecisms of language
pronounces him to be an Aragonese, and Pellicer, an Aragonese himself,
supports this view and believes him, moreover, to have been an
ecclesiastic, a Dominican probably.

Any merit Avellaneda has is reflected from Cervantes, and he is too dull
to reflect much. "Dull and dirty" will always be, I imagine, the verdict
of the vast majority of unprejudiced readers. He is, at best, a poor
plagiarist; all he can do is to follow slavishly the lead given him by
Cervantes; his only humour lies in making Don Quixote take inns for
castles and fancy himself some legendary or historical personage, and
Sancho mistake words, invert proverbs, and display his gluttony; all
through he shows a proclivity to coarseness and dirt, and he has
contrived to introduce two tales filthier than anything by the sixteenth
century novellieri and without their sprightliness.

But whatever Avellaneda and his book may be, we must not forget the debt
we owe them. But for them, there can be no doubt, "Don Quixote" would
have come to us a mere torso instead of a complete work. Even if
Cervantes had finished the volume he had in hand, most assuredly he would
have left off with a promise of a Third Part, giving the further
adventures of Don Quixote and humours of Sancho Panza as shepherds. It is
plain that he had at one time an intention of dealing with the pastoral
romances as he had dealt with the books of chivalry, and but for
Avellaneda he would have tried to carry it out. But it is more likely
that, with his plans, and projects, and hopefulness, the volume would
have remained unfinished till his death, and that we should have never
made the acquaintance of the Duke and Duchess, or gone with Sancho to

From the moment the book came into his hands he seems to have been
haunted by the fear that there might be more Avellanedas in the field,
and putting everything else aside, he set himself to finish off his task
and protect Don Quixote in the only way he could, by killing him. The
conclusion is no doubt a hasty and in some places clumsy piece of work
and the frequent repetition of the scolding administered to Avellaneda
becomes in the end rather wearisome; but it is, at any rate, a conclusion
and for that we must thank Avellaneda.

The new volume was ready for the press in February, but was not printed
till the very end of 1615, and during the interval Cervantes put together
the comedies and interludes he had written within the last few years,
and, as he adds plaintively, found no demand for among the managers, and
published them with a preface, worth the book it introduces tenfold, in
which he gives an account of the early Spanish stage, and of his own
attempts as a dramatist. It is needless to say they were put forward by
Cervantes in all good faith and full confidence in their merits. The
reader, however, was not to suppose they were his last word or final
effort in the drama, for he had in hand a comedy called "Engano a los
ojos," about which, if he mistook not, there would be no question.

Of this dramatic masterpiece the world has no opportunity of judging; his
health had been failing for some time, and he died, apparently of dropsy,
on the 23rd of April, 1616, the day on which England lost Shakespeare,
nominally at least, for the English calendar had not yet been reformed.
He died as he had lived, accepting his lot bravely and cheerfully.

Was it an unhappy life, that of Cervantes? His biographers all tell us
that it was; but I must say I doubt it. It was a hard life, a life of
poverty, of incessant struggle, of toil ill paid, of disappointment, but
Cervantes carried within himself the antidote to all these evils. His was
not one of those light natures that rise above adversity merely by virtue
of their own buoyancy; it was in the fortitude of a high spirit that he
was proof against it. It is impossible to conceive Cervantes giving way
to despondency or prostrated by dejection. As for poverty, it was with
him a thing to be laughed over, and the only sigh he ever allows to
escape him is when he says, "Happy he to whom Heaven has given a piece of
bread for which he is not bound to give thanks to any but Heaven itself."
Add to all this his vital energy and mental activity, his restless
invention and his sanguine temperament, and there will be reason enough
to doubt whether his could have been a very unhappy life. He who could
take Cervantes' distresses together with his apparatus for enduring them
would not make so bad a bargain, perhaps, as far as happiness in life is

Of his burial-place nothing is known except that he was buried, in
accordance with his will, in the neighbouring convent of Trinitarian
nuns, of which it is supposed his daughter, Isabel de Saavedra, was an
inmate, and that a few years afterwards the nuns removed to another
convent, carrying their dead with them. But whether the remains of
Cervantes were included in the removal or not no one knows, and the clue
to their resting-place is now lost beyond all hope. This furnishes
perhaps the least defensible of the items in the charge of neglect
brought against his contemporaries. In some of the others there is a good
deal of exaggeration. To listen to most of his biographers one would
suppose that all Spain was in league not only against the man but against
his memory, or at least that it was insensible to his merits, and left
him to live in misery and die of want. To talk of his hard life and
unworthy employments in Andalusia is absurd. What had he done to
distinguish him from thousands of other struggling men earning a
precarious livelihood? True, he was a gallant soldier, who had been
wounded and had undergone captivity and suffering in his country's cause,
but there were hundreds of others in the same case. He had written a
mediocre specimen of an insipid class of romance, and some plays which
manifestly did not comply with the primary condition of pleasing: were
the playgoers to patronise plays that did not amuse them, because the
author was to produce "Don Quixote" twenty years afterwards?

The scramble for copies which, as we have seen, followed immediately on
the appearance of the book, does not look like general insensibility to
its merits. No doubt it was received coldly by some, but if a man writes
a book in ridicule of periwigs he must make his account with being coldly
received by the periwig wearers and hated by the whole tribe of
wigmakers. If Cervantes had the chivalry-romance readers, the
sentimentalists, the dramatists, and the poets of the period all against
him, it was because "Don Quixote" was what it was; and if the general
public did not come forward to make him comfortable for the rest of his
days, it is no more to be charged with neglect and ingratitude than the
English-speaking public that did not pay off Scott's liabilities. It did
the best it could; it read his book and liked it and bought it, and
encouraged the bookseller to pay him well for others.

It has been also made a reproach to Spain that she has erected no
monument to the man she is proudest of; no monument, that is to say, of
him; for the bronze statue in the little garden of the Plaza de las
Cortes, a fair work of art no doubt, and unexceptionable had it been set
up to the local poet in the market-place of some provincial town, is not
worthy of Cervantes or of Madrid. But what need has Cervantes of "such
weak witness of his name;" or what could a monument do in his case except
testify to the self-glorification of those who had put it up? Si
monumentum quoeris, circumspice. The nearest bookseller's shop will show
what bathos there would be in a monument to the author of "Don Quixote."

Nine editions of the First Part of "Don Quixote" had already appeared
before Cervantes died, thirty thousand copies in all, according to his
own estimate, and a tenth was printed at Barcelona the year after his
death. So large a number naturally supplied the demand for some time, but
by 1634 it appears to have been exhausted; and from that time down to the
present day the stream of editions has continued to flow rapidly and
regularly. The translations show still more clearly in what request the
book has been from the very outset. In seven years from the completion of
the work it had been translated into the four leading languages of
Europe. Except the Bible, in fact, no book has been so widely diffused as
"Don Quixote." The "Imitatio Christi" may have been translated into as
many different languages, and perhaps "Robinson Crusoe" and the "Vicar of
Wakefield" into nearly as many, but in multiplicity of translations and
editions "Don Quixote" leaves them all far behind.

Still more remarkable is the character of this wide diffusion. "Don
Quixote" has been thoroughly naturalised among people whose ideas about
knight-errantry, if they had any at all, were of the vaguest, who had
never seen or heard of a book of chivalry, who could not possibly feel
the humour of the burlesque or sympathise with the author's purpose.
Another curious fact is that this, the most cosmopolitan book in the
world, is one of the most intensely national. "Manon Lescaut" is not more
thoroughly French, "Tom Jones" not more English, "Rob Roy" not more
Scotch, than "Don Quixote" is Spanish, in character, in ideas, in
sentiment, in local colour, in everything. What, then, is the secret of
this unparalleled popularity, increasing year by year for well-nigh three
centuries? One explanation, no doubt, is that of all the books in the
world, "Don Quixote" is the most catholic. There is something in it for
every sort of reader, young or old, sage or simple, high or low. As
Cervantes himself says with a touch of pride, "It is thumbed and read and
got by heart by people of all sorts; the children turn its leaves, the
young people read it, the grown men understand it, the old folk praise

But it would be idle to deny that the ingredient which, more than its
humour, or its wisdom, or the fertility of invention or knowledge of
human nature it displays, has insured its success with the multitude, is
the vein of farce that runs through it. It was the attack upon the sheep,
the battle with the wine-skins, Mambrino's helmet, the balsam of
Fierabras, Don Quixote knocked over by the sails of the windmill, Sancho
tossed in the blanket, the mishaps and misadventures of master and man,
that were originally the great attraction, and perhaps are so still to
some extent with the majority of readers. It is plain that "Don Quixote"
was generally regarded at first, and indeed in Spain for a long time, as
little more than a queer droll book, full of laughable incidents and
absurd situations, very amusing, but not entitled to much consideration
or care. All the editions printed in Spain from 1637 to 1771, when the
famous printer Ibarra took it up, were mere trade editions, badly and
carelessly printed on vile paper and got up in the style of chap-books
intended only for popular use, with, in most instances, uncouth
illustrations and clap-trap additions by the publisher.

To England belongs the credit of having been the first country to
recognise the right of "Don Quixote" to better treatment than this. The
London edition of 1738, commonly called Lord Carteret's from having been
suggested by him, was not a mere edition de luxe. It produced "Don
Quixote" in becoming form as regards paper and type, and embellished with
plates which, if not particularly happy as illustrations, were at least
well intentioned and well executed, but it also aimed at correctness of
text, a matter to which nobody except the editors of the Valencia and
Brussels editions had given even a passing thought; and for a first
attempt it was fairly successful, for though some of its emendations are
inadmissible, a good many of them have been adopted by all subsequent

The zeal of publishers, editors, and annotators brought about a
remarkable change of sentiment with regard to "Don Quixote." A vast
number of its admirers began to grow ashamed of laughing over it. It
became almost a crime to treat it as a humorous book. The humour was not
entirely denied, but, according to the new view, it was rated as an
altogether secondary quality, a mere accessory, nothing more than the
stalking-horse under the presentation of which Cervantes shot his
philosophy or his satire, or whatever it was he meant to shoot; for on
this point opinions varied. All were agreed, however, that the object he
aimed at was not the books of chivalry. He said emphatically in the
preface to the First Part and in the last sentence of the Second, that he
had no other object in view than to discredit these books, and this, to
advanced criticism, made it clear that his object must have been
something else.

One theory was that the book was a kind of allegory, setting forth the
eternal struggle between the ideal and the real, between the spirit of
poetry and the spirit of prose; and perhaps German philosophy never
evolved a more ungainly or unlikely camel out of the depths of its inner
consciousness. Something of the antagonism, no doubt, is to be found in
"Don Quixote," because it is to be found everywhere in life, and
Cervantes drew from life. It is difficult to imagine a community in which
the never-ceasing game of cross-purposes between Sancho Panza and Don
Quixote would not be recognized as true to nature. In the stone age,
among the lake dwellers, among the cave men, there were Don Quixotes and
Sancho Panzas; there must have been the troglodyte who never could see
the facts before his eyes, and the troglodyte who could see nothing else.
But to suppose Cervantes deliberately setting himself to expound any such
idea in two stout quarto volumes is to suppose something not only very
unlike the age in which he lived, but altogether unlike Cervantes
himself, who would have been the first to laugh at an attempt of the sort
made by anyone else.

The extraordinary influence of the romances of chivalry in his day is
quite enough to account for the genesis of the book. Some idea of the
prodigious development of this branch of literature in the sixteenth
century may be obtained from the scrutiny of Chapter VII, if the reader
bears in mind that only a portion of the romances belonging to by far the
largest group are enumerated. As to its effect upon the nation, there is
abundant evidence. From the time when the Amadises and Palmerins began to
grow popular down to the very end of the century, there is a steady
stream of invective, from men whose character and position lend weight to
their words, against the romances of chivalry and the infatuation of
their readers. Ridicule was the only besom to sweep away that dust.

That this was the task Cervantes set himself, and that he had ample
provocation to urge him to it, will be sufficiently clear to those who
look into the evidence; as it will be also that it was not chivalry
itself that he attacked and swept away. Of all the absurdities that,
thanks to poetry, will be repeated to the end of time, there is no
greater one than saying that "Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away." In
the first place there was no chivalry for him to smile away. Spain's
chivalry had been dead for more than a century. Its work was done when
Granada fell, and as chivalry was essentially republican in its nature,
it could not live under the rule that Ferdinand substituted for the free
institutions of mediaeval Spain. What he did smile away was not chivalry
but a degrading mockery of it.

The true nature of the "right arm" and the "bright array," before which,
according to the poet, "the world gave ground," and which Cervantes'
single laugh demolished, may be gathered from the words of one of his own
countrymen, Don Felix Pacheco, as reported by Captain George Carleton, in
his "Military Memoirs from 1672 to 1713." "Before the appearance in the
world of that labour of Cervantes," he said, "it was next to an
impossibility for a man to walk the streets with any delight or without
danger. There were seen so many cavaliers prancing and curvetting before
the windows of their mistresses, that a stranger would have imagined the
whole nation to have been nothing less than a race of knight-errants. But
after the world became a little acquainted with that notable history, the
man that was seen in that once celebrated drapery was pointed at as a Don
Quixote, and found himself the jest of high and low. And I verily believe
that to this, and this only, we owe that dampness and poverty of spirit
which has run through all our councils for a century past, so little
agreeable to those nobler actions of our famous ancestors."

To call "Don Quixote" a sad book, preaching a pessimist view of life,
argues a total misconception of its drift. It would be so if its moral
were that, in this world, true enthusiasm naturally leads to ridicule and
discomfiture. But it preaches nothing of the sort; its moral, so far as
it can be said to have one, is that the spurious enthusiasm that is born
of vanity and self-conceit, that is made an end in itself, not a means to
an end, that acts on mere impulse, regardless of circumstances and
consequences, is mischievous to its owner, and a very considerable
nuisance to the community at large. To those who cannot distinguish
between the one kind and the other, no doubt "Don Quixote" is a sad book;
no doubt to some minds it is very sad that a man who had just uttered so
beautiful a sentiment as that "it is a hard case to make slaves of those
whom God and Nature made free," should be ungratefully pelted by the
scoundrels his crazy philanthropy had let loose on society; but to others
of a more judicial cast it will be a matter of regret that reckless
self-sufficient enthusiasm is not oftener requited in some such way for
all the mischief it does in the world.

A very slight examination of the structure of "Don Quixote" will suffice
to show that Cervantes had no deep design or elaborate plan in his mind
when he began the book. When he wrote those lines in which "with a few
strokes of a great master he sets before us the pauper gentleman," he had
no idea of the goal to which his imagination was leading him. There can
be little doubt that all he contemplated was a short tale to range with
those he had already written, a tale setting forth the ludicrous results
that might be expected to follow the attempt of a crazy gentleman to act
the part of a knight-errant in modern life.

It is plain, for one thing, that Sancho Panza did not enter into the
original scheme, for had Cervantes thought of him he certainly would not
have omitted him in his hero's outfit, which he obviously meant to be
complete. Him we owe to the landlord's chance remark in Chapter III that
knights seldom travelled without squires. To try to think of a Don
Quixote without Sancho Panza is like trying to think of a one-bladed pair
of scissors.

The story was written at first, like the others, without any division and
without the intervention of Cide Hamete Benengeli; and it seems not
unlikely that Cervantes had some intention of bringing Dulcinea, or
Aldonza Lorenzo, on the scene in person. It was probably the ransacking
of the Don's library and the discussion on the books of chivalry that
first suggested it to him that his idea was capable of development. What,
if instead of a mere string of farcical misadventures, he were to make
his tale a burlesque of one of these books, caricaturing their style,
incidents, and spirit?

In pursuance of this change of plan, he hastily and somewhat clumsily
divided what he had written into chapters on the model of "Amadis,"
invented the fable of a mysterious Arabic manuscript, and set up Cide
Hamete Benengeli in imitation of the almost invariable practice of the
chivalry-romance authors, who were fond of tracing their books to some
recondite source. In working out the new ideas, he soon found the value
of Sancho Panza. Indeed, the keynote, not only to Sancho's part, but to
the whole book, is struck in the first words Sancho utters when he
announces his intention of taking his ass with him. "About the ass," we
are told, "Don Quixote hesitated a little, trying whether he could call
to mind any knight-errant taking with him an esquire mounted on ass-back;
but no instance occurred to his memory." We can see the whole scene at a
glance, the stolid unconsciousness of Sancho and the perplexity of his
master, upon whose perception the incongruity has just forced itself.
This is Sancho's mission throughout the book; he is an unconscious
Mephistopheles, always unwittingly making mockery of his master's
aspirations, always exposing the fallacy of his ideas by some
unintentional ad absurdum, always bringing him back to the world of fact
and commonplace by force of sheer stolidity.

By the time Cervantes had got his volume of novels off his hands, and
summoned up resolution enough to set about the Second Part in earnest,
the case was very much altered. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had not
merely found favour, but had already become, what they have never since
ceased to be, veritable entities to the popular imagination. There was no
occasion for him now to interpolate extraneous matter; nay, his readers
told him plainly that what they wanted of him was more Don Quixote and
more Sancho Panza, and not novels, tales, or digressions. To himself,
too, his creations had become realities, and he had become proud of them,
especially of Sancho. He began the Second Part, therefore, under very
different conditions, and the difference makes itself manifest at once.
Even in translation the style will be seen to be far easier, more
flowing, more natural, and more like that of a man sure of himself and of
his audience. Don Quixote and Sancho undergo a change also. In the First
Part, Don Quixote has no character or individuality whatever. He is
nothing more than a crazy representative of the sentiments of the
chivalry romances. In all that he says and does he is simply repeating
the lesson he has learned from his books; and therefore, it is absurd to
speak of him in the gushing strain of the sentimental critics when they
dilate upon his nobleness, disinterestedness, dauntless courage, and so
forth. It was the business of a knight-errant to right wrongs, redress
injuries, and succour the distressed, and this, as a matter of course, he
makes his business when he takes up the part; a knight-errant was bound
to be intrepid, and so he feels bound to cast fear aside. Of all Byron's
melodious nonsense about Don Quixote, the most nonsensical statement is
that "'t is his virtue makes him mad!" The exact opposite is the truth;
it is his madness makes him virtuous.

In the Second Part, Cervantes repeatedly reminds the reader, as if it was
a point upon which he was anxious there should be no mistake, that his
hero's madness is strictly confined to delusions on the subject of
chivalry, and that on every other subject he is discreto, one, in fact,
whose faculty of discernment is in perfect order. The advantage of this
is that he is enabled to make use of Don Quixote as a mouthpiece for his
own reflections, and so, without seeming to digress, allow himself the
relief of digression when he requires it, as freely as in a commonplace

It is true the amount of individuality bestowed upon Don Quixote is not
very great. There are some natural touches of character about him, such
as his mixture of irascibility and placability, and his curious affection
for Sancho together with his impatience of the squire's loquacity and
impertinence; but in the main, apart from his craze, he is little more
than a thoughtful, cultured gentleman, with instinctive good taste and a
great deal of shrewdness and originality of mind.

As to Sancho, it is plain, from the concluding words of the preface to
the First Part, that he was a favourite with his creator even before he
had been taken into favour by the public. An inferior genius, taking him
in hand a second time, would very likely have tried to improve him by
making him more comical, clever, amiable, or virtuous. But Cervantes was
too true an artist to spoil his work in this way. Sancho, when he
reappears, is the old Sancho with the old familiar features; but with a
difference; they have been brought out more distinctly, but at the same
time with a careful avoidance of anything like caricature; the outline
has been filled in where filling in was necessary, and, vivified by a few
touches of a master's hand, Sancho stands before us as he might in a
character portrait by Velazquez. He is a much more important and
prominent figure in the Second Part than in the First; indeed, it is his
matchless mendacity about Dulcinea that to a great extent supplies the
action of the story.

His development in this respect is as remarkable as in any other. In the
First Part he displays a great natural gift of lying. His lies are not of
the highly imaginative sort that liars in fiction commonly indulge in;
like Falstaff's, they resemble the father that begets them; they are
simple, homely, plump lies; plain working lies, in short. But in the
service of such a master as Don Quixote he develops rapidly, as we see
when he comes to palm off the three country wenches as Dulcinea and her
ladies in waiting. It is worth noticing how, flushed by his success in
this instance, he is tempted afterwards to try a flight beyond his powers
in his account of the journey on Clavileno.

In the Second Part it is the spirit rather than the incidents of the
chivalry romances that is the subject of the burlesque. Enchantments of
the sort travestied in those of Dulcinea and the Trifaldi and the cave of
Montesinos play a leading part in the later and inferior romances, and
another distinguishing feature is caricatured in Don Quixote's blind
adoration of Dulcinea. In the romances of chivalry love is either a mere
animalism or a fantastic idolatry. Only a coarse-minded man would care to
make merry with the former, but to one of Cervantes' humour the latter
was naturally an attractive subject for ridicule. Like everything else in
these romances, it is a gross exaggeration of the real sentiment of
chivalry, but its peculiar extravagance is probably due to the influence
of those masters of hyperbole, the Provencal poets. When a troubadour
professed his readiness to obey his lady in all things, he made it
incumbent upon the next comer, if he wished to avoid the imputation of
tameness and commonplace, to declare himself the slave of her will, which
the next was compelled to cap by some still stronger declaration; and so
expressions of devotion went on rising one above the other like biddings
at an auction, and a conventional language of gallantry and theory of
love came into being that in time permeated the literature of Southern
Europe, and bore fruit, in one direction in the transcendental worship of
Beatrice and Laura, and in another in the grotesque idolatry which found
exponents in writers like Feliciano de Silva. This is what Cervantes
deals with in Don Quixote's passion for Dulcinea, and in no instance has
he carried out the burlesque more happily. By keeping Dulcinea in the
background, and making her a vague shadowy being of whose very existence
we are left in doubt, he invests Don Quixote's worship of her virtues and
charms with an additional extravagance, and gives still more point to the
caricature of the sentiment and language of the romances.

One of the great merits of "Don Quixote," and one of the qualities that
have secured its acceptance by all classes of readers and made it the
most cosmopolitan of books, is its simplicity. There are, of course,
points obvious enough to a Spanish seventeenth century audience which do
not immediately strike a reader now-a-days, and Cervantes often takes it
for granted that an allusion will be generally understood which is only
intelligible to a few. For example, on many of his readers in Spain, and
most of his readers out of it, the significance of his choice of a
country for his hero is completely lost. It would be going too far to say
that no one can thoroughly comprehend "Don Quixote" without having seen
La Mancha, but undoubtedly even a glimpse of La Mancha will give an
insight into the meaning of Cervantes such as no commentator can give. Of
all the regions of Spain it is the last that would suggest the idea of
romance. Of all the dull central plateau of the Peninsula it is the
dullest tract. There is something impressive about the grim solitudes of
Estremadura; and if the plains of Leon and Old Castile are bald and
dreary, they are studded with old cities renowned in history and rich in
relics of the past. But there is no redeeming feature in the Manchegan
landscape; it has all the sameness of the desert without its dignity; the
few towns and villages that break its monotony are mean and commonplace,
there is nothing venerable about them, they have not even the
picturesqueness of poverty; indeed, Don Quixote's own village,
Argamasilla, has a sort of oppressive respectability in the prim
regularity of its streets and houses; everything is ignoble; the very
windmills are the ugliest and shabbiest of the windmill kind.

To anyone who knew the country well, the mere style and title of "Don
Quixote of La Mancha" gave the key to the author's meaning at once. La
Mancha as the knight's country and scene of his chivalries is of a piece
with the pasteboard helmet, the farm-labourer on ass-back for a squire,
knighthood conferred by a rascally ventero, convicts taken for victims of
oppression, and the rest of the incongruities between Don Quixote's world
and the world he lived in, between things as he saw them and things as
they were.

It is strange that this element of incongruity, underlying the whole
humour and purpose of the book, should have been so little heeded by the
majority of those who have undertaken to interpret "Don Quixote." It has
been completely overlooked, for example, by the illustrators. To be sure,
the great majority of the artists who illustrated "Don Quixote" knew
nothing whatever of Spain. To them a venta conveyed no idea but the
abstract one of a roadside inn, and they could not therefore do full
justice to the humour of Don Quixote's misconception in taking it for a
castle, or perceive the remoteness of all its realities from his ideal.
But even when better informed they seem to have no apprehension of the
full force of the discrepancy. Take, for instance, Gustave Dore's drawing
of Don Quixote watching his armour in the inn-yard. Whether or not the
Venta de Quesada on the Seville road is, as tradition maintains, the inn
described in "Don Quixote," beyond all question it was just such an
inn-yard as the one behind it that Cervantes had in his mind's eye, and
it was on just such a rude stone trough as that beside the primitive
draw-well in the corner that he meant Don Quixote to deposit his armour.
Gustave Dore makes it an elaborate fountain such as no arriero ever
watered his mules at in the corral of any venta in Spain, and thereby
entirely misses the point aimed at by Cervantes. It is the mean, prosaic,
commonplace character of all the surroundings and circumstances that
gives a significance to Don Quixote's vigil and the ceremony that

Cervantes' humour is for the most part of that broader and simpler sort,
the strength of which lies in the perception of the incongruous. It is
the incongruity of Sancho in all his ways, words, and works, with the
ideas and aims of his master, quite as much as the wonderful vitality and
truth to nature of the character, that makes him the most humorous
creation in the whole range of fiction. That unsmiling gravity of which
Cervantes was the first great master, "Cervantes' serious air," which
sits naturally on Swift alone, perhaps, of later humourists, is essential
to this kind of humour, and here again Cervantes has suffered at the
hands of his interpreters. Nothing, unless indeed the coarse buffoonery
of Phillips, could be more out of place in an attempt to represent
Cervantes, than a flippant, would-be facetious style, like that of
Motteux's version for example, or the sprightly, jaunty air, French
translators sometimes adopt. It is the grave matter-of-factness of the
narrative, and the apparent unconsciousness of the author that he is
saying anything ludicrous, anything but the merest commonplace, that give
its peculiar flavour to the humour of Cervantes. His, in fact, is the
exact opposite of the humour of Sterne and the self-conscious humourists.
Even when Uncle Toby is at his best, you are always aware of "the man
Sterne" behind him, watching you over his shoulder to see what effect he
is producing. Cervantes always leaves you alone with Don Quixote and
Sancho. He and Swift and the great humourists always keep themselves out
of sight, or, more properly speaking, never think about themselves at
all, unlike our latter-day school of humourists, who seem to have revived
the old horse-collar method, and try to raise a laugh by some grotesque
assumption of ignorance, imbecility, or bad taste.

It is true that to do full justice to Spanish humour in any other
language is well-nigh an impossibility. There is a natural gravity and a
sonorous stateliness about Spanish, be it ever so colloquial, that make
an absurdity doubly absurd, and give plausibility to the most
preposterous statement. This is what makes Sancho Panza's drollery the
despair of the conscientious translator. Sancho's curt comments can never
fall flat, but they lose half their flavour when transferred from their
native Castilian into any other medium. But if foreigners have failed to
do justice to the humour of Cervantes, they are no worse than his own
countrymen. Indeed, were it not for the Spanish peasant's relish of "Don
Quixote," one might be tempted to think that the great humourist was not
looked upon as a humourist at all in his own country.

The craze of Don Quixote seems, in some instances, to have communicated
itself to his critics, making them see things that are not in the book
and run full tilt at phantoms that have no existence save in their own
imaginations. Like a good many critics now-a-days, they forget that
screams are not criticism, and that it is only vulgar tastes that are
influenced by strings of superlatives, three-piled hyperboles, and
pompous epithets. But what strikes one as particularly strange is that
while they deal in extravagant eulogies, and ascribe all manner of
imaginary ideas and qualities to Cervantes, they show no perception of
the quality that ninety-nine out of a hundred of his readers would rate
highest in him, and hold to be the one that raises him above all rivalry.

To speak of "Don Quixote" as if it were merely a humorous book would be a
manifest misdescription. Cervantes at times makes it a kind of
commonplace book for occasional essays and criticisms, or for the
observations and reflections and gathered wisdom of a long and stirring
life. It is a mine of shrewd observation on mankind and human nature.
Among modern novels there may be, here and there, more elaborate studies
of character, but there is no book richer in individualised character.
What Coleridge said of Shakespeare in minimis is true of Cervantes; he
never, even for the most temporary purpose, puts forward a lay figure.
There is life and individuality in all his characters, however little
they may have to do, or however short a time they may be before the
reader. Samson Carrasco, the curate, Teresa Panza, Altisidora, even the
two students met on the road to the cave of Montesinos, all live and move
and have their being; and it is characteristic of the broad humanity of
Cervantes that there is not a hateful one among them all. Even poor
Maritornes, with her deplorable morals, has a kind heart of her own and
"some faint and distant resemblance to a Christian about her;" and as for
Sancho, though on dissection we fail to find a lovable trait in him,
unless it be a sort of dog-like affection for his master, who is there
that in his heart does not love him?

But it is, after all, the humour of "Don Quixote" that distinguishes it
from all other books of the romance kind. It is this that makes it, as
one of the most judicial-minded of modern critics calls it, "the best
novel in the world beyond all comparison." It is its varied humour,
ranging from broad farce to comedy as subtle as Shakespeare's or
Moliere's that has naturalised it in every country where there are
readers, and made it a classic in every language that has a literature.



To the book of Don Quixote of la Mancha

 If to be welcomed by the good,
   O Book! thou make thy steady aim,
 No empty chatterer will dare
   To question or dispute thy claim.
 But if perchance thou hast a mind
   To win of idiots approbation,
 Lost labour will be thy reward,
   Though they'll pretend appreciation.

 They say a goodly shade he finds
   Who shelters 'neath a goodly tree;
 And such a one thy kindly star
   In Bejar bath provided thee:
 A royal tree whose spreading boughs
   A show of princely fruit display;
 A tree that bears a noble Duke,
   The Alexander of his day.

 Of a Manchegan gentleman
   Thy purpose is to tell the story,
 Relating how he lost his wits
   O'er idle tales of love and glory,
 Of "ladies, arms, and cavaliers:"
   A new Orlando Furioso-
 Innamorato, rather--who
   Won Dulcinea del Toboso.

 Put no vain emblems on thy shield;
   All figures--that is bragging play.
 A modest dedication make,
   And give no scoffer room to say,
 "What! Alvaro de Luna here?
   Or is it Hannibal again?
 Or does King Francis at Madrid
   Once more of destiny complain?"

 Since Heaven it hath not pleased on thee
   Deep erudition to bestow,
 Or black Latino's gift of tongues,
   No Latin let thy pages show.
 Ape not philosophy or wit,
   Lest one who cannot comprehend,
 Make a wry face at thee and ask,
   "Why offer flowers to me, my friend?"

 Be not a meddler; no affair
   Of thine the life thy neighbours lead:
 Be prudent; oft the random jest
   Recoils upon the jester's head.
 Thy constant labour let it be
   To earn thyself an honest name,
 For fooleries preserved in print
   Are perpetuity of shame.

 A further counsel bear in mind:
   If that thy roof be made of glass,
 It shows small wit to pick up stones
   To pelt the people as they pass.
 Win the attention of the wise,
   And give the thinker food for thought;
 Whoso indites frivolities,
   Will but by simpletons be sought.

             AMADIS OF GAUL
       To Don Quixote of la Mancha


 Thou that didst imitate that life of mine
   When I in lonely sadness on the great
   Rock Pena Pobre sat disconsolate,
 In self-imposed penance there to pine;
 Thou, whose sole beverage was the bitter brine
   Of thine own tears, and who withouten plate
   Of silver, copper, tin, in lowly state
 Off the bare earth and on earth's fruits didst dine;
 Live thou, of thine eternal glory sure.
   So long as on the round of the fourth sphere
   The bright Apollo shall his coursers steer,
 In thy renown thou shalt remain secure,
 Thy country's name in story shall endure,
   And thy sage author stand without a peer.

To Don Quixote of la Mancha


 In slashing, hewing, cleaving, word and deed,
   I was the foremost knight of chivalry,
   Stout, bold, expert, as e'er the world did see;
 Thousands from the oppressor's wrong I freed;
 Great were my feats, eternal fame their meed;
   In love I proved my truth and loyalty;
   The hugest giant was a dwarf for me;
 Ever to knighthood's laws gave I good heed.
 My mastery the Fickle Goddess owned,
   And even Chance, submitting to control,
     Grasped by the forelock, yielded to my will.
 Yet--though above yon horned moon enthroned
     My fortune seems to sit--great Quixote, still
   Envy of thy achievements fills my soul.

To Dulcinea del Toboso


 Oh, fairest Dulcinea, could it be!
   It were a pleasant fancy to suppose so--
   Could Miraflores change to El Toboso,
 And London's town to that which shelters thee!
 Oh, could mine but acquire that livery
   Of countless charms thy mind and body show so!
   Or him, now famous grown--thou mad'st him grow so--
 Thy knight, in some dread combat could I see!
 Oh, could I be released from Amadis
   By exercise of such coy chastity
 As led thee gentle Quixote to dismiss!
     Then would my heavy sorrow turn to joy;
   None would I envy, all would envy me,
     And happiness be mine without alloy.

To Sancho Panza, squire of Don Quixote


 All hail, illustrious man! Fortune, when she
   Bound thee apprentice to the esquire trade,
   Her care and tenderness of thee displayed,
 Shaping thy course from misadventure free.
 No longer now doth proud knight-errantry
   Regard with scorn the sickle and the spade;
   Of towering arrogance less count is made
 Than of plain esquire-like simplicity.
 I envy thee thy Dapple, and thy name,
   And those alforjas thou wast wont to stuff
 With comforts that thy providence proclaim.
     Excellent Sancho! hail to thee again!
     To thee alone the Ovid of our Spain
   Does homage with the rustic kiss and cuff.


On Sancho Panza and Rocinante


I am the esquire Sancho Pan--
Who served Don Quixote of La Man--;
But from his service I retreat-,
Resolved to pass my life discreet-;
For Villadiego, called the Si--,
Maintained that only in reti--
Was found the secret of well-be--,
According to the "Celesti--:"
A book divine, except for sin--
By speech too plain, in my opin--


I am that Rocinante fa--,
Great-grandson of great Babie--,
Who, all for being lean and bon--,
Had one Don Quixote for an own--;
But if I matched him well in weak--,
I never took short commons meek--,
But kept myself in corn by steal--,
A trick I learned from Lazaril--,
When with a piece of straw so neat--
The blind man of his wine he cheat--.

To Don Quixote of La Mancha


 If thou art not a Peer, peer thou hast none;
   Among a thousand Peers thou art a peer;
   Nor is there room for one when thou art near,
 Unvanquished victor, great unconquered one!
 Orlando, by Angelica undone,
   Am I; o'er distant seas condemned to steer,
   And to Fame's altars as an offering bear
 Valour respected by Oblivion.
 I cannot be thy rival, for thy fame
   And prowess rise above all rivalry,
     Albeit both bereft of wits we go.
 But, though the Scythian or the Moor to tame
   Was not thy lot, still thou dost rival me:
    Love binds us in a fellowship of woe.


To Don Quixote of La Mancha

 My sword was not to be compared with thine
   Phoebus of Spain, marvel of courtesy,
 Nor with thy famous arm this hand of mine
   That smote from east to west as lightnings fly.
   I scorned all empire, and that monarchy
 The rosy east held out did I resign
   For one glance of Claridiana's eye,
 The bright Aurora for whose love I pine.
 A miracle of constancy my love;
   And banished by her ruthless cruelty,
     This arm had might the rage of Hell to tame.
 But, Gothic Quixote, happier thou dost prove,
     For thou dost live in Dulcinea's name,
   And famous, honoured, wise, she lives in thee.

To Don Quixote of La Mancha


 Your fantasies, Sir Quixote, it is true,
   That crazy brain of yours have quite upset,
   But aught of base or mean hath never yet
 Been charged by any in reproach to you.
 Your deeds are open proof in all men's view;
   For you went forth injustice to abate,
   And for your pains sore drubbings did you get
 From many a rascally and ruffian crew.
 If the fair Dulcinea, your heart's queen,
   Be unrelenting in her cruelty,
     If still your woe be powerless to move her,
   In such hard case your comfort let it be
 That Sancho was a sorry go-between:
     A booby he, hard-hearted she, and you no lover.

Between Babieca and Rocinante


B.  "How comes it, Rocinante, you're so lean?"
R.  "I'm underfed, with overwork I'm worn."
B.  "But what becomes of all the hay and corn?"
R.  "My master gives me none; he's much too mean."
B.  "Come, come, you show ill-breeding, sir, I ween;
  'T is like an ass your master thus to scorn."
R.  He is an ass, will die an ass, an ass was born;
  Why, he's in love; what's what's plainer to be seen?"
B.  "To be in love is folly?"--R. "No great sense."
B.  "You're metaphysical."--R. "From want of food."
B.  "Rail at the squire, then."--R. "Why, what's the good?
    I might indeed complain of him, I grant ye,
  But, squire or master, where's the difference?
    They're both as sorry hacks as Rocinante."


Idle reader: thou mayest believe me without any oath that I would this
book, as it is the child of my brain, were the fairest, gayest, and
cleverest that could be imagined. But I could not counteract Nature's law
that everything shall beget its like; and what, then, could this sterile,
illtilled wit of mine beget but the story of a dry, shrivelled, whimsical
offspring, full of thoughts of all sorts and such as never came into any
other imagination--just what might be begotten in a prison, where every
misery is lodged and every doleful sound makes its dwelling?
Tranquillity, a cheerful retreat, pleasant fields, bright skies,
murmuring brooks, peace of mind, these are the things that go far to make
even the most barren muses fertile, and bring into the world births that
fill it with wonder and delight. Sometimes when a father has an ugly,
loutish son, the love he bears him so blindfolds his eyes that he does
not see his defects, or, rather, takes them for gifts and charms of mind
and body, and talks of them to his friends as wit and grace. I,
however--for though I pass for the father, I am but the stepfather to
"Don Quixote"--have no desire to go with the current of custom, or to
implore thee, dearest reader, almost with tears in my eyes, as others do,
to pardon or excuse the defects thou wilt perceive in this child of mine.
Thou art neither its kinsman nor its friend, thy soul is thine own and
thy will as free as any man's, whate'er he be, thou art in thine own
house and master of it as much as the king of his taxes and thou knowest
the common saying, "Under my cloak I kill the king;" all which exempts
and frees thee from every consideration and obligation, and thou canst
say what thou wilt of the story without fear of being abused for any ill
or rewarded for any good thou mayest say of it.

My wish would be simply to present it to thee plain and unadorned,
without any embellishment of preface or uncountable muster of customary
sonnets, epigrams, and eulogies, such as are commonly put at the
beginning of books. For I can tell thee, though composing it cost me some
labour, I found none greater than the making of this Preface thou art now
reading. Many times did I take up my pen to write it, and many did I lay
it down again, not knowing what to write. One of these times, as I was
pondering with the paper before me, a pen in my ear, my elbow on the
desk, and my cheek in my hand, thinking of what I should say, there came
in unexpectedly a certain lively, clever friend of mine, who, seeing me
so deep in thought, asked the reason; to which I, making no mystery of
it, answered that I was thinking of the Preface I had to make for the
story of "Don Quixote," which so troubled me that I had a mind not to
make any at all, nor even publish the achievements of so noble a knight.

"For, how could you expect me not to feel uneasy about what that ancient
lawgiver they call the Public will say when it sees me, after slumbering
so many years in the silence of oblivion, coming out now with all my
years upon my back, and with a book as dry as a rush, devoid of
invention, meagre in style, poor in thoughts, wholly wanting in learning
and wisdom, without quotations in the margin or annotations at the end,
after the fashion of other books I see, which, though all fables and
profanity, are so full of maxims from Aristotle, and Plato, and the whole
herd of philosophers, that they fill the readers with amazement and
convince them that the authors are men of learning, erudition, and
eloquence. And then, when they quote the Holy Scriptures!--anyone would
say they are St. Thomases or other doctors of the Church, observing as
they do a decorum so ingenious that in one sentence they describe a
distracted lover and in the next deliver a devout little sermon that it
is a pleasure and a treat to hear and read. Of all this there will be
nothing in my book, for I have nothing to quote in the margin or to note
at the end, and still less do I know what authors I follow in it, to
place them at the beginning, as all do, under the letters A, B, C,
beginning with Aristotle and ending with Xenophon, or Zoilus, or Zeuxis,
though one was a slanderer and the other a painter. Also my book must do
without sonnets at the beginning, at least sonnets whose authors are
dukes, marquises, counts, bishops, ladies, or famous poets. Though if I
were to ask two or three obliging friends, I know they would give me
them, and such as the productions of those that have the highest
reputation in our Spain could not equal.

"In short, my friend," I continued, "I am determined that Senor Don
Quixote shall remain buried in the archives of his own La Mancha until
Heaven provide some one to garnish him with all those things he stands in
need of; because I find myself, through my shallowness and want of
learning, unequal to supplying them, and because I am by nature shy and
careless about hunting for authors to say what I myself can say without
them. Hence the cogitation and abstraction you found me in, and reason
enough, what you have heard from me."

Hearing this, my friend, giving himself a slap on the forehead and
breaking into a hearty laugh, exclaimed, "Before God, Brother, now am I
disabused of an error in which I have been living all this long time I
have known you, all through which I have taken you to be shrewd and
sensible in all you do; but now I see you are as far from that as the
heaven is from the earth. It is possible that things of so little moment
and so easy to set right can occupy and perplex a ripe wit like yours,
fit to break through and crush far greater obstacles? By my faith, this
comes, not of any want of ability, but of too much indolence and too
little knowledge of life. Do you want to know if I am telling the truth?
Well, then, attend to me, and you will see how, in the opening and
shutting of an eye, I sweep away all your difficulties, and supply all
those deficiencies which you say check and discourage you from bringing
before the world the story of your famous Don Quixote, the light and
mirror of all knight-errantry."

"Say on," said I, listening to his talk; "how do you propose to make up
for my diffidence, and reduce to order this chaos of perplexity I am in?"

To which he made answer, "Your first difficulty about the sonnets,
epigrams, or complimentary verses which you want for the beginning, and
which ought to be by persons of importance and rank, can be removed if
you yourself take a little trouble to make them; you can afterwards
baptise them, and put any name you like to them, fathering them on
Prester John of the Indies or the Emperor of Trebizond, who, to my
knowledge, were said to have been famous poets: and even if they were
not, and any pedants or bachelors should attack you and question the
fact, never care two maravedis for that, for even if they prove a lie
against you they cannot cut off the hand you wrote it with.

"As to references in the margin to the books and authors from whom you
take the aphorisms and sayings you put into your story, it is only
contriving to fit in nicely any sentences or scraps of Latin you may
happen to have by heart, or at any rate that will not give you much
trouble to look up; so as, when you speak of freedom and captivity, to

_Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro;_

and then refer in the margin to Horace, or whoever said it; or, if you
allude to the power of death, to come in with--

_Pallida mors Aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
Regumque turres._

"If it be friendship and the love God bids us bear to our enemy, go at
once to the Holy Scriptures, which you can do with a very small amount of
research, and quote no less than the words of God himself: Ego autem dico
vobis: diligite inimicos vestros. If you speak of evil thoughts, turn to
the Gospel: De corde exeunt cogitationes malae. If of the fickleness of
friends, there is Cato, who will give you his distich:

_Donec eris felix multos numerabis amicos,
Tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris._

"With these and such like bits of Latin they will take you for a
grammarian at all events, and that now-a-days is no small honour and

"With regard to adding annotations at the end of the book, you may safely
do it in this way. If you mention any giant in your book contrive that it
shall be the giant Goliath, and with this alone, which will cost you
almost nothing, you have a grand note, for you can put--The giant Golias
or Goliath was a Philistine whom the shepherd David slew by a mighty
stone-cast in the Terebinth valley, as is related in the Book of
Kings--in the chapter where you find it written.

"Next, to prove yourself a man of erudition in polite literature and
cosmography, manage that the river Tagus shall be named in your story,
and there you are at once with another famous annotation, setting
forth--The river Tagus was so called after a King of Spain: it has its
source in such and such a place and falls into the ocean, kissing the
walls of the famous city of Lisbon, and it is a common belief that it has
golden sands, etc. If you should have anything to do with robbers, I will
give you the story of Cacus, for I have it by heart; if with loose women,
there is the Bishop of Mondonedo, who will give you the loan of Lamia,
Laida, and Flora, any reference to whom will bring you great credit; if
with hard-hearted ones, Ovid will furnish you with Medea; if with witches
or enchantresses, Homer has Calypso, and Virgil Circe; if with valiant
captains, Julius Caesar himself will lend you himself in his own
'Commentaries,' and Plutarch will give you a thousand Alexanders. If you
should deal with love, with two ounces you may know of Tuscan you can go
to Leon the Hebrew, who will supply you to your heart's content; or if
you should not care to go to foreign countries you have at home Fonseca's
'Of the Love of God,' in which is condensed all that you or the most
imaginative mind can want on the subject. In short, all you have to do is
to manage to quote these names, or refer to these stories I have
mentioned, and leave it to me to insert the annotations and quotations,
and I swear by all that's good to fill your margins and use up four
sheets at the end of the book.

"Now let us come to those references to authors which other books have,
and you want for yours. The remedy for this is very simple: You have only
to look out for some book that quotes them all, from A to Z as you say
yourself, and then insert the very same alphabet in your book, and though
the imposition may be plain to see, because you have so little need to
borrow from them, that is no matter; there will probably be some simple
enough to believe that you have made use of them all in this plain,
artless story of yours. At any rate, if it answers no other purpose, this
long catalogue of authors will serve to give a surprising look of
authority to your book. Besides, no one will trouble himself to verify
whether you have followed them or whether you have not, being no way
concerned in it; especially as, if I mistake not, this book of yours has
no need of any one of those things you say it wants, for it is, from
beginning to end, an attack upon the books of chivalry, of which
Aristotle never dreamt, nor St. Basil said a word, nor Cicero had any
knowledge; nor do the niceties of truth nor the observations of astrology
come within the range of its fanciful vagaries; nor have geometrical
measurements or refutations of the arguments used in rhetoric anything to
do with it; nor does it mean to preach to anybody, mixing up things human
and divine, a sort of motley in which no Christian understanding should
dress itself. It has only to avail itself of truth to nature in its
composition, and the more perfect the imitation the better the work will
be. And as this piece of yours aims at nothing more than to destroy the
authority and influence which books of chivalry have in the world and
with the public, there is no need for you to go a-begging for aphorisms
from philosophers, precepts from Holy Scripture, fables from poets,
speeches from orators, or miracles from saints; but merely to take care
that your style and diction run musically, pleasantly, and plainly, with
clear, proper, and well-placed words, setting forth your purpose to the
best of your power, and putting your ideas intelligibly, without
confusion or obscurity. Strive, too, that in reading your story the
melancholy may be moved to laughter, and the merry made merrier still;
that the simple shall not be wearied, that the judicious shall admire the
invention, that the grave shall not despise it, nor the wise fail to
praise it. Finally, keep your aim fixed on the destruction of that
ill-founded edifice of the books of chivalry, hated by some and praised
by many more; for if you succeed in this you will have achieved no small

In profound silence I listened to what my friend said, and his
observations made such an impression on me that, without attempting to
question them, I admitted their soundness, and out of them I determined
to make this Preface; wherein, gentle reader, thou wilt perceive my
friend's good sense, my good fortune in finding such an adviser in such a
time of need, and what thou hast gained in receiving, without addition or
alteration, the story of the famous Don Quixote of La Mancha, who is held
by all the inhabitants of the district of the Campo de Montiel to have
been the chastest lover and the bravest knight that has for many years
been seen in that neighbourhood. I have no desire to magnify the service
I render thee in making thee acquainted with so renowned and honoured a
knight, but I do desire thy thanks for the acquaintance thou wilt make
with the famous Sancho Panza, his squire, in whom, to my thinking, I have
given thee condensed all the squirely drolleries that are scattered
through the swarm of the vain books of chivalry. And so--may God give
thee health, and not forget me. Vale.



In belief of the good reception and honours that Your Excellency bestows
on all sort of books, as prince so inclined to favor good arts, chiefly
those who by their nobleness do not submit to the service and bribery of
the vulgar, I have determined bringing to light The Ingenious Gentleman
Don Quixote of la Mancha, in shelter of Your Excellency's glamorous name,
to whom, with the obeisance I owe to such grandeur, I pray to receive it
agreeably under his protection, so that in this shadow, though deprived
of that precious ornament of elegance and erudition that clothe the works
composed in the houses of those who know, it dares appear with assurance
in the judgment of some who, trespassing the bounds of their own
ignorance, use to condemn with more rigour and less justice the writings
of others. It is my earnest hope that Your Excellency's good counsel in
regard to my honourable purpose, will not disdain the littleness of so
humble a service.

Miguel de Cervantes




In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to
mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance
in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for
coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most
nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra
on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income. The rest of it
went in a doublet of fine cloth and velvet breeches and shoes to match
for holidays, while on week-days he made a brave figure in his best
homespun. He had in his house a housekeeper past forty, a niece under
twenty, and a lad for the field and market-place, who used to saddle the
hack as well as handle the bill-hook. The age of this gentleman of ours
was bordering on fifty; he was of a hardy habit, spare, gaunt-featured, a
very early riser and a great sportsman. They will have it his surname was
Quixada or Quesada (for here there is some difference of opinion among
the authors who write on the subject), although from reasonable
conjectures it seems plain that he was called Quexana. This, however, is
of but little importance to our tale; it will be enough not to stray a
hair's breadth from the truth in the telling of it.

You must know, then, that the above-named gentleman whenever he was at
leisure (which was mostly all the year round) gave himself up to reading
books of chivalry with such ardour and avidity that he almost entirely
neglected the pursuit of his field-sports, and even the management of his
property; and to such a pitch did his eagerness and infatuation go that
he sold many an acre of tillageland to buy books of chivalry to read, and
brought home as many of them as he could get. But of all there were none
he liked so well as those of the famous Feliciano de Silva's composition,
for their lucidity of style and complicated conceits were as pearls in
his sight, particularly when in his reading he came upon courtships and
cartels, where he often found passages like "the reason of the unreason
with which my reason is afflicted so weakens my reason that with reason I
murmur at your beauty;" or again, "the high heavens, that of your
divinity divinely fortify you with the stars, render you deserving of the
desert your greatness deserves." Over conceits of this sort the poor
gentleman lost his wits, and used to lie awake striving to understand
them and worm the meaning out of them; what Aristotle himself could not
have made out or extracted had he come to life again for that special
purpose. He was not at all easy about the wounds which Don Belianis gave
and took, because it seemed to him that, great as were the surgeons who
had cured him, he must have had his face and body covered all over with
seams and scars. He commended, however, the author's way of ending his
book with the promise of that interminable adventure, and many a time was
he tempted to take up his pen and finish it properly as is there
proposed, which no doubt he would have done, and made a successful piece
of work of it too, had not greater and more absorbing thoughts prevented

Many an argument did he have with the curate of his village (a learned
man, and a graduate of Siguenza) as to which had been the better knight,
Palmerin of England or Amadis of Gaul. Master Nicholas, the village
barber, however, used to say that neither of them came up to the Knight
of Phoebus, and that if there was any that could compare with him it was
Don Galaor, the brother of Amadis of Gaul, because he had a spirit that
was equal to every occasion, and was no finikin knight, nor lachrymose
like his brother, while in the matter of valour he was not a whit behind
him. In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his
nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring
over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so
dry that he lost his wits. His fancy grew full of what he used to read
about in his books, enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds,
wooings, loves, agonies, and all sorts of impossible nonsense; and it so
possessed his mind that the whole fabric of invention and fancy he read
of was true, that to him no history in the world had more reality in it.
He used to say the Cid Ruy Diaz was a very good knight, but that he was
not to be compared with the Knight of the Burning Sword who with one
back-stroke cut in half two fierce and monstrous giants. He thought more
of Bernardo del Carpio because at Roncesvalles he slew Roland in spite of
enchantments, availing himself of the artifice of Hercules when he
strangled Antaeus the son of Terra in his arms. He approved highly of the
giant Morgante, because, although of the giant breed which is always
arrogant and ill-conditioned, he alone was affable and well-bred. But
above all he admired Reinaldos of Montalban, especially when he saw him
sallying forth from his castle and robbing everyone he met, and when
beyond the seas he stole that image of Mahomet which, as his history
says, was entirely of gold. To have a bout of kicking at that traitor of
a Ganelon he would have given his housekeeper, and his niece into the

In short, his wits being quite gone, he hit upon the strangest notion
that ever madman in this world hit upon, and that was that he fancied it
was right and requisite, as well for the support of his own honour as for
the service of his country, that he should make a knight-errant of
himself, roaming the world over in full armour and on horseback in quest
of adventures, and putting in practice himself all that he had read of as
being the usual practices of knights-errant; righting every kind of
wrong, and exposing himself to peril and danger from which, in the issue,
he was to reap eternal renown and fame. Already the poor man saw himself
crowned by the might of his arm Emperor of Trebizond at least; and so,
led away by the intense enjoyment he found in these pleasant fancies, he
set himself forthwith to put his scheme into execution.

The first thing he did was to clean up some armour that had belonged to
his great-grandfather, and had been for ages lying forgotten in a corner
eaten with rust and covered with mildew. He scoured and polished it as
best he could, but he perceived one great defect in it, that it had no
closed helmet, nothing but a simple morion. This deficiency, however, his
ingenuity supplied, for he contrived a kind of half-helmet of pasteboard
which, fitted on to the morion, looked like a whole one. It is true that,
in order to see if it was strong and fit to stand a cut, he drew his
sword and gave it a couple of slashes, the first of which undid in an
instant what had taken him a week to do. The ease with which he had
knocked it to pieces disconcerted him somewhat, and to guard against that
danger he set to work again, fixing bars of iron on the inside until he
was satisfied with its strength; and then, not caring to try any more
experiments with it, he passed it and adopted it as a helmet of the most
perfect construction.

He next proceeded to inspect his hack, which, with more quartos than a
real and more blemishes than the steed of Gonela, that "tantum pellis et
ossa fuit," surpassed in his eyes the Bucephalus of Alexander or the
Babieca of the Cid. Four days were spent in thinking what name to give
him, because (as he said to himself) it was not right that a horse
belonging to a knight so famous, and one with such merits of his own,
should be without some distinctive name, and he strove to adapt it so as
to indicate what he had been before belonging to a knight-errant, and
what he then was; for it was only reasonable that, his master taking a
new character, he should take a new name, and that it should be a
distinguished and full-sounding one, befitting the new order and calling
he was about to follow. And so, after having composed, struck out,
rejected, added to, unmade, and remade a multitude of names out of his
memory and fancy, he decided upon calling him Rocinante, a name, to his
thinking, lofty, sonorous, and significant of his condition as a hack
before he became what he now was, the first and foremost of all the hacks
in the world.

Having got a name for his horse so much to his taste, he was anxious to
get one for himself, and he was eight days more pondering over this
point, till at last he made up his mind to call himself "Don Quixote,"
whence, as has been already said, the authors of this veracious history
have inferred that his name must have been beyond a doubt Quixada, and
not Quesada as others would have it. Recollecting, however, that the
valiant Amadis was not content to call himself curtly Amadis and nothing
more, but added the name of his kingdom and country to make it famous,
and called himself Amadis of Gaul, he, like a good knight, resolved to
add on the name of his, and to style himself Don Quixote of La Mancha,
whereby, he considered, he described accurately his origin and country,
and did honour to it in taking his surname from it.

So then, his armour being furbished, his morion turned into a helmet, his
hack christened, and he himself confirmed, he came to the conclusion that
nothing more was needed now but to look out for a lady to be in love
with; for a knight-errant without love was like a tree without leaves or
fruit, or a body without a soul. As he said to himself, "If, for my sins,
or by my good fortune, I come across some giant hereabouts, a common
occurrence with knights-errant, and overthrow him in one onslaught, or
cleave him asunder to the waist, or, in short, vanquish and subdue him,
will it not be well to have some one I may send him to as a present, that
he may come in and fall on his knees before my sweet lady, and in a
humble, submissive voice say, 'I am the giant Caraculiambro, lord of the
island of Malindrania, vanquished in single combat by the never
sufficiently extolled knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, who has commanded
me to present myself before your Grace, that your Highness dispose of me
at your pleasure'?" Oh, how our good gentleman enjoyed the delivery of
this speech, especially when he had thought of some one to call his Lady!
There was, so the story goes, in a village near his own a very
good-looking farm-girl with whom he had been at one time in love, though,
so far as is known, she never knew it nor gave a thought to the matter.
Her name was Aldonza Lorenzo, and upon her he thought fit to confer the
title of Lady of his Thoughts; and after some search for a name which
should not be out of harmony with her own, and should suggest and
indicate that of a princess and great lady, he decided upon calling her
Dulcinea del Toboso--she being of El Toboso--a name, to his mind,
musical, uncommon, and significant, like all those he had already
bestowed upon himself and the things belonging to him.



These preliminaries settled, he did not care to put off any longer the
execution of his design, urged on to it by the thought of all the world
was losing by his delay, seeing what wrongs he intended to right,
grievances to redress, injustices to repair, abuses to remove, and duties
to discharge. So, without giving notice of his intention to anyone, and
without anybody seeing him, one morning before the dawning of the day
(which was one of the hottest of the month of July) he donned his suit of
armour, mounted Rocinante with his patched-up helmet on, braced his
buckler, took his lance, and by the back door of the yard sallied forth
upon the plain in the highest contentment and satisfaction at seeing with
what ease he had made a beginning with his grand purpose. But scarcely
did he find himself upon the open plain, when a terrible thought struck
him, one all but enough to make him abandon the enterprise at the very
outset. It occurred to him that he had not been dubbed a knight, and that
according to the law of chivalry he neither could nor ought to bear arms
against any knight; and that even if he had been, still he ought, as a
novice knight, to wear white armour, without a device upon the shield
until by his prowess he had earned one. These reflections made him waver
in his purpose, but his craze being stronger than any reasoning, he made
up his mind to have himself dubbed a knight by the first one he came
across, following the example of others in the same case, as he had read
in the books that brought him to this pass. As for white armour, he
resolved, on the first opportunity, to scour his until it was whiter than
an ermine; and so comforting himself he pursued his way, taking that
which his horse chose, for in this he believed lay the essence of

Thus setting out, our new-fledged adventurer paced along, talking to
himself and saying, "Who knows but that in time to come, when the
veracious history of my famous deeds is made known, the sage who writes
it, when he has to set forth my first sally in the early morning, will do
it after this fashion? 'Scarce had the rubicund Apollo spread o'er the
face of the broad spacious earth the golden threads of his bright hair,
scarce had the little birds of painted plumage attuned their notes to
hail with dulcet and mellifluous harmony the coming of the rosy Dawn,
that, deserting the soft couch of her jealous spouse, was appearing to
mortals at the gates and balconies of the Manchegan horizon, when the
renowned knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, quitting the lazy down, mounted
his celebrated steed Rocinante and began to traverse the ancient and
famous Campo de Montiel;'" which in fact he was actually traversing.
"Happy the age, happy the time," he continued, "in which shall be made
known my deeds of fame, worthy to be moulded in brass, carved in marble,
limned in pictures, for a memorial for ever. And thou, O sage magician,
whoever thou art, to whom it shall fall to be the chronicler of this
wondrous history, forget not, I entreat thee, my good Rocinante, the
constant companion of my ways and wanderings." Presently he broke out
again, as if he were love-stricken in earnest, "O Princess Dulcinea, lady
of this captive heart, a grievous wrong hast thou done me to drive me
forth with scorn, and with inexorable obduracy banish me from the
presence of thy beauty. O lady, deign to hold in remembrance this heart,
thy vassal, that thus in anguish pines for love of thee."

So he went on stringing together these and other absurdities, all in the
style of those his books had taught him, imitating their language as well
as he could; and all the while he rode so slowly and the sun mounted so
rapidly and with such fervour that it was enough to melt his brains if he
had any. Nearly all day he travelled without anything remarkable
happening to him, at which he was in despair, for he was anxious to
encounter some one at once upon whom to try the might of his strong arm.

Writers there are who say the first adventure he met with was that of
Puerto Lapice; others say it was that of the windmills; but what I have
ascertained on this point, and what I have found written in the annals of
La Mancha, is that he was on the road all day, and towards nightfall his
hack and he found themselves dead tired and hungry, when, looking all
around to see if he could discover any castle or shepherd's shanty where
he might refresh himself and relieve his sore wants, he perceived not far
out of his road an inn, which was as welcome as a star guiding him to the
portals, if not the palaces, of his redemption; and quickening his pace
he reached it just as night was setting in. At the door were standing two
young women, girls of the district as they call them, on their way to
Seville with some carriers who had chanced to halt that night at the inn;
and as, happen what might to our adventurer, everything he saw or imaged
seemed to him to be and to happen after the fashion of what he read of,
the moment he saw the inn he pictured it to himself as a castle with its
four turrets and pinnacles of shining silver, not forgetting the
drawbridge and moat and all the belongings usually ascribed to castles of
the sort. To this inn, which to him seemed a castle, he advanced, and at
a short distance from it he checked Rocinante, hoping that some dwarf
would show himself upon the battlements, and by sound of trumpet give
notice that a knight was approaching the castle. But seeing that they
were slow about it, and that Rocinante was in a hurry to reach the
stable, he made for the inn door, and perceived the two gay damsels who
were standing there, and who seemed to him to be two fair maidens or
lovely ladies taking their ease at the castle gate.

At this moment it so happened that a swineherd who was going through the
stubbles collecting a drove of pigs (for, without any apology, that is
what they are called) gave a blast of his horn to bring them together,
and forthwith it seemed to Don Quixote to be what he was expecting, the
signal of some dwarf announcing his arrival; and so with prodigious
satisfaction he rode up to the inn and to the ladies, who, seeing a man
of this sort approaching in full armour and with lance and buckler, were
turning in dismay into the inn, when Don Quixote, guessing their fear by
their flight, raising his pasteboard visor, disclosed his dry dusty
visage, and with courteous bearing and gentle voice addressed them, "Your
ladyships need not fly or fear any rudeness, for that it belongs not to
the order of knighthood which I profess to offer to anyone, much less to
highborn maidens as your appearance proclaims you to be." The girls were
looking at him and straining their eyes to make out the features which
the clumsy visor obscured, but when they heard themselves called maidens,
a thing so much out of their line, they could not restrain their
laughter, which made Don Quixote wax indignant, and say, "Modesty becomes
the fair, and moreover laughter that has little cause is great silliness;
this, however, I say not to pain or anger you, for my desire is none
other than to serve you."

The incomprehensible language and the unpromising looks of our cavalier
only increased the ladies' laughter, and that increased his irritation,
and matters might have gone farther if at that moment the landlord had
not come out, who, being a very fat man, was a very peaceful one. He,
seeing this grotesque figure clad in armour that did not match any more
than his saddle, bridle, lance, buckler, or corselet, was not at all
indisposed to join the damsels in their manifestations of amusement; but,
in truth, standing in awe of such a complicated armament, he thought it
best to speak him fairly, so he said, "Senor Caballero, if your worship
wants lodging, bating the bed (for there is not one in the inn) there is
plenty of everything else here." Don Quixote, observing the respectful
bearing of the Alcaide of the fortress (for so innkeeper and inn seemed
in his eyes), made answer, "Sir Castellan, for me anything will suffice,

'My armour is my only wear,
My only rest the fray.'"

The host fancied he called him Castellan because he took him for a
"worthy of Castile," though he was in fact an Andalusian, and one from
the strand of San Lucar, as crafty a thief as Cacus and as full of tricks
as a student or a page. "In that case," said he,

"'Your bed is on the flinty rock,
Your sleep to watch alway;'

and if so, you may dismount and safely reckon upon any quantity of
sleeplessness under this roof for a twelvemonth, not to say for a single
night." So saying, he advanced to hold the stirrup for Don Quixote, who
got down with great difficulty and exertion (for he had not broken his
fast all day), and then charged the host to take great care of his horse,
as he was the best bit of flesh that ever ate bread in this world. The
landlord eyed him over but did not find him as good as Don Quixote said,
nor even half as good; and putting him up in the stable, he returned to
see what might be wanted by his guest, whom the damsels, who had by this
time made their peace with him, were now relieving of his armour. They
had taken off his breastplate and backpiece, but they neither knew nor
saw how to open his gorget or remove his make-shift helmet, for he had
fastened it with green ribbons, which, as there was no untying the knots,
required to be cut. This, however, he would not by any means consent to,
so he remained all the evening with his helmet on, the drollest and
oddest figure that can be imagined; and while they were removing his
armour, taking the baggages who were about it for ladies of high degree
belonging to the castle, he said to them with great sprightliness:

"Oh, never, surely, was there knight
  So served by hand of dame,
As served was he, Don Quixote hight,
  When from his town he came;
With maidens waiting on himself,
  Princesses on his hack--

or Rocinante, for that, ladies mine, is my horse's name, and Don Quixote
of La Mancha is my own; for though I had no intention of declaring myself
until my achievements in your service and honour had made me known, the
necessity of adapting that old ballad of Lancelot to the present occasion
has given you the knowledge of my name altogether prematurely. A time,
however, will come for your ladyships to command and me to obey, and then
the might of my arm will show my desire to serve you."

The girls, who were not used to hearing rhetoric of this sort, had
nothing to say in reply; they only asked him if he wanted anything to
eat. "I would gladly eat a bit of something," said Don Quixote, "for I
feel it would come very seasonably." The day happened to be a Friday, and
in the whole inn there was nothing but some pieces of the fish they call
in Castile "abadejo," in Andalusia "bacallao," and in some places
"curadillo," and in others "troutlet;" so they asked him if he thought he
could eat troutlet, for there was no other fish to give him. "If there be
troutlets enough," said Don Quixote, "they will be the same thing as a
trout; for it is all one to me whether I am given eight reals in small
change or a piece of eight; moreover, it may be that these troutlets are
like veal, which is better than beef, or kid, which is better than goat.
But whatever it be let it come quickly, for the burden and pressure of
arms cannot be borne without support to the inside." They laid a table
for him at the door of the inn for the sake of the air, and the host
brought him a portion of ill-soaked and worse cooked stockfish, and a
piece of bread as black and mouldy as his own armour; but a laughable
sight it was to see him eating, for having his helmet on and the beaver
up, he could not with his own hands put anything into his mouth unless
some one else placed it there, and this service one of the ladies
rendered him. But to give him anything to drink was impossible, or would
have been so had not the landlord bored a reed, and putting one end in
his mouth poured the wine into him through the other; all which he bore
with patience rather than sever the ribbons of his helmet.

While this was going on there came up to the inn a sowgelder, who, as he
approached, sounded his reed pipe four or five times, and thereby
completely convinced Don Quixote that he was in some famous castle, and
that they were regaling him with music, and that the stockfish was trout,
the bread the whitest, the wenches ladies, and the landlord the castellan
of the castle; and consequently he held that his enterprise and sally had
been to some purpose. But still it distressed him to think he had not
been dubbed a knight, for it was plain to him he could not lawfully
engage in any adventure without receiving the order of knighthood.



Harassed by this reflection, he made haste with his scanty pothouse
supper, and having finished it called the landlord, and shutting himself
into the stable with him, fell on his knees before him, saying, "From
this spot I rise not, valiant knight, until your courtesy grants me the
boon I seek, one that will redound to your praise and the benefit of the
human race." The landlord, seeing his guest at his feet and hearing a
speech of this kind, stood staring at him in bewilderment, not knowing
what to do or say, and entreating him to rise, but all to no purpose
until he had agreed to grant the boon demanded of him. "I looked for no
less, my lord, from your High Magnificence," replied Don Quixote, "and I
have to tell you that the boon I have asked and your liberality has
granted is that you shall dub me knight to-morrow morning, and that
to-night I shall watch my arms in the chapel of this your castle; thus
tomorrow, as I have said, will be accomplished what I so much desire,
enabling me lawfully to roam through all the four quarters of the world
seeking adventures on behalf of those in distress, as is the duty of
chivalry and of knights-errant like myself, whose ambition is directed to
such deeds."

The landlord, who, as has been mentioned, was something of a wag, and had
already some suspicion of his guest's want of wits, was quite convinced
of it on hearing talk of this kind from him, and to make sport for the
night he determined to fall in with his humour. So he told him he was
quite right in pursuing the object he had in view, and that such a motive
was natural and becoming in cavaliers as distinguished as he seemed and
his gallant bearing showed him to be; and that he himself in his younger
days had followed the same honourable calling, roaming in quest of
adventures in various parts of the world, among others the Curing-grounds
of Malaga, the Isles of Riaran, the Precinct of Seville, the Little
Market of Segovia, the Olivera of Valencia, the Rondilla of Granada, the
Strand of San Lucar, the Colt of Cordova, the Taverns of Toledo, and
divers other quarters, where he had proved the nimbleness of his feet and
the lightness of his fingers, doing many wrongs, cheating many widows,
ruining maids and swindling minors, and, in short, bringing himself under
the notice of almost every tribunal and court of justice in Spain; until
at last he had retired to this castle of his, where he was living upon
his property and upon that of others; and where he received all
knights-errant of whatever rank or condition they might be, all for the
great love he bore them and that they might share their substance with
him in return for his benevolence. He told him, moreover, that in this
castle of his there was no chapel in which he could watch his armour, as
it had been pulled down in order to be rebuilt, but that in a case of
necessity it might, he knew, be watched anywhere, and he might watch it
that night in a courtyard of the castle, and in the morning, God willing,
the requisite ceremonies might be performed so as to have him dubbed a
knight, and so thoroughly dubbed that nobody could be more so. He asked
if he had any money with him, to which Don Quixote replied that he had
not a farthing, as in the histories of knights-errant he had never read
of any of them carrying any. On this point the landlord told him he was
mistaken; for, though not recorded in the histories, because in the
author's opinion there was no need to mention anything so obvious and
necessary as money and clean shirts, it was not to be supposed therefore
that they did not carry them, and he might regard it as certain and
established that all knights-errant (about whom there were so many full
and unimpeachable books) carried well-furnished purses in case of
emergency, and likewise carried shirts and a little box of ointment to
cure the wounds they received. For in those plains and deserts where they
engaged in combat and came out wounded, it was not always that there was
some one to cure them, unless indeed they had for a friend some sage
magician to succour them at once by fetching through the air upon a cloud
some damsel or dwarf with a vial of water of such virtue that by tasting
one drop of it they were cured of their hurts and wounds in an instant
and left as sound as if they had not received any damage whatever. But in
case this should not occur, the knights of old took care to see that
their squires were provided with money and other requisites, such as lint
and ointments for healing purposes; and when it happened that knights had
no squires (which was rarely and seldom the case) they themselves carried
everything in cunning saddle-bags that were hardly seen on the horse's
croup, as if it were something else of more importance, because, unless
for some such reason, carrying saddle-bags was not very favourably
regarded among knights-errant. He therefore advised him (and, as his
godson so soon to be, he might even command him) never from that time
forth to travel without money and the usual requirements, and he would
find the advantage of them when he least expected it.

Don Quixote promised to follow his advice scrupulously, and it was
arranged forthwith that he should watch his armour in a large yard at one
side of the inn; so, collecting it all together, Don Quixote placed it on
a trough that stood by the side of a well, and bracing his buckler on his
arm he grasped his lance and began with a stately air to march up and
down in front of the trough, and as he began his march night began to

The landlord told all the people who were in the inn about the craze of
his guest, the watching of the armour, and the dubbing ceremony he
contemplated. Full of wonder at so strange a form of madness, they
flocked to see it from a distance, and observed with what composure he
sometimes paced up and down, or sometimes, leaning on his lance, gazed on
his armour without taking his eyes off it for ever so long; and as the
night closed in with a light from the moon so brilliant that it might vie
with his that lent it, everything the novice knight did was plainly seen
by all.

Meanwhile one of the carriers who were in the inn thought fit to water
his team, and it was necessary to remove Don Quixote's armour as it lay
on the trough; but he seeing the other approach hailed him in a loud
voice, "O thou, whoever thou art, rash knight that comest to lay hands on
the armour of the most valorous errant that ever girt on sword, have a
care what thou dost; touch it not unless thou wouldst lay down thy life
as the penalty of thy rashness." The carrier gave no heed to these words
(and he would have done better to heed them if he had been heedful of his
health), but seizing it by the straps flung the armour some distance from
him. Seeing this, Don Quixote raised his eyes to heaven, and fixing his
thoughts, apparently, upon his lady Dulcinea, exclaimed, "Aid me, lady
mine, in this the first encounter that presents itself to this breast
which thou holdest in subjection; let not thy favour and protection fail
me in this first jeopardy;" and, with these words and others to the same
purpose, dropping his buckler he lifted his lance with both hands and
with it smote such a blow on the carrier's head that he stretched him on
the ground, so stunned that had he followed it up with a second there
would have been no need of a surgeon to cure him. This done, he picked up
his armour and returned to his beat with the same serenity as before.

Shortly after this, another, not knowing what had happened (for the
carrier still lay senseless), came with the same object of giving water
to his mules, and was proceeding to remove the armour in order to clear
the trough, when Don Quixote, without uttering a word or imploring aid
from anyone, once more dropped his buckler and once more lifted his
lance, and without actually breaking the second carrier's head into
pieces, made more than three of it, for he laid it open in four. At the
noise all the people of the inn ran to the spot, and among them the
landlord. Seeing this, Don Quixote braced his buckler on his arm, and
with his hand on his sword exclaimed, "O Lady of Beauty, strength and
support of my faint heart, it is time for thee to turn the eyes of thy
greatness on this thy captive knight on the brink of so mighty an
adventure." By this he felt himself so inspired that he would not have
flinched if all the carriers in the world had assailed him. The comrades
of the wounded perceiving the plight they were in began from a distance
to shower stones on Don Quixote, who screened himself as best he could
with his buckler, not daring to quit the trough and leave his armour
unprotected. The landlord shouted to them to leave him alone, for he had
already told them that he was mad, and as a madman he would not be
accountable even if he killed them all. Still louder shouted Don Quixote,
calling them knaves and traitors, and the lord of the castle, who allowed
knights-errant to be treated in this fashion, a villain and a low-born
knight whom, had he received the order of knighthood, he would call to
account for his treachery. "But of you," he cried, "base and vile rabble,
I make no account; fling, strike, come on, do all ye can against me, ye
shall see what the reward of your folly and insolence will be." This he
uttered with so much spirit and boldness that he filled his assailants
with a terrible fear, and as much for this reason as at the persuasion of
the landlord they left off stoning him, and he allowed them to carry off
the wounded, and with the same calmness and composure as before resumed
the watch over his armour.

But these freaks of his guest were not much to the liking of the
landlord, so he determined to cut matters short and confer upon him at
once the unlucky order of knighthood before any further misadventure
could occur; so, going up to him, he apologised for the rudeness which,
without his knowledge, had been offered to him by these low people, who,
however, had been well punished for their audacity. As he had already
told him, he said, there was no chapel in the castle, nor was it needed
for what remained to be done, for, as he understood the ceremonial of the
order, the whole point of being dubbed a knight lay in the accolade and
in the slap on the shoulder, and that could be administered in the middle
of a field; and that he had now done all that was needful as to watching
the armour, for all requirements were satisfied by a watch of two hours
only, while he had been more than four about it. Don Quixote believed it
all, and told him he stood there ready to obey him, and to make an end of
it with as much despatch as possible; for, if he were again attacked, and
felt himself to be dubbed knight, he would not, he thought, leave a soul
alive in the castle, except such as out of respect he might spare at his

Thus warned and menaced, the castellan forthwith brought out a book in
which he used to enter the straw and barley he served out to the
carriers, and, with a lad carrying a candle-end, and the two damsels
already mentioned, he returned to where Don Quixote stood, and bade him
kneel down. Then, reading from his account-book as if he were repeating
some devout prayer, in the middle of his delivery he raised his hand and
gave him a sturdy blow on the neck, and then, with his own sword, a smart
slap on the shoulder, all the while muttering between his teeth as if he
was saying his prayers. Having done this, he directed one of the ladies
to gird on his sword, which she did with great self-possession and
gravity, and not a little was required to prevent a burst of laughter at
each stage of the ceremony; but what they had already seen of the novice
knight's prowess kept their laughter within bounds. On girding him with
the sword the worthy lady said to him, "May God make your worship a very
fortunate knight, and grant you success in battle." Don Quixote asked her
name in order that he might from that time forward know to whom he was
beholden for the favour he had received, as he meant to confer upon her
some portion of the honour he acquired by the might of his arm. She
answered with great humility that she was called La Tolosa, and that she
was the daughter of a cobbler of Toledo who lived in the stalls of
Sanchobienaya, and that wherever she might be she would serve and esteem
him as her lord. Don Quixote said in reply that she would do him a favour
if thenceforward she assumed the "Don" and called herself Dona Tolosa.
She promised she would, and then the other buckled on his spur, and with
her followed almost the same conversation as with the lady of the sword.
He asked her name, and she said it was La Molinera, and that she was the
daughter of a respectable miller of Antequera; and of her likewise Don
Quixote requested that she would adopt the "Don" and call herself Dona
Molinera, making offers to her further services and favours.

Having thus, with hot haste and speed, brought to a conclusion these
never-till-now-seen ceremonies, Don Quixote was on thorns until he saw
himself on horseback sallying forth in quest of adventures; and saddling
Rocinante at once he mounted, and embracing his host, as he returned
thanks for his kindness in knighting him, he addressed him in language so
extraordinary that it is impossible to convey an idea of it or report it.
The landlord, to get him out of the inn, replied with no less rhetoric
though with shorter words, and without calling upon him to pay the
reckoning let him go with a Godspeed.



Day was dawning when Don Quixote quitted the inn, so happy, so gay, so
exhilarated at finding himself now dubbed a knight, that his joy was like
to burst his horse-girths. However, recalling the advice of his host as
to the requisites he ought to carry with him, especially that referring
to money and shirts, he determined to go home and provide himself with
all, and also with a squire, for he reckoned upon securing a
farm-labourer, a neighbour of his, a poor man with a family, but very
well qualified for the office of squire to a knight. With this object he
turned his horse's head towards his village, and Rocinante, thus reminded
of his old quarters, stepped out so briskly that he hardly seemed to
tread the earth.

He had not gone far, when out of a thicket on his right there seemed to
come feeble cries as of some one in distress, and the instant he heard
them he exclaimed, "Thanks be to heaven for the favour it accords me,
that it so soon offers me an opportunity of fulfilling the obligation I
have undertaken, and gathering the fruit of my ambition. These cries, no
doubt, come from some man or woman in want of help, and needing my aid
and protection;" and wheeling, he turned Rocinante in the direction
whence the cries seemed to proceed. He had gone but a few paces into the
wood, when he saw a mare tied to an oak, and tied to another, and
stripped from the waist upwards, a youth of about fifteen years of age,
from whom the cries came. Nor were they without cause, for a lusty farmer
was flogging him with a belt and following up every blow with scoldings
and commands, repeating, "Your mouth shut and your eyes open!" while the
youth made answer, "I won't do it again, master mine; by God's passion I
won't do it again, and I'll take more care of the flock another time."

Seeing what was going on, Don Quixote said in an angry voice,
"Discourteous knight, it ill becomes you to assail one who cannot defend
himself; mount your steed and take your lance" (for there was a lance
leaning against the oak to which the mare was tied), "and I will make you
know that you are behaving as a coward." The farmer, seeing before him
this figure in full armour brandishing a lance over his head, gave
himself up for dead, and made answer meekly, "Sir Knight, this youth that
I am chastising is my servant, employed by me to watch a flock of sheep
that I have hard by, and he is so careless that I lose one every day, and
when I punish him for his carelessness and knavery he says I do it out of
niggardliness, to escape paying him the wages I owe him, and before God,
and on my soul, he lies."

"Lies before me, base clown!" said Don Quixote. "By the sun that shines
on us I have a mind to run you through with this lance. Pay him at once
without another word; if not, by the God that rules us I will make an end
of you, and annihilate you on the spot; release him instantly."

The farmer hung his head, and without a word untied his servant, of whom
Don Quixote asked how much his master owed him.

He replied, nine months at seven reals a month. Don Quixote added it up,
found that it came to sixty-three reals, and told the farmer to pay it
down immediately, if he did not want to die for it.

The trembling clown replied that as he lived and by the oath he had sworn
(though he had not sworn any) it was not so much; for there were to be
taken into account and deducted three pairs of shoes he had given him,
and a real for two blood-lettings when he was sick.

"All that is very well," said Don Quixote; "but let the shoes and the
blood-lettings stand as a setoff against the blows you have given him
without any cause; for if he spoiled the leather of the shoes you paid
for, you have damaged that of his body, and if the barber took blood from
him when he was sick, you have drawn it when he was sound; so on that
score he owes you nothing."

"The difficulty is, Sir Knight, that I have no money here; let Andres
come home with me, and I will pay him all, real by real."

"I go with him!" said the youth. "Nay, God forbid! No, senor, not for the
world; for once alone with me, he would ray me like a Saint Bartholomew."

"He will do nothing of the kind," said Don Quixote; "I have only to
command, and he will obey me; and as he has sworn to me by the order of
knighthood which he has received, I leave him free, and I guarantee the

"Consider what you are saying, senor," said the youth; "this master of
mine is not a knight, nor has he received any order of knighthood; for he
is Juan Haldudo the Rich, of Quintanar."

"That matters little," replied Don Quixote; "there may be Haldudos
knights; moreover, everyone is the son of his works."

"That is true," said Andres; "but this master of mine--of what works is
he the son, when he refuses me the wages of my sweat and labour?"

"I do not refuse, brother Andres," said the farmer, "be good enough to
come along with me, and I swear by all the orders of knighthood there are
in the world to pay you as I have agreed, real by real, and perfumed."

"For the perfumery I excuse you," said Don Quixote; "give it to him in
reals, and I shall be satisfied; and see that you do as you have sworn;
if not, by the same oath I swear to come back and hunt you out and punish
you; and I shall find you though you should lie closer than a lizard. And
if you desire to know who it is lays this command upon you, that you be
more firmly bound to obey it, know that I am the valorous Don Quixote of
La Mancha, the undoer of wrongs and injustices; and so, God be with you,
and keep in mind what you have promised and sworn under those penalties
that have been already declared to you."

So saying, he gave Rocinante the spur and was soon out of reach. The
farmer followed him with his eyes, and when he saw that he had cleared
the wood and was no longer in sight, he turned to his boy Andres, and
said, "Come here, my son, I want to pay you what I owe you, as that
undoer of wrongs has commanded me."

"My oath on it," said Andres, "your worship will be well advised to obey
the command of that good knight--may he live a thousand years--for, as he
is a valiant and just judge, by Roque, if you do not pay me, he will come
back and do as he said."

"My oath on it, too," said the farmer; "but as I have a strong affection
for you, I want to add to the debt in order to add to the payment;" and
seizing him by the arm, he tied him up again, and gave him such a
flogging that he left him for dead.

"Now, Master Andres," said the farmer, "call on the undoer of wrongs; you
will find he won't undo that, though I am not sure that I have quite done
with you, for I have a good mind to flay you alive." But at last he
untied him, and gave him leave to go look for his judge in order to put
the sentence pronounced into execution.

Andres went off rather down in the mouth, swearing he would go to look
for the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha and tell him exactly what had
happened, and that all would have to be repaid him sevenfold; but for all
that, he went off weeping, while his master stood laughing.

Thus did the valiant Don Quixote right that wrong, and, thoroughly
satisfied with what had taken place, as he considered he had made a very
happy and noble beginning with his knighthood, he took the road towards
his village in perfect self-content, saying in a low voice, "Well mayest
thou this day call thyself fortunate above all on earth, O Dulcinea del
Toboso, fairest of the fair! since it has fallen to thy lot to hold
subject and submissive to thy full will and pleasure a knight so renowned
as is and will be Don Quixote of La Mancha, who, as all the world knows,
yesterday received the order of knighthood, and hath to-day righted the
greatest wrong and grievance that ever injustice conceived and cruelty
perpetrated: who hath to-day plucked the rod from the hand of yonder
ruthless oppressor so wantonly lashing that tender child."

He now came to a road branching in four directions, and immediately he
was reminded of those cross-roads where knights-errant used to stop to
consider which road they should take. In imitation of them he halted for
a while, and after having deeply considered it, he gave Rocinante his
head, submitting his own will to that of his hack, who followed out his
first intention, which was to make straight for his own stable. After he
had gone about two miles Don Quixote perceived a large party of people,
who, as afterwards appeared, were some Toledo traders, on their way to
buy silk at Murcia. There were six of them coming along under their
sunshades, with four servants mounted, and three muleteers on foot.
Scarcely had Don Quixote descried them when the fancy possessed him that
this must be some new adventure; and to help him to imitate as far as he
could those passages he had read of in his books, here seemed to come one
made on purpose, which he resolved to attempt. So with a lofty bearing
and determination he fixed himself firmly in his stirrups, got his lance
ready, brought his buckler before his breast, and planting himself in the
middle of the road, stood waiting the approach of these knights-errant,
for such he now considered and held them to be; and when they had come
near enough to see and hear, he exclaimed with a haughty gesture, "All
the world stand, unless all the world confess that in all the world there
is no maiden fairer than the Empress of La Mancha, the peerless Dulcinea
del Toboso."

The traders halted at the sound of this language and the sight of the
strange figure that uttered it, and from both figure and language at once
guessed the craze of their owner; they wished, however, to learn quietly
what was the object of this confession that was demanded of them, and one
of them, who was rather fond of a joke and was very sharp-witted, said to
him, "Sir Knight, we do not know who this good lady is that you speak of;
show her to us, for, if she be of such beauty as you suggest, with all
our hearts and without any pressure we will confess the truth that is on
your part required of us."

"If I were to show her to you," replied Don Quixote, "what merit would
you have in confessing a truth so manifest? The essential point is that
without seeing her you must believe, confess, affirm, swear, and defend
it; else ye have to do with me in battle, ill-conditioned, arrogant
rabble that ye are; and come ye on, one by one as the order of knighthood
requires, or all together as is the custom and vile usage of your breed,
here do I bide and await you relying on the justice of the cause I

"Sir Knight," replied the trader, "I entreat your worship in the name of
this present company of princes, that, to save us from charging our
consciences with the confession of a thing we have never seen or heard
of, and one moreover so much to the prejudice of the Empresses and Queens
of the Alcarria and Estremadura, your worship will be pleased to show us
some portrait of this lady, though it be no bigger than a grain of wheat;
for by the thread one gets at the ball, and in this way we shall be
satisfied and easy, and you will be content and pleased; nay, I believe
we are already so far agreed with you that even though her portrait
should show her blind of one eye, and distilling vermilion and sulphur
from the other, we would nevertheless, to gratify your worship, say all
in her favour that you desire."

"She distils nothing of the kind, vile rabble," said Don Quixote, burning
with rage, "nothing of the kind, I say, only ambergris and civet in
cotton; nor is she one-eyed or humpbacked, but straighter than a
Guadarrama spindle: but ye must pay for the blasphemy ye have uttered
against beauty like that of my lady."

And so saying, he charged with levelled lance against the one who had
spoken, with such fury and fierceness that, if luck had not contrived
that Rocinante should stumble midway and come down, it would have gone
hard with the rash trader. Down went Rocinante, and over went his master,
rolling along the ground for some distance; and when he tried to rise he
was unable, so encumbered was he with lance, buckler, spurs, helmet, and
the weight of his old armour; and all the while he was struggling to get
up he kept saying, "Fly not, cowards and caitiffs! stay, for not by my
fault, but my horse's, am I stretched here."

One of the muleteers in attendance, who could not have had much good
nature in him, hearing the poor prostrate man blustering in this style,
was unable to refrain from giving him an answer on his ribs; and coming
up to him he seized his lance, and having broken it in pieces, with one
of them he began so to belabour our Don Quixote that, notwithstanding and
in spite of his armour, he milled him like a measure of wheat. His
masters called out not to lay on so hard and to leave him alone, but the
muleteers blood was up, and he did not care to drop the game until he had
vented the rest of his wrath, and gathering up the remaining fragments of
the lance he finished with a discharge upon the unhappy victim, who all
through the storm of sticks that rained on him never ceased threatening
heaven, and earth, and the brigands, for such they seemed to him. At last
the muleteer was tired, and the traders continued their journey, taking
with them matter for talk about the poor fellow who had been cudgelled.
He when he found himself alone made another effort to rise; but if he was
unable when whole and sound, how was he to rise after having been
thrashed and well-nigh knocked to pieces? And yet he esteemed himself
fortunate, as it seemed to him that this was a regular knight-errant's
mishap, and entirely, he considered, the fault of his horse. However,
battered in body as he was, to rise was beyond his power.



Finding, then, that, in fact he could not move, he thought himself of
having recourse to his usual remedy, which was to think of some passage
in his books, and his craze brought to his mind that about Baldwin and
the Marquis of Mantua, when Carloto left him wounded on the mountain
side, a story known by heart by the children, not forgotten by the young
men, and lauded and even believed by the old folk; and for all that not a
whit truer than the miracles of Mahomet. This seemed to him to fit
exactly the case in which he found himself, so, making a show of severe
suffering, he began to roll on the ground and with feeble breath repeat
the very words which the wounded knight of the wood is said to have

Where art thou, lady mine, that thou
  My sorrow dost not rue?
Thou canst not know it, lady mine,
  Or else thou art untrue.

And so he went on with the ballad as far as the lines:

O noble Marquis of Mantua,
  My Uncle and liege lord!

As chance would have it, when he had got to this line there happened to
come by a peasant from his own village, a neighbour of his, who had been
with a load of wheat to the mill, and he, seeing the man stretched there,
came up to him and asked him who he was and what was the matter with him
that he complained so dolefully.

Don Quixote was firmly persuaded that this was the Marquis of Mantua, his
uncle, so the only answer he made was to go on with his ballad, in which
he told the tale of his misfortune, and of the loves of the Emperor's son
and his wife all exactly as the ballad sings it.

The peasant stood amazed at hearing such nonsense, and relieving him of
the visor, already battered to pieces by blows, he wiped his face, which
was covered with dust, and as soon as he had done so he recognised him
and said, "Senor Quixada" (for so he appears to have been called when he
was in his senses and had not yet changed from a quiet country gentleman
into a knight-errant), "who has brought your worship to this pass?" But
to all questions the other only went on with his ballad.

Seeing this, the good man removed as well as he could his breastplate and
backpiece to see if he had any wound, but he could perceive no blood nor
any mark whatever. He then contrived to raise him from the ground, and
with no little difficulty hoisted him upon his ass, which seemed to him
to be the easiest mount for him; and collecting the arms, even to the
splinters of the lance, he tied them on Rocinante, and leading him by the
bridle and the ass by the halter he took the road for the village, very
sad to hear what absurd stuff Don Quixote was talking.

Nor was Don Quixote less so, for what with blows and bruises he could not
sit upright on the ass, and from time to time he sent up sighs to heaven,
so that once more he drove the peasant to ask what ailed him. And it
could have been only the devil himself that put into his head tales to
match his own adventures, for now, forgetting Baldwin, he bethought
himself of the Moor Abindarraez, when the Alcaide of Antequera, Rodrigo
de Narvaez, took him prisoner and carried him away to his castle; so that
when the peasant again asked him how he was and what ailed him, he gave
him for reply the same words and phrases that the captive Abindarraez
gave to Rodrigo de Narvaez, just as he had read the story in the "Diana"
of Jorge de Montemayor where it is written, applying it to his own case
so aptly that the peasant went along cursing his fate that he had to
listen to such a lot of nonsense; from which, however, he came to the
conclusion that his neighbour was mad, and so made all haste to reach the
village to escape the wearisomeness of this harangue of Don Quixote's;
who, at the end of it, said, "Senor Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, your worship
must know that this fair Xarifa I have mentioned is now the lovely
Dulcinea del Toboso, for whom I have done, am doing, and will do the most
famous deeds of chivalry that in this world have been seen, are to be
seen, or ever shall be seen."

To this the peasant answered, "Senor--sinner that I am!--cannot your
worship see that I am not Don Rodrigo de Narvaez nor the Marquis of
Mantua, but Pedro Alonso your neighbour, and that your worship is neither
Baldwin nor Abindarraez, but the worthy gentleman Senor Quixada?"

"I know who I am," replied Don Quixote, "and I know that I may be not
only those I have named, but all the Twelve Peers of France and even all
the Nine Worthies, since my achievements surpass all that they have done
all together and each of them on his own account."

With this talk and more of the same kind they reached the village just as
night was beginning to fall, but the peasant waited until it was a little
later that the belaboured gentleman might not be seen riding in such a
miserable trim. When it was what seemed to him the proper time he entered
the village and went to Don Quixote's house, which he found all in
confusion, and there were the curate and the village barber, who were
great friends of Don Quixote, and his housekeeper was saying to them in a
loud voice, "What does your worship think can have befallen my master,
Senor Licentiate Pero Perez?" for so the curate was called; "it is three
days now since anything has been seen of him, or the hack, or the
buckler, lance, or armour. Miserable me! I am certain of it, and it is as
true as that I was born to die, that these accursed books of chivalry he
has, and has got into the way of reading so constantly, have upset his
reason; for now I remember having often heard him saying to himself that
he would turn knight-errant and go all over the world in quest of
adventures. To the devil and Barabbas with such books, that have brought
to ruin in this way the finest understanding there was in all La Mancha!"

The niece said the same, and, more: "You must know, Master Nicholas"--for
that was the name of the barber--"it was often my uncle's way to stay two
days and nights together poring over these unholy books of misventures,
after which he would fling the book away and snatch up his sword and fall
to slashing the walls; and when he was tired out he would say he had
killed four giants like four towers; and the sweat that flowed from him
when he was weary he said was the blood of the wounds he had received in
battle; and then he would drink a great jug of cold water and become calm
and quiet, saying that this water was a most precious potion which the
sage Esquife, a great magician and friend of his, had brought him. But I
take all the blame upon myself for never having told your worships of my
uncle's vagaries, that you might put a stop to them before things had
come to this pass, and burn all these accursed books--for he has a great
number--that richly deserve to be burned like heretics."

"So say I too," said the curate, "and by my faith to-morrow shall not
pass without public judgment upon them, and may they be condemned to the
flames lest they lead those that read to behave as my good friend seems
to have behaved."

All this the peasant heard, and from it he understood at last what was
the matter with his neighbour, so he began calling aloud, "Open, your
worships, to Senor Baldwin and to Senor the Marquis of Mantua, who comes
badly wounded, and to Senor Abindarraez, the Moor, whom the valiant
Rodrigo de Narvaez, the Alcaide of Antequera, brings captive."

At these words they all hurried out, and when they recognised their
friend, master, and uncle, who had not yet dismounted from the ass
because he could not, they ran to embrace him.

"Hold!" said he, "for I am badly wounded through my horse's fault; carry
me to bed, and if possible send for the wise Urganda to cure and see to
my wounds."

"See there! plague on it!" cried the housekeeper at this: "did not my
heart tell the truth as to which foot my master went lame of? To bed with
your worship at once, and we will contrive to cure you here without
fetching that Hurgada. A curse I say once more, and a hundred times more,
on those books of chivalry that have brought your worship to such a

They carried him to bed at once, and after searching for his wounds could
find none, but he said they were all bruises from having had a severe
fall with his horse Rocinante when in combat with ten giants, the biggest
and the boldest to be found on earth.

"So, so!" said the curate, "are there giants in the dance? By the sign of
the Cross I will burn them to-morrow before the day over."

They put a host of questions to Don Quixote, but his only answer to all
was--give him something to eat, and leave him to sleep, for that was what
he needed most. They did so, and the curate questioned the peasant at
great length as to how he had found Don Quixote. He told him, and the
nonsense he had talked when found and on the way home, all which made the
licentiate the more eager to do what he did the next day, which was to
summon his friend the barber, Master Nicholas, and go with him to Don
Quixote's house.



He was still sleeping; so the curate asked the niece for the keys of the
room where the books, the authors of all the mischief, were, and right
willingly she gave them. They all went in, the housekeeper with them, and
found more than a hundred volumes of big books very well bound, and some
other small ones. The moment the housekeeper saw them she turned about
and ran out of the room, and came back immediately with a saucer of holy
water and a sprinkler, saying, "Here, your worship, senor licentiate,
sprinkle this room; don't leave any magician of the many there are in
these books to bewitch us in revenge for our design of banishing them
from the world."

The simplicity of the housekeeper made the licentiate laugh, and he
directed the barber to give him the books one by one to see what they
were about, as there might be some to be found among them that did not
deserve the penalty of fire.

"No," said the niece, "there is no reason for showing mercy to any of
them; they have every one of them done mischief; better fling them out of
the window into the court and make a pile of them and set fire to them;
or else carry them into the yard, and there a bonfire can be made without
the smoke giving any annoyance." The housekeeper said the same, so eager
were they both for the slaughter of those innocents, but the curate would
not agree to it without first reading at any rate the titles.

The first that Master Nicholas put into his hand was "The four books of
Amadis of Gaul." "This seems a mysterious thing," said the curate, "for,
as I have heard say, this was the first book of chivalry printed in
Spain, and from this all the others derive their birth and origin; so it
seems to me that we ought inexorably to condemn it to the flames as the
founder of so vile a sect."

"Nay, sir," said the barber, "I too, have heard say that this is the best
of all the books of this kind that have been written, and so, as
something singular in its line, it ought to be pardoned."

"True," said the curate; "and for that reason let its life be spared for
the present. Let us see that other which is next to it."

"It is," said the barber, "the 'Sergas de Esplandian,' the lawful son of
Amadis of Gaul."

"Then verily," said the curate, "the merit of the father must not be put
down to the account of the son. Take it, mistress housekeeper; open the
window and fling it into the yard and lay the foundation of the pile for
the bonfire we are to make."

The housekeeper obeyed with great satisfaction, and the worthy
"Esplandian" went flying into the yard to await with all patience the
fire that was in store for him.

"Proceed," said the curate.

"This that comes next," said the barber, "is 'Amadis of Greece,' and,
indeed, I believe all those on this side are of the same Amadis lineage."

"Then to the yard with the whole of them," said the curate; "for to have
the burning of Queen Pintiquiniestra, and the shepherd Darinel and his
eclogues, and the bedevilled and involved discourses of his author, I
would burn with them the father who begot me if he were going about in
the guise of a knight-errant."

"I am of the same mind," said the barber.

"And so am I," added the niece.

"In that case," said the housekeeper, "here, into the yard with them!"

They were handed to her, and as there were many of them, she spared
herself the staircase, and flung them down out of the window.

"Who is that tub there?" said the curate.

"This," said the barber, "is 'Don Olivante de Laura.'"

"The author of that book," said the curate, "was the same that wrote 'The
Garden of Flowers,' and truly there is no deciding which of the two books
is the more truthful, or, to put it better, the less lying; all I can say
is, send this one into the yard for a swaggering fool."

"This that follows is 'Florismarte of Hircania,'" said the barber.

"Senor Florismarte here?" said the curate; "then by my faith he must take
up his quarters in the yard, in spite of his marvellous birth and
visionary adventures, for the stiffness and dryness of his style deserve
nothing else; into the yard with him and the other, mistress

"With all my heart, senor," said she, and executed the order with great

"This," said the barber, "is The Knight Platir.'"

"An old book that," said the curate, "but I find no reason for clemency
in it; send it after the others without appeal;" which was done.

Another book was opened, and they saw it was entitled, "The Knight of the

"For the sake of the holy name this book has," said the curate, "its
ignorance might be excused; but then, they say, 'behind the cross there's
the devil; to the fire with it."

Taking down another book, the barber said, "This is 'The Mirror of

"I know his worship," said the curate; "that is where Senor Reinaldos of
Montalvan figures with his friends and comrades, greater thieves than
Cacus, and the Twelve Peers of France with the veracious historian
Turpin; however, I am not for condemning them to more than perpetual
banishment, because, at any rate, they have some share in the invention
of the famous Matteo Boiardo, whence too the Christian poet Ludovico
Ariosto wove his web, to whom, if I find him here, and speaking any
language but his own, I shall show no respect whatever; but if he speaks
his own tongue I will put him upon my head."

"Well, I have him in Italian," said the barber, "but I do not understand

"Nor would it be well that you should understand him," said the curate,
"and on that score we might have excused the Captain if he had not
brought him into Spain and turned him into Castilian. He robbed him of a
great deal of his natural force, and so do all those who try to turn
books written in verse into another language, for, with all the pains
they take and all the cleverness they show, they never can reach the
level of the originals as they were first produced. In short, I say that
this book, and all that may be found treating of those French affairs,
should be thrown into or deposited in some dry well, until after more
consideration it is settled what is to be done with them; excepting
always one 'Bernardo del Carpio' that is going about, and another called
'Roncesvalles;' for these, if they come into my hands, shall pass at once
into those of the housekeeper, and from hers into the fire without any

To all this the barber gave his assent, and looked upon it as right and
proper, being persuaded that the curate was so staunch to the Faith and
loyal to the Truth that he would not for the world say anything opposed
to them. Opening another book he saw it was "Palmerin de Oliva," and
beside it was another called "Palmerin of England," seeing which the
licentiate said, "Let the Olive be made firewood of at once and burned
until no ashes even are left; and let that Palm of England be kept and
preserved as a thing that stands alone, and let such another case be made
for it as that which Alexander found among the spoils of Darius and set
aside for the safe keeping of the works of the poet Homer. This book,
gossip, is of authority for two reasons, first because it is very good,
and secondly because it is said to have been written by a wise and witty
king of Portugal. All the adventures at the Castle of Miraguarda are
excellent and of admirable contrivance, and the language is polished and
clear, studying and observing the style befitting the speaker with
propriety and judgment. So then, provided it seems good to you, Master
Nicholas, I say let this and 'Amadis of Gaul' be remitted the penalty of
fire, and as for all the rest, let them perish without further question
or query."

"Nay, gossip," said the barber, "for this that I have here is the famous
'Don Belianis.'"

"Well," said the curate, "that and the second, third, and fourth parts
all stand in need of a little rhubarb to purge their excess of bile, and
they must be cleared of all that stuff about the Castle of Fame and other
greater affectations, to which end let them be allowed the over-seas
term, and, according as they mend, so shall mercy or justice be meted out
to them; and in the mean time, gossip, do you keep them in your house and
let no one read them."

"With all my heart," said the barber; and not caring to tire himself with
reading more books of chivalry, he told the housekeeper to take all the
big ones and throw them into the yard. It was not said to one dull or
deaf, but to one who enjoyed burning them more than weaving the broadest
and finest web that could be; and seizing about eight at a time, she
flung them out of the window.

In carrying so many together she let one fall at the feet of the barber,
who took it up, curious to know whose it was, and found it said, "History
of the Famous Knight, Tirante el Blanco."

"God bless me!" said the curate with a shout, "'Tirante el Blanco' here!
Hand it over, gossip, for in it I reckon I have found a treasury of
enjoyment and a mine of recreation. Here is Don Kyrieleison of Montalvan,
a valiant knight, and his brother Thomas of Montalvan, and the knight
Fonseca, with the battle the bold Tirante fought with the mastiff, and
the witticisms of the damsel Placerdemivida, and the loves and wiles of
the widow Reposada, and the empress in love with the squire Hipolito--in
truth, gossip, by right of its style it is the best book in the world.
Here knights eat and sleep, and die in their beds, and make their wills
before dying, and a great deal more of which there is nothing in all the
other books. Nevertheless, I say he who wrote it, for deliberately
composing such fooleries, deserves to be sent to the galleys for life.
Take it home with you and read it, and you will see that what I have said
is true."

"As you will," said the barber; "but what are we to do with these little
books that are left?"

"These must be, not chivalry, but poetry," said the curate; and opening
one he saw it was the "Diana" of Jorge de Montemayor, and, supposing all
the others to be of the same sort, "these," he said, "do not deserve to
be burned like the others, for they neither do nor can do the mischief
the books of chivalry have done, being books of entertainment that can
hurt no one."

"Ah, senor!" said the niece, "your worship had better order these to be
burned as well as the others; for it would be no wonder if, after being
cured of his chivalry disorder, my uncle, by reading these, took a fancy
to turn shepherd and range the woods and fields singing and piping; or,
what would be still worse, to turn poet, which they say is an incurable
and infectious malady."

"The damsel is right," said the curate, "and it will be well to put this
stumbling-block and temptation out of our friend's way. To begin, then,
with the 'Diana' of Montemayor. I am of opinion it should not be burned,
but that it should be cleared of all that about the sage Felicia and the
magic water, and of almost all the longer pieces of verse: let it keep,
and welcome, its prose and the honour of being the first of books of the

"This that comes next," said the barber, "is the 'Diana,' entitled the
'Second Part, by the Salamancan,' and this other has the same title, and
its author is Gil Polo."

"As for that of the Salamancan," replied the curate, "let it go to swell
the number of the condemned in the yard, and let Gil Polo's be preserved
as if it came from Apollo himself: but get on, gossip, and make haste,
for it is growing late."

"This book," said the barber, opening another, "is the ten books of the
'Fortune of Love,' written by Antonio de Lofraso, a Sardinian poet."

"By the orders I have received," said the curate, "since Apollo has been
Apollo, and the Muses have been Muses, and poets have been poets, so
droll and absurd a book as this has never been written, and in its way it
is the best and the most singular of all of this species that have as yet
appeared, and he who has not read it may be sure he has never read what
is delightful. Give it here, gossip, for I make more account of having
found it than if they had given me a cassock of Florence stuff."

He put it aside with extreme satisfaction, and the barber went on, "These
that come next are 'The Shepherd of Iberia,' 'Nymphs of Henares,' and
'The Enlightenment of Jealousy.'"

"Then all we have to do," said the curate, "is to hand them over to the
secular arm of the housekeeper, and ask me not why, or we shall never
have done."

"This next is the 'Pastor de Filida.'"

"No Pastor that," said the curate, "but a highly polished courtier; let
it be preserved as a precious jewel."

"This large one here," said the barber, "is called 'The Treasury of
various Poems.'"

"If there were not so many of them," said the curate, "they would be more
relished: this book must be weeded and cleansed of certain vulgarities
which it has with its excellences; let it be preserved because the author
is a friend of mine, and out of respect for other more heroic and loftier
works that he has written."

"This," continued the barber, "is the 'Cancionero' of Lopez de

"The author of that book, too," said the curate, "is a great friend of
mine, and his verses from his own mouth are the admiration of all who
hear them, for such is the sweetness of his voice that he enchants when
he chants them: it gives rather too much of its eclogues, but what is
good was never yet plentiful: let it be kept with those that have been
set apart. But what book is that next it?"

"The 'Galatea' of Miguel de Cervantes," said the barber.

"That Cervantes has been for many years a great friend of mine, and to my
knowledge he has had more experience in reverses than in verses. His book
has some good invention in it, it presents us with something but brings
nothing to a conclusion: we must wait for the Second Part it promises:
perhaps with amendment it may succeed in winning the full measure of
grace that is now denied it; and in the mean time do you, senor gossip,
keep it shut up in your own quarters."

"Very good," said the barber; "and here come three together, the
'Araucana' of Don Alonso de Ercilla, the 'Austriada' of Juan Rufo,
Justice of Cordova, and the 'Montserrate' of Christobal de Virues, the
Valencian poet."

"These three books," said the curate, "are the best that have been
written in Castilian in heroic verse, and they may compare with the most
famous of Italy; let them be preserved as the richest treasures of poetry
that Spain possesses."

The curate was tired and would not look into any more books, and so he
decided that, "contents uncertified," all the rest should be burned; but
just then the barber held open one, called "The Tears of Angelica."

"I should have shed tears myself," said the curate when he heard the
title, "had I ordered that book to be burned, for its author was one of
the famous poets of the world, not to say of Spain, and was very happy in
the translation of some of Ovid's fables."



At this instant Don Quixote began shouting out, "Here, here, valiant
knights! here is need for you to put forth the might of your strong arms,
for they of the Court are gaining the mastery in the tourney!" Called
away by this noise and outcry, they proceeded no farther with the
scrutiny of the remaining books, and so it is thought that "The Carolea,"
"The Lion of Spain," and "The Deeds of the Emperor," written by Don Luis
de Avila, went to the fire unseen and unheard; for no doubt they were
among those that remained, and perhaps if the curate had seen them they
would not have undergone so severe a sentence.

When they reached Don Quixote he was already out of bed, and was still
shouting and raving, and slashing and cutting all round, as wide awake as
if he had never slept.

They closed with him and by force got him back to bed, and when he had
become a little calm, addressing the curate, he said to him, "Of a truth,
Senor Archbishop Turpin, it is a great disgrace for us who call ourselves
the Twelve Peers, so carelessly to allow the knights of the Court to gain
the victory in this tourney, we the adventurers having carried off the
honour on the three former days."

"Hush, gossip," said the curate; "please God, the luck may turn, and what
is lost to-day may be won to-morrow; for the present let your worship
have a care of your health, for it seems to me that you are
over-fatigued, if not badly wounded."

"Wounded no," said Don Quixote, "but bruised and battered no doubt, for
that bastard Don Roland has cudgelled me with the trunk of an oak tree,
and all for envy, because he sees that I alone rival him in his
achievements. But I should not call myself Reinaldos of Montalvan did he
not pay me for it in spite of all his enchantments as soon as I rise from
this bed. For the present let them bring me something to eat, for that, I
feel, is what will be more to my purpose, and leave it to me to avenge

They did as he wished; they gave him something to eat, and once more he
fell asleep, leaving them marvelling at his madness.

That night the housekeeper burned to ashes all the books that were in the
yard and in the whole house; and some must have been consumed that
deserved preservation in everlasting archives, but their fate and the
laziness of the examiner did not permit it, and so in them was verified
the proverb that the innocent suffer for the guilty.

One of the remedies which the curate and the barber immediately applied
to their friend's disorder was to wall up and plaster the room where the
books were, so that when he got up he should not find them (possibly the
cause being removed the effect might cease), and they might say that a
magician had carried them off, room and all; and this was done with all
despatch. Two days later Don Quixote got up, and the first thing he did
was to go and look at his books, and not finding the room where he had
left it, he wandered from side to side looking for it. He came to the
place where the door used to be, and tried it with his hands, and turned
and twisted his eyes in every direction without saying a word; but after
a good while he asked his housekeeper whereabouts was the room that held
his books.

The housekeeper, who had been already well instructed in what she was to
answer, said, "What room or what nothing is it that your worship is
looking for? There are neither room nor books in this house now, for the
devil himself has carried all away."

"It was not the devil," said the niece, "but a magician who came on a
cloud one night after the day your worship left this, and dismounting
from a serpent that he rode he entered the room, and what he did there I
know not, but after a little while he made off, flying through the roof,
and left the house full of smoke; and when we went to see what he had
done we saw neither book nor room: but we remember very well, the
housekeeper and I, that on leaving, the old villain said in a loud voice
that, for a private grudge he owed the owner of the books and the room,
he had done mischief in that house that would be discovered by-and-by: he
said too that his name was the Sage Munaton."

"He must have said Friston," said Don Quixote.

"I don't know whether he called himself Friston or Friton," said the
housekeeper, "I only know that his name ended with 'ton.'"

"So it does," said Don Quixote, "and he is a sage magician, a great enemy
of mine, who has a spite against me because he knows by his arts and lore
that in process of time I am to engage in single combat with a knight
whom he befriends and that I am to conquer, and he will be unable to
prevent it; and for this reason he endeavours to do me all the ill turns
that he can; but I promise him it will be hard for him to oppose or avoid
what is decreed by Heaven."

"Who doubts that?" said the niece; "but, uncle, who mixes you up in these
quarrels? Would it not be better to remain at peace in your own house
instead of roaming the world looking for better bread than ever came of
wheat, never reflecting that many go for wool and come back shorn?"

"Oh, niece of mine," replied Don Quixote, "how much astray art thou in
thy reckoning: ere they shear me I shall have plucked away and stripped
off the beards of all who dare to touch only the tip of a hair of mine."

The two were unwilling to make any further answer, as they saw that his
anger was kindling.

In short, then, he remained at home fifteen days very quietly without
showing any signs of a desire to take up with his former delusions, and
during this time he held lively discussions with his two gossips, the
curate and the barber, on the point he maintained, that knights-errant
were what the world stood most in need of, and that in him was to be
accomplished the revival of knight-errantry. The curate sometimes
contradicted him, sometimes agreed with him, for if he had not observed
this precaution he would have been unable to bring him to reason.

Meanwhile Don Quixote worked upon a farm labourer, a neighbour of his, an
honest man (if indeed that title can be given to him who is poor), but
with very little wit in his pate. In a word, he so talked him over, and
with such persuasions and promises, that the poor clown made up his mind
to sally forth with him and serve him as esquire. Don Quixote, among
other things, told him he ought to be ready to go with him gladly,
because any moment an adventure might occur that might win an island in
the twinkling of an eye and leave him governor of it. On these and the
like promises Sancho Panza (for so the labourer was called) left wife and
children, and engaged himself as esquire to his neighbour.

Don Quixote next set about getting some money; and selling one thing and
pawning another, and making a bad bargain in every case, he got together
a fair sum. He provided himself with a buckler, which he begged as a loan
from a friend, and, restoring his battered helmet as best he could, he
warned his squire Sancho of the day and hour he meant to set out, that he
might provide himself with what he thought most needful. Above all, he
charged him to take alforjas with him. The other said he would, and that
he meant to take also a very good ass he had, as he was not much given to
going on foot. About the ass, Don Quixote hesitated a little, trying
whether he could call to mind any knight-errant taking with him an
esquire mounted on ass-back, but no instance occurred to his memory. For
all that, however, he determined to take him, intending to furnish him
with a more honourable mount when a chance of it presented itself, by
appropriating the horse of the first discourteous knight he encountered.
Himself he provided with shirts and such other things as he could,
according to the advice the host had given him; all which being done,
without taking leave, Sancho Panza of his wife and children, or Don
Quixote of his housekeeper and niece, they sallied forth unseen by
anybody from the village one night, and made such good way in the course
of it that by daylight they held themselves safe from discovery, even
should search be made for them.

Sancho rode on his ass like a patriarch, with his alforjas and bota, and
longing to see himself soon governor of the island his master had
promised him. Don Quixote decided upon taking the same route and road he
had taken on his first journey, that over the Campo de Montiel, which he
travelled with less discomfort than on the last occasion, for, as it was
early morning and the rays of the sun fell on them obliquely, the heat
did not distress them.

And now said Sancho Panza to his master, "Your worship will take care,
Senor Knight-errant, not to forget about the island you have promised me,
for be it ever so big I'll be equal to governing it."

To which Don Quixote replied, "Thou must know, friend Sancho Panza, that
it was a practice very much in vogue with the knights-errant of old to
make their squires governors of the islands or kingdoms they won, and I
am determined that there shall be no failure on my part in so liberal a
custom; on the contrary, I mean to improve upon it, for they sometimes,
and perhaps most frequently, waited until their squires were old, and
then when they had had enough of service and hard days and worse nights,
they gave them some title or other, of count, or at the most marquis, of
some valley or province more or less; but if thou livest and I live, it
may well be that before six days are over, I may have won some kingdom
that has others dependent upon it, which will be just the thing to enable
thee to be crowned king of one of them. Nor needst thou count this
wonderful, for things and chances fall to the lot of such knights in ways
so unexampled and unexpected that I might easily give thee even more than
I promise thee."

"In that case," said Sancho Panza, "if I should become a king by one of
those miracles your worship speaks of, even Juana Gutierrez, my old
woman, would come to be queen and my children infantes."

"Well, who doubts it?" said Don Quixote.

"I doubt it," replied Sancho Panza, "because for my part I am persuaded
that though God should shower down kingdoms upon earth, not one of them
would fit the head of Mari Gutierrez. Let me tell you, senor, she is not
worth two maravedis for a queen; countess will fit her better, and that
only with God's help."

"Leave it to God, Sancho," returned Don Quixote, "for he will give her
what suits her best; but do not undervalue thyself so much as to come to
be content with anything less than being governor of a province."

"I will not, senor," answered Sancho, "specially as I have a man of such
quality for a master in your worship, who will know how to give me all
that will be suitable for me and that I can bear."



At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are
on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire,
"Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our
desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or
more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in
battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our
fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God's good service to
sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth."

"What giants?" said Sancho Panza.

"Those thou seest there," answered his master, "with the long arms, and
some have them nearly two leagues long."

"Look, your worship," said Sancho; "what we see there are not giants but
windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by
the wind make the millstone go."

"It is easy to see," replied Don Quixote, "that thou art not used to this
business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away
with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in
fierce and unequal combat."

So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless of the cries
his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that most certainly they
were windmills and not giants he was going to attack. He, however, was so
positive they were giants that he neither heard the cries of Sancho, nor
perceived, near as he was, what they were, but made at them shouting,
"Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a single knight attacks you."

A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sails began to
move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, "Though ye flourish more arms
than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me."

So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady
Dulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lance in
rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante's fullest gallop
and fell upon the first mill that stood in front of him; but as he drove
his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled it round with such force
that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweeping with it horse and rider,
who went rolling over on the plain, in a sorry condition. Sancho hastened
to his assistance as fast as his ass could go, and when he came up found
him unable to move, with such a shock had Rocinante fallen with him.

"God bless me!" said Sancho, "did I not tell your worship to mind what
you were about, for they were only windmills? and no one could have made
any mistake about it but one who had something of the same kind in his

"Hush, friend Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "the fortunes of war more
than any other are liable to frequent fluctuations; and moreover I think,
and it is the truth, that that same sage Friston who carried off my study
and books, has turned these giants into mills in order to rob me of the
glory of vanquishing them, such is the enmity he bears me; but in the end
his wicked arts will avail but little against my good sword."

"God order it as he may," said Sancho Panza, and helping him to rise got
him up again on Rocinante, whose shoulder was half out; and then,
discussing the late adventure, they followed the road to Puerto Lapice,
for there, said Don Quixote, they could not fail to find adventures in
abundance and variety, as it was a great thoroughfare. For all that, he
was much grieved at the loss of his lance, and saying so to his squire,
he added, "I remember having read how a Spanish knight, Diego Perez de
Vargas by name, having broken his sword in battle, tore from an oak a
ponderous bough or branch, and with it did such things that day, and
pounded so many Moors, that he got the surname of Machuca, and he and his
descendants from that day forth were called Vargas y Machuca. I mention
this because from the first oak I see I mean to rend such another branch,
large and stout like that, with which I am determined and resolved to do
such deeds that thou mayest deem thyself very fortunate in being found
worthy to come and see them, and be an eyewitness of things that will
with difficulty be believed."

"Be that as God will," said Sancho, "I believe it all as your worship
says it; but straighten yourself a little, for you seem all on one side,
may be from the shaking of the fall."

"That is the truth," said Don Quixote, "and if I make no complaint of the
pain it is because knights-errant are not permitted to complain of any
wound, even though their bowels be coming out through it."

"If so," said Sancho, "I have nothing to say; but God knows I would
rather your worship complained when anything ailed you. For my part, I
confess I must complain however small the ache may be; unless this rule
about not complaining extends to the squires of knights-errant also."

Don Quixote could not help laughing at his squire's simplicity, and he
assured him he might complain whenever and however he chose, just as he
liked, for, so far, he had never read of anything to the contrary in the
order of knighthood.

Sancho bade him remember it was dinner-time, to which his master answered
that he wanted nothing himself just then, but that he might eat when he
had a mind. With this permission Sancho settled himself as comfortably as
he could on his beast, and taking out of the alforjas what he had stowed
away in them, he jogged along behind his master munching deliberately,
and from time to time taking a pull at the bota with a relish that the
thirstiest tapster in Malaga might have envied; and while he went on in
this way, gulping down draught after draught, he never gave a thought to
any of the promises his master had made him, nor did he rate it as
hardship but rather as recreation going in quest of adventures, however
dangerous they might be. Finally they passed the night among some trees,
from one of which Don Quixote plucked a dry branch to serve him after a
fashion as a lance, and fixed on it the head he had removed from the
broken one. All that night Don Quixote lay awake thinking of his lady
Dulcinea, in order to conform to what he had read in his books, how many
a night in the forests and deserts knights used to lie sleepless
supported by the memory of their mistresses. Not so did Sancho Panza
spend it, for having his stomach full of something stronger than chicory
water he made but one sleep of it, and, if his master had not called him,
neither the rays of the sun beating on his face nor all the cheery notes
of the birds welcoming the approach of day would have had power to waken
him. On getting up he tried the bota and found it somewhat less full than
the night before, which grieved his heart because they did not seem to be
on the way to remedy the deficiency readily. Don Quixote did not care to
break his fast, for, as has been already said, he confined himself to
savoury recollections for nourishment.

They returned to the road they had set out with, leading to Puerto
Lapice, and at three in the afternoon they came in sight of it. "Here,
brother Sancho Panza," said Don Quixote when he saw it, "we may plunge
our hands up to the elbows in what they call adventures; but observe,
even shouldst thou see me in the greatest danger in the world, thou must
not put a hand to thy sword in my defence, unless indeed thou perceivest
that those who assail me are rabble or base folk; for in that case thou
mayest very properly aid me; but if they be knights it is on no account
permitted or allowed thee by the laws of knighthood to help me until thou
hast been dubbed a knight."

"Most certainly, senor," replied Sancho, "your worship shall be fully
obeyed in this matter; all the more as of myself I am peaceful and no
friend to mixing in strife and quarrels: it is true that as regards the
defence of my own person I shall not give much heed to those laws, for
laws human and divine allow each one to defend himself against any
assailant whatever."

"That I grant," said Don Quixote, "but in this matter of aiding me
against knights thou must put a restraint upon thy natural impetuosity."

"I will do so, I promise you," answered Sancho, "and will keep this
precept as carefully as Sunday."

While they were thus talking there appeared on the road two friars of the
order of St. Benedict, mounted on two dromedaries, for not less tall were
the two mules they rode on. They wore travelling spectacles and carried
sunshades; and behind them came a coach attended by four or five persons
on horseback and two muleteers on foot. In the coach there was, as
afterwards appeared, a Biscay lady on her way to Seville, where her
husband was about to take passage for the Indies with an appointment of
high honour. The friars, though going the same road, were not in her
company; but the moment Don Quixote perceived them he said to his squire,
"Either I am mistaken, or this is going to be the most famous adventure
that has ever been seen, for those black bodies we see there must be, and
doubtless are, magicians who are carrying off some stolen princess in
that coach, and with all my might I must undo this wrong."

"This will be worse than the windmills," said Sancho. "Look, senor; those
are friars of St. Benedict, and the coach plainly belongs to some
travellers: I tell you to mind well what you are about and don't let the
devil mislead you."

"I have told thee already, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "that on the
subject of adventures thou knowest little. What I say is the truth, as
thou shalt see presently."

So saying, he advanced and posted himself in the middle of the road along
which the friars were coming, and as soon as he thought they had come
near enough to hear what he said, he cried aloud, "Devilish and unnatural
beings, release instantly the highborn princesses whom you are carrying
off by force in this coach, else prepare to meet a speedy death as the
just punishment of your evil deeds."

The friars drew rein and stood wondering at the appearance of Don Quixote
as well as at his words, to which they replied, "Senor Caballero, we are
not devilish or unnatural, but two brothers of St. Benedict following our
road, nor do we know whether or not there are any captive princesses
coming in this coach."

"No soft words with me, for I know you, lying rabble," said Don Quixote,
and without waiting for a reply he spurred Rocinante and with levelled
lance charged the first friar with such fury and determination, that, if
the friar had not flung himself off the mule, he would have brought him
to the ground against his will, and sore wounded, if not killed outright.
The second brother, seeing how his comrade was treated, drove his heels
into his castle of a mule and made off across the country faster than the

Sancho Panza, when he saw the friar on the ground, dismounting briskly
from his ass, rushed towards him and began to strip off his gown. At that
instant the friars muleteers came up and asked what he was stripping him
for. Sancho answered them that this fell to him lawfully as spoil of the
battle which his lord Don Quixote had won. The muleteers, who had no idea
of a joke and did not understand all this about battles and spoils,
seeing that Don Quixote was some distance off talking to the travellers
in the coach, fell upon Sancho, knocked him down, and leaving hardly a
hair in his beard, belaboured him with kicks and left him stretched
breathless and senseless on the ground; and without any more delay helped
the friar to mount, who, trembling, terrified, and pale, as soon as he
found himself in the saddle, spurred after his companion, who was
standing at a distance looking on, watching the result of the onslaught;
then, not caring to wait for the end of the affair just begun, they
pursued their journey making more crosses than if they had the devil
after them.

Don Quixote was, as has been said, speaking to the lady in the coach:
"Your beauty, lady mine," said he, "may now dispose of your person as may
be most in accordance with your pleasure, for the pride of your ravishers
lies prostrate on the ground through this strong arm of mine; and lest
you should be pining to know the name of your deliverer, know that I am
called Don Quixote of La Mancha, knight-errant and adventurer, and
captive to the peerless and beautiful lady Dulcinea del Toboso: and in
return for the service you have received of me I ask no more than that
you should return to El Toboso, and on my behalf present yourself before
that lady and tell her what I have done to set you free."

One of the squires in attendance upon the coach, a Biscayan, was
listening to all Don Quixote was saying, and, perceiving that he would
not allow the coach to go on, but was saying it must return at once to El
Toboso, he made at him, and seizing his lance addressed him in bad
Castilian and worse Biscayan after his fashion, "Begone, caballero, and
ill go with thee; by the God that made me, unless thou quittest coach,
slayest thee as art here a Biscayan."

Don Quixote understood him quite well, and answered him very quietly, "If
thou wert a knight, as thou art none, I should have already chastised thy
folly and rashness, miserable creature." To which the Biscayan returned,
"I no gentleman!--I swear to God thou liest as I am Christian: if thou
droppest lance and drawest sword, soon shalt thou see thou art carrying
water to the cat: Biscayan on land, hidalgo at sea, hidalgo at the devil,
and look, if thou sayest otherwise thou liest."

"'"You will see presently," said Agrajes,'" replied Don Quixote; and
throwing his lance on the ground he drew his sword, braced his buckler on
his arm, and attacked the Biscayan, bent upon taking his life.

The Biscayan, when he saw him coming on, though he wished to dismount
from his mule, in which, being one of those sorry ones let out for hire,
he had no confidence, had no choice but to draw his sword; it was lucky
for him, however, that he was near the coach, from which he was able to
snatch a cushion that served him for a shield; and they went at one
another as if they had been two mortal enemies. The others strove to make
peace between them, but could not, for the Biscayan declared in his
disjointed phrase that if they did not let him finish his battle he would
kill his mistress and everyone that strove to prevent him. The lady in
the coach, amazed and terrified at what she saw, ordered the coachman to
draw aside a little, and set herself to watch this severe struggle, in
the course of which the Biscayan smote Don Quixote a mighty stroke on the
shoulder over the top of his buckler, which, given to one without armour,
would have cleft him to the waist. Don Quixote, feeling the weight of
this prodigious blow, cried aloud, saying, "O lady of my soul, Dulcinea,
flower of beauty, come to the aid of this your knight, who, in fulfilling
his obligations to your beauty, finds himself in this extreme peril." To
say this, to lift his sword, to shelter himself well behind his buckler,
and to assail the Biscayan was the work of an instant, determined as he
was to venture all upon a single blow. The Biscayan, seeing him come on
in this way, was convinced of his courage by his spirited bearing, and
resolved to follow his example, so he waited for him keeping well under
cover of his cushion, being unable to execute any sort of manoeuvre with
his mule, which, dead tired and never meant for this kind of game, could
not stir a step.

On, then, as aforesaid, came Don Quixote against the wary Biscayan, with
uplifted sword and a firm intention of splitting him in half, while on
his side the Biscayan waited for him sword in hand, and under the
protection of his cushion; and all present stood trembling, waiting in
suspense the result of blows such as threatened to fall, and the lady in
the coach and the rest of her following were making a thousand vows and
offerings to all the images and shrines of Spain, that God might deliver
her squire and all of them from this great peril in which they found
themselves. But it spoils all, that at this point and crisis the author
of the history leaves this battle impending, giving as excuse that he
could find nothing more written about these achievements of Don Quixote
than what has been already set forth. It is true the second author of
this work was unwilling to believe that a history so curious could have
been allowed to fall under the sentence of oblivion, or that the wits of
La Mancha could have been so undiscerning as not to preserve in their
archives or registries some documents referring to this famous knight;
and this being his persuasion, he did not despair of finding the
conclusion of this pleasant history, which, heaven favouring him, he did
find in a way that shall be related in the Second Part.



In the First Part of this history we left the valiant Biscayan and the
renowned Don Quixote with drawn swords uplifted, ready to deliver two
such furious slashing blows that if they had fallen full and fair they
would at least have split and cleft them asunder from top to toe and laid
them open like a pomegranate; and at this so critical point the
delightful history came to a stop and stood cut short without any
intimation from the author where what was missing was to be found.

This distressed me greatly, because the pleasure derived from having read
such a small portion turned to vexation at the thought of the poor chance
that presented itself of finding the large part that, so it seemed to me,
was missing of such an interesting tale. It appeared to me to be a thing
impossible and contrary to all precedent that so good a knight should
have been without some sage to undertake the task of writing his
marvellous achievements; a thing that was never wanting to any of those
knights-errant who, they say, went after adventures; for every one of
them had one or two sages as if made on purpose, who not only recorded
their deeds but described their most trifling thoughts and follies,
however secret they might be; and such a good knight could not have been
so unfortunate as not to have what Platir and others like him had in
abundance. And so I could not bring myself to believe that such a gallant
tale had been left maimed and mutilated, and I laid the blame on Time,
the devourer and destroyer of all things, that had either concealed or
consumed it.

On the other hand, it struck me that, inasmuch as among his books there
had been found such modern ones as "The Enlightenment of Jealousy" and
the "Nymphs and Shepherds of Henares," his story must likewise be modern,
and that though it might not be written, it might exist in the memory of
the people of his village and of those in the neighbourhood. This
reflection kept me perplexed and longing to know really and truly the
whole life and wondrous deeds of our famous Spaniard, Don Quixote of La
Mancha, light and mirror of Manchegan chivalry, and the first that in our
age and in these so evil days devoted himself to the labour and exercise
of the arms of knight-errantry, righting wrongs, succouring widows, and
protecting damsels of that sort that used to ride about, whip in hand, on
their palfreys, with all their virginity about them, from mountain to
mountain and valley to valley--for, if it were not for some ruffian, or
boor with a hood and hatchet, or monstrous giant, that forced them, there
were in days of yore damsels that at the end of eighty years, in all
which time they had never slept a day under a roof, went to their graves
as much maids as the mothers that bore them. I say, then, that in these
and other respects our gallant Don Quixote is worthy of everlasting and
notable praise, nor should it be withheld even from me for the labour and
pains spent in searching for the conclusion of this delightful history;
though I know well that if Heaven, chance and good fortune had not helped
me, the world would have remained deprived of an entertainment and
pleasure that for a couple of hours or so may well occupy him who shall
read it attentively. The discovery of it occurred in this way.

One day, as I was in the Alcana of Toledo, a boy came up to sell some
pamphlets and old papers to a silk mercer, and, as I am fond of reading
even the very scraps of paper in the streets, led by this natural bent of
mine I took up one of the pamphlets the boy had for sale, and saw that it
was in characters which I recognised as Arabic, and as I was unable to
read them though I could recognise them, I looked about to see if there
were any Spanish-speaking Morisco at hand to read them for me; nor was
there any great difficulty in finding such an interpreter, for even had I
sought one for an older and better language I should have found him. In
short, chance provided me with one, who when I told him what I wanted and
put the book into his hands, opened it in the middle and after reading a
little in it began to laugh. I asked him what he was laughing at, and he
replied that it was at something the book had written in the margin by
way of a note. I bade him tell it to me; and he still laughing said, "In
the margin, as I told you, this is written: 'This Dulcinea del Toboso so
often mentioned in this history, had, they say, the best hand of any
woman in all La Mancha for salting pigs.'"

When I heard Dulcinea del Toboso named, I was struck with surprise and
amazement, for it occurred to me at once that these pamphlets contained
the history of Don Quixote. With this idea I pressed him to read the
beginning, and doing so, turning the Arabic offhand into Castilian, he
told me it meant, "History of Don Quixote of La Mancha, written by Cide
Hamete Benengeli, an Arab historian." It required great caution to hide
the joy I felt when the title of the book reached my ears, and snatching
it from the silk mercer, I bought all the papers and pamphlets from the
boy for half a real; and if he had had his wits about him and had known
how eager I was for them, he might have safely calculated on making more
than six reals by the bargain. I withdrew at once with the Morisco into
the cloister of the cathedral, and begged him to turn all these pamphlets
that related to Don Quixote into the Castilian tongue, without omitting
or adding anything to them, offering him whatever payment he pleased. He
was satisfied with two arrobas of raisins and two bushels of wheat, and
promised to translate them faithfully and with all despatch; but to make
the matter easier, and not to let such a precious find out of my hands, I
took him to my house, where in little more than a month and a half he
translated the whole just as it is set down here.

In the first pamphlet the battle between Don Quixote and the Biscayan was
drawn to the very life, they planted in the same attitude as the history
describes, their swords raised, and the one protected by his buckler, the
other by his cushion, and the Biscayan's mule so true to nature that it
could be seen to be a hired one a bowshot off. The Biscayan had an
inscription under his feet which said, "Don Sancho de Azpeitia," which no
doubt must have been his name; and at the feet of Rocinante was another
that said, "Don Quixote." Rocinante was marvellously portrayed, so long
and thin, so lank and lean, with so much backbone and so far gone in
consumption, that he showed plainly with what judgment and propriety the
name of Rocinante had been bestowed upon him. Near him was Sancho Panza
holding the halter of his ass, at whose feet was another label that said,
"Sancho Zancas," and according to the picture, he must have had a big
belly, a short body, and long shanks, for which reason, no doubt, the
names of Panza and Zancas were given him, for by these two surnames the
history several times calls him. Some other trifling particulars might be
mentioned, but they are all of slight importance and have nothing to do
with the true relation of the history; and no history can be bad so long
as it is true.

If against the present one any objection be raised on the score of its
truth, it can only be that its author was an Arab, as lying is a very
common propensity with those of that nation; though, as they are such
enemies of ours, it is conceivable that there were omissions rather than
additions made in the course of it. And this is my own opinion; for,
where he could and should give freedom to his pen in praise of so worthy
a knight, he seems to me deliberately to pass it over in silence; which
is ill done and worse contrived, for it is the business and duty of
historians to be exact, truthful, and wholly free from passion, and
neither interest nor fear, hatred nor love, should make them swerve from
the path of truth, whose mother is history, rival of time, storehouse of
deeds, witness for the past, example and counsel for the present, and
warning for the future. In this I know will be found all that can be
desired in the pleasantest, and if it be wanting in any good quality, I
maintain it is the fault of its hound of an author and not the fault of
the subject. To be brief, its Second Part, according to the translation,
began in this way:

With trenchant swords upraised and poised on high, it seemed as though
the two valiant and wrathful combatants stood threatening heaven, and
earth, and hell, with such resolution and determination did they bear
themselves. The fiery Biscayan was the first to strike a blow, which was
delivered with such force and fury that had not the sword turned in its
course, that single stroke would have sufficed to put an end to the
bitter struggle and to all the adventures of our knight; but that good
fortune which reserved him for greater things, turned aside the sword of
his adversary, so that although it smote him upon the left shoulder, it
did him no more harm than to strip all that side of its armour, carrying
away a great part of his helmet with half of his ear, all which with
fearful ruin fell to the ground, leaving him in a sorry plight.

Good God! Who is there that could properly describe the rage that filled
the heart of our Manchegan when he saw himself dealt with in this
fashion? All that can be said is, it was such that he again raised
himself in his stirrups, and, grasping his sword more firmly with both
hands, he came down on the Biscayan with such fury, smiting him full over
the cushion and over the head, that--even so good a shield proving
useless--as if a mountain had fallen on him, he began to bleed from nose,
mouth, and ears, reeling as if about to fall backwards from his mule, as
no doubt he would have done had he not flung his arms about its neck; at
the same time, however, he slipped his feet out of the stirrups and then
unclasped his arms, and the mule, taking fright at the terrible blow,
made off across the plain, and with a few plunges flung its master to the
ground. Don Quixote stood looking on very calmly, and, when he saw him
fall, leaped from his horse and with great briskness ran to him, and,
presenting the point of his sword to his eyes, bade him surrender, or he
would cut his head off. The Biscayan was so bewildered that he was unable
to answer a word, and it would have gone hard with him, so blind was Don
Quixote, had not the ladies in the coach, who had hitherto been watching
the combat in great terror, hastened to where he stood and implored him
with earnest entreaties to grant them the great grace and favour of
sparing their squire's life; to which Don Quixote replied with much
gravity and dignity, "In truth, fair ladies, I am well content to do what
ye ask of me; but it must be on one condition and understanding, which is
that this knight promise me to go to the village of El Toboso, and on my
behalf present himself before the peerless lady Dulcinea, that she deal
with him as shall be most pleasing to her."

The terrified and disconsolate ladies, without discussing Don Quixote's
demand or asking who Dulcinea might be, promised that their squire should
do all that had been commanded.

"Then, on the faith of that promise," said Don Quixote, "I shall do him
no further harm, though he well deserves it of me."



Now by this time Sancho had risen, rather the worse for the handling of
the friars' muleteers, and stood watching the battle of his master, Don
Quixote, and praying to God in his heart that it might be his will to
grant him the victory, and that he might thereby win some island to make
him governor of, as he had promised. Seeing, therefore, that the struggle
was now over, and that his master was returning to mount Rocinante, he
approached to hold the stirrup for him, and, before he could mount, he
went on his knees before him, and taking his hand, kissed it saying, "May
it please your worship, Senor Don Quixote, to give me the government of
that island which has been won in this hard fight, for be it ever so big
I feel myself in sufficient force to be able to govern it as much and as
well as anyone in the world who has ever governed islands."

To which Don Quixote replied, "Thou must take notice, brother Sancho,
that this adventure and those like it are not adventures of islands, but
of cross-roads, in which nothing is got except a broken head or an ear
the less: have patience, for adventures will present themselves from
which I may make you, not only a governor, but something more."

Sancho gave him many thanks, and again kissing his hand and the skirt of
his hauberk, helped him to mount Rocinante, and mounting his ass himself,
proceeded to follow his master, who at a brisk pace, without taking
leave, or saying anything further to the ladies belonging to the coach,
turned into a wood that was hard by. Sancho followed him at his ass's
best trot, but Rocinante stepped out so that, seeing himself left behind,
he was forced to call to his master to wait for him. Don Quixote did so,
reining in Rocinante until his weary squire came up, who on reaching him
said, "It seems to me, senor, it would be prudent in us to go and take
refuge in some church, for, seeing how mauled he with whom you fought has
been left, it will be no wonder if they give information of the affair to
the Holy Brotherhood and arrest us, and, faith, if they do, before we
come out of gaol we shall have to sweat for it."

"Peace," said Don Quixote; "where hast thou ever seen or heard that a
knight-errant has been arraigned before a court of justice, however many
homicides he may have committed?"

"I know nothing about omecils," answered Sancho, "nor in my life have had
anything to do with one; I only know that the Holy Brotherhood looks
after those who fight in the fields, and in that other matter I do not

"Then thou needst have no uneasiness, my friend," said Don Quixote, "for
I will deliver thee out of the hands of the Chaldeans, much more out of
those of the Brotherhood. But tell me, as thou livest, hast thou seen a
more valiant knight than I in all the known world; hast thou read in
history of any who has or had higher mettle in attack, more spirit in
maintaining it, more dexterity in wounding or skill in overthrowing?"

"The truth is," answered Sancho, "that I have never read any history, for
I can neither read nor write, but what I will venture to bet is that a
more daring master than your worship I have never served in all the days
of my life, and God grant that this daring be not paid for where I have
said; what I beg of your worship is to dress your wound, for a great deal
of blood flows from that ear, and I have here some lint and a little
white ointment in the alforjas."

"All that might be well dispensed with," said Don Quixote, "if I had
remembered to make a vial of the balsam of Fierabras, for time and
medicine are saved by one single drop."

"What vial and what balsam is that?" said Sancho Panza.

"It is a balsam," answered Don Quixote, "the receipt of which I have in
my memory, with which one need have no fear of death, or dread dying of
any wound; and so when I make it and give it to thee thou hast nothing to
do when in some battle thou seest they have cut me in half through the
middle of the body--as is wont to happen frequently,--but neatly and with
great nicety, ere the blood congeal, to place that portion of the body
which shall have fallen to the ground upon the other half which remains
in the saddle, taking care to fit it on evenly and exactly. Then thou
shalt give me to drink but two drops of the balsam I have mentioned, and
thou shalt see me become sounder than an apple."

"If that be so," said Panza, "I renounce henceforth the government of the
promised island, and desire nothing more in payment of my many and
faithful services than that your worship give me the receipt of this
supreme liquor, for I am persuaded it will be worth more than two reals
an ounce anywhere, and I want no more to pass the rest of my life in ease
and honour; but it remains to be told if it costs much to make it."

"With less than three reals, six quarts of it may be made," said Don

"Sinner that I am!" said Sancho, "then why does your worship put off
making it and teaching it to me?"

"Peace, friend," answered Don Quixote; "greater secrets I mean to teach
thee and greater favours to bestow upon thee; and for the present let us
see to the dressing, for my ear pains me more than I could wish."

Sancho took out some lint and ointment from the alforjas; but when Don
Quixote came to see his helmet shattered, he was like to lose his senses,
and clapping his hand upon his sword and raising his eyes to heaven, be
said, "I swear by the Creator of all things and the four Gospels in their
fullest extent, to do as the great Marquis of Mantua did when he swore to
avenge the death of his nephew Baldwin (and that was not to eat bread
from a table-cloth, nor embrace his wife, and other points which, though
I cannot now call them to mind, I here grant as expressed) until I take
complete vengeance upon him who has committed such an offence against

Hearing this, Sancho said to him, "Your worship should bear in mind,
Senor Don Quixote, that if the knight has done what was commanded him in
going to present himself before my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, he will have
done all that he was bound to do, and does not deserve further punishment
unless he commits some new offence."

"Thou hast said well and hit the point," answered Don Quixote; and so I
recall the oath in so far as relates to taking fresh vengeance on him,
but I make and confirm it anew to lead the life I have said until such
time as I take by force from some knight another helmet such as this and
as good; and think not, Sancho, that I am raising smoke with straw in
doing so, for I have one to imitate in the matter, since the very same
thing to a hair happened in the case of Mambrino's helmet, which cost
Sacripante so dear."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "let your worship send all such oaths to the
devil, for they are very pernicious to salvation and prejudicial to the
conscience; just tell me now, if for several days to come we fall in with
no man armed with a helmet, what are we to do? Is the oath to be observed
in spite of all the inconvenience and discomfort it will be to sleep in
your clothes, and not to sleep in a house, and a thousand other
mortifications contained in the oath of that old fool the Marquis of
Mantua, which your worship is now wanting to revive? Let your worship
observe that there are no men in armour travelling on any of these roads,
nothing but carriers and carters, who not only do not wear helmets, but
perhaps never heard tell of them all their lives."

"Thou art wrong there," said Don Quixote, "for we shall not have been
above two hours among these cross-roads before we see more men in armour
than came to Albraca to win the fair Angelica."

"Enough," said Sancho; "so be it then, and God grant us success, and that
the time for winning that island which is costing me so dear may soon
come, and then let me die."

"I have already told thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "not to give
thyself any uneasiness on that score; for if an island should fail, there
is the kingdom of Denmark, or of Sobradisa, which will fit thee as a ring
fits the finger, and all the more that, being on terra firma, thou wilt
all the better enjoy thyself. But let us leave that to its own time; see
if thou hast anything for us to eat in those alforjas, because we must
presently go in quest of some castle where we may lodge to-night and make
the balsam I told thee of, for I swear to thee by God, this ear is giving
me great pain."

"I have here an onion and a little cheese and a few scraps of bread,"
said Sancho, "but they are not victuals fit for a valiant knight like
your worship."

"How little thou knowest about it," answered Don Quixote; "I would have
thee to know, Sancho, that it is the glory of knights-errant to go
without eating for a month, and even when they do eat, that it should be
of what comes first to hand; and this would have been clear to thee hadst
thou read as many histories as I have, for, though they are very many,
among them all I have found no mention made of knights-errant eating,
unless by accident or at some sumptuous banquets prepared for them, and
the rest of the time they passed in dalliance. And though it is plain
they could not do without eating and performing all the other natural
functions, because, in fact, they were men like ourselves, it is plain
too that, wandering as they did the most part of their lives through
woods and wilds and without a cook, their most usual fare would be rustic
viands such as those thou now offer me; so that, friend Sancho, let not
that distress thee which pleases me, and do not seek to make a new world
or pervert knight-errantry."

"Pardon me, your worship," said Sancho, "for, as I cannot read or write,
as I said just now, I neither know nor comprehend the rules of the
profession of chivalry: henceforward I will stock the alforjas with every
kind of dry fruit for your worship, as you are a knight; and for myself,
as I am not one, I will furnish them with poultry and other things more

"I do not say, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "that it is imperative on
knights-errant not to eat anything else but the fruits thou speakest of;
only that their more usual diet must be those, and certain herbs they
found in the fields which they knew and I know too."

"A good thing it is," answered Sancho, "to know those herbs, for to my
thinking it will be needful some day to put that knowledge into

And here taking out what he said he had brought, the pair made their
repast peaceably and sociably. But anxious to find quarters for the
night, they with all despatch made an end of their poor dry fare, mounted
at once, and made haste to reach some habitation before night set in; but
daylight and the hope of succeeding in their object failed them close by
the huts of some goatherds, so they determined to pass the night there,
and it was as much to Sancho's discontent not to have reached a house, as
it was to his master's satisfaction to sleep under the open heaven, for
he fancied that each time this happened to him he performed an act of
ownership that helped to prove his chivalry.



He was cordially welcomed by the goatherds, and Sancho, having as best he
could put up Rocinante and the ass, drew towards the fragrance that came
from some pieces of salted goat simmering in a pot on the fire; and
though he would have liked at once to try if they were ready to be
transferred from the pot to the stomach, he refrained from doing so as
the goatherds removed them from the fire, and laying sheepskins on the
ground, quickly spread their rude table, and with signs of hearty
good-will invited them both to share what they had. Round the skins six
of the men belonging to the fold seated themselves, having first with
rough politeness pressed Don Quixote to take a seat upon a trough which
they placed for him upside down. Don Quixote seated himself, and Sancho
remained standing to serve the cup, which was made of horn. Seeing him
standing, his master said to him:

"That thou mayest see, Sancho, the good that knight-errantry contains in
itself, and how those who fill any office in it are on the high road to
be speedily honoured and esteemed by the world, I desire that thou seat
thyself here at my side and in the company of these worthy people, and
that thou be one with me who am thy master and natural lord, and that
thou eat from my plate and drink from whatever I drink from; for the same
may be said of knight-errantry as of love, that it levels all."

"Great thanks," said Sancho, "but I may tell your worship that provided I
have enough to eat, I can eat it as well, or better, standing, and by
myself, than seated alongside of an emperor. And indeed, if the truth is
to be told, what I eat in my corner without form or fuss has much more
relish for me, even though it be bread and onions, than the turkeys of
those other tables where I am forced to chew slowly, drink little, wipe
my mouth every minute, and cannot sneeze or cough if I want or do other
things that are the privileges of liberty and solitude. So, senor, as for
these honours which your worship would put upon me as a servant and
follower of knight-errantry, exchange them for other things which may be
of more use and advantage to me; for these, though I fully acknowledge
them as received, I renounce from this moment to the end of the world."

"For all that," said Don Quixote, "thou must seat thyself, because him
who humbleth himself God exalteth;" and seizing him by the arm he forced
him to sit down beside himself.

The goatherds did not understand this jargon about squires and
knights-errant, and all they did was to eat in silence and stare at their
guests, who with great elegance and appetite were stowing away pieces as
big as one's fist. The course of meat finished, they spread upon the
sheepskins a great heap of parched acorns, and with them they put down a
half cheese harder than if it had been made of mortar. All this while the
horn was not idle, for it went round so constantly, now full, now empty,
like the bucket of a water-wheel, that it soon drained one of the two
wine-skins that were in sight. When Don Quixote had quite appeased his
appetite he took up a handful of the acorns, and contemplating them
attentively delivered himself somewhat in this fashion:

"Happy the age, happy the time, to which the ancients gave the name of
golden, not because in that fortunate age the gold so coveted in this our
iron one was gained without toil, but because they that lived in it knew
not the two words "mine" and "thine"! In that blessed age all things were
in common; to win the daily food no labour was required of any save to
stretch forth his hand and gather it from the sturdy oaks that stood
generously inviting him with their sweet ripe fruit. The clear streams
and running brooks yielded their savoury limpid waters in noble
abundance. The busy and sagacious bees fixed their republic in the clefts
of the rocks and hollows of the trees, offering without usance the
plenteous produce of their fragrant toil to every hand. The mighty cork
trees, unenforced save of their own courtesy, shed the broad light bark
that served at first to roof the houses supported by rude stakes, a
protection against the inclemency of heaven alone. Then all was peace,
all friendship, all concord; as yet the dull share of the crooked plough
had not dared to rend and pierce the tender bowels of our first mother
that without compulsion yielded from every portion of her broad fertile
bosom all that could satisfy, sustain, and delight the children that then
possessed her. Then was it that the innocent and fair young shepherdess
roamed from vale to vale and hill to hill, with flowing locks, and no
more garments than were needful modestly to cover what modesty seeks and
ever sought to hide. Nor were their ornaments like those in use to-day,
set off by Tyrian purple, and silk tortured in endless fashions, but the
wreathed leaves of the green dock and ivy, wherewith they went as bravely
and becomingly decked as our Court dames with all the rare and
far-fetched artifices that idle curiosity has taught them. Then the
love-thoughts of the heart clothed themselves simply and naturally as the
heart conceived them, nor sought to commend themselves by forced and
rambling verbiage. Fraud, deceit, or malice had then not yet mingled with
truth and sincerity. Justice held her ground, undisturbed and unassailed
by the efforts of favour and of interest, that now so much impair,
pervert, and beset her. Arbitrary law had not yet established itself in
the mind of the judge, for then there was no cause to judge and no one to
be judged. Maidens and modesty, as I have said, wandered at will alone
and unattended, without fear of insult from lawlessness or libertine
assault, and if they were undone it was of their own will and pleasure.
But now in this hateful age of ours not one is safe, not though some new
labyrinth like that of Crete conceal and surround her; even there the
pestilence of gallantry will make its way to them through chinks or on
the air by the zeal of its accursed importunity, and, despite of all
seclusion, lead them to ruin. In defence of these, as time advanced and
wickedness increased, the order of knights-errant was instituted, to
defend maidens, to protect widows and to succour the orphans and the
needy. To this order I belong, brother goatherds, to whom I return thanks
for the hospitality and kindly welcome ye offer me and my squire; for
though by natural law all living are bound to show favour to
knights-errant, yet, seeing that without knowing this obligation ye have
welcomed and feasted me, it is right that with all the good-will in my
power I should thank you for yours."

All this long harangue (which might very well have been spared) our
knight delivered because the acorns they gave him reminded him of the
golden age; and the whim seized him to address all this unnecessary
argument to the goatherds, who listened to him gaping in amazement
without saying a word in reply. Sancho likewise held his peace and ate
acorns, and paid repeated visits to the second wine-skin, which they had
hung up on a cork tree to keep the wine cool.

Don Quixote was longer in talking than the supper in finishing, at the
end of which one of the goatherds said, "That your worship, senor
knight-errant, may say with more truth that we show you hospitality with
ready good-will, we will give you amusement and pleasure by making one of
our comrades sing: he will be here before long, and he is a very
intelligent youth and deep in love, and what is more he can read and
write and play on the rebeck to perfection."

The goatherd had hardly done speaking, when the notes of the rebeck
reached their ears; and shortly after, the player came up, a very
good-looking young man of about two-and-twenty. His comrades asked him if
he had supped, and on his replying that he had, he who had already made
the offer said to him:

"In that case, Antonio, thou mayest as well do us the pleasure of singing
a little, that the gentleman, our guest, may see that even in the
mountains and woods there are musicians: we have told him of thy
accomplishments, and we want thee to show them and prove that we say
true; so, as thou livest, pray sit down and sing that ballad about thy
love that thy uncle the prebendary made thee, and that was so much liked
in the town."

"With all my heart," said the young man, and without waiting for more
pressing he seated himself on the trunk of a felled oak, and tuning his
rebeck, presently began to sing to these words.


Thou dost love me well, Olalla;
  Well I know it, even though
Love's mute tongues, thine eyes, have never
  By their glances told me so.

For I know my love thou knowest,
  Therefore thine to claim I dare:
Once it ceases to be secret,
  Love need never feel despair.

True it is, Olalla, sometimes
  Thou hast all too plainly shown
That thy heart is brass in hardness,
  And thy snowy bosom stone.

Yet for all that, in thy coyness,
  And thy fickle fits between,
Hope is there--at least the border
  Of her garment may be seen.

Lures to faith are they, those glimpses,
  And to faith in thee I hold;
Kindness cannot make it stronger,
  Coldness cannot make it cold.

If it be that love is gentle,
  In thy gentleness I see
Something holding out assurance
  To the hope of winning thee.

If it be that in devotion
  Lies a power hearts to move,
That which every day I show thee,
  Helpful to my suit should prove.

Many a time thou must have noticed--
  If to notice thou dost care--
How I go about on Monday
  Dressed in all my Sunday wear.

Love's eyes love to look on brightness;
  Love loves what is gaily drest;
Sunday, Monday, all I care is
  Thou shouldst see me in my best.

No account I make of dances,
  Or of strains that pleased thee so,
Keeping thee awake from midnight
  Till the cocks began to crow;

Or of how I roundly swore it
  That there's none so fair as thou;
True it is, but as I said it,
  By the girls I'm hated now.

For Teresa of the hillside
  At my praise of thee was sore;
Said, "You think you love an angel;
  It's a monkey you adore;

"Caught by all her glittering trinkets,
  And her borrowed braids of hair,
And a host of made-up beauties
  That would Love himself ensnare."

'T was a lie, and so I told her,
  And her cousin at the word
Gave me his defiance for it;
  And what followed thou hast heard.

Mine is no high-flown affection,
  Mine no passion par amours--
As they call it--what I offer
  Is an honest love, and pure.

Cunning cords the holy Church has,
  Cords of softest silk they be;
Put thy neck beneath the yoke, dear;
  Mine will follow, thou wilt see.

Else--and once for all I swear it
  By the saint of most renown--
If I ever quit the mountains,
  'T will be in a friar's gown.

Here the goatherd brought his song to an end, and though Don Quixote
entreated him to sing more, Sancho had no mind that way, being more
inclined for sleep than for listening to songs; so said he to his master,
"Your worship will do well to settle at once where you mean to pass the
night, for the labour these good men are at all day does not allow them
to spend the night in singing."

"I understand thee, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "I perceive clearly
that those visits to the wine-skin demand compensation in sleep rather
than in music."

"It's sweet to us all, blessed be God," said Sancho.

"I do not deny it," replied Don Quixote; "but settle thyself where thou
wilt; those of my calling are more becomingly employed in watching than
in sleeping; still it would be as well if thou wert to dress this ear for
me again, for it is giving me more pain than it need."

Sancho did as he bade him, but one of the goatherds, seeing the wound,
told him not to be uneasy, as he would apply a remedy with which it would
be soon healed; and gathering some leaves of rosemary, of which there was
a great quantity there, he chewed them and mixed them with a little salt,
and applying them to the ear he secured them firmly with a bandage,
assuring him that no other treatment would be required, and so it proved.



Just then another young man, one of those who fetched their provisions
from the village, came up and said, "Do you know what is going on in the
village, comrades?"

"How could we know it?" replied one of them.

"Well, then, you must know," continued the young man, "this morning that
famous student-shepherd called Chrysostom died, and it is rumoured that
he died of love for that devil of a village girl the daughter of
Guillermo the Rich, she that wanders about the wolds here in the dress of
a shepherdess."

"You mean Marcela?" said one.

"Her I mean," answered the goatherd; "and the best of it is, he has
directed in his will that he is to be buried in the fields like a Moor,
and at the foot of the rock where the Cork-tree spring is, because, as
the story goes (and they say he himself said so), that was the place
where he first saw her. And he has also left other directions which the
clergy of the village say should not and must not be obeyed because they
savour of paganism. To all which his great friend Ambrosio the student,
he who, like him, also went dressed as a shepherd, replies that
everything must be done without any omission according to the directions
left by Chrysostom, and about this the village is all in commotion;
however, report says that, after all, what Ambrosio and all the shepherds
his friends desire will be done, and to-morrow they are coming to bury
him with great ceremony where I said. I am sure it will be something
worth seeing; at least I will not fail to go and see it even if I knew I
should not return to the village tomorrow."

"We will do the same," answered the goatherds, "and cast lots to see who
must stay to mind the goats of all."

"Thou sayest well, Pedro," said one, "though there will be no need of
taking that trouble, for I will stay behind for all; and don't suppose it
is virtue or want of curiosity in me; it is that the splinter that ran
into my foot the other day will not let me walk."

"For all that, we thank thee," answered Pedro.

Don Quixote asked Pedro to tell him who the dead man was and who the
shepherdess, to which Pedro replied that all he knew was that the dead
man was a wealthy gentleman belonging to a village in those mountains,
who had been a student at Salamanca for many years, at the end of which
he returned to his village with the reputation of being very learned and
deeply read. "Above all, they said, he was learned in the science of the
stars and of what went on yonder in the heavens and the sun and the moon,
for he told us of the cris of the sun and moon to exact time."

"Eclipse it is called, friend, not cris, the darkening of those two
luminaries," said Don Quixote; but Pedro, not troubling himself with
trifles, went on with his story, saying, "Also he foretold when the year
was going to be one of abundance or estility."

"Sterility, you mean," said Don Quixote.

"Sterility or estility," answered Pedro, "it is all the same in the end.
And I can tell you that by this his father and friends who believed him
grew very rich because they did as he advised them, bidding them 'sow
barley this year, not wheat; this year you may sow pulse and not barley;
the next there will be a full oil crop, and the three following not a
drop will be got.'"

"That science is called astrology," said Don Quixote.

"I do not know what it is called," replied Pedro, "but I know that he
knew all this and more besides. But, to make an end, not many months had
passed after he returned from Salamanca, when one day he appeared dressed
as a shepherd with his crook and sheepskin, having put off the long gown
he wore as a scholar; and at the same time his great friend, Ambrosio by
name, who had been his companion in his studies, took to the shepherd's
dress with him. I forgot to say that Chrysostom, who is dead, was a great
man for writing verses, so much so that he made carols for Christmas Eve,
and plays for Corpus Christi, which the young men of our village acted,
and all said they were excellent. When the villagers saw the two scholars
so unexpectedly appearing in shepherd's dress, they were lost in wonder,
and could not guess what had led them to make so extraordinary a change.
About this time the father of our Chrysostom died, and he was left heir
to a large amount of property in chattels as well as in land, no small
number of cattle and sheep, and a large sum of money, of all of which the
young man was left dissolute owner, and indeed he was deserving of it
all, for he was a very good comrade, and kind-hearted, and a friend of
worthy folk, and had a countenance like a benediction. Presently it came
to be known that he had changed his dress with no other object than to
wander about these wastes after that shepherdess Marcela our lad
mentioned a while ago, with whom the deceased Chrysostom had fallen in
love. And I must tell you now, for it is well you should know it, who
this girl is; perhaps, and even without any perhaps, you will not have
heard anything like it all the days of your life, though you should live
more years than sarna."

"Say Sarra," said Don Quixote, unable to endure the goatherd's confusion
of words.

"The sarna lives long enough," answered Pedro; "and if, senor, you must
go finding fault with words at every step, we shall not make an end of it
this twelvemonth."

"Pardon me, friend," said Don Quixote; "but, as there is such a
difference between sarna and Sarra, I told you of it; however, you have
answered very rightly, for sarna lives longer than Sarra: so continue
your story, and I will not object any more to anything."

"I say then, my dear sir," said the goatherd, "that in our village there
was a farmer even richer than the father of Chrysostom, who was named
Guillermo, and upon whom God bestowed, over and above great wealth, a
daughter at whose birth her mother died, the most respected woman there
was in this neighbourhood; I fancy I can see her now with that
countenance which had the sun on one side and the moon on the other; and
moreover active, and kind to the poor, for which I trust that at the
present moment her soul is in bliss with God in the other world. Her
husband Guillermo died of grief at the death of so good a wife, leaving
his daughter Marcela, a child and rich, to the care of an uncle of hers,
a priest and prebendary in our village. The girl grew up with such beauty
that it reminded us of her mother's, which was very great, and yet it was
thought that the daughter's would exceed it; and so when she reached the
age of fourteen to fifteen years nobody beheld her but blessed God that
had made her so beautiful, and the greater number were in love with her
past redemption. Her uncle kept her in great seclusion and retirement,
but for all that the fame of her great beauty spread so that, as well for
it as for her great wealth, her uncle was asked, solicited, and
importuned, to give her in marriage not only by those of our town but of
those many leagues round, and by the persons of highest quality in them.
But he, being a good Christian man, though he desired to give her in
marriage at once, seeing her to be old enough, was unwilling to do so
without her consent, not that he had any eye to the gain and profit which
the custody of the girl's property brought him while he put off her
marriage; and, faith, this was said in praise of the good priest in more
than one set in the town. For I would have you know, Sir Errant, that in
these little villages everything is talked about and everything is carped
at, and rest assured, as I am, that the priest must be over and above
good who forces his parishioners to speak well of him, especially in

"That is the truth," said Don Quixote; "but go on, for the story is very
good, and you, good Pedro, tell it with very good grace."

"May that of the Lord not be wanting to me," said Pedro; "that is the one
to have. To proceed; you must know that though the uncle put before his
niece and described to her the qualities of each one in particular of the
many who had asked her in marriage, begging her to marry and make a
choice according to her own taste, she never gave any other answer than
that she had no desire to marry just yet, and that being so young she did
not think herself fit to bear the burden of matrimony. At these, to all
appearance, reasonable excuses that she made, her uncle ceased to urge
her, and waited till she was somewhat more advanced in age and could mate
herself to her own liking. For, said he--and he said quite right--parents
are not to settle children in life against their will. But when one least
looked for it, lo and behold! one day the demure Marcela makes her
appearance turned shepherdess; and, in spite of her uncle and all those
of the town that strove to dissuade her, took to going a-field with the
other shepherd-lasses of the village, and tending her own flock. And so,
since she appeared in public, and her beauty came to be seen openly, I
could not well tell you how many rich youths, gentlemen and peasants,
have adopted the costume of Chrysostom, and go about these fields making
love to her. One of these, as has been already said, was our deceased
friend, of whom they say that he did not love but adore her. But you must
not suppose, because Marcela chose a life of such liberty and
independence, and of so little or rather no retirement, that she has
given any occasion, or even the semblance of one, for disparagement of
her purity and modesty; on the contrary, such and so great is the
vigilance with which she watches over her honour, that of all those that
court and woo her not one has boasted, or can with truth boast, that she
has given him any hope however small of obtaining his desire. For
although she does not avoid or shun the society and conversation of the
shepherds, and treats them courteously and kindly, should any one of them
come to declare his intention to her, though it be one as proper and holy
as that of matrimony, she flings him from her like a catapult. And with
this kind of disposition she does more harm in this country than if the
plague had got into it, for her affability and her beauty draw on the
hearts of those that associate with her to love her and to court her, but
her scorn and her frankness bring them to the brink of despair; and so
they know not what to say save to proclaim her aloud cruel and
hard-hearted, and other names of the same sort which well describe the
nature of her character; and if you should remain here any time, senor,
you would hear these hills and valleys resounding with the laments of the
rejected ones who pursue her. Not far from this there is a spot where
there are a couple of dozen of tall beeches, and there is not one of them
but has carved and written on its smooth bark the name of Marcela, and
above some a crown carved on the same tree as though her lover would say
more plainly that Marcela wore and deserved that of all human beauty.
Here one shepherd is sighing, there another is lamenting; there love
songs are heard, here despairing elegies. One will pass all the hours of
the night seated at the foot of some oak or rock, and there, without
having closed his weeping eyes, the sun finds him in the morning bemused
and bereft of sense; and another without relief or respite to his sighs,
stretched on the burning sand in the full heat of the sultry summer
noontide, makes his appeal to the compassionate heavens, and over one and
the other, over these and all, the beautiful Marcela triumphs free and
careless. And all of us that know her are waiting to see what her pride
will come to, and who is to be the happy man that will succeed in taming
a nature so formidable and gaining possession of a beauty so supreme. All
that I have told you being such well-established truth, I am persuaded
that what they say of the cause of Chrysostom's death, as our lad told
us, is the same. And so I advise you, senor, fail not to be present
to-morrow at his burial, which will be well worth seeing, for Chrysostom
had many friends, and it is not half a league from this place to where he
directed he should be buried."

"I will make a point of it," said Don Quixote, "and I thank you for the
pleasure you have given me by relating so interesting a tale."

"Oh," said the goatherd, "I do not know even the half of what has
happened to the lovers of Marcela, but perhaps to-morrow we may fall in
with some shepherd on the road who can tell us; and now it will be well
for you to go and sleep under cover, for the night air may hurt your
wound, though with the remedy I have applied to you there is no fear of
an untoward result."

Sancho Panza, who was wishing the goatherd's loquacity at the devil, on
his part begged his master to go into Pedro's hut to sleep. He did so,
and passed all the rest of the night in thinking of his lady Dulcinea, in
imitation of the lovers of Marcela. Sancho Panza settled himself between
Rocinante and his ass, and slept, not like a lover who had been
discarded, but like a man who had been soundly kicked.



Bit hardly had day begun to show itself through the balconies of the
east, when five of the six goatherds came to rouse Don Quixote and tell
him that if he was still of a mind to go and see the famous burial of
Chrysostom they would bear him company. Don Quixote, who desired nothing
better, rose and ordered Sancho to saddle and pannel at once, which he
did with all despatch, and with the same they all set out forthwith. They
had not gone a quarter of a league when at the meeting of two paths they
saw coming towards them some six shepherds dressed in black sheepskins
and with their heads crowned with garlands of cypress and bitter
oleander. Each of them carried a stout holly staff in his hand, and along
with them there came two men of quality on horseback in handsome
travelling dress, with three servants on foot accompanying them.
Courteous salutations were exchanged on meeting, and inquiring one of the
other which way each party was going, they learned that all were bound
for the scene of the burial, so they went on all together.

One of those on horseback addressing his companion said to him, "It seems
to me, Senor Vivaldo, that we may reckon as well spent the delay we shall
incur in seeing this remarkable funeral, for remarkable it cannot but be
judging by the strange things these shepherds have told us, of both the
dead shepherd and homicide shepherdess."

"So I think too," replied Vivaldo, "and I would delay not to say a day,
but four, for the sake of seeing it."

Don Quixote asked them what it was they had heard of Marcela and
Chrysostom. The traveller answered that the same morning they had met
these shepherds, and seeing them dressed in this mournful fashion they
had asked them the reason of their appearing in such a guise; which one
of them gave, describing the strange behaviour and beauty of a
shepherdess called Marcela, and the loves of many who courted her,
together with the death of that Chrysostom to whose burial they were
going. In short, he repeated all that Pedro had related to Don Quixote.

This conversation dropped, and another was commenced by him who was
called Vivaldo asking Don Quixote what was the reason that led him to go
armed in that fashion in a country so peaceful. To which Don Quixote
replied, "The pursuit of my calling does not allow or permit me to go in
any other fashion; easy life, enjoyment, and repose were invented for
soft courtiers, but toil, unrest, and arms were invented and made for
those alone whom the world calls knights-errant, of whom I, though
unworthy, am the least of all."

The instant they heard this all set him down as mad, and the better to
settle the point and discover what kind of madness his was, Vivaldo
proceeded to ask him what knights-errant meant.

"Have not your worships," replied Don Quixote, "read the annals and
histories of England, in which are recorded the famous deeds of King
Arthur, whom we in our popular Castilian invariably call King Artus, with
regard to whom it is an ancient tradition, and commonly received all over
that kingdom of Great Britain, that this king did not die, but was
changed by magic art into a raven, and that in process of time he is to
return to reign and recover his kingdom and sceptre; for which reason it
cannot be proved that from that time to this any Englishman ever killed a
raven? Well, then, in the time of this good king that famous order of
chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table was instituted, and the amour
of Don Lancelot of the Lake with the Queen Guinevere occurred, precisely
as is there related, the go-between and confidante therein being the
highly honourable dame Quintanona, whence came that ballad so well known
and widely spread in our Spain--

O never surely was there knight
  So served by hand of dame,
As served was he Sir Lancelot hight
  When he from Britain came--

with all the sweet and delectable course of his achievements in love and
war. Handed down from that time, then, this order of chivalry went on
extending and spreading itself over many and various parts of the world;
and in it, famous and renowned for their deeds, were the mighty Amadis of
Gaul with all his sons and descendants to the fifth generation, and the
valiant Felixmarte of Hircania, and the never sufficiently praised
Tirante el Blanco, and in our own days almost we have seen and heard and
talked with the invincible knight Don Belianis of Greece. This, then,
sirs, is to be a knight-errant, and what I have spoken of is the order of
his chivalry, of which, as I have already said, I, though a sinner, have
made profession, and what the aforesaid knights professed that same do I
profess, and so I go through these solitudes and wilds seeking
adventures, resolved in soul to oppose my arm and person to the most
perilous that fortune may offer me in aid of the weak and needy."

By these words of his the travellers were able to satisfy themselves of
Don Quixote's being out of his senses and of the form of madness that
overmastered him, at which they felt the same astonishment that all felt
on first becoming acquainted with it; and Vivaldo, who was a person of
great shrewdness and of a lively temperament, in order to beguile the
short journey which they said was required to reach the mountain, the
scene of the burial, sought to give him an opportunity of going on with
his absurdities. So he said to him, "It seems to me, Senor Knight-errant,
that your worship has made choice of one of the most austere professions
in the world, and I imagine even that of the Carthusian monks is not so

"As austere it may perhaps be," replied our Don Quixote, "but so
necessary for the world I am very much inclined to doubt. For, if the
truth is to be told, the soldier who executes what his captain orders
does no less than the captain himself who gives the order. My meaning,
is, that churchmen in peace and quiet pray to Heaven for the welfare of
the world, but we soldiers and knights carry into effect what they pray
for, defending it with the might of our arms and the edge of our swords,
not under shelter but in the open air, a target for the intolerable rays
of the sun in summer and the piercing frosts of winter. Thus are we God's
ministers on earth and the arms by which his justice is done therein. And
as the business of war and all that relates and belongs to it cannot be
conducted without exceeding great sweat, toil, and exertion, it follows
that those who make it their profession have undoubtedly more labour than
those who in tranquil peace and quiet are engaged in praying to God to
help the weak. I do not mean to say, nor does it enter into my thoughts,
that the knight-errant's calling is as good as that of the monk in his
cell; I would merely infer from what I endure myself that it is beyond a
doubt a more laborious and a more belaboured one, a hungrier and
thirstier, a wretcheder, raggeder, and lousier; for there is no reason to
doubt that the knights-errant of yore endured much hardship in the course
of their lives. And if some of them by the might of their arms did rise
to be emperors, in faith it cost them dear in the matter of blood and
sweat; and if those who attained to that rank had not had magicians and
sages to help them they would have been completely baulked in their
ambition and disappointed in their hopes."

"That is my own opinion," replied the traveller; "but one thing among
many others seems to me very wrong in knights-errant, and that is that
when they find themselves about to engage in some mighty and perilous
adventure in which there is manifest danger of losing their lives, they
never at the moment of engaging in it think of commending themselves to
God, as is the duty of every good Christian in like peril; instead of
which they commend themselves to their ladies with as much devotion as if
these were their gods, a thing which seems to me to savour somewhat of

"Sir," answered Don Quixote, "that cannot be on any account omitted, and
the knight-errant would be disgraced who acted otherwise: for it is usual
and customary in knight-errantry that the knight-errant, who on engaging
in any great feat of arms has his lady before him, should turn his eyes
towards her softly and lovingly, as though with them entreating her to
favour and protect him in the hazardous venture he is about to undertake,
and even though no one hear him, he is bound to say certain words between
his teeth, commending himself to her with all his heart, and of this we
have innumerable instances in the histories. Nor is it to be supposed
from this that they are to omit commending themselves to God, for there
will be time and opportunity for doing so while they are engaged in their

"For all that," answered the traveller, "I feel some doubt still, because
often I have read how words will arise between two knights-errant, and
from one thing to another it comes about that their anger kindles and
they wheel their horses round and take a good stretch of field, and then
without any more ado at the top of their speed they come to the charge,
and in mid-career they are wont to commend themselves to their ladies;
and what commonly comes of the encounter is that one falls over the
haunches of his horse pierced through and through by his antagonist's
lance, and as for the other, it is only by holding on to the mane of his
horse that he can help falling to the ground; but I know not how the dead
man had time to commend himself to God in the course of such rapid work
as this; it would have been better if those words which he spent in
commending himself to his lady in the midst of his career had been
devoted to his duty and obligation as a Christian. Moreover, it is my
belief that all knights-errant have not ladies to commend themselves to,
for they are not all in love."

"That is impossible," said Don Quixote: "I say it is impossible that
there could be a knight-errant without a lady, because to such it is as
natural and proper to be in love as to the heavens to have stars: most
certainly no history has been seen in which there is to be found a
knight-errant without an amour, and for the simple reason that without
one he would be held no legitimate knight but a bastard, and one who had
gained entrance into the stronghold of the said knighthood, not by the
door, but over the wall like a thief and a robber."

"Nevertheless," said the traveller, "if I remember rightly, I think I
have read that Don Galaor, the brother of the valiant Amadis of Gaul,
never had any special lady to whom he might commend himself, and yet he
was not the less esteemed, and was a very stout and famous knight."

To which our Don Quixote made answer, "Sir, one solitary swallow does not
make summer; moreover, I know that knight was in secret very deeply in
love; besides which, that way of falling in love with all that took his
fancy was a natural propensity which he could not control. But, in short,
it is very manifest that he had one alone whom he made mistress of his
will, to whom he commended himself very frequently and very secretly, for
he prided himself on being a reticent knight."

"Then if it be essential that every knight-errant should be in love,"
said the traveller, "it may be fairly supposed that your worship is so,
as you are of the order; and if you do not pride yourself on being as
reticent as Don Galaor, I entreat you as earnestly as I can, in the name
of all this company and in my own, to inform us of the name, country,
rank, and beauty of your lady, for she will esteem herself fortunate if
all the world knows that she is loved and served by such a knight as your
worship seems to be."

At this Don Quixote heaved a deep sigh and said, "I cannot say positively
whether my sweet enemy is pleased or not that the world should know I
serve her; I can only say in answer to what has been so courteously asked
of me, that her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La
Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my
queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and
fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are
verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her
eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her
teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her
fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and
imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare."

"We should like to know her lineage, race, and ancestry," said Vivaldo.

To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii,
Caii, or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the
Moncadas or Requesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or
Villanovas of Valencia; Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas,
Alagones, Urreas, Foces, or Gurreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques,
Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile; Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of
Portugal; but she is of those of El Toboso of La Mancha, a lineage that
though modern, may furnish a source of gentle blood for the most
illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and this let none
dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foot of
the trophy of Orlando's arms, saying,

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

"Although mine is of the Cachopins of Laredo," said the traveller, "I
will not venture to compare it with that of El Toboso of La Mancha,
though, to tell the truth, no such surname has until now ever reached my

"What!" said Don Quixote, "has that never reached them?"

The rest of the party went along listening with great attention to the
conversation of the pair, and even the very goatherds and shepherds
perceived how exceedingly out of his wits our Don Quixote was. Sancho
Panza alone thought that what his master said was the truth, knowing who
he was and having known him from his birth; and all that he felt any
difficulty in believing was that about the fair Dulcinea del Toboso,
because neither any such name nor any such princess had ever come to his
knowledge though he lived so close to El Toboso. They were going along
conversing in this way, when they saw descending a gap between two high
mountains some twenty shepherds, all clad in sheepskins of black wool,
and crowned with garlands which, as afterwards appeared, were, some of
them of yew, some of cypress. Six of the number were carrying a bier
covered with a great variety of flowers and branches, on seeing which one
of the goatherds said, "Those who come there are the bearers of
Chrysostom's body, and the foot of that mountain is the place where he
ordered them to bury him." They therefore made haste to reach the spot,
and did so by the time those who came had laid the bier upon the ground,
and four of them with sharp pickaxes were digging a grave by the side of
a hard rock. They greeted each other courteously, and then Don Quixote
and those who accompanied him turned to examine the bier, and on it,
covered with flowers, they saw a dead body in the dress of a shepherd, to
all appearance of one thirty years of age, and showing even in death that
in life he had been of comely features and gallant bearing. Around him on
the bier itself were laid some books, and several papers open and folded;
and those who were looking on as well as those who were opening the grave
and all the others who were there preserved a strange silence, until one
of those who had borne the body said to another, "Observe carefully,
Ambrosia if this is the place Chrysostom spoke of, since you are anxious
that what he directed in his will should be so strictly complied with."

"This is the place," answered Ambrosia "for in it many a time did my poor
friend tell me the story of his hard fortune. Here it was, he told me,
that he saw for the first time that mortal enemy of the human race, and
here, too, for the first time he declared to her his passion, as
honourable as it was devoted, and here it was that at last Marcela ended
by scorning and rejecting him so as to bring the tragedy of his wretched
life to a close; here, in memory of misfortunes so great, he desired to
be laid in the bowels of eternal oblivion." Then turning to Don Quixote
and the travellers he went on to say, "That body, sirs, on which you are
looking with compassionate eyes, was the abode of a soul on which Heaven
bestowed a vast share of its riches. That is the body of Chrysostom, who
was unrivalled in wit, unequalled in courtesy, unapproached in gentle
bearing, a phoenix in friendship, generous without limit, grave without
arrogance, gay without vulgarity, and, in short, first in all that
constitutes goodness and second to none in all that makes up misfortune.
He loved deeply, he was hated; he adored, he was scorned; he wooed a wild
beast, he pleaded with marble, he pursued the wind, he cried to the
wilderness, he served ingratitude, and for reward was made the prey of
death in the mid-course of life, cut short by a shepherdess whom he
sought to immortalise in the memory of man, as these papers which you see
could fully prove, had he not commanded me to consign them to the fire
after having consigned his body to the earth."

"You would deal with them more harshly and cruelly than their owner
himself," said Vivaldo, "for it is neither right nor proper to do the
will of one who enjoins what is wholly unreasonable; it would not have
been reasonable in Augustus Caesar had he permitted the directions left
by the divine Mantuan in his will to be carried into effect. So that,
Senor Ambrosia while you consign your friend's body to the earth, you
should not consign his writings to oblivion, for if he gave the order in
bitterness of heart, it is not right that you should irrationally obey
it. On the contrary, by granting life to those papers, let the cruelty of
Marcela live for ever, to serve as a warning in ages to come to all men
to shun and avoid falling into like danger; or I and all of us who have
come here know already the story of this your love-stricken and
heart-broken friend, and we know, too, your friendship, and the cause of
his death, and the directions he gave at the close of his life; from
which sad story may be gathered how great was the cruelty of Marcela, the
love of Chrysostom, and the loyalty of your friendship, together with the
end awaiting those who pursue rashly the path that insane passion opens
to their eyes. Last night we learned the death of Chrysostom and that he
was to be buried here, and out of curiosity and pity we left our direct
road and resolved to come and see with our eyes that which when heard of
had so moved our compassion, and in consideration of that compassion and
our desire to prove it if we might by condolence, we beg of you,
excellent Ambrosia, or at least I on my own account entreat you, that
instead of burning those papers you allow me to carry away some of them."

And without waiting for the shepherd's answer, he stretched out his hand
and took up some of those that were nearest to him; seeing which Ambrosio
said, "Out of courtesy, senor, I will grant your request as to those you
have taken, but it is idle to expect me to abstain from burning the

Vivaldo, who was eager to see what the papers contained, opened one of
them at once, and saw that its title was "Lay of Despair."

Ambrosio hearing it said, "That is the last paper the unhappy man wrote;
and that you may see, senor, to what an end his misfortunes brought him,
read it so that you may be heard, for you will have time enough for that
while we are waiting for the grave to be dug."

"I will do so very willingly," said Vivaldo; and as all the bystanders
were equally eager they gathered round him, and he, reading in a loud
voice, found that it ran as follows.




  Since thou dost in thy cruelty desire
The ruthless rigour of thy tyranny
From tongue to tongue, from land to land proclaimed,
The very Hell will I constrain to lend
This stricken breast of mine deep notes of woe
To serve my need of fitting utterance.
And as I strive to body forth the tale
Of all I suffer, all that thou hast done,
Forth shall the dread voice roll, and bear along
Shreds from my vitals torn for greater pain.
Then listen, not to dulcet harmony,
But to a discord wrung by mad despair
Out of this bosom's depths of bitterness,
To ease my heart and plant a sting in thine.

  The lion's roar, the fierce wolf's savage howl,
The horrid hissing of the scaly snake,
The awesome cries of monsters yet unnamed,
The crow's ill-boding croak, the hollow moan
Of wild winds wrestling with the restless sea,
The wrathful bellow of the vanquished bull,
The plaintive sobbing of the widowed dove,
The envied owl's sad note, the wail of woe
That rises from the dreary choir of Hell,
Commingled in one sound, confusing sense,
Let all these come to aid my soul's complaint,
For pain like mine demands new modes of song.

  No echoes of that discord shall be heard
Where Father Tagus rolls, or on the banks
Of olive-bordered Betis; to the rocks
Or in deep caverns shall my plaint be told,
And by a lifeless tongue in living words;
Or in dark valleys or on lonely shores,
Where neither foot of man nor sunbeam falls;
Or in among the poison-breathing swarms
Of monsters nourished by the sluggish Nile.
For, though it be to solitudes remote
The hoarse vague echoes of my sorrows sound
Thy matchless cruelty, my dismal fate
Shall carry them to all the spacious world.

  Disdain hath power to kill, and patience dies
Slain by suspicion, be it false or true;
And deadly is the force of jealousy;
Long absence makes of life a dreary void;
No hope of happiness can give repose
To him that ever fears to be forgot;
And death, inevitable, waits in hall.
But I, by some strange miracle, live on
A prey to absence, jealousy, disdain;
Racked by suspicion as by certainty;
Forgotten, left to feed my flame alone.
And while I suffer thus, there comes no ray
Of hope to gladden me athwart the gloom;
Nor do I look for it in my despair;
But rather clinging to a cureless woe,
All hope do I abjure for evermore.

  Can there be hope where fear is? Were it well,
When far more certain are the grounds of fear?
Ought I to shut mine eyes to jealousy,
If through a thousand heart-wounds it appears?
Who would not give free access to distrust,
Seeing disdain unveiled, and--bitter change!--
All his suspicions turned to certainties,
And the fair truth transformed into a lie?
Oh, thou fierce tyrant of the realms of love,
Oh, Jealousy! put chains upon these hands,
And bind me with thy strongest cord, Disdain.
But, woe is me! triumphant over all,
My sufferings drown the memory of you.

  And now I die, and since there is no hope
Of happiness for me in life or death,
Still to my fantasy I'll fondly cling.
I'll say that he is wise who loveth well,
And that the soul most free is that most bound
In thraldom to the ancient tyrant Love.
I'll say that she who is mine enemy
In that fair body hath as fair a mind,
And that her coldness is but my desert,
And that by virtue of the pain he sends
Love rules his kingdom with a gentle sway.
Thus, self-deluding, and in bondage sore,
And wearing out the wretched shred of life
To which I am reduced by her disdain,
I'll give this soul and body to the winds,
All hopeless of a crown of bliss in store.

  Thou whose injustice hath supplied the cause
That makes me quit the weary life I loathe,
As by this wounded bosom thou canst see
How willingly thy victim I become,
Let not my death, if haply worth a tear,
Cloud the clear heaven that dwells in thy bright eyes;
I would not have thee expiate in aught
The crime of having made my heart thy prey;
But rather let thy laughter gaily ring
And prove my death to be thy festival.
Fool that I am to bid thee! well I know
Thy glory gains by my untimely end.

  And now it is the time; from Hell's abyss
Come thirsting Tantalus, come Sisyphus
Heaving the cruel stone, come Tityus
With vulture, and with wheel Ixion come,
And come the sisters of the ceaseless toil;
And all into this breast transfer their pains,
And (if such tribute to despair be due)
Chant in their deepest tones a doleful dirge
Over a corse unworthy of a shroud.
Let the three-headed guardian of the gate,
And all the monstrous progeny of hell,
The doleful concert join: a lover dead
Methinks can have no fitter obsequies.

  Lay of despair, grieve not when thou art gone
Forth from this sorrowing heart: my misery
Brings fortune to the cause that gave thee birth;
Then banish sadness even in the tomb.

The "Lay of Chrysostom" met with the approbation of the listeners, though
the reader said it did not seem to him to agree with what he had heard of
Marcela's reserve and propriety, for Chrysostom complained in it of
jealousy, suspicion, and absence, all to the prejudice of the good name
and fame of Marcela; to which Ambrosio replied as one who knew well his
friend's most secret thoughts, "Senor, to remove that doubt I should tell
you that when the unhappy man wrote this lay he was away from Marcela,
from whom he had voluntarily separated himself, to try if absence would
act with him as it is wont; and as everything distresses and every fear
haunts the banished lover, so imaginary jealousies and suspicions,
dreaded as if they were true, tormented Chrysostom; and thus the truth of
what report declares of the virtue of Marcela remains unshaken, and with
her envy itself should not and cannot find any fault save that of being
cruel, somewhat haughty, and very scornful."

"That is true," said Vivaldo; and as he was about to read another paper
of those he had preserved from the fire, he was stopped by a marvellous
vision (for such it seemed) that unexpectedly presented itself to their
eyes; for on the summit of the rock where they were digging the grave
there appeared the shepherdess Marcela, so beautiful that her beauty
exceeded its reputation. Those who had never till then beheld her gazed
upon her in wonder and silence, and those who were accustomed to see her
were not less amazed than those who had never seen her before. But the
instant Ambrosio saw her he addressed her, with manifest indignation:

"Art thou come, by chance, cruel basilisk of these mountains, to see if
in thy presence blood will flow from the wounds of this wretched being
thy cruelty has robbed of life; or is it to exult over the cruel work of
thy humours that thou art come; or like another pitiless Nero to look
down from that height upon the ruin of his Rome in embers; or in thy
arrogance to trample on this ill-fated corpse, as the ungrateful daughter
trampled on her father Tarquin's? Tell us quickly for what thou art come,
or what it is thou wouldst have, for, as I know the thoughts of
Chrysostom never failed to obey thee in life, I will make all these who
call themselves his friends obey thee, though he be dead."

"I come not, Ambrosia for any of the purposes thou hast named," replied
Marcela, "but to defend myself and to prove how unreasonable are all
those who blame me for their sorrow and for Chrysostom's death; and
therefore I ask all of you that are here to give me your attention, for
will not take much time or many words to bring the truth home to persons
of sense. Heaven has made me, so you say, beautiful, and so much so that
in spite of yourselves my beauty leads you to love me; and for the love
you show me you say, and even urge, that I am bound to love you. By that
natural understanding which God has given me I know that everything
beautiful attracts love, but I cannot see how, by reason of being loved,
that which is loved for its beauty is bound to love that which loves it;
besides, it may happen that the lover of that which is beautiful may be
ugly, and ugliness being detestable, it is very absurd to say, "I love
thee because thou art beautiful, thou must love me though I be ugly." But
supposing the beauty equal on both sides, it does not follow that the
inclinations must be therefore alike, for it is not every beauty that
excites love, some but pleasing the eye without winning the affection;
and if every sort of beauty excited love and won the heart, the will
would wander vaguely to and fro unable to make choice of any; for as
there is an infinity of beautiful objects there must be an infinity of
inclinations, and true love, I have heard it said, is indivisible, and
must be voluntary and not compelled. If this be so, as I believe it to
be, why do you desire me to bend my will by force, for no other reason
but that you say you love me? Nay--tell me--had Heaven made me ugly, as it
has made me beautiful, could I with justice complain of you for not
loving me? Moreover, you must remember that the beauty I possess was no
choice of mine, for, be it what it may, Heaven of its bounty gave it me
without my asking or choosing it; and as the viper, though it kills with
it, does not deserve to be blamed for the poison it carries, as it is a
gift of nature, neither do I deserve reproach for being beautiful; for
beauty in a modest woman is like fire at a distance or a sharp sword; the
one does not burn, the other does not cut, those who do not come too
near. Honour and virtue are the ornaments of the mind, without which the
body, though it be so, has no right to pass for beautiful; but if modesty
is one of the virtues that specially lend a grace and charm to mind and
body, why should she who is loved for her beauty part with it to gratify
one who for his pleasure alone strives with all his might and energy to
rob her of it? I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose
the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society,
the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and
waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword
laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me,
I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope--and I
have given none to Chrysostom or to any other--it cannot justly be said
that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy
than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me
that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield
to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made
he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live
in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits
of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open
avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what
wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I
had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should
have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was
persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink
you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my
charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to
despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself
whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him
call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise
no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far
the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love
by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my
suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth
that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for
she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour
is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and
basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls
me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my
acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast,
this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of
desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience
and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and
circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the
trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob
me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of
others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I
neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or
trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd
girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my
desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it
is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul
travels to its primeval abode."

With these words, and not waiting to hear a reply, she turned and passed
into the thickest part of a wood that was hard by, leaving all who were
there lost in admiration as much of her good sense as of her beauty.
Some--those wounded by the irresistible shafts launched by her bright
eyes--made as though they would follow her, heedless of the frank
declaration they had heard; seeing which, and deeming this a fitting
occasion for the exercise of his chivalry in aid of distressed damsels,
Don Quixote, laying his hand on the hilt of his sword, exclaimed in a
loud and distinct voice:

"Let no one, whatever his rank or condition, dare to follow the beautiful
Marcela, under pain of incurring my fierce indignation. She has shown by
clear and satisfactory arguments that little or no fault is to be found
with her for the death of Chrysostom, and also how far she is from
yielding to the wishes of any of her lovers, for which reason, instead of
being followed and persecuted, she should in justice be honoured and
esteemed by all the good people of the world, for she shows that she is
the only woman in it that holds to such a virtuous resolution."

Whether it was because of the threats of Don Quixote, or because Ambrosio
told them to fulfil their duty to their good friend, none of the
shepherds moved or stirred from the spot until, having finished the grave
and burned Chrysostom's papers, they laid his body in it, not without
many tears from those who stood by. They closed the grave with a heavy
stone until a slab was ready which Ambrosio said he meant to have
prepared, with an epitaph which was to be to this effect:

Beneath the stone before your eyes
The body of a lover lies;
In life he was a shepherd swain,
In death a victim to disdain.
Ungrateful, cruel, coy, and fair,
Was she that drove him to despair,
And Love hath made her his ally
For spreading wide his tyranny.

They then strewed upon the grave a profusion of flowers and branches, and
all expressing their condolence with his friend ambrosio, took their
Vivaldo and his companion did the same; and Don Quixote bade farewell to
his hosts and to the travellers, who pressed him to come with them to
Seville, as being such a convenient place for finding adventures, for
they presented themselves in every street and round every corner oftener
than anywhere else. Don Quixote thanked them for their advice and for the
disposition they showed to do him a favour, and said that for the present
he would not, and must not go to Seville until he had cleared all these
mountains of highwaymen and robbers, of whom report said they were full.
Seeing his good intention, the travellers were unwilling to press him
further, and once more bidding him farewell, they left him and pursued
their journey, in the course of which they did not fail to discuss the
story of Marcela and Chrysostom as well as the madness of Don Quixote.
He, on his part, resolved to go in quest of the shepherdess Marcela, and
make offer to her of all the service he could render her; but things did
not fall out with him as he expected, according to what is related in the
course of this veracious history, of which the Second Part ends here.



The sage Cide Hamete Benengeli relates that as soon as Don Quixote took
leave of his hosts and all who had been present at the burial of
Chrysostom, he and his squire passed into the same wood which they had
seen the shepherdess Marcela enter, and after having wandered for more
than two hours in all directions in search of her without finding her,
they came to a halt in a glade covered with tender grass, beside which
ran a pleasant cool stream that invited and compelled them to pass there
the hours of the noontide heat, which by this time was beginning to come
on oppressively. Don Quixote and Sancho dismounted, and turning Rocinante
and the ass loose to feed on the grass that was there in abundance, they
ransacked the alforjas, and without any ceremony very peacefully and
sociably master and man made their repast on what they found in them.

Sancho had not thought it worth while to hobble Rocinante, feeling sure,
from what he knew of his staidness and freedom from incontinence, that
all the mares in the Cordova pastures would not lead him into an
impropriety. Chance, however, and the devil, who is not always asleep, so
ordained it that feeding in this valley there was a drove of Galician
ponies belonging to certain Yanguesan carriers, whose way it is to take
their midday rest with their teams in places and spots where grass and
water abound; and that where Don Quixote chanced to be suited the
Yanguesans' purpose very well. It so happened, then, that Rocinante took
a fancy to disport himself with their ladyships the ponies, and
abandoning his usual gait and demeanour as he scented them, he, without
asking leave of his master, got up a briskish little trot and hastened to
make known his wishes to them; they, however, it seemed, preferred their
pasture to him, and received him with their heels and teeth to such
effect that they soon broke his girths and left him naked without a
saddle to cover him; but what must have been worse to him was that the
carriers, seeing the violence he was offering to their mares, came
running up armed with stakes, and so belaboured him that they brought him
sorely battered to the ground.

By this time Don Quixote and Sancho, who had witnessed the drubbing of
Rocinante, came up panting, and said Don Quixote to Sancho:

"So far as I can see, friend Sancho, these are not knights but base folk
of low birth: I mention it because thou canst lawfully aid me in taking
due vengeance for the insult offered to Rocinante before our eyes."

"What the devil vengeance can we take," answered Sancho, "if they are
more than twenty, and we no more than two, or, indeed, perhaps not more
than one and a half?"

"I count for a hundred," replied Don Quixote, and without more words he
drew his sword and attacked the Yanguesans and excited and impelled by
the example of his master, Sancho did the same; and to begin with, Don
Quixote delivered a slash at one of them that laid open the leather
jerkin he wore, together with a great portion of his shoulder. The
Yanguesans, seeing themselves assaulted by only two men while they were
so many, betook themselves to their stakes, and driving the two into the
middle they began to lay on with great zeal and energy; in fact, at the
second blow they brought Sancho to the ground, and Don Quixote fared the
same way, all his skill and high mettle availing him nothing, and fate
willed it that he should fall at the feet of Rocinante, who had not yet
risen; whereby it may be seen how furiously stakes can pound in angry
boorish hands.

Then, seeing the mischief they had done, the Yanguesans with all the
haste they could loaded their team and pursued their journey, leaving the
two adventurers a sorry sight and in sorrier mood.

Sancho was the first to come to, and finding himself close to his master
he called to him in a weak and doleful voice, "Senor Don Quixote, ah,
Senor Don Quixote!"

"What wouldst thou, brother Sancho?" answered Don Quixote in the same
feeble suffering tone as Sancho.

"I would like, if it were possible," answered Sancho Panza, "your worship
to give me a couple of sups of that potion of the fiery Blas, if it be
that you have any to hand there; perhaps it will serve for broken bones
as well as for wounds."

"If I only had it here, wretch that I am, what more should we want?" said
Don Quixote; "but I swear to thee, Sancho Panza, on the faith of a
knight-errant, ere two days are over, unless fortune orders otherwise, I
mean to have it in my possession, or my hand will have lost its cunning."

"But in how many does your worship think we shall have the use of our
feet?" answered Sancho Panza.

"For myself I must say I cannot guess how many," said the battered knight
Don Quixote; "but I take all the blame upon myself, for I had no business
to put hand to sword against men who where not dubbed knights like
myself, and so I believe that in punishment for having transgressed the
laws of chivalry the God of battles has permitted this chastisement to be
administered to me; for which reason, brother Sancho, it is well thou
shouldst receive a hint on the matter which I am now about to mention to
thee, for it is of much importance to the welfare of both of us. It is at
when thou shalt see rabble of this sort offering us insult thou art not
to wait till I draw sword against them, for I shall not do so at all; but
do thou draw sword and chastise them to thy heart's content, and if any
knights come to their aid and defence I will take care to defend thee and
assail them with all my might; and thou hast already seen by a thousand
signs and proofs what the might of this strong arm of mine is equal
to"--so uplifted had the poor gentleman become through the victory over
the stout Biscayan.

But Sancho did not so fully approve of his master's admonition as to let
it pass without saying in reply, "Senor, I am a man of peace, meek and
quiet, and I can put up with any affront because I have a wife and
children to support and bring up; so let it be likewise a hint to your
worship, as it cannot be a mandate, that on no account will I draw sword
either against clown or against knight, and that here before God I
forgive the insults that have been offered me, whether they have been,
are, or shall be offered me by high or low, rich or poor, noble or
commoner, not excepting any rank or condition whatsoever."

To all which his master said in reply, "I wish I had breath enough to
speak somewhat easily, and that the pain I feel on this side would abate
so as to let me explain to thee, Panza, the mistake thou makest. Come
now, sinner, suppose the wind of fortune, hitherto so adverse, should
turn in our favour, filling the sails of our desires so that safely and
without impediment we put into port in some one of those islands I have
promised thee, how would it be with thee if on winning it I made thee
lord of it? Why, thou wilt make it well-nigh impossible through not being
a knight nor having any desire to be one, nor possessing the courage nor
the will to avenge insults or defend thy lordship; for thou must know
that in newly conquered kingdoms and provinces the minds of the
inhabitants are never so quiet nor so well disposed to the new lord that
there is no fear of their making some move to change matters once more,
and try, as they say, what chance may do for them; so it is essential
that the new possessor should have good sense to enable him to govern,
and valour to attack and defend himself, whatever may befall him."

"In what has now befallen us," answered Sancho, "I'd have been well
pleased to have that good sense and that valour your worship speaks of,
but I swear on the faith of a poor man I am more fit for plasters than
for arguments. See if your worship can get up, and let us help Rocinante,
though he does not deserve it, for he was the main cause of all this
thrashing. I never thought it of Rocinante, for I took him to be a
virtuous person and as quiet as myself. After all, they say right that it
takes a long time to come to know people, and that there is nothing sure
in this life. Who would have said that, after such mighty slashes as your
worship gave that unlucky knight-errant, there was coming, travelling
post and at the very heels of them, such a great storm of sticks as has
fallen upon our shoulders?"

"And yet thine, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "ought to be used to such
squalls; but mine, reared in soft cloth and fine linen, it is plain they
must feel more keenly the pain of this mishap, and if it were not that I
imagine--why do I say imagine?--know of a certainty that all these
annoyances are very necessary accompaniments of the calling of arms, I
would lay me down here to die of pure vexation."

To this the squire replied, "Senor, as these mishaps are what one reaps
of chivalry, tell me if they happen very often, or if they have their own
fixed times for coming to pass; because it seems to me that after two
harvests we shall be no good for the third, unless God in his infinite
mercy helps us."

"Know, friend Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "that the life of
knights-errant is subject to a thousand dangers and reverses, and neither
more nor less is it within immediate possibility for knights-errant to
become kings and emperors, as experience has shown in the case of many
different knights with whose histories I am thoroughly acquainted; and I
could tell thee now, if the pain would let me, of some who simply by
might of arm have risen to the high stations I have mentioned; and those
same, both before and after, experienced divers misfortunes and miseries;
for the valiant Amadis of Gaul found himself in the power of his mortal
enemy Arcalaus the magician, who, it is positively asserted, holding him
captive, gave him more than two hundred lashes with the reins of his
horse while tied to one of the pillars of a court; and moreover there is
a certain recondite author of no small authority who says that the Knight
of Phoebus, being caught in a certain pitfall, which opened under his
feet in a certain castle, on falling found himself bound hand and foot in
a deep pit underground, where they administered to him one of those
things they call clysters, of sand and snow-water, that well-nigh
finished him; and if he had not been succoured in that sore extremity by
a sage, a great friend of his, it would have gone very hard with the poor
knight; so I may well suffer in company with such worthy folk, for
greater were the indignities which they had to suffer than those which we
suffer. For I would have thee know, Sancho, that wounds caused by any
instruments which happen by chance to be in hand inflict no indignity,
and this is laid down in the law of the duel in express words: if, for
instance, the cobbler strikes another with the last which he has in his
hand, though it be in fact a piece of wood, it cannot be said for that
reason that he whom he struck with it has been cudgelled. I say this lest
thou shouldst imagine that because we have been drubbed in this affray we
have therefore suffered any indignity; for the arms those men carried,
with which they pounded us, were nothing more than their stakes, and not
one of them, so far as I remember, carried rapier, sword, or dagger."

"They gave me no time to see that much," answered Sancho, "for hardly had
I laid hand on my tizona when they signed the cross on my shoulders with
their sticks in such style that they took the sight out of my eyes and
the strength out of my feet, stretching me where I now lie, and where
thinking of whether all those stake-strokes were an indignity or not
gives me no uneasiness, which the pain of the blows does, for they will
remain as deeply impressed on my memory as on my shoulders."

"For all that let me tell thee, brother Panza," said Don Quixote, "that
there is no recollection which time does not put an end to, and no pain
which death does not remove."

"And what greater misfortune can there be," replied Panza, "than the one
that waits for time to put an end to it and death to remove it? If our
mishap were one of those that are cured with a couple of plasters, it
would not be so bad; but I am beginning to think that all the plasters in
a hospital almost won't be enough to put us right."

"No more of that: pluck strength out of weakness, Sancho, as I mean to
do," returned Don Quixote, "and let us see how Rocinante is, for it seems
to me that not the least share of this mishap has fallen to the lot of
the poor beast."

"There is nothing wonderful in that," replied Sancho, "since he is a
knight-errant too; what I wonder at is that my beast should have come off
scot-free where we come out scotched."

"Fortune always leaves a door open in adversity in order to bring relief
to it," said Don Quixote; "I say so because this little beast may now
supply the want of Rocinante, carrying me hence to some castle where I
may be cured of my wounds. And moreover I shall not hold it any dishonour
to be so mounted, for I remember having read how the good old Silenus,
the tutor and instructor of the gay god of laughter, when he entered the
city of the hundred gates, went very contentedly mounted on a handsome

"It may be true that he went mounted as your worship says," answered
Sancho, "but there is a great difference between going mounted and going
slung like a sack of manure."

To which Don Quixote replied, "Wounds received in battle confer honour
instead of taking it away; and so, friend Panza, say no more, but, as I
told thee before, get up as well as thou canst and put me on top of thy
beast in whatever fashion pleases thee best, and let us go hence ere
night come on and surprise us in these wilds."

"And yet I have heard your worship say," observed Panza, "that it is very
meet for knights-errant to sleep in wastes and deserts, and that they
esteem it very good fortune."

"That is," said Don Quixote, "when they cannot help it, or when they are
in love; and so true is this that there have been knights who have
remained two years on rocks, in sunshine and shade and all the
inclemencies of heaven, without their ladies knowing anything of it; and
one of these was Amadis, when, under the name of Beltenebros, he took up
his abode on the Pena Pobre for--I know not if it was eight years or
eight months, for I am not very sure of the reckoning; at any rate he
stayed there doing penance for I know not what pique the Princess Oriana
had against him; but no more of this now, Sancho, and make haste before a
mishap like Rocinante's befalls the ass."

"The very devil would be in it in that case," said Sancho; and letting
off thirty "ohs," and sixty sighs, and a hundred and twenty maledictions
and execrations on whomsoever it was that had brought him there, he
raised himself, stopping half-way bent like a Turkish bow without power
to bring himself upright, but with all his pains he saddled his ass, who
too had gone astray somewhat, yielding to the excessive licence of the
day; he next raised up Rocinante, and as for him, had he possessed a
tongue to complain with, most assuredly neither Sancho nor his master
would have been behind him.

To be brief, Sancho fixed Don Quixote on the ass and secured Rocinante
with a leading rein, and taking the ass by the halter, he proceeded more
or less in the direction in which it seemed to him the high road might
be; and, as chance was conducting their affairs for them from good to
better, he had not gone a short league when the road came in sight, and
on it he perceived an inn, which to his annoyance and to the delight of
Don Quixote must needs be a castle. Sancho insisted that it was an inn,
and his master that it was not one, but a castle, and the dispute lasted
so long that before the point was settled they had time to reach it, and
into it Sancho entered with all his team without any further controversy.



The innkeeper, seeing Don Quixote slung across the ass, asked Sancho what
was amiss with him. Sancho answered that it was nothing, only that he had
fallen down from a rock and had his ribs a little bruised. The innkeeper
had a wife whose disposition was not such as those of her calling
commonly have, for she was by nature kind-hearted and felt for the
sufferings of her neighbours, so she at once set about tending Don
Quixote, and made her young daughter, a very comely girl, help her in
taking care of her guest. There was besides in the inn, as servant, an
Asturian lass with a broad face, flat poll, and snub nose, blind of one
eye and not very sound in the other. The elegance of her shape, to be
sure, made up for all her defects; she did not measure seven palms from
head to foot, and her shoulders, which overweighted her somewhat, made
her contemplate the ground more than she liked. This graceful lass, then,
helped the young girl, and the two made up a very bad bed for Don Quixote
in a garret that showed evident signs of having formerly served for many
years as a straw-loft, in which there was also quartered a carrier whose
bed was placed a little beyond our Don Quixote's, and, though only made
of the pack-saddles and cloths of his mules, had much the advantage of
it, as Don Quixote's consisted simply of four rough boards on two not
very even trestles, a mattress, that for thinness might have passed for a
quilt, full of pellets which, were they not seen through the rents to be
wool, would to the touch have seemed pebbles in hardness, two sheets made
of buckler leather, and a coverlet the threads of which anyone that chose
might have counted without missing one in the reckoning.

On this accursed bed Don Quixote stretched himself, and the hostess and
her daughter soon covered him with plasters from top to toe, while
Maritornes--for that was the name of the Asturian--held the light for
them, and while plastering him, the hostess, observing how full of wheals
Don Quixote was in some places, remarked that this had more the look of
blows than of a fall.

It was not blows, Sancho said, but that the rock had many points and
projections, and that each of them had left its mark. "Pray, senora," he
added, "manage to save some tow, as there will be no want of some one to
use it, for my loins too are rather sore."

"Then you must have fallen too," said the hostess.

"I did not fall," said Sancho Panza, "but from the shock I got at seeing
my master fall, my body aches so that I feel as if I had had a thousand

"That may well be," said the young girl, "for it has many a time happened
to me to dream that I was falling down from a tower and never coming to
the ground, and when I awoke from the dream to find myself as weak and
shaken as if I had really fallen."

"There is the point, senora," replied Sancho Panza, "that I without
dreaming at all, but being more awake than I am now, find myself with
scarcely less wheals than my master, Don Quixote."

"How is the gentleman called?" asked Maritornes the Asturian.

"Don Quixote of La Mancha," answered Sancho Panza, "and he is a
knight-adventurer, and one of the best and stoutest that have been seen
in the world this long time past."

"What is a knight-adventurer?" said the lass.

"Are you so new in the world as not to know?" answered Sancho Panza.
"Well, then, you must know, sister, that a knight-adventurer is a thing
that in two words is seen drubbed and emperor, that is to-day the most
miserable and needy being in the world, and to-morrow will have two or
three crowns of kingdoms to give his squire."

"Then how is it," said the hostess, "that belonging to so good a master
as this, you have not, to judge by appearances, even so much as a

"It is too soon yet," answered Sancho, "for we have only been a month
going in quest of adventures, and so far we have met with nothing that
can be called one, for it will happen that when one thing is looked for
another thing is found; however, if my master Don Quixote gets well of
this wound, or fall, and I am left none the worse of it, I would not
change my hopes for the best title in Spain."

To all this conversation Don Quixote was listening very attentively, and
sitting up in bed as well as he could, and taking the hostess by the hand
he said to her, "Believe me, fair lady, you may call yourself fortunate
in having in this castle of yours sheltered my person, which is such that
if I do not myself praise it, it is because of what is commonly said,
that self-praise debaseth; but my squire will inform you who I am. I only
tell you that I shall preserve for ever inscribed on my memory the
service you have rendered me in order to tender you my gratitude while
life shall last me; and would to Heaven love held me not so enthralled
and subject to its laws and to the eyes of that fair ingrate whom I name
between my teeth, but that those of this lovely damsel might be the
masters of my liberty."

The hostess, her daughter, and the worthy Maritornes listened in
bewilderment to the words of the knight-errant; for they understood about
as much of them as if he had been talking Greek, though they could
perceive they were all meant for expressions of good-will and
blandishments; and not being accustomed to this kind of language, they
stared at him and wondered to themselves, for he seemed to them a man of
a different sort from those they were used to, and thanking him in
pothouse phrase for his civility they left him, while the Asturian gave
her attention to Sancho, who needed it no less than his master.

The carrier had made an arrangement with her for recreation that night,
and she had given him her word that when the guests were quiet and the
family asleep she would come in search of him and meet his wishes
unreservedly. And it is said of this good lass that she never made
promises of the kind without fulfilling them, even though she made them
in a forest and without any witness present, for she plumed herself
greatly on being a lady and held it no disgrace to be in such an
employment as servant in an inn, because, she said, misfortunes and
ill-luck had brought her to that position. The hard, narrow, wretched,
rickety bed of Don Quixote stood first in the middle of this star-lit
stable, and close beside it Sancho made his, which merely consisted of a
rush mat and a blanket that looked as if it was of threadbare canvas
rather than of wool. Next to these two beds was that of the carrier, made
up, as has been said, of the pack-saddles and all the trappings of the
two best mules he had, though there were twelve of them, sleek, plump,
and in prime condition, for he was one of the rich carriers of Arevalo,
according to the author of this history, who particularly mentions this
carrier because he knew him very well, and they even say was in some
degree a relation of his; besides which Cide Hamete Benengeli was a
historian of great research and accuracy in all things, as is very
evident since he would not pass over in silence those that have been
already mentioned, however trifling and insignificant they might be, an
example that might be followed by those grave historians who relate
transactions so curtly and briefly that we hardly get a taste of them,
all the substance of the work being left in the inkstand from
carelessness, perverseness, or ignorance. A thousand blessings on the
author of "Tablante de Ricamonte" and that of the other book in which the
deeds of the Conde Tomillas are recounted; with what minuteness they
describe everything!

To proceed, then: after having paid a visit to his team and given them
their second feed, the carrier stretched himself on his pack-saddles and
lay waiting for his conscientious Maritornes. Sancho was by this time
plastered and had lain down, and though he strove to sleep the pain of
his ribs would not let him, while Don Quixote with the pain of his had
his eyes as wide open as a hare's.

The inn was all in silence, and in the whole of it there was no light
except that given by a lantern that hung burning in the middle of the
gateway. This strange stillness, and the thoughts, always present to our
knight's mind, of the incidents described at every turn in the books that
were the cause of his misfortune, conjured up to his imagination as
extraordinary a delusion as can well be conceived, which was that he
fancied himself to have reached a famous castle (for, as has been said,
all the inns he lodged in were castles to his eyes), and that the
daughter of the innkeeper was daughter of the lord of the castle, and
that she, won by his high-bred bearing, had fallen in love with him, and
had promised to come to his bed for a while that night without the
knowledge of her parents; and holding all this fantasy that he had
constructed as solid fact, he began to feel uneasy and to consider the
perilous risk which his virtue was about to encounter, and he resolved in
his heart to commit no treason to his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, even
though the queen Guinevere herself and the dame Quintanona should present
themselves before him.

While he was taken up with these vagaries, then, the time and the
hour--an unlucky one for him--arrived for the Asturian to come, who in
her smock, with bare feet and her hair gathered into a fustian coif, with
noiseless and cautious steps entered the chamber where the three were
quartered, in quest of the carrier; but scarcely had she gained the door
when Don Quixote perceived her, and sitting up in his bed in spite of his
plasters and the pain of his ribs, he stretched out his arms to receive
his beauteous damsel. The Asturian, who went all doubled up and in
silence with her hands before her feeling for her lover, encountered the
arms of Don Quixote, who grasped her tightly by the wrist, and drawing
her towards him, while she dared not utter a word, made her sit down on
the bed. He then felt her smock, and although it was of sackcloth it
appeared to him to be of the finest and softest silk: on her wrists she
wore some glass beads, but to him they had the sheen of precious Orient
pearls: her hair, which in some measure resembled a horse's mane, he
rated as threads of the brightest gold of Araby, whose refulgence dimmed
the sun himself: her breath, which no doubt smelt of yesterday's stale
salad, seemed to him to diffuse a sweet aromatic fragrance from her
mouth; and, in short, he drew her portrait in his imagination with the
same features and in the same style as that which he had seen in his
books of the other princesses who, smitten by love, came with all the
adornments that are here set down, to see the sorely wounded knight; and
so great was the poor gentleman's blindness that neither touch, nor
smell, nor anything else about the good lass that would have made any but
a carrier vomit, were enough to undeceive him; on the contrary, he was
persuaded he had the goddess of beauty in his arms, and holding her
firmly in his grasp he went on to say in low, tender voice:

"Would that found myself, lovely and exalted lady, in a position to repay
such a favour as that which you, by the sight of your great beauty, have
granted me; but fortune, which is never weary of persecuting the good,
has chosen to place me upon this bed, where I lie so bruised and broken
that though my inclination would gladly comply with yours it is
impossible; besides, to this impossibility another yet greater is to be
added, which is the faith that I have pledged to the peerless Dulcinea
del Toboso, sole lady of my most secret thoughts; and were it not that
this stood in the way I should not be so insensible a knight as to miss
the happy opportunity which your great goodness has offered me."

Maritornes was fretting and sweating at finding herself held so fast by
Don Quixote, and not understanding or heeding the words he addressed to
her, she strove without speaking to free herself. The worthy carrier,
whose unholy thoughts kept him awake, was aware of his doxy the moment
she entered the door, and was listening attentively to all Don Quixote
said; and jealous that the Asturian should have broken her word with him
for another, drew nearer to Don Quixote's bed and stood still to see what
would come of this talk which he could not understand; but when he
perceived the wench struggling to get free and Don Quixote striving to
hold her, not relishing the joke he raised his arm and delivered such a
terrible cuff on the lank jaws of the amorous knight that he bathed all
his mouth in blood, and not content with this he mounted on his ribs and
with his feet tramped all over them at a pace rather smarter than a trot.
The bed which was somewhat crazy and not very firm on its feet, unable to
support the additional weight of the carrier, came to the ground, and at
the mighty crash of this the innkeeper awoke and at once concluded that
it must be some brawl of Maritornes', because after calling loudly to her
he got no answer. With this suspicion he got up, and lighting a lamp
hastened to the quarter where he had heard the disturbance. The wench,
seeing that her master was coming and knowing that his temper was
terrible, frightened and panic-stricken made for the bed of Sancho Panza,
who still slept, and crouching upon it made a ball of herself.

The innkeeper came in exclaiming, "Where art thou, strumpet? Of course
this is some of thy work." At this Sancho awoke, and feeling this mass
almost on top of him fancied he had the nightmare and began to distribute
fisticuffs all round, of which a certain share fell upon Maritornes, who,
irritated by the pain and flinging modesty aside, paid back so many in
return to Sancho that she woke him up in spite of himself. He then,
finding himself so handled, by whom he knew not, raising himself up as
well as he could, grappled with Maritornes, and he and she between them
began the bitterest and drollest scrimmage in the world. The carrier,
however, perceiving by the light of the innkeeper candle how it fared
with his ladylove, quitting Don Quixote, ran to bring her the help she
needed; and the innkeeper did the same but with a different intention,
for his was to chastise the lass, as he believed that beyond a doubt she
alone was the cause of all the harmony. And so, as the saying is, cat to
rat, rat to rope, rope to stick, the carrier pounded Sancho, Sancho the
lass, she him, and the innkeeper her, and all worked away so briskly that
they did not give themselves a moment's rest; and the best of it was that
the innkeeper's lamp went out, and as they were left in the dark they all
laid on one upon the other in a mass so unmercifully that there was not a
sound spot left where a hand could light.

It so happened that there was lodging that night in the inn a caudrillero
of what they call the Old Holy Brotherhood of Toledo, who, also hearing
the extraordinary noise of the conflict, seized his staff and the tin
case with his warrants, and made his way in the dark into the room
crying: "Hold! in the name of the Jurisdiction! Hold! in the name of the
Holy Brotherhood!"

The first that he came upon was the pummelled Don Quixote, who lay
stretched senseless on his back upon his broken-down bed, and, his hand
falling on the beard as he felt about, he continued to cry, "Help for the
Jurisdiction!" but perceiving that he whom he had laid hold of did not
move or stir, he concluded that he was dead and that those in the room
were his murderers, and with this suspicion he raised his voice still
higher, calling out, "Shut the inn gate; see that no one goes out; they
have killed a man here!" This cry startled them all, and each dropped the
contest at the point at which the voice reached him. The innkeeper
retreated to his room, the carrier to his pack-saddles, the lass to her
crib; the unlucky Don Quixote and Sancho alone were unable to move from
where they were. The cuadrillero on this let go Don Quixote's beard, and
went out to look for a light to search for and apprehend the culprits;
but not finding one, as the innkeeper had purposely extinguished the
lantern on retreating to his room, he was compelled to have recourse to
the hearth, where after much time and trouble he lit another lamp.



By this time Don Quixote had recovered from his swoon; and in the same
tone of voice in which he had called to his squire the day before when he
lay stretched "in the vale of the stakes," he began calling to him now,
"Sancho, my friend, art thou asleep? sleepest thou, friend Sancho?"

"How can I sleep, curses on it!" returned Sancho discontentedly and
bitterly, "when it is plain that all the devils have been at me this

"Thou mayest well believe that," answered Don Quixote, "because, either I
know little, or this castle is enchanted, for thou must know-but this
that I am now about to tell thee thou must swear to keep secret until
after my death."

"I swear it," answered Sancho.

"I say so," continued Don Quixote, "because I hate taking away anyone's
good name."

"I say," replied Sancho, "that I swear to hold my tongue about it till
the end of your worship's days, and God grant I may be able to let it out

"Do I do thee such injuries, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou
wouldst see me dead so soon?"

"It is not for that," replied Sancho, "but because I hate keeping things
long, and I don't want them to grow rotten with me from over-keeping."

"At any rate," said Don Quixote, "I have more confidence in thy affection
and good nature; and so I would have thee know that this night there
befell me one of the strangest adventures that I could describe, and to
relate it to thee briefly thou must know that a little while ago the
daughter of the lord of this castle came to me, and that she is the most
elegant and beautiful damsel that could be found in the wide world. What
I could tell thee of the charms of her person! of her lively wit! of
other secret matters which, to preserve the fealty I owe to my lady
Dulcinea del Toboso, I shall pass over unnoticed and in silence! I will
only tell thee that, either fate being envious of so great a boon placed
in my hands by good fortune, or perhaps (and this is more probable) this
castle being, as I have already said, enchanted, at the time when I was
engaged in the sweetest and most amorous discourse with her, there came,
without my seeing or knowing whence it came, a hand attached to some arm
of some huge giant, that planted such a cuff on my jaws that I have them
all bathed in blood, and then pummelled me in such a way that I am in a
worse plight than yesterday when the carriers, on account of Rocinante's
misbehaviour, inflicted on us the injury thou knowest of; whence
conjecture that there must be some enchanted Moor guarding the treasure
of this damsel's beauty, and that it is not for me."

"Not for me either," said Sancho, "for more than four hundred Moors have
so thrashed me that the drubbing of the stakes was cakes and fancy-bread
to it. But tell me, senor, what do you call this excellent and rare
adventure that has left us as we are left now? Though your worship was
not so badly off, having in your arms that incomparable beauty you spoke
of; but I, what did I have, except the heaviest whacks I think I had in
all my life? Unlucky me and the mother that bore me! for I am not a
knight-errant and never expect to be one, and of all the mishaps, the
greater part falls to my share."

"Then thou hast been thrashed too?" said Don Quixote.

"Didn't I say so? worse luck to my line!" said Sancho.

"Be not distressed, friend," said Don Quixote, "for I will now make the
precious balsam with which we shall cure ourselves in the twinkling of an

By this time the cuadrillero had succeeded in lighting the lamp, and came
in to see the man that he thought had been killed; and as Sancho caught
sight of him at the door, seeing him coming in his shirt, with a cloth on
his head, and a lamp in his hand, and a very forbidding countenance, he
said to his master, "Senor, can it be that this is the enchanted Moor
coming back to give us more castigation if there be anything still left
in the ink-bottle?"

"It cannot be the Moor," answered Don Quixote, "for those under
enchantment do not let themselves be seen by anyone."

"If they don't let themselves be seen, they let themselves be felt," said
Sancho; "if not, let my shoulders speak to the point."

"Mine could speak too," said Don Quixote, "but that is not a sufficient
reason for believing that what we see is the enchanted Moor."

The officer came up, and finding them engaged in such a peaceful
conversation, stood amazed; though Don Quixote, to be sure, still lay on
his back unable to move from pure pummelling and plasters. The officer
turned to him and said, "Well, how goes it, good man?"

"I would speak more politely if I were you," replied Don Quixote; "is it
the way of this country to address knights-errant in that style, you

The cuadrillero finding himself so disrespectfully treated by such a
sorry-looking individual, lost his temper, and raising the lamp full of
oil, smote Don Quixote such a blow with it on the head that he gave him a
badly broken pate; then, all being in darkness, he went out, and Sancho
Panza said, "That is certainly the enchanted Moor, Senor, and he keeps
the treasure for others, and for us only the cuffs and lamp-whacks."

"That is the truth," answered Don Quixote, "and there is no use in
troubling oneself about these matters of enchantment or being angry or
vexed at them, for as they are invisible and visionary we shall find no
one on whom to avenge ourselves, do what we may; rise, Sancho, if thou
canst, and call the alcaide of this fortress, and get him to give me a
little oil, wine, salt, and rosemary to make the salutiferous balsam, for
indeed I believe I have great need of it now, because I am losing much
blood from the wound that phantom gave me."

Sancho got up with pain enough in his bones, and went after the innkeeper
in the dark, and meeting the officer, who was looking to see what had
become of his enemy, he said to him, "Senor, whoever you are, do us the
favour and kindness to give us a little rosemary, oil, salt, and wine,
for it is wanted to cure one of the best knights-errant on earth, who
lies on yonder bed wounded by the hands of the enchanted Moor that is in
this inn."

When the officer heard him talk in this way, he took him for a man out of
his senses, and as day was now beginning to break, he opened the inn
gate, and calling the host, he told him what this good man wanted. The
host furnished him with what he required, and Sancho brought it to Don
Quixote, who, with his hand to his head, was bewailing the pain of the
blow of the lamp, which had done him no more harm than raising a couple
of rather large lumps, and what he fancied blood was only the sweat that
flowed from him in his sufferings during the late storm. To be brief, he
took the materials, of which he made a compound, mixing them all and
boiling them a good while until it seemed to him they had come to
perfection. He then asked for some vial to pour it into, and as there was
not one in the inn, he decided on putting it into a tin oil-bottle or
flask of which the host made him a free gift; and over the flask he
repeated more than eighty paternosters and as many more ave-marias,
salves, and credos, accompanying each word with a cross by way of
benediction, at all which there were present Sancho, the innkeeper, and
the cuadrillero; for the carrier was now peacefully engaged in attending
to the comfort of his mules.

This being accomplished, he felt anxious to make trial himself, on the
spot, of the virtue of this precious balsam, as he considered it, and so
he drank near a quart of what could not be put into the flask and
remained in the pigskin in which it had been boiled; but scarcely had he
done drinking when he began to vomit in such a way that nothing was left
in his stomach, and with the pangs and spasms of vomiting he broke into a
profuse sweat, on account of which he bade them cover him up and leave
him alone. They did so, and he lay sleeping more than three hours, at the
end of which he awoke and felt very great bodily relief and so much ease
from his bruises that he thought himself quite cured, and verily believed
he had hit upon the balsam of Fierabras; and that with this remedy he
might thenceforward, without any fear, face any kind of destruction,
battle, or combat, however perilous it might be.

Sancho Panza, who also regarded the amendment of his master as
miraculous, begged him to give him what was left in the pigskin, which
was no small quantity. Don Quixote consented, and he, taking it with both
hands, in good faith and with a better will, gulped down and drained off
very little less than his master. But the fact is, that the stomach of
poor Sancho was of necessity not so delicate as that of his master, and
so, before vomiting, he was seized with such gripings and retchings, and
such sweats and faintness, that verily and truly be believed his last
hour had come, and finding himself so racked and tormented he cursed the
balsam and the thief that had given it to him.

Don Quixote seeing him in this state said, "It is my belief, Sancho, that
this mischief comes of thy not being dubbed a knight, for I am persuaded
this liquor cannot be good for those who are not so."

"If your worship knew that," returned Sancho--"woe betide me and all my
kindred!--why did you let me taste it?"

At this moment the draught took effect, and the poor squire began to
discharge both ways at such a rate that the rush mat on which he had
thrown himself and the canvas blanket he had covering him were fit for
nothing afterwards. He sweated and perspired with such paroxysms and
convulsions that not only he himself but all present thought his end had
come. This tempest and tribulation lasted about two hours, at the end of
which he was left, not like his master, but so weak and exhausted that he
could not stand. Don Quixote, however, who, as has been said, felt
himself relieved and well, was eager to take his departure at once in
quest of adventures, as it seemed to him that all the time he loitered
there was a fraud upon the world and those in it who stood in need of his
help and protection, all the more when he had the security and confidence
his balsam afforded him; and so, urged by this impulse, he saddled
Rocinante himself and put the pack-saddle on his squire's beast, whom
likewise he helped to dress and mount the ass; after which he mounted his
horse and turning to a corner of the inn he laid hold of a pike that
stood there, to serve him by way of a lance. All that were in the inn,
who were more than twenty persons, stood watching him; the innkeeper's
daughter was likewise observing him, and he too never took his eyes off
her, and from time to time fetched a sigh that he seemed to pluck up from
the depths of his bowels; but they all thought it must be from the pain
he felt in his ribs; at any rate they who had seen him plastered the
night before thought so.

As soon as they were both mounted, at the gate of the inn, he called to
the host and said in a very grave and measured voice, "Many and great are
the favours, Senor Alcaide, that I have received in this castle of yours,
and I remain under the deepest obligation to be grateful to you for them
all the days of my life; if I can repay them in avenging you of any
arrogant foe who may have wronged you, know that my calling is no other
than to aid the weak, to avenge those who suffer wrong, and to chastise
perfidy. Search your memory, and if you find anything of this kind you
need only tell me of it, and I promise you by the order of knighthood
which I have received to procure you satisfaction and reparation to the
utmost of your desire."

The innkeeper replied to him with equal calmness, "Sir Knight, I do not
want your worship to avenge me of any wrong, because when any is done me
I can take what vengeance seems good to me; the only thing I want is that
you pay me the score that you have run up in the inn last night, as well
for the straw and barley for your two beasts, as for supper and beds."

"Then this is an inn?" said Don Quixote.

"And a very respectable one," said the innkeeper.

"I have been under a mistake all this time," answered Don Quixote, "for
in truth I thought it was a castle, and not a bad one; but since it
appears that it is not a castle but an inn, all that can be done now is
that you should excuse the payment, for I cannot contravene the rule of
knights-errant, of whom I know as a fact (and up to the present I have
read nothing to the contrary) that they never paid for lodging or
anything else in the inn where they might be; for any hospitality that
might be offered them is their due by law and right in return for the
insufferable toil they endure in seeking adventures by night and by day,
in summer and in winter, on foot and on horseback, in hunger and thirst,
cold and heat, exposed to all the inclemencies of heaven and all the
hardships of earth."

"I have little to do with that," replied the innkeeper; "pay me what you
owe me, and let us have no more talk of chivalry, for all I care about is
to get my money."

"You are a stupid, scurvy innkeeper," said Don Quixote, and putting spurs
to Rocinante and bringing his pike to the slope he rode out of the inn
before anyone could stop him, and pushed on some distance without looking
to see if his squire was following him.

The innkeeper when he saw him go without paying him ran to get payment of
Sancho, who said that as his master would not pay neither would he,
because, being as he was squire to a knight-errant, the same rule and
reason held good for him as for his master with regard to not paying
anything in inns and hostelries. At this the innkeeper waxed very wroth,
and threatened if he did not pay to compel him in a way that he would not
like. To which Sancho made answer that by the law of chivalry his master
had received he would not pay a rap, though it cost him his life; for the
excellent and ancient usage of knights-errant was not going to be
violated by him, nor should the squires of such as were yet to come into
the world ever complain of him or reproach him with breaking so just a

The ill-luck of the unfortunate Sancho so ordered it that among the
company in the inn there were four woolcarders from Segovia, three
needle-makers from the Colt of Cordova, and two lodgers from the Fair of
Seville, lively fellows, tender-hearted, fond of a joke, and playful,
who, almost as if instigated and moved by a common impulse, made up to
Sancho and dismounted him from his ass, while one of them went in for the
blanket of the host's bed; but on flinging him into it they looked up,
and seeing that the ceiling was somewhat lower what they required for
their work, they decided upon going out into the yard, which was bounded
by the sky, and there, putting Sancho in the middle of the blanket, they
began to raise him high, making sport with him as they would with a dog
at Shrovetide.

The cries of the poor blanketed wretch were so loud that they reached the
ears of his master, who, halting to listen attentively, was persuaded
that some new adventure was coming, until he clearly perceived that it
was his squire who uttered them. Wheeling about he came up to the inn
with a laborious gallop, and finding it shut went round it to see if he
could find some way of getting in; but as soon as he came to the wall of
the yard, which was not very high, he discovered the game that was being
played with his squire. He saw him rising and falling in the air with
such grace and nimbleness that, had his rage allowed him, it is my belief
he would have laughed. He tried to climb from his horse on to the top of
the wall, but he was so bruised and battered that he could not even
dismount; and so from the back of his horse he began to utter such
maledictions and objurgations against those who were blanketing Sancho as
it would be impossible to write down accurately: they, however, did not
stay their laughter or their work for this, nor did the flying Sancho
cease his lamentations, mingled now with threats, now with entreaties but
all to little purpose, or none at all, until from pure weariness they
left off. They then brought him his ass, and mounting him on top of it
they put his jacket round him; and the compassionate Maritornes, seeing
him so exhausted, thought fit to refresh him with a jug of water, and
that it might be all the cooler she fetched it from the well. Sancho took
it, and as he was raising it to his mouth he was stopped by the cries of
his master exclaiming, "Sancho, my son, drink not water; drink it not, my
son, for it will kill thee; see, here I have the blessed balsam (and he
held up the flask of liquor), and with drinking two drops of it thou wilt
certainly be restored."

At these words Sancho turned his eyes asquint, and in a still louder
voice said, "Can it be your worship has forgotten that I am not a knight,
or do you want me to end by vomiting up what bowels I have left after
last night? Keep your liquor in the name of all the devils, and leave me
to myself!" and at one and the same instant he left off talking and began
drinking; but as at the first sup he perceived it was water he did not
care to go on with it, and begged Maritornes to fetch him some wine,
which she did with right good will, and paid for it with her own money;
for indeed they say of her that, though she was in that line of life,
there was some faint and distant resemblance to a Christian about her.
When Sancho had done drinking he dug his heels into his ass, and the gate
of the inn being thrown open he passed out very well pleased at having
paid nothing and carried his point, though it had been at the expense of
his usual sureties, his shoulders. It is true that the innkeeper detained
his alforjas in payment of what was owing to him, but Sancho took his
departure in such a flurry that he never missed them. The innkeeper, as
soon as he saw him off, wanted to bar the gate close, but the blanketers
would not agree to it, for they were fellows who would not have cared two
farthings for Don Quixote, even had he been really one of the
knights-errant of the Round Table.



Sancho reached his master so limp and faint that he could not urge on his
beast. When Don Quixote saw the state he was in he said, "I have now come
to the conclusion, good Sancho, that this castle or inn is beyond a doubt
enchanted, because those who have so atrociously diverted themselves with
thee, what can they be but phantoms or beings of another world? and I
hold this confirmed by having noticed that when I was by the wall of the
yard witnessing the acts of thy sad tragedy, it was out of my power to
mount upon it, nor could I even dismount from Rocinante, because they no
doubt had me enchanted; for I swear to thee by the faith of what I am
that if I had been able to climb up or dismount, I would have avenged
thee in such a way that those braggart thieves would have remembered
their freak for ever, even though in so doing I knew that I contravened
the laws of chivalry, which, as I have often told thee, do not permit a
knight to lay hands on him who is not one, save in case of urgent and
great necessity in defence of his own life and person."

"I would have avenged myself too if I could," said Sancho, "whether I had
been dubbed knight or not, but I could not; though for my part I am
persuaded those who amused themselves with me were not phantoms or
enchanted men, as your worship says, but men of flesh and bone like
ourselves; and they all had their names, for I heard them name them when
they were tossing me, and one was called Pedro Martinez, and another
Tenorio Hernandez, and the innkeeper, I heard, was called Juan Palomeque
the Left-handed; so that, senor, your not being able to leap over the
wall of the yard or dismount from your horse came of something else
besides enchantments; and what I make out clearly from all this is, that
these adventures we go seeking will in the end lead us into such
misadventures that we shall not know which is our right foot; and that
the best and wisest thing, according to my small wits, would be for us to
return home, now that it is harvest-time, and attend to our business, and
give over wandering from Zeca to Mecca and from pail to bucket, as the
saying is."

"How little thou knowest about chivalry, Sancho," replied Don Quixote;
"hold thy peace and have patience; the day will come when thou shalt see
with thine own eyes what an honourable thing it is to wander in the
pursuit of this calling; nay, tell me, what greater pleasure can there be
in the world, or what delight can equal that of winning a battle, and
triumphing over one's enemy? None, beyond all doubt."

"Very likely," answered Sancho, "though I do not know it; all I know is
that since we have been knights-errant, or since your worship has been
one (for I have no right to reckon myself one of so honourable a number)
we have never won any battle except the one with the Biscayan, and even
out of that your worship came with half an ear and half a helmet the
less; and from that till now it has been all cudgellings and more
cudgellings, cuffs and more cuffs, I getting the blanketing over and
above, and falling in with enchanted persons on whom I cannot avenge
myself so as to know what the delight, as your worship calls it, of
conquering an enemy is like."

"That is what vexes me, and what ought to vex thee, Sancho," replied Don
Quixote; "but henceforward I will endeavour to have at hand some sword
made by such craft that no kind of enchantments can take effect upon him
who carries it, and it is even possible that fortune may procure for me
that which belonged to Amadis when he was called 'The Knight of the
Burning Sword,' which was one of the best swords that ever knight in the
world possessed, for, besides having the said virtue, it cut like a
razor, and there was no armour, however strong and enchanted it might be,
that could resist it."

"Such is my luck," said Sancho, "that even if that happened and your
worship found some such sword, it would, like the balsam, turn out
serviceable and good for dubbed knights only, and as for the squires,
they might sup sorrow."

"Fear not that, Sancho," said Don Quixote: "Heaven will deal better by

Thus talking, Don Quixote and his squire were going along, when, on the
road they were following, Don Quixote perceived approaching them a large
and thick cloud of dust, on seeing which he turned to Sancho and said:

"This is the day, Sancho, on which will be seen the boon my fortune is
reserving for me; this, I say, is the day on which as much as on any
other shall be displayed the might of my arm, and on which I shall do
deeds that shall remain written in the book of fame for all ages to come.
Seest thou that cloud of dust which rises yonder? Well, then, all that is
churned up by a vast army composed of various and countless nations that
comes marching there."

"According to that there must be two," said Sancho, "for on this opposite
side also there rises just such another cloud of dust."

Don Quixote turned to look and found that it was true, and rejoicing
exceedingly, he concluded that they were two armies about to engage and
encounter in the midst of that broad plain; for at all times and seasons
his fancy was full of the battles, enchantments, adventures, crazy feats,
loves, and defiances that are recorded in the books of chivalry, and
everything he said, thought, or did had reference to such things. Now the
cloud of dust he had seen was raised by two great droves of sheep coming
along the same road in opposite directions, which, because of the dust,
did not become visible until they drew near, but Don Quixote asserted so
positively that they were armies that Sancho was led to believe it and
say, "Well, and what are we to do, senor?"

"What?" said Don Quixote: "give aid and assistance to the weak and those
who need it; and thou must know, Sancho, that this which comes opposite
to us is conducted and led by the mighty emperor Alifanfaron, lord of the
great isle of Trapobana; this other that marches behind me is that of his
enemy the king of the Garamantas, Pentapolin of the Bare Arm, for he
always goes into battle with his right arm bare."

"But why are these two lords such enemies?"

"They are at enmity," replied Don Quixote, "because this Alifanfaron is a
furious pagan and is in love with the daughter of Pentapolin, who is a
very beautiful and moreover gracious lady, and a Christian, and her
father is unwilling to bestow her upon the pagan king unless he first
abandons the religion of his false prophet Mahomet, and adopts his own."

"By my beard," said Sancho, "but Pentapolin does quite right, and I will
help him as much as I can."

"In that thou wilt do what is thy duty, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for
to engage in battles of this sort it is not requisite to be a dubbed

"That I can well understand," answered Sancho; "but where shall we put
this ass where we may be sure to find him after the fray is over? for I
believe it has not been the custom so far to go into battle on a beast of
this kind."

"That is true," said Don Quixote, "and what you had best do with him is
to leave him to take his chance whether he be lost or not, for the horses
we shall have when we come out victors will be so many that even
Rocinante will run a risk of being changed for another. But attend to me
and observe, for I wish to give thee some account of the chief knights
who accompany these two armies; and that thou mayest the better see and
mark, let us withdraw to that hillock which rises yonder, whence both
armies may be seen."

They did so, and placed themselves on a rising ground from which the two
droves that Don Quixote made armies of might have been plainly seen if
the clouds of dust they raised had not obscured them and blinded the
sight; nevertheless, seeing in his imagination what he did not see and
what did not exist, he began thus in a loud voice:

"That knight whom thou seest yonder in yellow armour, who bears upon his
shield a lion crowned crouching at the feet of a damsel, is the valiant
Laurcalco, lord of the Silver Bridge; that one in armour with flowers of
gold, who bears on his shield three crowns argent on an azure field, is
the dreaded Micocolembo, grand duke of Quirocia; that other of gigantic
frame, on his right hand, is the ever dauntless Brandabarbaran de
Boliche, lord of the three Arabias, who for armour wears that serpent
skin, and has for shield a gate which, according to tradition, is one of
those of the temple that Samson brought to the ground when by his death
he revenged himself upon his enemies. But turn thine eyes to the other
side, and thou shalt see in front and in the van of this other army the
ever victorious and never vanquished Timonel of Carcajona, prince of New
Biscay, who comes in armour with arms quartered azure, vert, white, and
yellow, and bears on his shield a cat or on a field tawny with a motto
which says Miau, which is the beginning of the name of his lady, who
according to report is the peerless Miaulina, daughter of the duke
Alfeniquen of the Algarve; the other, who burdens and presses the loins
of that powerful charger and bears arms white as snow and a shield blank
and without any device, is a novice knight, a Frenchman by birth, Pierres
Papin by name, lord of the baronies of Utrique; that other, who with
iron-shod heels strikes the flanks of that nimble parti-coloured zebra,
and for arms bears azure vair, is the mighty duke of Nerbia,
Espartafilardo del Bosque, who bears for device on his shield an
asparagus plant with a motto in Castilian that says, Rastrea mi suerte."
And so he went on naming a number of knights of one squadron or the other
out of his imagination, and to all he assigned off-hand their arms,
colours, devices, and mottoes, carried away by the illusions of his
unheard-of craze; and without a pause, he continued, "People of divers
nations compose this squadron in front; here are those that drink of the
sweet waters of the famous Xanthus, those that scour the woody Massilian
plains, those that sift the pure fine gold of Arabia Felix, those that
enjoy the famed cool banks of the crystal Thermodon, those that in many
and various ways divert the streams of the golden Pactolus, the
Numidians, faithless in their promises, the Persians renowned in archery,
the Parthians and the Medes that fight as they fly, the Arabs that ever
shift their dwellings, the Scythians as cruel as they are fair, the
Ethiopians with pierced lips, and an infinity of other nations whose
features I recognise and descry, though I cannot recall their names. In
this other squadron there come those that drink of the crystal streams of
the olive-bearing Betis, those that make smooth their countenances with
the water of the ever rich and golden Tagus, those that rejoice in the
fertilising flow of the divine Genil, those that roam the Tartesian
plains abounding in pasture, those that take their pleasure in the
Elysian meadows of Jerez, the rich Manchegans crowned with ruddy ears of
corn, the wearers of iron, old relics of the Gothic race, those that
bathe in the Pisuerga renowned for its gentle current, those that feed
their herds along the spreading pastures of the winding Guadiana famed
for its hidden course, those that tremble with the cold of the pineclad
Pyrenees or the dazzling snows of the lofty Apennine; in a word, as many
as all Europe includes and contains."

Good God! what a number of countries and nations he named! giving to each
its proper attributes with marvellous readiness; brimful and saturated
with what he had read in his lying books! Sancho Panza hung upon his
words without speaking, and from time to time turned to try if he could
see the knights and giants his master was describing, and as he could not
make out one of them he said to him:

"Senor, devil take it if there's a sign of any man you talk of, knight or
giant, in the whole thing; maybe it's all enchantment, like the phantoms
last night."

"How canst thou say that!" answered Don Quixote; "dost thou not hear the
neighing of the steeds, the braying of the trumpets, the roll of the

"I hear nothing but a great bleating of ewes and sheep," said Sancho;
which was true, for by this time the two flocks had come close.

"The fear thou art in, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "prevents thee from
seeing or hearing correctly, for one of the effects of fear is to derange
the senses and make things appear different from what they are; if thou
art in such fear, withdraw to one side and leave me to myself, for alone
I suffice to bring victory to that side to which I shall give my aid;"
and so saying he gave Rocinante the spur, and putting the lance in rest,
shot down the slope like a thunderbolt. Sancho shouted after him, crying,
"Come back, Senor Don Quixote; I vow to God they are sheep and ewes you
are charging! Come back! Unlucky the father that begot me! what madness
is this! Look, there is no giant, nor knight, nor cats, nor arms, nor
shields quartered or whole, nor vair azure or bedevilled. What are you
about? Sinner that I am before God!" But not for all these entreaties did
Don Quixote turn back; on the contrary he went on shouting out, "Ho,
knights, ye who follow and fight under the banners of the valiant emperor
Pentapolin of the Bare Arm, follow me all; ye shall see how easily I
shall give him his revenge over his enemy Alifanfaron of the Trapobana."

So saying, he dashed into the midst of the squadron of ewes, and began
spearing them with as much spirit and intrepidity as if he were
transfixing mortal enemies in earnest. The shepherds and drovers
accompanying the flock shouted to him to desist; seeing it was no use,
they ungirt their slings and began to salute his ears with stones as big
as one's fist. Don Quixote gave no heed to the stones, but, letting drive
right and left kept saying:

"Where art thou, proud Alifanfaron? Come before me; I am a single knight
who would fain prove thy prowess hand to hand, and make thee yield thy
life a penalty for the wrong thou dost to the valiant Pentapolin
Garamanta." Here came a sugar-plum from the brook that struck him on the
side and buried a couple of ribs in his body. Feeling himself so smitten,
he imagined himself slain or badly wounded for certain, and recollecting
his liquor he drew out his flask, and putting it to his mouth began to
pour the contents into his stomach; but ere he had succeeded in
swallowing what seemed to him enough, there came another almond which
struck him on the hand and on the flask so fairly that it smashed it to
pieces, knocking three or four teeth and grinders out of his mouth in its
course, and sorely crushing two fingers of his hand. Such was the force
of the first blow and of the second, that the poor knight in spite of
himself came down backwards off his horse. The shepherds came up, and
felt sure they had killed him; so in all haste they collected their flock
together, took up the dead beasts, of which there were more than seven,
and made off without waiting to ascertain anything further.

All this time Sancho stood on the hill watching the crazy feats his
master was performing, and tearing his beard and cursing the hour and the
occasion when fortune had made him acquainted with him. Seeing him, then,
brought to the ground, and that the shepherds had taken themselves off,
he ran to him and found him in very bad case, though not unconscious; and
said he:

"Did I not tell you to come back, Senor Don Quixote; and that what you
were going to attack were not armies but droves of sheep?"

"That's how that thief of a sage, my enemy, can alter and falsify
things," answered Don Quixote; "thou must know, Sancho, that it is a very
easy matter for those of his sort to make us believe what they choose;
and this malignant being who persecutes me, envious of the glory he knew
I was to win in this battle, has turned the squadrons of the enemy into
droves of sheep. At any rate, do this much, I beg of thee, Sancho, to
undeceive thyself, and see that what I say is true; mount thy ass and
follow them quietly, and thou shalt see that when they have gone some
little distance from this they will return to their original shape and,
ceasing to be sheep, become men in all respects as I described them to
thee at first. But go not just yet, for I want thy help and assistance;
come hither, and see how many of my teeth and grinders are missing, for I
feel as if there was not one left in my mouth."

Sancho came so close that he almost put his eyes into his mouth; now just
at that moment the balsam had acted on the stomach of Don Quixote, so, at
the very instant when Sancho came to examine his mouth, he discharged all
its contents with more force than a musket, and full into the beard of
the compassionate squire.

"Holy Mary!" cried Sancho, "what is this that has happened me? Clearly
this sinner is mortally wounded, as he vomits blood from the mouth;" but
considering the matter a little more closely he perceived by the colour,
taste, and smell, that it was not blood but the balsam from the flask
which he had seen him drink; and he was taken with such a loathing that
his stomach turned, and he vomited up his inside over his very master,
and both were left in a precious state. Sancho ran to his ass to get
something wherewith to clean himself, and relieve his master, out of his
alforjas; but not finding them, he well-nigh took leave of his senses,
and cursed himself anew, and in his heart resolved to quit his master and
return home, even though he forfeited the wages of his service and all
hopes of the promised island.

Don Quixote now rose, and putting his left hand to his mouth to keep his
teeth from falling out altogether, with the other he laid hold of the
bridle of Rocinante, who had never stirred from his master's side--so
loyal and well-behaved was he--and betook himself to where the squire
stood leaning over his ass with his hand to his cheek, like one in deep
dejection. Seeing him in this mood, looking so sad, Don Quixote said to

"Bear in mind, Sancho, that one man is no more than another, unless he
does more than another; all these tempests that fall upon us are signs
that fair weather is coming shortly, and that things will go well with
us, for it is impossible for good or evil to last for ever; and hence it
follows that the evil having lasted long, the good must be now nigh at
hand; so thou must not distress thyself at the misfortunes which happen
to me, since thou hast no share in them."

"How have I not?" replied Sancho; "was he whom they blanketed yesterday
perchance any other than my father's son? and the alforjas that are
missing to-day with all my treasures, did they belong to any other but

"What! are the alforjas missing, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"Yes, they are missing," answered Sancho.

"In that case we have nothing to eat to-day," replied Don Quixote.

"It would be so," answered Sancho, "if there were none of the herbs your
worship says you know in these meadows, those with which knights-errant
as unlucky as your worship are wont to supply such-like shortcomings."

"For all that," answered Don Quixote, "I would rather have just now a
quarter of bread, or a loaf and a couple of pilchards' heads, than all
the herbs described by Dioscorides, even with Doctor Laguna's notes.
Nevertheless, Sancho the Good, mount thy beast and come along with me,
for God, who provides for all things, will not fail us (more especially
when we are so active in his service as we are), since he fails not the
midges of the air, nor the grubs of the earth, nor the tadpoles of the
water, and is so merciful that he maketh his sun to rise on the good and
on the evil, and sendeth rain on the unjust and on the just."

"Your worship would make a better preacher than knight-errant," said

"Knights-errant knew and ought to know everything, Sancho," said Don
Quixote; "for there were knights-errant in former times as well qualified
to deliver a sermon or discourse in the middle of an encampment, as if
they had graduated in the University of Paris; whereby we may see that
the lance has never blunted the pen, nor the pen the lance."

"Well, be it as your worship says," replied Sancho; "let us be off now
and find some place of shelter for the night, and God grant it may be
somewhere where there are no blankets, nor blanketeers, nor phantoms, nor
enchanted Moors; for if there are, may the devil take the whole concern."

"Ask that of God, my son," said Don Quixote; "and do thou lead on where
thou wilt, for this time I leave our lodging to thy choice; but reach me
here thy hand, and feel with thy finger, and find out how many of my
teeth and grinders are missing from this right side of the upper jaw, for
it is there I feel the pain."

Sancho put in his fingers, and feeling about asked him, "How many
grinders used your worship have on this side?"

"Four," replied Don Quixote, "besides the back-tooth, all whole and quite

"Mind what you are saying, senor."

"I say four, if not five," answered Don Quixote, "for never in my life
have I had tooth or grinder drawn, nor has any fallen out or been
destroyed by any decay or rheum."

"Well, then," said Sancho, "in this lower side your worship has no more
than two grinders and a half, and in the upper neither a half nor any at
all, for it is all as smooth as the palm of my hand."

"Luckless that I am!" said Don Quixote, hearing the sad news his squire
gave him; "I had rather they despoiled me of an arm, so it were not the
sword-arm; for I tell thee, Sancho, a mouth without teeth is like a mill
without a millstone, and a tooth is much more to be prized than a
diamond; but we who profess the austere order of chivalry are liable to
all this. Mount, friend, and lead the way, and I will follow thee at
whatever pace thou wilt."

Sancho did as he bade him, and proceeded in the direction in which he
thought he might find refuge without quitting the high road, which was
there very much frequented. As they went along, then, at a slow pace--for
the pain in Don Quixote's jaws kept him uneasy and ill-disposed for
speed--Sancho thought it well to amuse and divert him by talk of some
kind, and among the things he said to him was that which will be told in
the following chapter.



"It seems to me, senor, that all these mishaps that have befallen us of
late have been without any doubt a punishment for the offence committed
by your worship against the order of chivalry in not keeping the oath you
made not to eat bread off a tablecloth or embrace the queen, and all the
rest of it that your worship swore to observe until you had taken that
helmet of Malandrino's, or whatever the Moor is called, for I do not very
well remember."

"Thou art very right, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "but to tell the truth,
it had escaped my memory; and likewise thou mayest rely upon it that the
affair of the blanket happened to thee because of thy fault in not
reminding me of it in time; but I will make amends, for there are ways of
compounding for everything in the order of chivalry."

"Why! have I taken an oath of some sort, then?" said Sancho.

"It makes no matter that thou hast not taken an oath," said Don Quixote;
"suffice it that I see thou art not quite clear of complicity; and
whether or no, it will not be ill done to provide ourselves with a

"In that case," said Sancho, "mind that your worship does not forget this
as you did the oath; perhaps the phantoms may take it into their heads to
amuse themselves once more with me; or even with your worship if they see
you so obstinate."

While engaged in this and other talk, night overtook them on the road
before they had reached or discovered any place of shelter; and what made
it still worse was that they were dying of hunger, for with the loss of
the alforjas they had lost their entire larder and commissariat; and to
complete the misfortune they met with an adventure which without any
invention had really the appearance of one. It so happened that the night
closed in somewhat darkly, but for all that they pushed on, Sancho
feeling sure that as the road was the king's highway they might
reasonably expect to find some inn within a league or two. Going along,
then, in this way, the night dark, the squire hungry, the master
sharp-set, they saw coming towards them on the road they were travelling
a great number of lights which looked exactly like stars in motion.
Sancho was taken aback at the sight of them, nor did Don Quixote
altogether relish them: the one pulled up his ass by the halter, the
other his hack by the bridle, and they stood still, watching anxiously to
see what all this would turn out to be, and found that the lights were
approaching them, and the nearer they came the greater they seemed, at
which spectacle Sancho began to shake like a man dosed with mercury, and
Don Quixote's hair stood on end; he, however, plucking up spirit a
little, said:

"This, no doubt, Sancho, will be a most mighty and perilous adventure, in
which it will be needful for me to put forth all my valour and

"Unlucky me!" answered Sancho; "if this adventure happens to be one of
phantoms, as I am beginning to think it is, where shall I find the ribs
to bear it?"

"Be they phantoms ever so much," said Don Quixote, "I will not permit
them to touch a thread of thy garments; for if they played tricks with
thee the time before, it was because I was unable to leap the walls of
the yard; but now we are on a wide plain, where I shall be able to wield
my sword as I please."

"And if they enchant and cripple you as they did the last time," said
Sancho, "what difference will it make being on the open plain or not?"

"For all that," replied Don Quixote, "I entreat thee, Sancho, to keep a
good heart, for experience will tell thee what mine is."

"I will, please God," answered Sancho, and the two retiring to one side
of the road set themselves to observe closely what all these moving
lights might be; and very soon afterwards they made out some twenty
encamisados, all on horseback, with lighted torches in their hands, the
awe-inspiring aspect of whom completely extinguished the courage of
Sancho, who began to chatter with his teeth like one in the cold fit of
an ague; and his heart sank and his teeth chattered still more when they
perceived distinctly that behind them there came a litter covered over
with black and followed by six more mounted figures in mourning down to
the very feet of their mules--for they could perceive plainly they were
not horses by the easy pace at which they went. And as the encamisados
came along they muttered to themselves in a low plaintive tone. This
strange spectacle at such an hour and in such a solitary place was quite
enough to strike terror into Sancho's heart, and even into his master's;
and (save in Don Quixote's case) did so, for all Sancho's resolution had
now broken down. It was just the opposite with his master, whose
imagination immediately conjured up all this to him vividly as one of the
adventures of his books.

He took it into his head that the litter was a bier on which was borne
some sorely wounded or slain knight, to avenge whom was a task reserved
for him alone; and without any further reasoning he laid his lance in
rest, fixed himself firmly in his saddle, and with gallant spirit and
bearing took up his position in the middle of the road where the
encamisados must of necessity pass; and as soon as he saw them near at
hand he raised his voice and said:

"Halt, knights, or whosoever ye may be, and render me account of who ye
are, whence ye come, where ye go, what it is ye carry upon that bier,
for, to judge by appearances, either ye have done some wrong or some
wrong has been done to you, and it is fitting and necessary that I should
know, either that I may chastise you for the evil ye have done, or else
that I may avenge you for the injury that has been inflicted upon you."

"We are in haste," answered one of the encamisados, "and the inn is far
off, and we cannot stop to render you such an account as you demand;" and
spurring his mule he moved on.

Don Quixote was mightily provoked by this answer, and seizing the mule by
the bridle he said, "Halt, and be more mannerly, and render an account of
what I have asked of you; else, take my defiance to combat, all of you."

The mule was shy, and was so frightened at her bridle being seized that
rearing up she flung her rider to the ground over her haunches. An
attendant who was on foot, seeing the encamisado fall, began to abuse Don
Quixote, who now moved to anger, without any more ado, laying his lance
in rest charged one of the men in mourning and brought him badly wounded
to the ground, and as he wheeled round upon the others the agility with
which he attacked and routed them was a sight to see, for it seemed just
as if wings had that instant grown upon Rocinante, so lightly and proudly
did he bear himself. The encamisados were all timid folk and unarmed, so
they speedily made their escape from the fray and set off at a run across
the plain with their lighted torches, looking exactly like maskers
running on some gala or festival night. The mourners, too, enveloped and
swathed in their skirts and gowns, were unable to bestir themselves, and
so with entire safety to himself Don Quixote belaboured them all and
drove them off against their will, for they all thought it was no man but
a devil from hell come to carry away the dead body they had in the

Sancho beheld all this in astonishment at the intrepidity of his lord,
and said to himself, "Clearly this master of mine is as bold and valiant
as he says he is."

A burning torch lay on the ground near the first man whom the mule had
thrown, by the light of which Don Quixote perceived him, and coming up to
him he presented the point of the lance to his face, calling on him to
yield himself prisoner, or else he would kill him; to which the prostrate
man replied, "I am prisoner enough as it is; I cannot stir, for one of my
legs is broken: I entreat you, if you be a Christian gentleman, not to
kill me, which will be committing grave sacrilege, for I am a licentiate
and I hold first orders."

"Then what the devil brought you here, being a churchman?" said Don

"What, senor?" said the other. "My bad luck."

"Then still worse awaits you," said Don Quixote, "if you do not satisfy
me as to all I asked you at first."

"You shall be soon satisfied," said the licentiate; "you must know, then,
that though just now I said I was a licentiate, I am only a bachelor, and
my name is Alonzo Lopez; I am a native of Alcobendas, I come from the
city of Baeza with eleven others, priests, the same who fled with the
torches, and we are going to the city of Segovia accompanying a dead body
which is in that litter, and is that of a gentleman who died in Baeza,
where he was interred; and now, as I said, we are taking his bones to
their burial-place, which is in Segovia, where he was born."

"And who killed him?" asked Don Quixote.

"God, by means of a malignant fever that took him," answered the

"In that case," said Don Quixote, "the Lord has relieved me of the task
of avenging his death had any other slain him; but, he who slew him
having slain him, there is nothing for it but to be silent, and shrug
one's shoulders; I should do the same were he to slay myself; and I would
have your reverence know that I am a knight of La Mancha, Don Quixote by
name, and it is my business and calling to roam the world righting wrongs
and redressing injuries."

"I do not know how that about righting wrongs can be," said the bachelor,
"for from straight you have made me crooked, leaving me with a broken leg
that will never see itself straight again all the days of its life; and
the injury you have redressed in my case has been to leave me injured in
such a way that I shall remain injured for ever; and the height of
misadventure it was to fall in with you who go in search of adventures."

"Things do not all happen in the same way," answered Don Quixote; "it all
came, Sir Bachelor Alonzo Lopez, of your going, as you did, by night,
dressed in those surplices, with lighted torches, praying, covered with
mourning, so that naturally you looked like something evil and of the
other world; and so I could not avoid doing my duty in attacking you, and
I should have attacked you even had I known positively that you were the
very devils of hell, for such I certainly believed and took you to be."

"As my fate has so willed it," said the bachelor, "I entreat you, sir
knight-errant, whose errand has been such an evil one for me, to help me
to get from under this mule that holds one of my legs caught between the
stirrup and the saddle."

"I would have talked on till to-morrow," said Don Quixote; "how long were
you going to wait before telling me of your distress?"

He at once called to Sancho, who, however, had no mind to come, as he was
just then engaged in unloading a sumpter mule, well laden with provender,
which these worthy gentlemen had brought with them. Sancho made a bag of
his coat, and, getting together as much as he could, and as the bag would
hold, he loaded his beast, and then hastened to obey his master's call,
and helped him to remove the bachelor from under the mule; then putting
him on her back he gave him the torch, and Don Quixote bade him follow
the track of his companions, and beg pardon of them on his part for the
wrong which he could not help doing them.

And said Sancho, "If by chance these gentlemen should want to know who
was the hero that served them so, your worship may tell them that he is
the famous Don Quixote of La Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the
Rueful Countenance."

The bachelor then took his departure.

I forgot to mention that before he did so he said to Don Quixote,
"Remember that you stand excommunicated for having laid violent hands on
a holy thing, juxta illud, si quis, suadente diabolo."

"I do not understand that Latin," answered Don Quixote, "but I know well
I did not lay hands, only this pike; besides, I did not think I was
committing an assault upon priests or things of the Church, which, like a
Catholic and faithful Christian as I am, I respect and revere, but upon
phantoms and spectres of the other world; but even so, I remember how it
fared with Cid Ruy Diaz when he broke the chair of the ambassador of that
king before his Holiness the Pope, who excommunicated him for the same;
and yet the good Roderick of Vivar bore himself that day like a very
noble and valiant knight."

On hearing this the bachelor took his departure, as has been said,
without making any reply; and Don Quixote asked Sancho what had induced
him to call him the "Knight of the Rueful Countenance" more then than at
any other time.

"I will tell you," answered Sancho; "it was because I have been looking
at you for some time by the light of the torch held by that unfortunate,
and verily your worship has got of late the most ill-favoured countenance
I ever saw: it must be either owing to the fatigue of this combat, or
else to the want of teeth and grinders."

"It is not that," replied Don Quixote, "but because the sage whose duty
it will be to write the history of my achievements must have thought it
proper that I should take some distinctive name as all knights of yore
did; one being 'He of the Burning Sword,' another 'He of the Unicorn,'
this one 'He of the Damsels,' that 'He of the Phoenix,' another 'The
Knight of the Griffin,' and another 'He of the Death,' and by these names
and designations they were known all the world round; and so I say that
the sage aforesaid must have put it into your mouth and mind just now to
call me 'The Knight of the Rueful Countenance,' as I intend to call
myself from this day forward; and that the said name may fit me better, I
mean, when the opportunity offers, to have a very rueful countenance
painted on my shield."

"There is no occasion, senor, for wasting time or money on making that
countenance," said Sancho; "for all that need be done is for your worship
to show your own, face to face, to those who look at you, and without
anything more, either image or shield, they will call you 'Him of the
Rueful Countenance' and believe me I am telling you the truth, for I
assure you, senor (and in good part be it said), hunger and the loss of
your grinders have given you such an ill-favoured face that, as I say,
the rueful picture may be very well spared."

Don Quixote laughed at Sancho's pleasantry; nevertheless he resolved to
call himself by that name, and have his shield or buckler painted as he
had devised.

Don Quixote would have looked to see whether the body in the litter were
bones or not, but Sancho would not have it, saying:

"Senor, you have ended this perilous adventure more safely for yourself
than any of those I have seen: perhaps these people, though beaten and
routed, may bethink themselves that it is a single man that has beaten
them, and feeling sore and ashamed of it may take heart and come in
search of us and give us trouble enough. The ass is in proper trim, the
mountains are near at hand, hunger presses, we have nothing more to do
but make good our retreat, and, as the saying is, the dead to the grave
and the living to the loaf."

And driving his ass before him he begged his master to follow, who,
feeling that Sancho was right, did so without replying; and after
proceeding some little distance between two hills they found themselves
in a wide and retired valley, where they alighted, and Sancho unloaded
his beast, and stretched upon the green grass, with hunger for sauce,
they breakfasted, dined, lunched, and supped all at once, satisfying
their appetites with more than one store of cold meat which the dead
man's clerical gentlemen (who seldom put themselves on short allowance)
had brought with them on their sumpter mule. But another piece of
ill-luck befell them, which Sancho held the worst of all, and that was
that they had no wine to drink, nor even water to moisten their lips; and
as thirst tormented them, Sancho, observing that the meadow where they
were was full of green and tender grass, said what will be told in the
following chapter.



"It cannot be, senor, but that this grass is a proof that there must be
hard by some spring or brook to give it moisture, so it would be well to
move a little farther on, that we may find some place where we may quench
this terrible thirst that plagues us, which beyond a doubt is more
distressing than hunger."

The advice seemed good to Don Quixote, and, he leading Rocinante by the
bridle and Sancho the ass by the halter, after he had packed away upon
him the remains of the supper, they advanced the meadow feeling their
way, for the darkness of the night made it impossible to see anything;
but they had not gone two hundred paces when a loud noise of water, as if
falling from great rocks, struck their ears. The sound cheered them
greatly; but halting to make out by listening from what quarter it came
they heard unseasonably another noise which spoiled the satisfaction the
sound of the water gave them, especially for Sancho, who was by nature
timid and faint-hearted. They heard, I say, strokes falling with a
measured beat, and a certain rattling of iron and chains that, together
with the furious din of the water, would have struck terror into any
heart but Don Quixote's. The night was, as has been said, dark, and they
had happened to reach a spot in among some tall trees, whose leaves
stirred by a gentle breeze made a low ominous sound; so that, what with
the solitude, the place, the darkness, the noise of the water, and the
rustling of the leaves, everything inspired awe and dread; more
especially as they perceived that the strokes did not cease, nor the wind
lull, nor morning approach; to all which might be added their ignorance
as to where they were.

But Don Quixote, supported by his intrepid heart, leaped on Rocinante,
and bracing his buckler on his arm, brought his pike to the slope, and
said, "Friend Sancho, know that I by Heaven's will have been born in this
our iron age to revive revive in it the age of gold, or the golden as it
is called; I am he for whom perils, mighty achievements, and valiant
deeds are reserved; I am, I say again, he who is to revive the Knights of
the Round Table, the Twelve of France and the Nine Worthies; and he who
is to consign to oblivion the Platirs, the Tablantes, the Olivantes and
Tirantes, the Phoebuses and Belianises, with the whole herd of famous
knights-errant of days gone by, performing in these in which I live such
exploits, marvels, and feats of arms as shall obscure their brightest
deeds. Thou dost mark well, faithful and trusty squire, the gloom of this
night, its strange silence, the dull confused murmur of those trees, the
awful sound of that water in quest of which we came, that seems as though
it were precipitating and dashing itself down from the lofty mountains of
the Moon, and that incessant hammering that wounds and pains our ears;
which things all together and each of itself are enough to instil fear,
dread, and dismay into the breast of Mars himself, much more into one not
used to hazards and adventures of the kind. Well, then, all this that I
put before thee is but an incentive and stimulant to my spirit, making my
heart burst in my bosom through eagerness to engage in this adventure,
arduous as it promises to be; therefore tighten Rocinante's girths a
little, and God be with thee; wait for me here three days and no more,
and if in that time I come not back, thou canst return to our village,
and thence, to do me a favour and a service, thou wilt go to El Toboso,
where thou shalt say to my incomparable lady Dulcinea that her captive
knight hath died in attempting things that might make him worthy of being
called hers."

When Sancho heard his master's words he began to weep in the most
pathetic way, saying:

"Senor, I know not why your worship wants to attempt this so dreadful
adventure; it is night now, no one sees us here, we can easily turn about
and take ourselves out of danger, even if we don't drink for three days
to come; and as there is no one to see us, all the less will there be
anyone to set us down as cowards; besides, I have many a time heard the
curate of our village, whom your worship knows well, preach that he who
seeks danger perishes in it; so it is not right to tempt God by trying so
tremendous a feat from which there can be no escape save by a miracle,
and Heaven has performed enough of them for your worship in delivering
you from being blanketed as I was, and bringing you out victorious and
safe and sound from among all those enemies that were with the dead man;
and if all this does not move or soften that hard heart, let this thought
and reflection move it, that you will have hardly quitted this spot when
from pure fear I shall yield my soul up to anyone that will take it. I
left home and wife and children to come and serve your worship, trusting
to do better and not worse; but as covetousness bursts the bag, it has
rent my hopes asunder, for just as I had them highest about getting that
wretched unlucky island your worship has so often promised me, I see that
instead and in lieu of it you mean to desert me now in a place so far
from human reach: for God's sake, master mine, deal not so unjustly by
me, and if your worship will not entirely give up attempting this feat,
at least put it off till morning, for by what the lore I learned when I
was a shepherd tells me it cannot want three hours of dawn now, because
the mouth of the Horn is overhead and makes midnight in the line of the
left arm."

"How canst thou see, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "where it makes that
line, or where this mouth or this occiput is that thou talkest of, when
the night is so dark that there is not a star to be seen in the whole

"That's true," said Sancho, "but fear has sharp eyes, and sees things
underground, much more above in heavens; besides, there is good reason to
show that it now wants but little of day."

"Let it want what it may," replied Don Quixote, "it shall not be said of
me now or at any time that tears or entreaties turned me aside from doing
what was in accordance with knightly usage; and so I beg of thee, Sancho,
to hold thy peace, for God, who has put it into my heart to undertake now
this so unexampled and terrible adventure, will take care to watch over
my safety and console thy sorrow; what thou hast to do is to tighten
Rocinante's girths well, and wait here, for I shall come back shortly,
alive or dead."

Sancho perceiving it his master's final resolve, and how little his
tears, counsels, and entreaties prevailed with him, determined to have
recourse to his own ingenuity and compel him, if he could, to wait till
daylight; and so, while tightening the girths of the horse, he quietly
and without being felt, with his ass' halter tied both Rocinante's legs,
so that when Don Quixote strove to go he was unable as the horse could
only move by jumps. Seeing the success of his trick, Sancho Panza said:

"See there, senor! Heaven, moved by my tears and prayers, has so ordered
it that Rocinante cannot stir; and if you will be obstinate, and spur and
strike him, you will only provoke fortune, and kick, as they say, against
the pricks."

Don Quixote at this grew desperate, but the more he drove his heels into
the horse, the less he stirred him; and not having any suspicion of the
tying, he was fain to resign himself and wait till daybreak or until
Rocinante could move, firmly persuaded that all this came of something
other than Sancho's ingenuity. So he said to him, "As it is so, Sancho,
and as Rocinante cannot move, I am content to wait till dawn smiles upon
us, even though I weep while it delays its coming."

"There is no need to weep," answered Sancho, "for I will amuse your
worship by telling stories from this till daylight, unless indeed you
like to dismount and lie down to sleep a little on the green grass after
the fashion of knights-errant, so as to be fresher when day comes and the
moment arrives for attempting this extraordinary adventure you are
looking forward to."

"What art thou talking about dismounting or sleeping for?" said Don
Quixote. "Am I, thinkest thou, one of those knights that take their rest
in the presence of danger? Sleep thou who art born to sleep, or do as
thou wilt, for I will act as I think most consistent with my character."

"Be not angry, master mine," replied Sancho, "I did not mean to say
that;" and coming close to him he laid one hand on the pommel of the
saddle and the other on the cantle so that he held his master's left
thigh in his embrace, not daring to separate a finger's width from him;
so much afraid was he of the strokes which still resounded with a regular
beat. Don Quixote bade him tell some story to amuse him as he had
proposed, to which Sancho replied that he would if his dread of what he
heard would let him; "Still," said he, "I will strive to tell a story
which, if I can manage to relate it, and nobody interferes with the
telling, is the best of stories, and let your worship give me your
attention, for here I begin. What was, was; and may the good that is to
come be for all, and the evil for him who goes to look for it--your
worship must know that the beginning the old folk used to put to their
tales was not just as each one pleased; it was a maxim of Cato Zonzorino
the Roman, that says 'the evil for him that goes to look for it,' and it
comes as pat to the purpose now as ring to finger, to show that your
worship should keep quiet and not go looking for evil in any quarter, and
that we should go back by some other road, since nobody forces us to
follow this in which so many terrors affright us."

"Go on with thy story, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and leave the choice
of our road to my care."

"I say then," continued Sancho, "that in a village of Estremadura there
was a goat-shepherd--that is to say, one who tended goats--which shepherd
or goatherd, as my story goes, was called Lope Ruiz, and this Lope Ruiz
was in love with a shepherdess called Torralva, which shepherdess called
Torralva was the daughter of a rich grazier, and this rich grazier-"

"If that is the way thou tellest thy tale, Sancho," said Don Quixote,
"repeating twice all thou hast to say, thou wilt not have done these two
days; go straight on with it, and tell it like a reasonable man, or else
say nothing."

"Tales are always told in my country in the very way I am telling this,"
answered Sancho, "and I cannot tell it in any other, nor is it right of
your worship to ask me to make new customs."

"Tell it as thou wilt," replied Don Quixote; "and as fate will have it
that I cannot help listening to thee, go on."

"And so, lord of my soul," continued Sancho, as I have said, this
shepherd was in love with Torralva the shepherdess, who was a wild buxom
lass with something of the look of a man about her, for she had little
moustaches; I fancy I see her now."

"Then you knew her?" said Don Quixote.

"I did not know her," said Sancho, "but he who told me the story said it
was so true and certain that when I told it to another I might safely
declare and swear I had seen it all myself. And so in course of time, the
devil, who never sleeps and puts everything in confusion, contrived that
the love the shepherd bore the shepherdess turned into hatred and
ill-will, and the reason, according to evil tongues, was some little
jealousy she caused him that crossed the line and trespassed on forbidden
ground; and so much did the shepherd hate her from that time forward
that, in order to escape from her, he determined to quit the country and
go where he should never set eyes on her again. Torralva, when she found
herself spurned by Lope, was immediately smitten with love for him,
though she had never loved him before."

"That is the natural way of women," said Don Quixote, "to scorn the one
that loves them, and love the one that hates them: go on, Sancho."

"It came to pass," said Sancho, "that the shepherd carried out his
intention, and driving his goats before him took his way across the
plains of Estremadura to pass over into the Kingdom of Portugal.
Torralva, who knew of it, went after him, and on foot and barefoot
followed him at a distance, with a pilgrim's staff in her hand and a
scrip round her neck, in which she carried, it is said, a bit of
looking-glass and a piece of a comb and some little pot or other of paint
for her face; but let her carry what she did, I am not going to trouble
myself to prove it; all I say is, that the shepherd, they say, came with
his flock to cross over the river Guadiana, which was at that time
swollen and almost overflowing its banks, and at the spot he came to
there was neither ferry nor boat nor anyone to carry him or his flock to
the other side, at which he was much vexed, for he perceived that
Torralva was approaching and would give him great annoyance with her
tears and entreaties; however, he went looking about so closely that he
discovered a fisherman who had alongside of him a boat so small that it
could only hold one person and one goat; but for all that he spoke to him
and agreed with him to carry himself and his three hundred goats across.
The fisherman got into the boat and carried one goat over; he came back
and carried another over; he came back again, and again brought over
another--let your worship keep count of the goats the fisherman is taking
across, for if one escapes the memory there will be an end of the story,
and it will be impossible to tell another word of it. To proceed, I must
tell you the landing place on the other side was miry and slippery, and
the fisherman lost a great deal of time in going and coming; still he
returned for another goat, and another, and another."

"Take it for granted he brought them all across," said Don Quixote, "and
don't keep going and coming in this way, or thou wilt not make an end of
bringing them over this twelvemonth."

"How many have gone across so far?" said Sancho.

"How the devil do I know?" replied Don Quixote.

"There it is," said Sancho, "what I told you, that you must keep a good
count; well then, by God, there is an end of the story, for there is no
going any farther."

"How can that be?" said Don Quixote; "is it so essential to the story to
know to a nicety the goats that have crossed over, that if there be a
mistake of one in the reckoning, thou canst not go on with it?"

"No, senor, not a bit," replied Sancho; "for when I asked your worship to
tell me how many goats had crossed, and you answered you did not know, at
that very instant all I had to say passed away out of my memory, and,
faith, there was much virtue in it, and entertainment."

"So, then," said Don Quixote, "the story has come to an end?"

"As much as my mother has," said Sancho.

"In truth," said Don Quixote, "thou hast told one of the rarest stories,
tales, or histories, that anyone in the world could have imagined, and
such a way of telling it and ending it was never seen nor will be in a
lifetime; though I expected nothing else from thy excellent
understanding. But I do not wonder, for perhaps those ceaseless strokes
may have confused thy wits."

"All that may be," replied Sancho, "but I know that as to my story, all
that can be said is that it ends there where the mistake in the count of
the passage of the goats begins."

"Let it end where it will, well and good," said Don Quixote, "and let us
see if Rocinante can go;" and again he spurred him, and again Rocinante
made jumps and remained where he was, so well tied was he.

Just then, whether it was the cold of the morning that was now
approaching, or that he had eaten something laxative at supper, or that
it was only natural (as is most likely), Sancho felt a desire to do what
no one could do for him; but so great was the fear that had penetrated
his heart, he dared not separate himself from his master by as much as
the black of his nail; to escape doing what he wanted was, however, also
impossible; so what he did for peace's sake was to remove his right hand,
which held the back of the saddle, and with it to untie gently and
silently the running string which alone held up his breeches, so that on
loosening it they at once fell down round his feet like fetters; he then
raised his shirt as well as he could and bared his hind quarters, no slim
ones. But, this accomplished, which he fancied was all he had to do to
get out of this terrible strait and embarrassment, another still greater
difficulty presented itself, for it seemed to him impossible to relieve
himself without making some noise, and he ground his teeth and squeezed
his shoulders together, holding his breath as much as he could; but in
spite of his precautions he was unlucky enough after all to make a little
noise, very different from that which was causing him so much fear.

Don Quixote, hearing it, said, "What noise is that, Sancho?"

"I don't know, senor," said he; "it must be something new, for adventures
and misadventures never begin with a trifle." Once more he tried his
luck, and succeeded so well, that without any further noise or
disturbance he found himself relieved of the burden that had given him so
much discomfort. But as Don Quixote's sense of smell was as acute as his
hearing, and as Sancho was so closely linked with him that the fumes rose
almost in a straight line, it could not be but that some should reach his
nose, and as soon as they did he came to its relief by compressing it
between his fingers, saying in a rather snuffing tone, "Sancho, it
strikes me thou art in great fear."

"I am," answered Sancho; "but how does your worship perceive it now more
than ever?"

"Because just now thou smellest stronger than ever, and not of
ambergris," answered Don Quixote.

"Very likely," said Sancho, "but that's not my fault, but your worship's,
for leading me about at unseasonable hours and at such unwonted paces."

"Then go back three or four, my friend," said Don Quixote, all the time
with his fingers to his nose; "and for the future pay more attention to
thy person and to what thou owest to mine; for it is my great familiarity
with thee that has bred this contempt."

"I'll bet," replied Sancho, "that your worship thinks I have done
something I ought not with my person."

"It makes it worse to stir it, friend Sancho," returned Don Quixote.

With this and other talk of the same sort master and man passed the
night, till Sancho, perceiving that daybreak was coming on apace, very
cautiously untied Rocinante and tied up his breeches. As soon as
Rocinante found himself free, though by nature he was not at all
mettlesome, he seemed to feel lively and began pawing--for as to
capering, begging his pardon, he knew not what it meant. Don Quixote,
then, observing that Rocinante could move, took it as a good sign and a
signal that he should attempt the dread adventure. By this time day had
fully broken and everything showed distinctly, and Don Quixote saw that
he was among some tall trees, chestnuts, which cast a very deep shade; he
perceived likewise that the sound of the strokes did not cease, but could
not discover what caused it, and so without any further delay he let
Rocinante feel the spur, and once more taking leave of Sancho, he told
him to wait for him there three days at most, as he had said before, and
if he should not have returned by that time, he might feel sure it had
been God's will that he should end his days in that perilous adventure.
He again repeated the message and commission with which he was to go on
his behalf to his lady Dulcinea, and said he was not to be uneasy as to
the payment of his services, for before leaving home he had made his
will, in which he would find himself fully recompensed in the matter of
wages in due proportion to the time he had served; but if God delivered
him safe, sound, and unhurt out of that danger, he might look upon the
promised island as much more than certain. Sancho began to weep afresh on
again hearing the affecting words of his good master, and resolved to
stay with him until the final issue and end of the business. From these
tears and this honourable resolve of Sancho Panza's the author of this
history infers that he must have been of good birth and at least an old
Christian; and the feeling he displayed touched his but not so much as to
make him show any weakness; on the contrary, hiding what he felt as well
as he could, he began to move towards that quarter whence the sound of
the water and of the strokes seemed to come.

Sancho followed him on foot, leading by the halter, as his custom was,
his ass, his constant comrade in prosperity or adversity; and advancing
some distance through the shady chestnut trees they came upon a little
meadow at the foot of some high rocks, down which a mighty rush of water
flung itself. At the foot of the rocks were some rudely constructed
houses looking more like ruins than houses, from among which came, they
perceived, the din and clatter of blows, which still continued without
intermission. Rocinante took fright at the noise of the water and of the
blows, but quieting him Don Quixote advanced step by step towards the
houses, commending himself with all his heart to his lady, imploring her
support in that dread pass and enterprise, and on the way commending
himself to God, too, not to forget him. Sancho who never quitted his
side, stretched his neck as far as he could and peered between the legs
of Rocinante to see if he could now discover what it was that caused him
such fear and apprehension. They went it might be a hundred paces
farther, when on turning a corner the true cause, beyond the possibility
of any mistake, of that dread-sounding and to them awe-inspiring noise
that had kept them all the night in such fear and perplexity, appeared
plain and obvious; and it was (if, reader, thou art not disgusted and
disappointed) six fulling hammers which by their alternate strokes made
all the din.

When Don Quixote perceived what it was, he was struck dumb and rigid from
head to foot. Sancho glanced at him and saw him with his head bent down
upon his breast in manifest mortification; and Don Quixote glanced at
Sancho and saw him with his cheeks puffed out and his mouth full of
laughter, and evidently ready to explode with it, and in spite of his
vexation he could not help laughing at the sight of him; and when Sancho
saw his master begin he let go so heartily that he had to hold his sides
with both hands to keep himself from bursting with laughter. Four times
he stopped, and as many times did his laughter break out afresh with the
same violence as at first, whereat Don Quixote grew furious, above all
when he heard him say mockingly, "Thou must know, friend Sancho, that of
Heaven's will I was born in this our iron age to revive in it the golden
or age of gold; I am he for whom are reserved perils, mighty
achievements, valiant deeds;" and here he went on repeating the words
that Don Quixote uttered the first time they heard the awful strokes.

Don Quixote, then, seeing that Sancho was turning him into ridicule, was
so mortified and vexed that he lifted up his pike and smote him two such
blows that if, instead of catching them on his shoulders, he had caught
them on his head there would have been no wages to pay, unless indeed to
his heirs. Sancho seeing that he was getting an awkward return in earnest
for his jest, and fearing his master might carry it still further, said
to him very humbly, "Calm yourself, sir, for by God I am only joking."

"Well, then, if you are joking I am not," replied Don Quixote. "Look
here, my lively gentleman, if these, instead of being fulling hammers,
had been some perilous adventure, have I not, think you, shown the
courage required for the attempt and achievement? Am I, perchance, being,
as I am, a gentleman, bound to know and distinguish sounds and tell
whether they come from fulling mills or not; and that, when perhaps, as
is the case, I have never in my life seen any as you have, low boor as
you are, that have been born and bred among them? But turn me these six
hammers into six giants, and bring them to beard me, one by one or all
together, and if I do not knock them head over heels, then make what
mockery you like of me."

"No more of that, senor," returned Sancho; "I own I went a little too far
with the joke. But tell me, your worship, now that peace is made between
us (and may God bring you out of all the adventures that may befall you
as safe and sound as he has brought you out of this one), was it not a
thing to laugh at, and is it not a good story, the great fear we were
in?--at least that I was in; for as to your worship I see now that you
neither know nor understand what either fear or dismay is."

"I do not deny," said Don Quixote, "that what happened to us may be worth
laughing at, but it is not worth making a story about, for it is not
everyone that is shrewd enough to hit the right point of a thing."

"At any rate," said Sancho, "your worship knew how to hit the right point
with your pike, aiming at my head and hitting me on the shoulders, thanks
be to God and my own smartness in dodging it. But let that pass; all will
come out in the scouring; for I have heard say 'he loves thee well that
makes thee weep;' and moreover that it is the way with great lords after
any hard words they give a servant to give him a pair of breeches; though
I do not know what they give after blows, unless it be that
knights-errant after blows give islands, or kingdoms on the mainland."

"It may be on the dice," said Don Quixote, "that all thou sayest will
come true; overlook the past, for thou art shrewd enough to know that our
first movements are not in our own control; and one thing for the future
bear in mind, that thou curb and restrain thy loquacity in my company;
for in all the books of chivalry that I have read, and they are
innumerable, I never met with a squire who talked so much to his lord as
thou dost to thine; and in fact I feel it to be a great fault of thine
and of mine: of thine, that thou hast so little respect for me; of mine,
that I do not make myself more respected. There was Gandalin, the squire
of Amadis of Gaul, that was Count of the Insula Firme, and we read of him
that he always addressed his lord with his cap in his hand, his head
bowed down and his body bent double, more turquesco. And then, what shall
we say of Gasabal, the squire of Galaor, who was so silent that in order
to indicate to us the greatness of his marvellous taciturnity his name is
only once mentioned in the whole of that history, as long as it is
truthful? From all I have said thou wilt gather, Sancho, that there must
be a difference between master and man, between lord and lackey, between
knight and squire: so that from this day forward in our intercourse we
must observe more respect and take less liberties, for in whatever way I
may be provoked with you it will be bad for the pitcher. The favours and
benefits that I have promised you will come in due time, and if they do
not your wages at least will not be lost, as I have already told you."

"All that your worship says is very well," said Sancho, "but I should
like to know (in case the time of favours should not come, and it might
be necessary to fall back upon wages) how much did the squire of a
knight-errant get in those days, and did they agree by the month, or by
the day like bricklayers?"

"I do not believe," replied Don Quixote, "that such squires were ever on
wages, but were dependent on favour; and if I have now mentioned thine in
the sealed will I have left at home, it was with a view to what may
happen; for as yet I know not how chivalry will turn out in these
wretched times of ours, and I do not wish my soul to suffer for trifles
in the other world; for I would have thee know, Sancho, that in this
there is no condition more hazardous than that of adventurers."

"That is true," said Sancho, "since the mere noise of the hammers of a
fulling mill can disturb and disquiet the heart of such a valiant errant
adventurer as your worship; but you may be sure I will not open my lips
henceforward to make light of anything of your worship's, but only to
honour you as my master and natural lord."

"By so doing," replied Don Quixote, "shalt thou live long on the face of
the earth; for next to parents, masters are to be respected as though
they were parents."



It now began to rain a little, and Sancho was for going into the fulling
mills, but Don Quixote had taken such an abhorrence to them on account of
the late joke that he would not enter them on any account; so turning
aside to right they came upon another road, different from that which
they had taken the night before. Shortly afterwards Don Quixote perceived
a man on horseback who wore on his head something that shone like gold,
and the moment he saw him he turned to Sancho and said:

"I think, Sancho, there is no proverb that is not true, all being maxims
drawn from experience itself, the mother of all the sciences, especially
that one that says, 'Where one door shuts, another opens.' I say so
because if last night fortune shut the door of the adventure we were
looking for against us, cheating us with the fulling mills, it now opens
wide another one for another better and more certain adventure, and if I
do not contrive to enter it, it will be my own fault, and I cannot lay it
to my ignorance of fulling mills, or the darkness of the night. I say
this because, if I mistake not, there comes towards us one who wears on
his head the helmet of Mambrino, concerning which I took the oath thou

"Mind what you say, your worship, and still more what you do," said
Sancho, "for I don't want any more fulling mills to finish off fulling
and knocking our senses out."

"The devil take thee, man," said Don Quixote; "what has a helmet to do
with fulling mills?"

"I don't know," replied Sancho, "but, faith, if I might speak as I used,
perhaps I could give such reasons that your worship would see you were
mistaken in what you say."

"How can I be mistaken in what I say, unbelieving traitor?" returned Don
Quixote; "tell me, seest thou not yonder knight coming towards us on a
dappled grey steed, who has upon his head a helmet of gold?"

"What I see and make out," answered Sancho, "is only a man on a grey ass
like my own, who has something that shines on his head."

"Well, that is the helmet of Mambrino," said Don Quixote; "stand to one
side and leave me alone with him; thou shalt see how, without saying a
word, to save time, I shall bring this adventure to an issue and possess
myself of the helmet I have so longed for."

"I will take care to stand aside," said Sancho; "but God grant, I say
once more, that it may be marjoram and not fulling mills."

"I have told thee, brother, on no account to mention those fulling mills
to me again," said Don Quixote, "or I vow--and I say no more-I'll full
the soul out of you."

Sancho held his peace in dread lest his master should carry out the vow
he had hurled like a bowl at him.

The fact of the matter as regards the helmet, steed, and knight that Don
Quixote saw, was this. In that neighbourhood there were two villages, one
of them so small that it had neither apothecary's shop nor barber, which
the other that was close to it had, so the barber of the larger served
the smaller, and in it there was a sick man who required to be bled and
another man who wanted to be shaved, and on this errand the barber was
going, carrying with him a brass basin; but as luck would have it, as he
was on the way it began to rain, and not to spoil his hat, which probably
was a new one, he put the basin on his head, and being clean it glittered
at half a league's distance. He rode upon a grey ass, as Sancho said, and
this was what made it seem to Don Quixote to be a dapple-grey steed and a
knight and a golden helmet; for everything he saw he made to fall in with
his crazy chivalry and ill-errant notions; and when he saw the poor
knight draw near, without entering into any parley with him, at
Rocinante's top speed he bore down upon him with the pike pointed low,
fully determined to run him through and through, and as he reached him,
without checking the fury of his charge, he cried to him:

"Defend thyself, miserable being, or yield me of thine own accord that
which is so reasonably my due."

The barber, who without any expectation or apprehension of it saw this
apparition coming down upon him, had no other way of saving himself from
the stroke of the lance but to let himself fall off his ass; and no
sooner had he touched the ground than he sprang up more nimbly than a
deer and sped away across the plain faster than the wind.

He left the basin on the ground, with which Don Quixote contented
himself, saying that the pagan had shown his discretion and imitated the
beaver, which finding itself pressed by the hunters bites and cuts off
with its teeth that for which, by its natural instinct, it knows it is

He told Sancho to pick up the helmet, and he taking it in his hands said:

"By God the basin is a good one, and worth a real of eight if it is worth
a maravedis," and handed it to his master, who immediately put it on his
head, turning it round, now this way, now that, in search of fitment, and
not finding it he said, "Clearly the pagan to whose measure this famous
head-piece was first forged must have had a very large head; but the
worst of it is half of it is wanting."

When Sancho heard him call the basin a headpiece he was unable to
restrain his laughter, but remembering his master's wrath he checked
himself in the midst of it.

"What art thou laughing at, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"I am laughing," said he, "to think of the great head the pagan must have
had who owned this helmet, for it looks exactly like a regular barber's

"Dost thou know what I suspect, Sancho?" said Don Quixote; "that this
wonderful piece of this enchanted helmet must by some strange accident
have come into the hands of some one who was unable to recognise or
realise its value, and who, not knowing what he did, and seeing it to be
of the purest gold, must have melted down one half for the sake of what
it might be worth, and of the other made this which is like a barber's
basin as thou sayest; but be it as it may, to me who recognise it, its
transformation makes no difference, for I will set it to rights at the
first village where there is a blacksmith, and in such style that that
helmet the god of smithies forged for the god of battles shall not
surpass it or even come up to it; and in the meantime I will wear it as
well as I can, for something is better than nothing; all the more as it
will be quite enough to protect me from any chance blow of a stone."

"That is," said Sancho, "if it is not shot with a sling as they were in
the battle of the two armies, when they signed the cross on your
worship's grinders and smashed the flask with that blessed draught that
made me vomit my bowels up."

"It does not grieve me much to have lost it," said Don Quixote, "for thou
knowest, Sancho, that I have the receipt in my memory."

"So have I," answered Sancho, "but if ever I make it, or try it again as
long as I live, may this be my last hour; moreover, I have no intention
of putting myself in the way of wanting it, for I mean, with all my five
senses, to keep myself from being wounded or from wounding anyone: as to
being blanketed again I say nothing, for it is hard to prevent mishaps of
that sort, and if they come there is nothing for it but to squeeze our
shoulders together, hold our breath, shut our eyes, and let ourselves go
where luck and the blanket may send us."

"Thou art a bad Christian, Sancho," said Don Quixote on hearing this,
"for once an injury has been done thee thou never forgettest it: but know
that it is the part of noble and generous hearts not to attach importance
to trifles. What lame leg hast thou got by it, what broken rib, what
cracked head, that thou canst not forget that jest? For jest and sport it
was, properly regarded, and had I not seen it in that light I would have
returned and done more mischief in revenging thee than the Greeks did for
the rape of Helen, who, if she were alive now, or if my Dulcinea had
lived then, might depend upon it she would not be so famous for her
beauty as she is;" and here he heaved a sigh and sent it aloft; and said
Sancho, "Let it pass for a jest as it cannot be revenged in earnest, but
I know what sort of jest and earnest it was, and I know it will never be
rubbed out of my memory any more than off my shoulders. But putting that
aside, will your worship tell me what are we to do with this dapple-grey
steed that looks like a grey ass, which that Martino that your worship
overthrew has left deserted here? for, from the way he took to his heels
and bolted, he is not likely ever to come back for it; and by my beard
but the grey is a good one."

"I have never been in the habit," said Don Quixote, "of taking spoil of
those whom I vanquish, nor is it the practice of chivalry to take away
their horses and leave them to go on foot, unless indeed it be that the
victor have lost his own in the combat, in which case it is lawful to
take that of the vanquished as a thing won in lawful war; therefore,
Sancho, leave this horse, or ass, or whatever thou wilt have it to be;
for when its owner sees us gone hence he will come back for it."

"God knows I should like to take it," returned Sancho, "or at least to
change it for my own, which does not seem to me as good a one: verily the
laws of chivalry are strict, since they cannot be stretched to let one
ass be changed for another; I should like to know if I might at least
change trappings."

"On that head I am not quite certain," answered Don Quixote, "and the
matter being doubtful, pending better information, I say thou mayest
change them, if so be thou hast urgent need of them."

"So urgent is it," answered Sancho, "that if they were for my own person
I could not want them more;" and forthwith, fortified by this licence, he
effected the mutatio capparum, rigging out his beast to the ninety-nines
and making quite another thing of it. This done, they broke their fast on
the remains of the spoils of war plundered from the sumpter mule, and
drank of the brook that flowed from the fulling mills, without casting a
look in that direction, in such loathing did they hold them for the alarm
they had caused them; and, all anger and gloom removed, they mounted and,
without taking any fixed road (not to fix upon any being the proper thing
for true knights-errant), they set out, guided by Rocinante's will, which
carried along with it that of his master, not to say that of the ass,
which always followed him wherever he led, lovingly and sociably;
nevertheless they returned to the high road, and pursued it at a venture
without any other aim.

As they went along, then, in this way Sancho said to his master, "Senor,
would your worship give me leave to speak a little to you? For since you
laid that hard injunction of silence on me several things have gone to
rot in my stomach, and I have now just one on the tip of my tongue that I
don't want to be spoiled."

"Say, on, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and be brief in thy discourse, for
there is no pleasure in one that is long."

"Well then, senor," returned Sancho, "I say that for some days past I
have been considering how little is got or gained by going in search of
these adventures that your worship seeks in these wilds and cross-roads,
where, even if the most perilous are victoriously achieved, there is no
one to see or know of them, and so they must be left untold for ever, to
the loss of your worship's object and the credit they deserve; therefore
it seems to me it would be better (saving your worship's better judgment)
if we were to go and serve some emperor or other great prince who may
have some war on hand, in whose service your worship may prove the worth
of your person, your great might, and greater understanding, on
perceiving which the lord in whose service we may be will perforce have
to reward us, each according to his merits; and there you will not be at
a loss for some one to set down your achievements in writing so as to
preserve their memory for ever. Of my own I say nothing, as they will not
go beyond squirely limits, though I make bold to say that, if it be the
practice in chivalry to write the achievements of squires, I think mine
must not be left out."

"Thou speakest not amiss, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "but before that
point is reached it is requisite to roam the world, as it were on
probation, seeking adventures, in order that, by achieving some, name and
fame may be acquired, such that when he betakes himself to the court of
some great monarch the knight may be already known by his deeds, and that
the boys, the instant they see him enter the gate of the city, may all
follow him and surround him, crying, 'This is the Knight of the Sun'-or
the Serpent, or any other title under which he may have achieved great
deeds. 'This,' they will say, 'is he who vanquished in single combat the
gigantic Brocabruno of mighty strength; he who delivered the great
Mameluke of Persia out of the long enchantment under which he had been
for almost nine hundred years.' So from one to another they will go
proclaiming his achievements; and presently at the tumult of the boys and
the others the king of that kingdom will appear at the windows of his
royal palace, and as soon as he beholds the knight, recognising him by
his arms and the device on his shield, he will as a matter of course say,
'What ho! Forth all ye, the knights of my court, to receive the flower of
chivalry who cometh hither!' At which command all will issue forth, and
he himself, advancing half-way down the stairs, will embrace him closely,
and salute him, kissing him on the cheek, and will then lead him to the
queen's chamber, where the knight will find her with the princess her
daughter, who will be one of the most beautiful and accomplished damsels
that could with the utmost pains be discovered anywhere in the known
world. Straightway it will come to pass that she will fix her eyes upon
the knight and he his upon her, and each will seem to the other something
more divine than human, and, without knowing how or why they will be
taken and entangled in the inextricable toils of love, and sorely
distressed in their hearts not to see any way of making their pains and
sufferings known by speech. Thence they will lead him, no doubt, to some
richly adorned chamber of the palace, where, having removed his armour,
they will bring him a rich mantle of scarlet wherewith to robe himself,
and if he looked noble in his armour he will look still more so in a
doublet. When night comes he will sup with the king, queen, and princess;
and all the time he will never take his eyes off her, stealing stealthy
glances, unnoticed by those present, and she will do the same, and with
equal cautiousness, being, as I have said, a damsel of great discretion.
The tables being removed, suddenly through the door of the hall there
will enter a hideous and diminutive dwarf followed by a fair dame,
between two giants, who comes with a certain adventure, the work of an
ancient sage; and he who shall achieve it shall be deemed the best knight
in the world.

"The king will then command all those present to essay it, and none will
bring it to an end and conclusion save the stranger knight, to the great
enhancement of his fame, whereat the princess will be overjoyed and will
esteem herself happy and fortunate in having fixed and placed her
thoughts so high. And the best of it is that this king, or prince, or
whatever he is, is engaged in a very bitter war with another as powerful
as himself, and the stranger knight, after having been some days at his
court, requests leave from him to go and serve him in the said war. The
king will grant it very readily, and the knight will courteously kiss his
hands for the favour done to him; and that night he will take leave of
his lady the princess at the grating of the chamber where she sleeps,
which looks upon a garden, and at which he has already many times
conversed with her, the go-between and confidante in the matter being a
damsel much trusted by the princess. He will sigh, she will swoon, the
damsel will fetch water, much distressed because morning approaches, and
for the honour of her lady he would not that they were discovered; at
last the princess will come to herself and will present her white hands
through the grating to the knight, who will kiss them a thousand and a
thousand times, bathing them with his tears. It will be arranged between
them how they are to inform each other of their good or evil fortunes,
and the princess will entreat him to make his absence as short as
possible, which he will promise to do with many oaths; once more he
kisses her hands, and takes his leave in such grief that he is well-nigh
ready to die. He betakes him thence to his chamber, flings himself on his
bed, cannot sleep for sorrow at parting, rises early in the morning, goes
to take leave of the king, queen, and princess, and, as he takes his
leave of the pair, it is told him that the princess is indisposed and
cannot receive a visit; the knight thinks it is from grief at his
departure, his heart is pierced, and he is hardly able to keep from
showing his pain. The confidante is present, observes all, goes to tell
her mistress, who listens with tears and says that one of her greatest
distresses is not knowing who this knight is, and whether he is of kingly
lineage or not; the damsel assures her that so much courtesy, gentleness,
and gallantry of bearing as her knight possesses could not exist in any
save one who was royal and illustrious; her anxiety is thus relieved, and
she strives to be of good cheer lest she should excite suspicion in her
parents, and at the end of two days she appears in public. Meanwhile the
knight has taken his departure; he fights in the war, conquers the king's
enemy, wins many cities, triumphs in many battles, returns to the court,
sees his lady where he was wont to see her, and it is agreed that he
shall demand her in marriage of her parents as the reward of his
services; the king is unwilling to give her, as he knows not who he is,
but nevertheless, whether carried off or in whatever other way it may be,
the princess comes to be his bride, and her father comes to regard it as
very good fortune; for it so happens that this knight is proved to be the
son of a valiant king of some kingdom, I know not what, for I fancy it is
not likely to be on the map. The father dies, the princess inherits, and
in two words the knight becomes king. And here comes in at once the
bestowal of rewards upon his squire and all who have aided him in rising
to so exalted a rank. He marries his squire to a damsel of the
princess's, who will be, no doubt, the one who was confidante in their
amour, and is daughter of a very great duke."

"That's what I want, and no mistake about it!" said Sancho. "That's what
I'm waiting for; for all this, word for word, is in store for your
worship under the title of the Knight of the Rueful Countenance."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

"Just so," said Sancho.

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

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

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

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

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

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
force of Don Quixote's madness that could run away with this poor man's
reason. They did not care to take the trouble of disabusing him of his
error, as they considered that since it did not in any way hurt his
conscience it would be better to leave him in it, and they would have all
the more amusement in listening to his simplicities; and so they bade him
pray to God for his lord's health, as it was a very likely and a very
feasible thing for him in course of time to come to be an emperor, as he
said, or at least an archbishop or some other dignitary of equal rank.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"Luscinda to Cardenio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"But while I was in the city, uncertain what to do, as I could not find
Don Fernando, I heard notice given by the public crier offering a great
reward to anyone who should find me, and giving the particulars of my age
and of the very dress I wore; and I heard it said that the lad who came
with me had taken me away from my father's house; a thing that cut me to
the heart, showing how low my good name had fallen, since it was not
enough that I should lose it by my flight, but they must add with whom I
had fled, and that one so much beneath me and so unworthy of my
consideration. The instant I heard the notice I quitted the city with my
servant, who now began to show signs of wavering in his fidelity to me,
and the same night, for fear of discovery, we entered the most thickly
wooded part of these mountains. But, as is commonly said, one evil calls
up another and the end of one misfortune is apt to be the beginning of
one still greater, and so it proved in my case; for my worthy servant,
until then so faithful and trusty when he found me in this lonely spot,
moved more by his own villainy than by my beauty, sought to take
advantage of the opportunity which these solitudes seemed to present him,
and with little shame and less fear of God and respect for me, began to
make overtures to me; and finding that I replied to the effrontery of his
proposals with justly severe language, he laid aside the entreaties which
he had employed at first, and began to use violence.

"But just Heaven, that seldom fails to watch over and aid good intentions,
so aided mine that with my slight strength and with little exertion I
pushed him over a precipice, where I left him, whether dead or alive I
know not; and then, with greater speed than seemed possible in my terror
and fatigue, I made my way into the mountains, without any other thought
or purpose save that of hiding myself among them, and escaping my father
and those despatched in search of me by his orders. It is now I know not
how many months since with this object I came here, where I met a
herdsman who engaged me as his servant at a place in the heart of this
Sierra, and all this time I have been serving him as herd, striving to
keep always afield to hide these locks which have now unexpectedly
betrayed me. But all my care and pains were unavailing, for my master
made the discovery that I was not a man, and harboured the same base
designs as my servant; and as fortune does not always supply a remedy in
cases of difficulty, and I had no precipice or ravine at hand down which
to fling the master and cure his passion, as I had in the servant's case,
I thought it a lesser evil to leave him and again conceal myself among
these crags, than make trial of my strength and argument with him. So, as
I say, once more I went into hiding to seek for some place where I might
with sighs and tears implore Heaven to have pity on my misery, and grant
me help and strength to escape from it, or let me die among the
solitudes, leaving no trace of an unhappy being who, by no fault of hers,
has furnished matter for talk and scandal at home and abroad."



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"To see if I have that mole your father spoke of," answered Don Quixote.

"There is no occasion to strip," said Sancho; "for I know your worship
has just such a mole on the middle of your backbone, which is the mark of
a strong man."

"That is enough," said Dorothea, "for with friends we must not look too
closely into trifles; and whether it be on the shoulder or on the
backbone matters little; it is enough if there is a mole, be it where it
may, for it is all the same flesh; no doubt my good father hit the truth
in every particular, and I have made a lucky hit in commending myself to
Don Quixote; for he is the one my father spoke of, as the features of his
countenance correspond with those assigned to this knight by that wide
fame he has acquired not only in Spain but in all La Mancha; for I had
scarcely landed at Osuna when I heard such accounts of his achievements,
that at once my heart told me he was the very one I had come in search

"But how did you land at Osuna, senora," asked Don Quixote, "when it is
not a seaport?"

But before Dorothea could reply the curate anticipated her, saying, "The
princess meant to say that after she had landed at Malaga the first place
where she heard of your worship was Osuna."

"That is what I meant to say," said Dorothea.

"And that would be only natural," said the curate. "Will your majesty
please proceed?"

"There is no more to add," said Dorothea, "save that in finding Don
Quixote I have had such good fortune, that I already reckon and regard
myself queen and mistress of my entire dominions, since of his courtesy
and magnanimity he has granted me the boon of accompanying me
whithersoever I may conduct him, which will be only to bring him face to
face with Pandafilando of the Scowl, that he may slay him and restore to
me what has been unjustly usurped by him: for all this must come to pass
satisfactorily since my good father Tinacrio the Sapient foretold it, who
likewise left it declared in writing in Chaldee or Greek characters (for
I cannot read them), that if this predicted knight, after having cut the
giant's throat, should be disposed to marry me I was to offer myself at
once without demur as his lawful wife, and yield him possession of my
kingdom together with my person."

"What thinkest thou now, friend Sancho?" said Don Quixote at this.
"Hearest thou that? Did I not tell thee so? See how we have already got a
kingdom to govern and a queen to marry!"

"On my oath it is so," said Sancho; "and foul fortune to him who won't
marry after slitting Senor Pandahilado's windpipe! And then, how
ill-favoured the queen is! I wish the fleas in my bed were that sort!"

And so saying he cut a couple of capers in the air with every sign of
extreme satisfaction, and then ran to seize the bridle of Dorothea's
mule, and checking it fell on his knees before her, begging her to give
him her hand to kiss in token of his acknowledgment of her as his queen
and mistress. Which of the bystanders could have helped laughing to see
the madness of the master and the simplicity of the servant? Dorothea
therefore gave her hand, and promised to make him a great lord in her
kingdom, when Heaven should be so good as to permit her to recover and
enjoy it, for which Sancho returned thanks in words that set them all
laughing again.

"This, sirs," continued Dorothea, "is my story; it only remains to tell
you that of all the attendants I took with me from my kingdom I have none
left except this well-bearded squire, for all were drowned in a great
tempest we encountered when in sight of port; and he and I came to land
on a couple of planks as if by a miracle; and indeed the whole course of
my life is a miracle and a mystery as you may have observed; and if I
have been over minute in any respect or not as precise as I ought, let it
be accounted for by what the licentiate said at the beginning of my tale,
that constant and excessive troubles deprive the sufferers of their

"They shall not deprive me of mine, exalted and worthy princess," said
Don Quixote, "however great and unexampled those which I shall endure in
your service may be; and here I confirm anew the boon I have promised
you, and I swear to go with you to the end of the world until I find
myself in the presence of your fierce enemy, whose haughty head I trust
by the aid of my arm to cut off with the edge of this--I will not say
good sword, thanks to Gines de Pasamonte who carried away mine"--(this he
said between his teeth, and then continued), "and when it has been cut
off and you have been put in peaceful possession of your realm it shall
be left to your own decision to dispose of your person as may be most
pleasing to you; for so long as my memory is occupied, my will enslaved,
and my understanding enthralled by her-I say no more--it is impossible
for me for a moment to contemplate marriage, even with a Phoenix."

The last words of his master about not wanting to marry were so
disagreeable to Sancho that raising his voice he exclaimed with great

"By my oath, Senor Don Quixote, you are not in your right senses; for how
can your worship possibly object to marrying such an exalted princess as
this? Do you think Fortune will offer you behind every stone such a piece
of luck as is offered you now? Is my lady Dulcinea fairer, perchance? Not
she; nor half as fair; and I will even go so far as to say she does not
come up to the shoe of this one here. A poor chance I have of getting
that county I am waiting for if your worship goes looking for dainties in
the bottom of the sea. In the devil's name, marry, marry, and take this
kingdom that comes to hand without any trouble, and when you are king
make me a marquis or governor of a province, and for the rest let the
devil take it all."

Don Quixote, when he heard such blasphemies uttered against his lady
Dulcinea, could not endure it, and lifting his pike, without saying
anything to Sancho or uttering a word, he gave him two such thwacks that
he brought him to the ground; and had it not been that Dorothea cried out
to him to spare him he would have no doubt taken his life on the spot.

"Do you think," he said to him after a pause, "you scurvy clown, that you
are to be always interfering with me, and that you are to be always
offending and I always pardoning? Don't fancy it, impious scoundrel, for
that beyond a doubt thou art, since thou hast set thy tongue going
against the peerless Dulcinea. Know you not, lout, vagabond, beggar, that
were it not for the might that she infuses into my arm I should not have
strength enough to kill a flea? Say, scoffer with a viper's tongue, what
think you has won this kingdom and cut off this giant's head and made you
a marquis (for all this I count as already accomplished and decided), but
the might of Dulcinea, employing my arm as the instrument of her
achievements? She fights in me and conquers in me, and I live and breathe
in her, and owe my life and being to her. O whoreson scoundrel, how
ungrateful you are, you see yourself raised from the dust of the earth to
be a titled lord, and the return you make for so great a benefit is to
speak evil of her who has conferred it upon you!"

Sancho was not so stunned but that he heard all his master said, and
rising with some degree of nimbleness he ran to place himself behind
Dorothea's palfrey, and from that position he said to his master:

"Tell me, senor; if your worship is resolved not to marry this great
princess, it is plain the kingdom will not be yours; and not being so,
how can you bestow favours upon me? That is what I complain of. Let your
worship at any rate marry this queen, now that we have got her here as if
showered down from heaven, and afterwards you may go back to my lady
Dulcinea; for there must have been kings in the world who kept
mistresses. As to beauty, I have nothing to do with it; and if the truth
is to be told, I like them both; though I have never seen the lady

"How! never seen her, blasphemous traitor!" exclaimed Don Quixote; "hast
thou not just now brought me a message from her?"

"I mean," said Sancho, "that I did not see her so much at my leisure that
I could take particular notice of her beauty, or of her charms piecemeal;
but taken in the lump I like her."

"Now I forgive thee," said Don Quixote; "and do thou forgive me the
injury I have done thee; for our first impulses are not in our control."

"That I see," replied Sancho, "and with me the wish to speak is always
the first impulse, and I cannot help saying, once at any rate, what I
have on the tip of my tongue."

"For all that, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "take heed of what thou sayest,
for the pitcher goes so often to the well--I need say no more to thee."

"Well, well," said Sancho, "God is in heaven, and sees all tricks, and
will judge who does most harm, I in not speaking right, or your worship
in not doing it."

"That is enough," said Dorothea; "run, Sancho, and kiss your lord's hand
and beg his pardon, and henceforward be more circumspect with your praise
and abuse; and say nothing in disparagement of that lady Toboso, of whom
I know nothing save that I am her servant; and put your trust in God, for
you will not fail to obtain some dignity so as to live like a prince."

Sancho advanced hanging his head and begged his master's hand, which Don
Quixote with dignity presented to him, giving him his blessing as soon as
he had kissed it; he then bade him go on ahead a little, as he had
questions to ask him and matters of great importance to discuss with him.
Sancho obeyed, and when the two had gone some distance in advance Don
Quixote said to him, "Since thy return I have had no opportunity or time
to ask thee many particulars touching thy mission and the answer thou
hast brought back, and now that chance has granted us the time and
opportunity, deny me not the happiness thou canst give me by such good

"Let your worship ask what you will," answered Sancho, "for I shall find
a way out of all as as I found a way in; but I implore you, senor, not
not to be so revengeful in future."

"Why dost thou say that, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"I say it," he returned, "because those blows just now were more because
of the quarrel the devil stirred up between us both the other night, than
for what I said against my lady Dulcinea, whom I love and reverence as I
would a relic--though there is nothing of that about her--merely as
something belonging to your worship."

"Say no more on that subject for thy life, Sancho," said Don Quixote,
"for it is displeasing to me; I have already pardoned thee for that, and
thou knowest the common saying, 'for a fresh sin a fresh penance.'"

While this was going on they saw coming along the road they were
following a man mounted on an ass, who when he came close seemed to be a
gipsy; but Sancho Panza, whose eyes and heart were there wherever he saw
asses, no sooner beheld the man than he knew him to be Gines de
Pasamonte; and by the thread of the gipsy he got at the ball, his ass,
for it was, in fact, Dapple that carried Pasamonte, who to escape
recognition and to sell the ass had disguised himself as a gipsy, being
able to speak the gipsy language, and many more, as well as if they were
his own. Sancho saw him and recognised him, and the instant he did so he
shouted to him, "Ginesillo, you thief, give up my treasure, release my
life, embarrass thyself not with my repose, quit my ass, leave my
delight, be off, rip, get thee gone, thief, and give up what is not

There was no necessity for so many words or objurgations, for at the
first one Gines jumped down, and at a like racing speed made off and got
clear of them all. Sancho hastened to his Dapple, and embracing him he
said, "How hast thou fared, my blessing, Dapple of my eyes, my comrade?"
all the while kissing him and caressing him as if he were a human being.
The ass held his peace, and let himself be kissed and caressed by Sancho
without answering a single word. They all came up and congratulated him
on having found Dapple, Don Quixote especially, who told him that
notwithstanding this he would not cancel the order for the three
ass-colts, for which Sancho thanked him.

While the two had been going along conversing in this fashion, the curate
observed to Dorothea that she had shown great cleverness, as well in the
story itself as in its conciseness, and the resemblance it bore to those
of the books of chivalry. She said that she had many times amused herself
reading them; but that she did not know the situation of the provinces or
seaports, and so she had said at haphazard that she had landed at Osuna.

"So I saw," said the curate, "and for that reason I made haste to say
what I did, by which it was all set right. But is it not a strange thing
to see how readily this unhappy gentleman believes all these figments and
lies, simply because they are in the style and manner of the absurdities
of his books?"

"So it is," said Cardenio; "and so uncommon and unexampled, that were one
to attempt to invent and concoct it in fiction, I doubt if there be any
wit keen enough to imagine it."

"But another strange thing about it," said the curate, "is that, apart
from the silly things which this worthy gentleman says in connection with
his craze, when other subjects are dealt with, he can discuss them in a
perfectly rational manner, showing that his mind is quite clear and
composed; so that, provided his chivalry is not touched upon, no one
would take him to be anything but a man of thoroughly sound

While they were holding this conversation Don Quixote continued his with
Sancho, saying:

"Friend Panza, let us forgive and forget as to our quarrels, and tell me
now, dismissing anger and irritation, where, how, and when didst thou
find Dulcinea? What was she doing? What didst thou say to her? What did
she answer? How did she look when she was reading my letter? Who copied
it out for thee? and everything in the matter that seems to thee worth
knowing, asking, and learning; neither adding nor falsifying to give me
pleasure, nor yet curtailing lest you should deprive me of it."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "if the truth is to be told, nobody copied out
the letter for me, for I carried no letter at all."

"It is as thou sayest," said Don Quixote, "for the note-book in which I
wrote it I found in my own possession two days after thy departure, which
gave me very great vexation, as I knew not what thou wouldst do on
finding thyself without any letter; and I made sure thou wouldst return
from the place where thou didst first miss it."

"So I should have done," said Sancho, "if I had not got it by heart when
your worship read it to me, so that I repeated it to a sacristan, who
copied it out for me from hearing it, so exactly that he said in all the
days of his life, though he had read many a letter of excommunication, he
had never seen or read so pretty a letter as that."

"And hast thou got it still in thy memory, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"No, senor," replied Sancho, "for as soon as I had repeated it, seeing
there was no further use for it, I set about forgetting it; and if I
recollect any of it, it is that about 'Scrubbing,'I mean to say
'Sovereign Lady,' and the end 'Yours till death, the Knight of the Rueful
Countenance;' and between these two I put into it more than three hundred
'my souls' and 'my life's' and 'my eyes."



"All that is not unsatisfactory to me," said Don Quixote. "Go on; thou
didst reach her; and what was that queen of beauty doing? Surely thou
didst find her stringing pearls, or embroidering some device in gold
thread for this her enslaved knight."

"I did not," said Sancho, "but I found her winnowing two bushels of wheat
in the yard of her house."

"Then depend upon it," said Don Quixote, "the grains of that wheat were
pearls when touched by her hands; and didst thou look, friend? was it
white wheat or brown?"

"It was neither, but red," said Sancho.

"Then I promise thee," said Don Quixote, "that, winnowed by her hands,
beyond a doubt the bread it made was of the whitest; but go on; when thou
gavest her my letter, did she kiss it? Did she place it on her head? Did
she perform any ceremony befitting it, or what did she do?"

"When I went to give it to her," replied Sancho, "she was hard at it
swaying from side to side with a lot of wheat she had in the sieve, and
she said to me, 'Lay the letter, friend, on the top of that sack, for I
cannot read it until I have done sifting all this."

"Discreet lady!" said Don Quixote; "that was in order to read it at her
leisure and enjoy it; proceed, Sancho; while she was engaged in her
occupation what converse did she hold with thee? What did she ask about
me, and what answer didst thou give? Make haste; tell me all, and let not
an atom be left behind in the ink-bottle."

"She asked me nothing," said Sancho; "but I told her how your worship was
left doing penance in her service, naked from the waist up, in among
these mountains like a savage, sleeping on the ground, not eating bread
off a tablecloth nor combing your beard, weeping and cursing your

"In saying I cursed my fortune thou saidst wrong," said Don Quixote; "for
rather do I bless it and shall bless it all the days of my life for
having made me worthy of aspiring to love so lofty a lady as Dulcinea del

"And so lofty she is," said Sancho, "that she overtops me by more than a

"What! Sancho," said Don Quixote, "didst thou measure with her?"

"I measured in this way," said Sancho; "going to help her to put a sack
of wheat on the back of an ass, we came so close together that I could
see she stood more than a good palm over me."

"Well!" said Don Quixote, "and doth she not of a truth accompany and
adorn this greatness with a thousand million charms of mind! But one
thing thou wilt not deny, Sancho; when thou camest close to her didst
thou not perceive a Sabaean odour, an aromatic fragrance, a, I know not
what, delicious, that I cannot find a name for; I mean a redolence, an
exhalation, as if thou wert in the shop of some dainty glover?"

"All I can say is," said Sancho, "that I did perceive a little odour,
something goaty; it must have been that she was all in a sweat with hard

"It could not be that," said Don Quixote, "but thou must have been
suffering from cold in the head, or must have smelt thyself; for I know
well what would be the scent of that rose among thorns, that lily of the
field, that dissolved amber."

"Maybe so," replied Sancho; "there often comes from myself that same
odour which then seemed to me to come from her grace the lady Dulcinea;
but that's no wonder, for one devil is like another."

"Well then," continued Don Quixote, "now she has done sifting the corn
and sent it to the mill; what did she do when she read the letter?"

"As for the letter," said Sancho, "she did not read it, for she said she
could neither read nor write; instead of that she tore it up into small
pieces, saying that she did not want to let anyone read it lest her
secrets should become known in the village, and that what I had told her
by word of mouth about the love your worship bore her, and the
extraordinary penance you were doing for her sake, was enough; and, to
make an end of it, she told me to tell your worship that she kissed your
hands, and that she had a greater desire to see you than to write to you;
and that therefore she entreated and commanded you, on sight of this
present, to come out of these thickets, and to have done with carrying on
absurdities, and to set out at once for El Toboso, unless something else
of greater importance should happen, for she had a great desire to see
your worship. She laughed greatly when I told her how your worship was
called The Knight of the Rueful Countenance; I asked her if that Biscayan
the other day had been there; and she told me he had, and that he was an
honest fellow; I asked her too about the galley slaves, but she said she
had not seen any as yet."

"So far all goes well," said Don Quixote; "but tell me what jewel was it
that she gave thee on taking thy leave, in return for thy tidings of me?
For it is a usual and ancient custom with knights and ladies errant to
give the squires, damsels, or dwarfs who bring tidings of their ladies to
the knights, or of their knights to the ladies, some rich jewel as a
guerdon for good news,' and acknowledgment of the message."

"That is very likely," said Sancho, "and a good custom it was, to my
mind; but that must have been in days gone by, for now it would seem to
be the custom only to give a piece of bread and cheese; because that was
what my lady Dulcinea gave me over the top of the yard-wall when I took
leave of her; and more by token it was sheep's-milk cheese."

"She is generous in the extreme," said Don Quixote, "and if she did not
give thee a jewel of gold, no doubt it must have been because she had not
one to hand there to give thee; but sleeves are good after Easter; I
shall see her and all shall be made right. But knowest thou what amazes
me, Sancho? It seems to me thou must have gone and come through the air,
for thou hast taken but little more than three days to go to El Toboso
and return, though it is more than thirty leagues from here to there.
From which I am inclined to think that the sage magician who is my
friend, and watches over my interests (for of necessity there is and must
be one, or else I should not be a right knight-errant), that this same, I
say, must have helped thee to travel without thy knowledge; for some of
these sages will catch up a knight-errant sleeping in his bed, and
without his knowing how or in what way it happened, he wakes up the next
day more than a thousand leagues away from the place where he went to
sleep. And if it were not for this, knights-errant would not be able to
give aid to one another in peril, as they do at every turn. For a knight,
maybe, is fighting in the mountains of Armenia with some dragon, or
fierce serpent, or another knight, and gets the worst of the battle, and
is at the point of death; but when he least looks for it, there appears
over against him on a cloud, or chariot of fire, another knight, a friend
of his, who just before had been in England, and who takes his part, and
delivers him from death; and at night he finds himself in his own
quarters supping very much to his satisfaction; and yet from one place to
the other will have been two or three thousand leagues. And all this is
done by the craft and skill of the sage enchanters who take care of those
valiant knights; so that, friend Sancho, I find no difficulty in
believing that thou mayest have gone from this place to El Toboso and
returned in such a short time, since, as I have said, some friendly sage
must have carried thee through the air without thee perceiving it."

"That must have been it," said Sancho, "for indeed Rocinante went like a
gipsy's ass with quicksilver in his ears."

"Quicksilver!" said Don Quixote, "aye and what is more, a legion of
devils, folk that can travel and make others travel without being weary,
exactly as the whim seizes them. But putting this aside, what thinkest
thou I ought to do about my lady's command to go and see her? For though
I feel that I am bound to obey her mandate, I feel too that I am debarred
by the boon I have accorded to the princess that accompanies us, and the
law of chivalry compels me to have regard for my word in preference to my
inclination; on the one hand the desire to see my lady pursues and
harasses me, on the other my solemn promise and the glory I shall win in
this enterprise urge and call me; but what I think I shall do is to
travel with all speed and reach quickly the place where this giant is,
and on my arrival I shall cut off his head, and establish the princess
peacefully in her realm, and forthwith I shall return to behold the light
that lightens my senses, to whom I shall make such excuses that she will
be led to approve of my delay, for she will see that it entirely tends to
increase her glory and fame; for all that I have won, am winning, or
shall win by arms in this life, comes to me of the favour she extends to
me, and because I am hers."

"Ah! what a sad state your worship's brains are in!" said Sancho. "Tell
me, senor, do you mean to travel all that way for nothing, and to let
slip and lose so rich and great a match as this where they give as a
portion a kingdom that in sober truth I have heard say is more than
twenty thousand leagues round about, and abounds with all things
necessary to support human life, and is bigger than Portugal and Castile
put together? Peace, for the love of God! Blush for what you have said,
and take my advice, and forgive me, and marry at once in the first
village where there is a curate; if not, here is our licentiate who will
do the business beautifully; remember, I am old enough to give advice,
and this I am giving comes pat to the purpose; for a sparrow in the hand
is better than a vulture on the wing, and he who has the good to his hand
and chooses the bad, that the good he complains of may not come to him."

"Look here, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "If thou art advising me to marry,
in order that immediately on slaying the giant I may become king, and be
able to confer favours on thee, and give thee what I have promised, let
me tell thee I shall be able very easily to satisfy thy desires without
marrying; for before going into battle I will make it a stipulation that,
if I come out of it victorious, even I do not marry, they shall give me a
portion portion of the kingdom, that I may bestow it upon whomsoever I
choose, and when they give it to me upon whom wouldst thou have me bestow
it but upon thee?"

"That is plain speaking," said Sancho; "but let your worship take care to
choose it on the seacoast, so that if I don't like the life, I may be
able to ship off my black vassals and deal with them as I have said;
don't mind going to see my lady Dulcinea now, but go and kill this giant
and let us finish off this business; for by God it strikes me it will be
one of great honour and great profit."

"I hold thou art in the right of it, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and I
will take thy advice as to accompanying the princess before going to see
Dulcinea; but I counsel thee not to say anything to any one, or to those
who are with us, about what we have considered and discussed, for as
Dulcinea is so decorous that she does not wish her thoughts to be known
it is not right that I or anyone for me should disclose them."

"Well then, if that be so," said Sancho, "how is it that your worship
makes all those you overcome by your arm go to present themselves before
my lady Dulcinea, this being the same thing as signing your name to it
that you love her and are her lover? And as those who go must perforce
kneel before her and say they come from your worship to submit themselves
to her, how can the thoughts of both of you be hid?"

"O, how silly and simple thou art!" said Don Quixote; "seest thou not,
Sancho, that this tends to her greater exaltation? For thou must know
that according to our way of thinking in chivalry, it is a high honour to
a lady to have many knights-errant in her service, whose thoughts never
go beyond serving her for her own sake, and who look for no other reward
for their great and true devotion than that she should be willing to
accept them as her knights."

"It is with that kind of love," said Sancho, "I have heard preachers say
we ought to love our Lord, for himself alone, without being moved by the
hope of glory or the fear of punishment; though for my part, I would
rather love and serve him for what he could do."

"The devil take thee for a clown!" said Don Quixote, "and what shrewd
things thou sayest at times! One would think thou hadst studied."

"In faith, then, I cannot even read."

Master Nicholas here called out to them to wait a while, as they wanted
to halt and drink at a little spring there was there. Don Quixote drew
up, not a little to the satisfaction of Sancho, for he was by this time
weary of telling so many lies, and in dread of his master catching him
tripping, for though he knew that Dulcinea was a peasant girl of El
Toboso, he had never seen her in all his life. Cardenio had now put on
the clothes which Dorothea was wearing when they found her, and though
they were not very good, they were far better than those he put off. They
dismounted together by the side of the spring, and with what the curate
had provided himself with at the inn they appeased, though not very well,
the keen appetite they all of them brought with them.

While they were so employed there happened to come by a youth passing on
his way, who stopping to examine the party at the spring, the next moment
ran to Don Quixote and clasping him round the legs, began to weep freely,
saying, "O, senor, do you not know me? Look at me well; I am that lad
Andres that your worship released from the oak-tree where I was tied."

Don Quixote recognised him, and taking his hand he turned to those
present and said: "That your worships may see how important it is to have
knights-errant to redress the wrongs and injuries done by tyrannical and
wicked men in this world, I may tell you that some days ago passing
through a wood, I heard cries and piteous complaints as of a person in
pain and distress; I immediately hastened, impelled by my bounden duty,
to the quarter whence the plaintive accents seemed to me to proceed, and
I found tied to an oak this lad who now stands before you, which in my
heart I rejoice at, for his testimony will not permit me to depart from
the truth in any particular. He was, I say, tied to an oak, naked from
the waist up, and a clown, whom I afterwards found to be his master, was
scarifying him by lashes with the reins of his mare. As soon as I saw him
I asked the reason of so cruel a flagellation. The boor replied that he
was flogging him because he was his servant and because of carelessness
that proceeded rather from dishonesty than stupidity; on which this boy
said, 'Senor, he flogs me only because I ask for my wages.' The master
made I know not what speeches and explanations, which, though I listened
to them, I did not accept. In short, I compelled the clown to unbind him,
and to swear he would take him with him, and pay him real by real, and
perfumed into the bargain. Is not all this true, Andres my son? Didst
thou not mark with what authority I commanded him, and with what humility
he promised to do all I enjoined, specified, and required of him? Answer
without hesitation; tell these gentlemen what took place, that they may
see that it is as great an advantage as I say to have knights-errant

"All that your worship has said is quite true," answered the lad; "but
the end of the business turned out just the opposite of what your worship

"How! the opposite?" said Don Quixote; "did not the clown pay thee then?"

"Not only did he not pay me," replied the lad, "but as soon as your
worship had passed out of the wood and we were alone, he tied me up again
to the same oak and gave me a fresh flogging, that left me like a flayed
Saint Bartholomew; and every stroke he gave me he followed up with some
jest or gibe about having made a fool of your worship, and but for the
pain I was suffering I should have laughed at the things he said. In
short he left me in such a condition that I have been until now in a
hospital getting cured of the injuries which that rascally clown
inflicted on me then; for all which your worship is to blame; for if you
had gone your own way and not come where there was no call for you, nor
meddled in other people's affairs, my master would have been content with
giving me one or two dozen lashes, and would have then loosed me and paid
me what he owed me; but when your worship abused him so out of measure,
and gave him so many hard words, his anger was kindled; and as he could
not revenge himself on you, as soon as he saw you had left him the storm
burst upon me in such a way, that I feel as if I should never be a man

"The mischief," said Don Quixote, "lay in my going away; for I should not
have gone until I had seen thee paid; because I ought to have known well
by long experience that there is no clown who will keep his word if he
finds it will not suit him to keep it; but thou rememberest, Andres, that
I swore if he did not pay thee I would go and seek him, and find him
though he were to hide himself in the whale's belly."

"That is true," said Andres; "but it was of no use."

"Thou shalt see now whether it is of use or not," said Don Quixote; and
so saying, he got up hastily and bade Sancho bridle Rocinante, who was
browsing while they were eating. Dorothea asked him what he meant to do.
He replied that he meant to go in search of this clown and chastise him
for such iniquitous conduct, and see Andres paid to the last maravedi,
despite and in the teeth of all the clowns in the world. To which she
replied that he must remember that in accordance with his promise he
could not engage in any enterprise until he had concluded hers; and that
as he knew this better than anyone, he should restrain his ardour until
his return from her kingdom.

"That is true," said Don Quixote, "and Andres must have patience until my
return as you say, senora; but I once more swear and promise not to stop
until I have seen him avenged and paid."

"I have no faith in those oaths," said Andres; "I would rather have now
something to help me to get to Seville than all the revenges in the
world; if you have here anything to eat that I can take with me, give it
me, and God be with your worship and all knights-errant; and may their
errands turn out as well for themselves as they have for me."

Sancho took out from his store a piece of bread and another of cheese,
and giving them to the lad he said, "Here, take this, brother Andres, for
we have all of us a share in your misfortune."

"Why, what share have you got?"

"This share of bread and cheese I am giving you," answered Sancho; "and
God knows whether I shall feel the want of it myself or not; for I would
have you know, friend, that we squires to knights-errant have to bear a
great deal of hunger and hard fortune, and even other things more easily
felt than told."

Andres seized his bread and cheese, and seeing that nobody gave him
anything more, bent his head, and took hold of the road, as the saying
is. However, before leaving he said, "For the love of God, sir
knight-errant, if you ever meet me again, though you may see them cutting
me to pieces, give me no aid or succour, but leave me to my misfortune,
which will not be so great but that a greater will come to me by being
helped by your worship, on whom and all the knights-errant that have ever
been born God send his curse."

Don Quixote was getting up to chastise him, but he took to his heels at
such a pace that no one attempted to follow him; and mightily chapfallen
was Don Quixote at Andres' story, and the others had to take great care
to restrain their laughter so as not to put him entirely out of



Their dainty repast being finished, they saddled at once, and without any
adventure worth mentioning they reached next day the inn, the object of
Sancho Panza's fear and dread; but though he would have rather not
entered it, there was no help for it. The landlady, the landlord, their
daughter, and Maritornes, when they saw Don Quixote and Sancho coming,
went out to welcome them with signs of hearty satisfaction, which Don
Quixote received with dignity and gravity, and bade them make up a better
bed for him than the last time: to which the landlady replied that if he
paid better than he did the last time she would give him one fit for a
prince. Don Quixote said he would, so they made up a tolerable one for
him in the same garret as before; and he lay down at once, being sorely
shaken and in want of sleep.

No sooner was the door shut upon him than the landlady made at the
barber, and seizing him by the beard, said:

"By my faith you are not going to make a beard of my tail any longer; you
must give me back tail, for it is a shame the way that thing of my
husband's goes tossing about on the floor; I mean the comb that I used to
stick in my good tail."

But for all she tugged at it the barber would not give it up until the
licentiate told him to let her have it, as there was now no further
occasion for that stratagem, because he might declare himself and appear
in his own character, and tell Don Quixote that he had fled to this inn
when those thieves the galley slaves robbed him; and should he ask for
the princess's squire, they could tell him that she had sent him on
before her to give notice to the people of her kingdom that she was
coming, and bringing with her the deliverer of them all. On this the
barber cheerfully restored the tail to the landlady, and at the same time
they returned all the accessories they had borrowed to effect Don
Quixote's deliverance. All the people of the inn were struck with
astonishment at the beauty of Dorothea, and even at the comely figure of
the shepherd Cardenio. The curate made them get ready such fare as there
was in the inn, and the landlord, in hope of better payment, served them
up a tolerably good dinner. All this time Don Quixote was asleep, and
they thought it best not to waken him, as sleeping would now do him more
good than eating.

While at dinner, the company consisting of the landlord, his wife, their
daughter, Maritornes, and all the travellers, they discussed the strange
craze of Don Quixote and the manner in which he had been found; and the
landlady told them what had taken place between him and the carrier; and
then, looking round to see if Sancho was there, when she saw he was not,
she gave them the whole story of his blanketing, which they received with
no little amusement. But on the curate observing that it was the books of
chivalry which Don Quixote had read that had turned his brain, the
landlord said:

"I cannot understand how that can be, for in truth to my mind there is no
better reading in the world, and I have here two or three of them, with
other writings that are the very life, not only of myself but of plenty
more; for when it is harvest-time, the reapers flock here on holidays,
and there is always one among them who can read and who takes up one of
these books, and we gather round him, thirty or more of us, and stay
listening to him with a delight that makes our grey hairs grow young
again. At least I can say for myself that when I hear of what furious and
terrible blows the knights deliver, I am seized with the longing to do
the same, and I would like to be hearing about them night and day."

"And I just as much," said the landlady, "because I never have a quiet
moment in my house except when you are listening to some one reading; for
then you are so taken up that for the time being you forget to scold."

"That is true," said Maritornes; "and, faith, I relish hearing these
things greatly too, for they are very pretty; especially when they
describe some lady or another in the arms of her knight under the orange
trees, and the duenna who is keeping watch for them half dead with envy
and fright; all this I say is as good as honey."

"And you, what do you think, young lady?" said the curate turning to the
landlord's daughter.

"I don't know indeed, senor," said she; "I listen too, and to tell the
truth, though I do not understand it, I like hearing it; but it is not
the blows that my father likes that I like, but the laments the knights
utter when they are separated from their ladies; and indeed they
sometimes make me weep with the pity I feel for them."

"Then you would console them if it was for you they wept, young lady?"
said Dorothea.

"I don't know what I should do," said the girl; "I only know that there
are some of those ladies so cruel that they call their knights tigers and
lions and a thousand other foul names: and Jesus! I don't know what sort
of folk they can be, so unfeeling and heartless, that rather than bestow
a glance upon a worthy man they leave him to die or go mad. I don't know
what is the good of such prudery; if it is for honour's sake, why not
marry them? That's all they want."

"Hush, child," said the landlady; "it seems to me thou knowest a great
deal about these things, and it is not fit for girls to know or talk so

"As the gentleman asked me, I could not help answering him," said the

"Well then," said the curate, "bring me these books, senor landlord, for
I should like to see them."

"With all my heart," said he, and going into his own room he brought out
an old valise secured with a little chain, on opening which the curate
found in it three large books and some manuscripts written in a very good
hand. The first that he opened he found to be "Don Cirongilio of Thrace,"
and the second "Don Felixmarte of Hircania," and the other the "History
of the Great Captain Gonzalo Hernandez de Cordova, with the Life of Diego
Garcia de Paredes."

When the curate read the two first titles he looked over at the barber
and said, "We want my friend's housekeeper and niece here now."

"Nay," said the barber, "I can do just as well to carry them to the yard
or to the hearth, and there is a very good fire there."

"What! your worship would burn my books!" said the landlord.

"Only these two," said the curate, "Don Cirongilio, and Felixmarte."

"Are my books, then, heretics or phlegmaties that you want to burn them?"
said the landlord.

"Schismatics you mean, friend," said the barber, "not phlegmatics."

"That's it," said the landlord; "but if you want to burn any, let it be
that about the Great Captain and that Diego Garcia; for I would rather
have a child of mine burnt than either of the others."

"Brother," said the curate, "those two books are made up of lies, and are
full of folly and nonsense; but this of the Great Captain is a true
history, and contains the deeds of Gonzalo Hernandez of Cordova, who by
his many and great achievements earned the title all over the world of
the Great Captain, a famous and illustrious name, and deserved by him
alone; and this Diego Garcia de Paredes was a distinguished knight of the
city of Trujillo in Estremadura, a most gallant soldier, and of such
bodily strength that with one finger he stopped a mill-wheel in full
motion; and posted with a two-handed sword at the foot of a bridge he
kept the whole of an immense army from passing over it, and achieved such
other exploits that if, instead of his relating them himself with the
modesty of a knight and of one writing his own history, some free and
unbiassed writer had recorded them, they would have thrown into the shade
all the deeds of the Hectors, Achilleses, and Rolands."

"Tell that to my father," said the landlord. "There's a thing to be
astonished at! Stopping a mill-wheel! By God your worship should read
what I have read of Felixmarte of Hircania, how with one single
backstroke he cleft five giants asunder through the middle as if they had
been made of bean-pods like the little friars the children make; and
another time he attacked a very great and powerful army, in which there
were more than a million six hundred thousand soldiers, all armed from
head to foot, and he routed them all as if they had been flocks of sheep.

"And then, what do you say to the good Cirongilio of Thrace, that was so
stout and bold; as may be seen in the book, where it is related that as
he was sailing along a river there came up out of the midst of the water
against him a fiery serpent, and he, as soon as he saw it, flung himself
upon it and got astride of its scaly shoulders, and squeezed its throat
with both hands with such force that the serpent, finding he was
throttling it, had nothing for it but to let itself sink to the bottom of
the river, carrying with it the knight who would not let go his hold; and
when they got down there he found himself among palaces and gardens so
pretty that it was a wonder to see; and then the serpent changed itself
into an old ancient man, who told him such things as were never heard.
Hold your peace, senor; for if you were to hear this you would go mad
with delight. A couple of figs for your Great Captain and your Diego

Hearing this Dorothea said in a whisper to Cardenio, "Our landlord is
almost fit to play a second part to Don Quixote."

"I think so," said Cardenio, "for, as he shows, he accepts it as a
certainty that everything those books relate took place exactly as it is
written down; and the barefooted friars themselves would not persuade him
to the contrary."

"But consider, brother," said the curate once more, "there never was any
Felixmarte of Hircania in the world, nor any Cirongilio of Thrace, or any
of the other knights of the same sort, that the books of chivalry talk
of; the whole thing is the fabrication and invention of idle wits,
devised by them for the purpose you describe of beguiling the time, as
your reapers do when they read; for I swear to you in all seriousness
there never were any such knights in the world, and no such exploits or
nonsense ever happened anywhere."

"Try that bone on another dog," said the landlord; "as if I did not know
how many make five, and where my shoe pinches me; don't think to feed me
with pap, for by God I am no fool. It is a good joke for your worship to
try and persuade me that everything these good books say is nonsense and
lies, and they printed by the license of the Lords of the Royal Council,
as if they were people who would allow such a lot of lies to be printed
all together, and so many battles and enchantments that they take away
one's senses."

"I have told you, friend," said the curate, "that this is done to divert
our idle thoughts; and as in well-ordered states games of chess, fives,
and billiards are allowed for the diversion of those who do not care, or
are not obliged, or are unable to work, so books of this kind are allowed
to be printed, on the supposition that, what indeed is the truth, there
can be nobody so ignorant as to take any of them for true stories; and if
it were permitted me now, and the present company desired it, I could say
something about the qualities books of chivalry should possess to be good
ones, that would be to the advantage and even to the taste of some; but I
hope the time will come when I can communicate my ideas to some one who
may be able to mend matters; and in the meantime, senor landlord, believe
what I have said, and take your books, and make up your mind about their
truth or falsehood, and much good may they do you; and God grant you may
not fall lame of the same foot your guest Don Quixote halts on."

"No fear of that," returned the landlord; "I shall not be so mad as to
make a knight-errant of myself; for I see well enough that things are not
now as they used to be in those days, when they say those famous knights
roamed about the world."

Sancho had made his appearance in the middle of this conversation, and he
was very much troubled and cast down by what he heard said about
knights-errant being now no longer in vogue, and all books of chivalry
being folly and lies; and he resolved in his heart to wait and see what
came of this journey of his master's, and if it did not turn out as
happily as his master expected, he determined to leave him and go back to
his wife and children and his ordinary labour.

The landlord was carrying away the valise and the books, but the curate
said to him, "Wait; I want to see what those papers are that are written
in such a good hand." The landlord taking them out handed them to him to
read, and he perceived they were a work of about eight sheets of
manuscript, with, in large letters at the beginning, the title of "Novel
of the Ill-advised Curiosity." The curate read three or four lines to
himself, and said, "I must say the title of this novel does not seem to
me a bad one, and I feel an inclination to read it all." To which the
landlord replied, "Then your reverence will do well to read it, for I can
tell you that some guests who have read it here have been much pleased
with it, and have begged it of me very earnestly; but I would not give
it, meaning to return it to the person who forgot the valise, books, and
papers here, for maybe he will return here some time or other; and though
I know I shall miss the books, faith I mean to return them; for though I
am an innkeeper, still I am a Christian."

"You are very right, friend," said the curate; "but for all that, if the
novel pleases me you must let me copy it."

"With all my heart," replied the host.

While they were talking Cardenio had taken up the novel and begun to read
it, and forming the same opinion of it as the curate, he begged him to
read it so that they might all hear it.

"I would read it," said the curate, "if the time would not be better
spent in sleeping."

"It will be rest enough for me," said Dorothea, "to while away the time
by listening to some tale, for my spirits are not yet tranquil enough to
let me sleep when it would be seasonable."

"Well then, in that case," said the curate, "I will read it, if it were
only out of curiosity; perhaps it may contain something pleasant."

Master Nicholas added his entreaties to the same effect, and Sancho too;
seeing which, and considering that he would give pleasure to all, and
receive it himself, the curate said, "Well then, attend to me everyone,
for the novel begins thus."



In Florence, a rich and famous city of Italy in the province called
Tuscany, there lived two gentlemen of wealth and quality, Anselmo and
Lothario, such great friends that by way of distinction they were called
by all that knew them "The Two Friends." They were unmarried, young, of
the same age and of the same tastes, which was enough to account for the
reciprocal friendship between them. Anselmo, it is true, was somewhat
more inclined to seek pleasure in love than Lothario, for whom the
pleasures of the chase had more attraction; but on occasion Anselmo would
forego his own tastes to yield to those of Lothario, and Lothario would
surrender his to fall in with those of Anselmo, and in this way their
inclinations kept pace one with the other with a concord so perfect that
the best regulated clock could not surpass it.

Anselmo was deep in love with a high-born and beautiful maiden of the
same city, the daughter of parents so estimable, and so estimable
herself, that he resolved, with the approval of his friend Lothario,
without whom he did nothing, to ask her of them in marriage, and did so,
Lothario being the bearer of the demand, and conducting the negotiation
so much to the satisfaction of his friend that in a short time he was in
possession of the object of his desires, and Camilla so happy in having
won Anselmo for her husband, that she gave thanks unceasingly to heaven
and to Lothario, by whose means such good fortune had fallen to her. The
first few days, those of a wedding being usually days of merry-making,
Lothario frequented his friend Anselmo's house as he had been wont,
striving to do honour to him and to the occasion, and to gratify him in
every way he could; but when the wedding days were over and the
succession of visits and congratulations had slackened, he began
purposely to leave off going to the house of Anselmo, for it seemed to
him, as it naturally would to all men of sense, that friends' houses
ought not to be visited after marriage with the same frequency as in
their masters' bachelor days: because, though true and genuine friendship
cannot and should not be in any way suspicious, still a married man's
honour is a thing of such delicacy that it is held liable to injury from
brothers, much more from friends. Anselmo remarked the cessation of
Lothario's visits, and complained of it to him, saying that if he had
known that marriage was to keep him from enjoying his society as he used,
he would have never married; and that, if by the thorough harmony that
subsisted between them while he was a bachelor they had earned such a
sweet name as that of "The Two Friends," he should not allow a title so
rare and so delightful to be lost through a needless anxiety to act
circumspectly; and so he entreated him, if such a phrase was allowable
between them, to be once more master of his house and to come in and go
out as formerly, assuring him that his wife Camilla had no other desire
or inclination than that which he would wish her to have, and that
knowing how sincerely they loved one another she was grieved to see such
coldness in him.

To all this and much more that Anselmo said to Lothario to persuade him
to come to his house as he had been in the habit of doing, Lothario
replied with so much prudence, sense, and judgment, that Anselmo was
satisfied of his friend's good intentions, and it was agreed that on two
days in the week, and on holidays, Lothario should come to dine with him;
but though this arrangement was made between them Lothario resolved to
observe it no further than he considered to be in accordance with the
honour of his friend, whose good name was more to him than his own. He
said, and justly, that a married man upon whom heaven had bestowed a
beautiful wife should consider as carefully what friends he brought to
his house as what female friends his wife associated with, for what
cannot be done or arranged in the market-place, in church, at public
festivals or at stations (opportunities that husbands cannot always deny
their wives), may be easily managed in the house of the female friend or
relative in whom most confidence is reposed. Lothario said, too, that
every married man should have some friend who would point out to him any
negligence he might be guilty of in his conduct, for it will sometimes
happen that owing to the deep affection the husband bears his wife either
he does not caution her, or, not to vex her, refrains from telling her to
do or not to do certain things, doing or avoiding which may be a matter
of honour or reproach to him; and errors of this kind he could easily
correct if warned by a friend. But where is such a friend to be found as
Lothario would have, so judicious, so loyal, and so true?

Of a truth I know not; Lothario alone was such a one, for with the utmost
care and vigilance he watched over the honour of his friend, and strove
to diminish, cut down, and reduce the number of days for going to his
house according to their agreement, lest the visits of a young man,
wealthy, high-born, and with the attractions he was conscious of
possessing, at the house of a woman so beautiful as Camilla, should be
regarded with suspicion by the inquisitive and malicious eyes of the idle
public. For though his integrity and reputation might bridle slanderous
tongues, still he was unwilling to hazard either his own good name or
that of his friend; and for this reason most of the days agreed upon he
devoted to some other business which he pretended was unavoidable; so
that a great portion of the day was taken up with complaints on one side
and excuses on the other. It happened, however, that on one occasion when
the two were strolling together outside the city, Anselmo addressed the
following words to Lothario.

"Thou mayest suppose, Lothario my friend, that I am unable to give
sufficient thanks for the favours God has rendered me in making me the
son of such parents as mine were, and bestowing upon me with no niggard
hand what are called the gifts of nature as well as those of fortune, and
above all for what he has done in giving me thee for a friend and Camilla
for a wife--two treasures that I value, if not as highly as I ought, at
least as highly as I am able. And yet, with all these good things, which
are commonly all that men need to enable them to live happily, I am the
most discontented and dissatisfied man in the whole world; for, I know
not how long since, I have been harassed and oppressed by a desire so
strange and so unusual, that I wonder at myself and blame and chide
myself when I am alone, and strive to stifle it and hide it from my own
thoughts, and with no better success than if I were endeavouring
deliberately to publish it to all the world; and as, in short, it must
come out, I would confide it to thy safe keeping, feeling sure that by
this means, and by thy readiness as a true friend to afford me relief, I
shall soon find myself freed from the distress it causes me, and that thy
care will give me happiness in the same degree as my own folly has caused
me misery."

The words of Anselmo struck Lothario with astonishment, unable as he was
to conjecture the purport of such a lengthy preamble; and though be
strove to imagine what desire it could be that so troubled his friend,
his conjectures were all far from the truth, and to relieve the anxiety
which this perplexity was causing him, he told him he was doing a
flagrant injustice to their great friendship in seeking circuitous
methods of confiding to him his most hidden thoughts, for he well knew he
might reckon upon his counsel in diverting them, or his help in carrying
them into effect.

"That is the truth," replied Anselmo, "and relying upon that I will tell
thee, friend Lothario, that the desire which harasses me is that of
knowing whether my wife Camilla is as good and as perfect as I think her
to be; and I cannot satisfy myself of the truth on this point except by
testing her in such a way that the trial may prove the purity of her
virtue as the fire proves that of gold; because I am persuaded, my
friend, that a woman is virtuous only in proportion as she is or is not
tempted; and that she alone is strong who does not yield to the promises,
gifts, tears, and importunities of earnest lovers; for what thanks does a
woman deserve for being good if no one urges her to be bad, and what
wonder is it that she is reserved and circumspect to whom no opportunity
is given of going wrong and who knows she has a husband that will take
her life the first time he detects her in an impropriety? I do not
therefore hold her who is virtuous through fear or want of opportunity in
the same estimation as her who comes out of temptation and trial with a
crown of victory; and so, for these reasons and many others that I could
give thee to justify and support the opinion I hold, I am desirous that
my wife Camilla should pass this crisis, and be refined and tested by the
fire of finding herself wooed and by one worthy to set his affections
upon her; and if she comes out, as I know she will, victorious from this
struggle, I shall look upon my good fortune as unequalled, I shall be
able to say that the cup of my desire is full, and that the virtuous
woman of whom the sage says 'Who shall find her?' has fallen to my lot.
And if the result be the contrary of what I expect, in the satisfaction
of knowing that I have been right in my opinion, I shall bear without
complaint the pain which my so dearly bought experience will naturally
cause me. And, as nothing of all thou wilt urge in opposition to my wish
will avail to keep me from carrying it into effect, it is my desire,
friend Lothario, that thou shouldst consent to become the instrument for
effecting this purpose that I am bent upon, for I will afford thee
opportunities to that end, and nothing shall be wanting that I may think
necessary for the pursuit of a virtuous, honourable, modest and
high-minded woman. And among other reasons, I am induced to entrust this
arduous task to thee by the consideration that if Camilla be conquered by
thee the conquest will not be pushed to extremes, but only far enough to
account that accomplished which from a sense of honour will be left
undone; thus I shall not be wronged in anything more than intention, and
my wrong will remain buried in the integrity of thy silence, which I know
well will be as lasting as that of death in what concerns me. If,
therefore, thou wouldst have me enjoy what can be called life, thou wilt
at once engage in this love struggle, not lukewarmly nor slothfully, but
with the energy and zeal that my desire demands, and with the loyalty our
friendship assures me of."

Such were the words Anselmo addressed to Lothario, who listened to them
with such attention that, except to say what has been already mentioned,
he did not open his lips until the other had finished. Then perceiving
that he had no more to say, after regarding him for awhile, as one would
regard something never before seen that excited wonder and amazement, he
said to him, "I cannot persuade myself, Anselmo my friend, that what thou
hast said to me is not in jest; if I thought that thou wert speaking
seriously I would not have allowed thee to go so far; so as to put a stop
to thy long harangue by not listening to thee I verily suspect that
either thou dost not know me, or I do not know thee; but no, I know well
thou art Anselmo, and thou knowest that I am Lothario; the misfortune is,
it seems to me, that thou art not the Anselmo thou wert, and must have
thought that I am not the Lothario I should be; for the things that thou
hast said to me are not those of that Anselmo who was my friend, nor are
those that thou demandest of me what should be asked of the Lothario thou
knowest. True friends will prove their friends and make use of them, as a
poet has said, usque ad aras; whereby he meant that they will not make
use of their friendship in things that are contrary to God's will. If
this, then, was a heathen's feeling about friendship, how much more
should it be a Christian's, who knows that the divine must not be
forfeited for the sake of any human friendship? And if a friend should go
so far as to put aside his duty to Heaven to fulfil his duty to his
friend, it should not be in matters that are trifling or of little
moment, but in such as affect the friend's life and honour. Now tell me,
Anselmo, in which of these two art thou imperilled, that I should hazard
myself to gratify thee, and do a thing so detestable as that thou seekest
of me? Neither forsooth; on the contrary, thou dost ask of me, so far as
I understand, to strive and labour to rob thee of honour and life, and to
rob myself of them at the same time; for if I take away thy honour it is
plain I take away thy life, as a man without honour is worse than dead;
and being the instrument, as thou wilt have it so, of so much wrong to
thee, shall not I, too, be left without honour, and consequently without
life? Listen to me, Anselmo my friend, and be not impatient to answer me
until I have said what occurs to me touching the object of thy desire,
for there will be time enough left for thee to reply and for me to hear."

"Be it so," said Anselmo, "say what thou wilt."

Lothario then went on to say, "It seems to me, Anselmo, that thine is
just now the temper of mind which is always that of the Moors, who can
never be brought to see the error of their creed by quotations from the
Holy Scriptures, or by reasons which depend upon the examination of the
understanding or are founded upon the articles of faith, but must have
examples that are palpable, easy, intelligible, capable of proof, not
admitting of doubt, with mathematical demonstrations that cannot be
denied, like, 'If equals be taken from equals, the remainders are equal:'
and if they do not understand this in words, and indeed they do not, it
has to be shown to them with the hands, and put before their eyes, and
even with all this no one succeeds in convincing them of the truth of our
holy religion. This same mode of proceeding I shall have to adopt with
thee, for the desire which has sprung up in thee is so absurd and remote
from everything that has a semblance of reason, that I feel it would be a
waste of time to employ it in reasoning with thy simplicity, for at
present I will call it by no other name; and I am even tempted to leave
thee in thy folly as a punishment for thy pernicious desire; but the
friendship I bear thee, which will not allow me to desert thee in such
manifest danger of destruction, keeps me from dealing so harshly by thee.
And that thou mayest clearly see this, say, Anselmo, hast thou not told
me that I must force my suit upon a modest woman, decoy one that is
virtuous, make overtures to one that is pure-minded, pay court to one
that is prudent? Yes, thou hast told me so. Then, if thou knowest that
thou hast a wife, modest, virtuous, pure-minded and prudent, what is it
that thou seekest? And if thou believest that she will come forth
victorious from all my attacks--as doubtless she would--what higher
titles than those she possesses now dost thou think thou canst upon her
then, or in what will she be better then than she is now? Either thou
dost not hold her to be what thou sayest, or thou knowest not what thou
dost demand. If thou dost not hold her to be what thou why dost thou seek
to prove her instead of treating her as guilty in the way that may seem
best to thee? but if she be as virtuous as thou believest, it is an
uncalled-for proceeding to make trial of truth itself, for, after trial,
it will but be in the same estimation as before. Thus, then, it is
conclusive that to attempt things from which harm rather than advantage
may come to us is the part of unreasoning and reckless minds, more
especially when they are things which we are not forced or compelled to
attempt, and which show from afar that it is plainly madness to attempt

"Difficulties are attempted either for the sake of God or for the sake of
the world, or for both; those undertaken for God's sake are those which
the saints undertake when they attempt to live the lives of angels in
human bodies; those undertaken for the sake of the world are those of the
men who traverse such a vast expanse of water, such a variety of
climates, so many strange countries, to acquire what are called the
blessings of fortune; and those undertaken for the sake of God and the
world together are those of brave soldiers, who no sooner do they see in
the enemy's wall a breach as wide as a cannon ball could make, than,
casting aside all fear, without hesitating, or heeding the manifest peril
that threatens them, borne onward by the desire of defending their faith,
their country, and their king, they fling themselves dauntlessly into the
midst of the thousand opposing deaths that await them. Such are the
things that men are wont to attempt, and there is honour, glory, gain, in
attempting them, however full of difficulty and peril they may be; but
that which thou sayest it is thy wish to attempt and carry out will not
win thee the glory of God nor the blessings of fortune nor fame among
men; for even if the issue he as thou wouldst have it, thou wilt be no
happier, richer, or more honoured than thou art this moment; and if it be
otherwise thou wilt be reduced to misery greater than can be imagined,
for then it will avail thee nothing to reflect that no one is aware of
the misfortune that has befallen thee; it will suffice to torture and
crush thee that thou knowest it thyself. And in confirmation of the truth
of what I say, let me repeat to thee a stanza made by the famous poet
Luigi Tansillo at the end of the first part of his 'Tears of Saint
Peter,' which says thus:

The anguish and the shame but greater grew In Peter's heart as morning
slowly came; No eye was there to see him, well he knew, Yet he himself
was to himself a shame; Exposed to all men's gaze, or screened from view,
A noble heart will feel the pang the same; A prey to shame the sinning
soul will be, Though none but heaven and earth its shame can see.

Thus by keeping it secret thou wilt not escape thy sorrow, but rather
thou wilt shed tears unceasingly, if not tears of the eyes, tears of
blood from the heart, like those shed by that simple doctor our poet
tells us of, that tried the test of the cup, which the wise Rinaldo,
better advised, refused to do; for though this may be a poetic fiction it
contains a moral lesson worthy of attention and study and imitation.
Moreover by what I am about to say to thee thou wilt be led to see the
great error thou wouldst commit.

"Tell me, Anselmo, if Heaven or good fortune had made thee master and
lawful owner of a diamond of the finest quality, with the excellence and
purity of which all the lapidaries that had seen it had been satisfied,
saying with one voice and common consent that in purity, quality, and
fineness, it was all that a stone of the kind could possibly be, thou
thyself too being of the same belief, as knowing nothing to the contrary,
would it be reasonable in thee to desire to take that diamond and place
it between an anvil and a hammer, and by mere force of blows and strength
of arm try if it were as hard and as fine as they said? And if thou
didst, and if the stone should resist so silly a test, that would add
nothing to its value or reputation; and if it were broken, as it might
be, would not all be lost? Undoubtedly it would, leaving its owner to be
rated as a fool in the opinion of all. Consider, then, Anselmo my friend,
that Camilla is a diamond of the finest quality as well in thy estimation
as in that of others, and that it is contrary to reason to expose her to
the risk of being broken; for if she remains intact she cannot rise to a
higher value than she now possesses; and if she give way and be unable to
resist, bethink thee now how thou wilt be deprived of her, and with what
good reason thou wilt complain of thyself for having been the cause of
her ruin and thine own. Remember there is no jewel in the world so
precious as a chaste and virtuous woman, and that the whole honour of
women consists in reputation; and since thy wife's is of that high
excellence that thou knowest, wherefore shouldst thou seek to call that
truth in question? Remember, my friend, that woman is an imperfect
animal, and that impediments are not to be placed in her way to make her
trip and fall, but that they should be removed, and her path left clear
of all obstacles, so that without hindrance she may run her course freely
to attain the desired perfection, which consists in being virtuous.
Naturalists tell us that the ermine is a little animal which has a fur of
purest white, and that when the hunters wish to take it, they make use of
this artifice. Having ascertained the places which it frequents and
passes, they stop the way to them with mud, and then rousing it, drive it
towards the spot, and as soon as the ermine comes to the mud it halts,
and allows itself to be taken captive rather than pass through the mire,
and spoil and sully its whiteness, which it values more than life and
liberty. The virtuous and chaste woman is an ermine, and whiter and purer
than snow is the virtue of modesty; and he who wishes her not to lose it,
but to keep and preserve it, must adopt a course different from that
employed with the ermine; he must not put before her the mire of the
gifts and attentions of persevering lovers, because perhaps--and even
without a perhaps--she may not have sufficient virtue and natural
strength in herself to pass through and tread under foot these
impediments; they must be removed, and the brightness of virtue and the
beauty of a fair fame must be put before her. A virtuous woman, too, is
like a mirror, of clear shining crystal, liable to be tarnished and
dimmed by every breath that touches it. She must be treated as relics
are; adored, not touched. She must be protected and prized as one
protects and prizes a fair garden full of roses and flowers, the owner of
which allows no one to trespass or pluck a blossom; enough for others
that from afar and through the iron grating they may enjoy its fragrance
and its beauty. Finally let me repeat to thee some verses that come to my
mind; I heard them in a modern comedy, and it seems to me they bear upon
the point we are discussing. A prudent old man was giving advice to
another, the father of a young girl, to lock her up, watch over her and
keep her in seclusion, and among other arguments he used these:

Woman is a thing of glass;
But her brittleness 'tis best
Not too curiously to test:
Who knows what may come to pass?

Breaking is an easy matter,
And it's folly to expose
What you cannot mend to blows;
What you can't make whole to shatter.

This, then, all may hold as true,
And the reason's plain to see;
For if Danaes there be,
There are golden showers too.

"All that I have said to thee so far, Anselmo, has had reference to what
concerns thee; now it is right that I should say something of what
regards myself; and if I be prolix, pardon me, for the labyrinth into
which thou hast entered and from which thou wouldst have me extricate
thee makes it necessary.

"Thou dost reckon me thy friend, and thou wouldst rob me of honour, a
thing wholly inconsistent with friendship; and not only dost thou aim at
this, but thou wouldst have me rob thee of it also. That thou wouldst rob
me of it is clear, for when Camilla sees that I pay court to her as thou
requirest, she will certainly regard me as a man without honour or right
feeling, since I attempt and do a thing so much opposed to what I owe to
my own position and thy friendship. That thou wouldst have me rob thee of
it is beyond a doubt, for Camilla, seeing that I press my suit upon her,
will suppose that I have perceived in her something light that has
encouraged me to make known to her my base desire; and if she holds
herself dishonoured, her dishonour touches thee as belonging to her; and
hence arises what so commonly takes place, that the husband of the
adulterous woman, though he may not be aware of or have given any cause
for his wife's failure in her duty, or (being careless or negligent) have
had it in his power to prevent his dishonour, nevertheless is stigmatised
by a vile and reproachful name, and in a manner regarded with eyes of
contempt instead of pity by all who know of his wife's guilt, though they
see that he is unfortunate not by his own fault, but by the lust of a
vicious consort. But I will tell thee why with good reason dishonour
attaches to the husband of the unchaste wife, though he know not that she
is so, nor be to blame, nor have done anything, or given any provocation
to make her so; and be not weary with listening to me, for it will be for
thy good.

"When God created our first parent in the earthly paradise, the Holy
Scripture says that he infused sleep into Adam and while he slept took a
rib from his left side of which he formed our mother Eve, and when Adam
awoke and beheld her he said, 'This is flesh of my flesh, and bone of my
bone.' And God said 'For this shall a man leave his father and his
mother, and they shall be two in one flesh; and then was instituted the
divine sacrament of marriage, with such ties that death alone can loose
them. And such is the force and virtue of this miraculous sacrament that
it makes two different persons one and the same flesh; and even more than
this when the virtuous are married; for though they have two souls they
have but one will. And hence it follows that as the flesh of the wife is
one and the same with that of her husband the stains that may come upon
it, or the injuries it incurs fall upon the husband's flesh, though he,
as has been said, may have given no cause for them; for as the pain of
the foot or any member of the body is felt by the whole body, because all
is one flesh, as the head feels the hurt to the ankle without having
caused it, so the husband, being one with her, shares the dishonour of
the wife; and as all worldly honour or dishonour comes of flesh and
blood, and the erring wife's is of that kind, the husband must needs bear
his part of it and be held dishonoured without knowing it. See, then,
Anselmo, the peril thou art encountering in seeking to disturb the peace
of thy virtuous consort; see for what an empty and ill-advised curiosity
thou wouldst rouse up passions that now repose in quiet in the breast of
thy chaste wife; reflect that what thou art staking all to win is little,
and what thou wilt lose so much that I leave it undescribed, not having
the words to express it. But if all I have said be not enough to turn
thee from thy vile purpose, thou must seek some other instrument for thy
dishonour and misfortune; for such I will not consent to be, though I
lose thy friendship, the greatest loss that I can conceive."

Having said this, the wise and virtuous Lothario was silent, and Anselmo,
troubled in mind and deep in thought, was unable for a while to utter a
word in reply; but at length he said, "I have listened, Lothario my
friend, attentively, as thou hast seen, to what thou hast chosen to say
to me, and in thy arguments, examples, and comparisons I have seen that
high intelligence thou dost possess, and the perfection of true
friendship thou hast reached; and likewise I see and confess that if I am
not guided by thy opinion, but follow my own, I am flying from the good
and pursuing the evil. This being so, thou must remember that I am now
labouring under that infirmity which women sometimes suffer from, when
the craving seizes them to eat clay, plaster, charcoal, and things even
worse, disgusting to look at, much more to eat; so that it will be
necessary to have recourse to some artifice to cure me; and this can be
easily effected if only thou wilt make a beginning, even though it be in
a lukewarm and make-believe fashion, to pay court to Camilla, who will
not be so yielding that her virtue will give way at the first attack:
with this mere attempt I shall rest satisfied, and thou wilt have done
what our friendship binds thee to do, not only in giving me life, but in
persuading me not to discard my honour. And this thou art bound to do for
one reason alone, that, being, as I am, resolved to apply this test, it
is not for thee to permit me to reveal my weakness to another, and so
imperil that honour thou art striving to keep me from losing; and if
thine may not stand as high as it ought in the estimation of Camilla
while thou art paying court to her, that is of little or no importance,
because ere long, on finding in her that constancy which we expect, thou
canst tell her the plain truth as regards our stratagem, and so regain
thy place in her esteem; and as thou art venturing so little, and by the
venture canst afford me so much satisfaction, refuse not to undertake it,
even if further difficulties present themselves to thee; for, as I have
said, if thou wilt only make a beginning I will acknowledge the issue

Lothario seeing the fixed determination of Anselmo, and not knowing what
further examples to offer or arguments to urge in order to dissuade him
from it, and perceiving that he threatened to confide his pernicious
scheme to some one else, to avoid a greater evil resolved to gratify him
and do what he asked, intending to manage the business so as to satisfy
Anselmo without corrupting the mind of Camilla; so in reply he told him
not to communicate his purpose to any other, for he would undertake the
task himself, and would begin it as soon as he pleased. Anselmo embraced
him warmly and affectionately, and thanked him for his offer as if he had
bestowed some great favour upon him; and it was agreed between them to
set about it the next day, Anselmo affording opportunity and time to
Lothario to converse alone with Camilla, and furnishing him with money
and jewels to offer and present to her. He suggested, too, that he should
treat her to music, and write verses in her praise, and if he was
unwilling to take the trouble of composing them, he offered to do it
himself. Lothario agreed to all with an intention very different from
what Anselmo supposed, and with this understanding they returned to
Anselmo's house, where they found Camilla awaiting her husband anxiously
and uneasily, for he was later than usual in returning that day. Lothario
repaired to his own house, and Anselmo remained in his, as well satisfied
as Lothario was troubled in mind; for he could see no satisfactory way
out of this ill-advised business. That night, however, he thought of a
plan by which he might deceive Anselmo without any injury to Camilla. The
next day he went to dine with his friend, and was welcomed by Camilla,
who received and treated him with great cordiality, knowing the affection
her husband felt for him. When dinner was over and the cloth removed,
Anselmo told Lothario to stay there with Camilla while he attended to
some pressing business, as he would return in an hour and a half. Camilla
begged him not to go, and Lothario offered to accompany him, but nothing
could persuade Anselmo, who on the contrary pressed Lothario to remain
waiting for him as he had a matter of great importance to discuss with
him. At the same time he bade Camilla not to leave Lothario alone until
he came back. In short he contrived to put so good a face on the reason,
or the folly, of his absence that no one could have suspected it was a

Anselmo took his departure, and Camilla and Lothario were left alone at
the table, for the rest of the household had gone to dinner. Lothario saw
himself in the lists according to his friend's wish, and facing an enemy
that could by her beauty alone vanquish a squadron of armed knights;
judge whether he had good reason to fear; but what he did was to lean his
elbow on the arm of the chair, and his cheek upon his hand, and, asking
Camilla's pardon for his ill manners, he said he wished to take a little
sleep until Anselmo returned. Camilla in reply said he could repose more
at his ease in the reception-room than in his chair, and begged of him to
go in and sleep there; but Lothario declined, and there he remained
asleep until the return of Anselmo, who finding Camilla in her own room,
and Lothario asleep, imagined that he had stayed away so long as to have
afforded them time enough for conversation and even for sleep, and was
all impatience until Lothario should wake up, that he might go out with
him and question him as to his success. Everything fell out as he wished;
Lothario awoke, and the two at once left the house, and Anselmo asked
what he was anxious to know, and Lothario in answer told him that he had
not thought it advisable to declare himself entirely the first time, and
therefore had only extolled the charms of Camilla, telling her that all
the city spoke of nothing else but her beauty and wit, for this seemed to
him an excellent way of beginning to gain her good-will and render her
disposed to listen to him with pleasure the next time, thus availing
himself of the device the devil has recourse to when he would deceive one
who is on the watch; for he being the angel of darkness transforms
himself into an angel of light, and, under cover of a fair seeming,
discloses himself at length, and effects his purpose if at the beginning
his wiles are not discovered. All this gave great satisfaction to
Anselmo, and he said he would afford the same opportunity every day, but
without leaving the house, for he would find things to do at home so that
Camilla should not detect the plot.

Thus, then, several days went by, and Lothario, without uttering a word
to Camilla, reported to Anselmo that he had talked with her and that he
had never been able to draw from her the slightest indication of consent
to anything dishonourable, nor even a sign or shadow of hope; on the
contrary, he said she would inform her husband of it.

"So far well," said Anselmo; "Camilla has thus far resisted words; we
must now see how she will resist deeds. I will give you to-morrow two
thousand crowns in gold for you to offer or even present, and as many
more to buy jewels to lure her, for women are fond of being becomingly
attired and going gaily dressed, and all the more so if they are
beautiful, however chaste they may be; and if she resists this
temptation, I will rest satisfied and will give you no more trouble."

Lothario replied that now he had begun he would carry on the undertaking
to the end, though he perceived he was to come out of it wearied and
vanquished. The next day he received the four thousand crowns, and with
them four thousand perplexities, for he knew not what to say by way of a
new falsehood; but in the end he made up his mind to tell him that
Camilla stood as firm against gifts and promises as against words, and
that there was no use in taking any further trouble, for the time was all
spent to no purpose.

But chance, directing things in a different manner, so ordered it that
Anselmo, having left Lothario and Camilla alone as on other occasions,
shut himself into a chamber and posted himself to watch and listen
through the keyhole to what passed between them, and perceived that for
more than half an hour Lothario did not utter a word to Camilla, nor
would utter a word though he were to be there for an age; and he came to
the conclusion that what his friend had told him about the replies of
Camilla was all invention and falsehood, and to ascertain if it were so,
he came out, and calling Lothario aside asked him what news he had and in
what humour Camilla was. Lothario replied that he was not disposed to go
on with the business, for she had answered him so angrily and harshly
that he had no heart to say anything more to her.

"Ah, Lothario, Lothario," said Anselmo, "how ill dost thou meet thy
obligations to me, and the great confidence I repose in thee! I have been
just now watching through this keyhole, and I have seen that thou has not
said a word to Camilla, whence I conclude that on the former occasions
thou hast not spoken to her either, and if this be so, as no doubt it is,
why dost thou deceive me, or wherefore seekest thou by craft to deprive
me of the means I might find of attaining my desire?"

Anselmo said no more, but he had said enough to cover Lothario with shame
and confusion, and he, feeling as it were his honour touched by having
been detected in a lie, swore to Anselmo that he would from that moment
devote himself to satisfying him without any deception, as he would see
if he had the curiosity to watch; though he need not take the trouble,
for the pains he would take to satisfy him would remove all suspicions
from his mind. Anselmo believed him, and to afford him an opportunity
more free and less liable to surprise, he resolved to absent himself from
his house for eight days, betaking himself to that of a friend of his who
lived in a village not far from the city; and, the better to account for
his departure to Camilla, he so arranged it that the friend should send
him a very pressing invitation.

Unhappy, shortsighted Anselmo, what art thou doing, what art thou
plotting, what art thou devising? Bethink thee thou art working against
thyself, plotting thine own dishonour, devising thine own ruin. Thy wife
Camilla is virtuous, thou dost possess her in peace and quietness, no one
assails thy happiness, her thoughts wander not beyond the walls of thy
house, thou art her heaven on earth, the object of her wishes, the
fulfilment of her desires, the measure wherewith she measures her will,
making it conform in all things to thine and Heaven's. If, then, the mine
of her honour, beauty, virtue, and modesty yields thee without labour all
the wealth it contains and thou canst wish for, why wilt thou dig the
earth in search of fresh veins, of new unknown treasure, risking the
collapse of all, since it but rests on the feeble props of her weak
nature? Bethink thee that from him who seeks impossibilities that which
is possible may with justice be withheld, as was better expressed by a
poet who said:

'Tis mine to seek for life in death,
Health in disease seek I,
I seek in prison freedom's breath,
In traitors loyalty.
So Fate that ever scorns to grant
Or grace or boon to me,
Since what can never be I want,
Denies me what might be.

The next day Anselmo took his departure for the village, leaving
instructions with Camilla that during his absence Lothario would come to
look after his house and to dine with her, and that she was to treat him
as she would himself. Camilla was distressed, as a discreet and
right-minded woman would be, at the orders her husband left her, and bade
him remember that it was not becoming that anyone should occupy his seat
at the table during his absence, and if he acted thus from not feeling
confidence that she would be able to manage his house, let him try her
this time, and he would find by experience that she was equal to greater
responsibilities. Anselmo replied that it was his pleasure to have it so,
and that she had only to submit and obey. Camilla said she would do so,
though against her will.

Anselmo went, and the next day Lothario came to his house, where he was
received by Camilla with a friendly and modest welcome; but she never
suffered Lothario to see her alone, for she was always attended by her
men and women servants, especially by a handmaid of hers, Leonela by
name, to whom she was much attached (for they had been brought up
together from childhood in her father's house), and whom she had kept
with her after her marriage with Anselmo. The first three days Lothario
did not speak to her, though he might have done so when they removed the
cloth and the servants retired to dine hastily; for such were Camilla's
orders; nay more, Leonela had directions to dine earlier than Camilla and
never to leave her side. She, however, having her thoughts fixed upon
other things more to her taste, and wanting that time and opportunity for
her own pleasures, did not always obey her mistress's commands, but on
the contrary left them alone, as if they had ordered her to do so; but
the modest bearing of Camilla, the calmness of her countenance, the
composure of her aspect were enough to bridle the tongue of Lothario. But
the influence which the many virtues of Camilla exerted in imposing
silence on Lothario's tongue proved mischievous for both of them, for if
his tongue was silent his thoughts were busy, and could dwell at leisure
upon the perfections of Camilla's goodness and beauty one by one, charms
enough to warm with love a marble statue, not to say a heart of flesh.
Lothario gazed upon her when he might have been speaking to her, and
thought how worthy of being loved she was; and thus reflection began
little by little to assail his allegiance to Anselmo, and a thousand
times he thought of withdrawing from the city and going where Anselmo
should never see him nor he see Camilla. But already the delight he found
in gazing on her interposed and held him fast. He put a constraint upon
himself, and struggled to repel and repress the pleasure he found in
contemplating Camilla; when alone he blamed himself for his weakness,
called himself a bad friend, nay a bad Christian; then he argued the
matter and compared himself with Anselmo; always coming to the conclusion
that the folly and rashness of Anselmo had been worse than his
faithlessness, and that if he could excuse his intentions as easily
before God as with man, he had no reason to fear any punishment for his

In short the beauty and goodness of Camilla, joined with the opportunity
which the blind husband had placed in his hands, overthrew the loyalty of
Lothario; and giving heed to nothing save the object towards which his
inclinations led him, after Anselmo had been three days absent, during
which he had been carrying on a continual struggle with his passion, he
began to make love to Camilla with so much vehemence and warmth of
language that she was overwhelmed with amazement, and could only rise
from her place and retire to her room without answering him a word. But
the hope which always springs up with love was not weakened in Lothario
by this repelling demeanour; on the contrary his passion for Camilla
increased, and she discovering in him what she had never expected, knew
not what to do; and considering it neither safe nor right to give him the
chance or opportunity of speaking to her again, she resolved to send, as
she did that very night, one of her servants with a letter to Anselmo, in
which she addressed the following words to him.



"It is commonly said that an army looks ill without its general and a
castle without its castellan, and I say that a young married woman looks
still worse without her husband unless there are very good reasons for
it. I find myself so ill at ease without you, and so incapable of
enduring this separation, that unless you return quickly I shall have to
go for relief to my parents' house, even if I leave yours without a
protector; for the one you left me, if indeed he deserved that title,
has, I think, more regard to his own pleasure than to what concerns you:
as you are possessed of discernment I need say no more to you, nor indeed
is it fitting I should say more."

Anselmo received this letter, and from it he gathered that Lothario had
already begun his task and that Camilla must have replied to him as he
would have wished; and delighted beyond measure at such intelligence he
sent word to her not to leave his house on any account, as he would very
shortly return. Camilla was astonished at Anselmo's reply, which placed
her in greater perplexity than before, for she neither dared to remain in
her own house, nor yet to go to her parents'; for in remaining her virtue
was imperilled, and in going she was opposing her husband's commands.
Finally she decided upon what was the worse course for her, to remain,
resolving not to fly from the presence of Lothario, that she might not
give food for gossip to her servants; and she now began to regret having
written as she had to her husband, fearing he might imagine that Lothario
had perceived in her some lightness which had impelled him to lay aside
the respect he owed her; but confident of her rectitude she put her trust
in God and in her own virtuous intentions, with which she hoped to resist
in silence all the solicitations of Lothario, without saying anything to
her husband so as not to involve him in any quarrel or trouble; and she
even began to consider how to excuse Lothario to Anselmo when he should
ask her what it was that induced her to write that letter. With these
resolutions, more honourable than judicious or effectual, she remained
the next day listening to Lothario, who pressed his suit so strenuously
that Camilla's firmness began to waver, and her virtue had enough to do
to come to the rescue of her eyes and keep them from showing signs of a
certain tender compassion which the tears and appeals of Lothario had
awakened in her bosom. Lothario observed all this, and it inflamed him
all the more. In short he felt that while Anselmo's absence afforded time
and opportunity he must press the siege of the fortress, and so he
assailed her self-esteem with praises of her beauty, for there is nothing
that more quickly reduces and levels the castle towers of fair women's
vanity than vanity itself upon the tongue of flattery. In fact with the
utmost assiduity he undermined the rock of her purity with such engines
that had Camilla been of brass she must have fallen. He wept, he
entreated, he promised, he flattered, he importuned, he pretended with so
much feeling and apparent sincerity, that he overthrew the virtuous
resolves of Camilla and won the triumph he least expected and most longed
for. Camilla yielded, Camilla fell; but what wonder if the friendship of
Lothario could not stand firm? A clear proof to us that the passion of
love is to be conquered only by flying from it, and that no one should
engage in a struggle with an enemy so mighty; for divine strength is
needed to overcome his human power. Leonela alone knew of her mistress's
weakness, for the two false friends and new lovers were unable to conceal
it. Lothario did not care to tell Camilla the object Anselmo had in view,
nor that he had afforded him the opportunity of attaining such a result,
lest she should undervalue his love and think that it was by chance and
without intending it and not of his own accord that he had made love to

A few days later Anselmo returned to his house and did not perceive what
it had lost, that which he so lightly treated and so highly prized. He
went at once to see Lothario, and found him at home; they embraced each
other, and Anselmo asked for the tidings of his life or his death.

"The tidings I have to give thee, Anselmo my friend," said Lothario, "are
that thou dost possess a wife that is worthy to be the pattern and crown
of all good wives. The words that I have addressed to her were borne away
on the wind, my promises have been despised, my presents have been
refused, such feigned tears as I shed have been turned into open
ridicule. In short, as Camilla is the essence of all beauty, so is she
the treasure-house where purity dwells, and gentleness and modesty abide
with all the virtues that can confer praise, honour, and happiness upon a
woman. Take back thy money, my friend; here it is, and I have had no need
to touch it, for the chastity of Camilla yields not to things so base as
gifts or promises. Be content, Anselmo, and refrain from making further
proof; and as thou hast passed dryshod through the sea of those doubts
and suspicions that are and may be entertained of women, seek not to
plunge again into the deep ocean of new embarrassments, or with another
pilot make trial of the goodness and strength of the bark that Heaven has
granted thee for thy passage across the sea of this world; but reckon
thyself now safe in port, moor thyself with the anchor of sound
reflection, and rest in peace until thou art called upon to pay that debt
which no nobility on earth can escape paying."

Anselmo was completely satisfied by the words of Lothario, and believed
them as fully as if they had been spoken by an oracle; nevertheless he
begged of him not to relinquish the undertaking, were it but for the sake
of curiosity and amusement; though thenceforward he need not make use of
the same earnest endeavours as before; all he wished him to do was to
write some verses to her, praising her under the name of Chloris, for he
himself would give her to understand that he was in love with a lady to
whom he had given that name to enable him to sing her praises with the
decorum due to her modesty; and if Lothario were unwilling to take the
trouble of writing the verses he would compose them himself.

"That will not be necessary," said Lothario, "for the muses are not such
enemies of mine but that they visit me now and then in the course of the
year. Do thou tell Camilla what thou hast proposed about a pretended
amour of mine; as for the verses will make them, and if not as good as
the subject deserves, they shall be at least the best I can produce." An
agreement to this effect was made between the friends, the ill-advised
one and the treacherous, and Anselmo returning to his house asked Camilla
the question she already wondered he had not asked before--what it was
that had caused her to write the letter she had sent him. Camilla replied
that it had seemed to her that Lothario looked at her somewhat more
freely than when he had been at home; but that now she was undeceived and
believed it to have been only her own imagination, for Lothario now
avoided seeing her, or being alone with her. Anselmo told her she might
be quite easy on the score of that suspicion, for he knew that Lothario
was in love with a damsel of rank in the city whom he celebrated under
the name of Chloris, and that even if he were not, his fidelity and their
great friendship left no room for fear. Had not Camilla, however, been
informed beforehand by Lothario that this love for Chloris was a
pretence, and that he himself had told Anselmo of it in order to be able
sometimes to give utterance to the praises of Camilla herself, no doubt
she would have fallen into the despairing toils of jealousy; but being
forewarned she received the startling news without uneasiness.

The next day as the three were at table Anselmo asked Lothario to recite
something of what he had composed for his mistress Chloris; for as
Camilla did not know her, he might safely say what he liked.

"Even did she know her," returned Lothario, "I would hide nothing, for
when a lover praises his lady's beauty, and charges her with cruelty, he
casts no imputation upon her fair name; at any rate, all I can say is
that yesterday I made a sonnet on the ingratitude of this Chloris, which
goes thus:


At midnight, in the silence, when the eyes
  Of happier mortals balmy slumbers close,
  The weary tale of my unnumbered woes
To Chloris and to Heaven is wont to rise.
And when the light of day returning dyes
  The portals of the east with tints of rose,
  With undiminished force my sorrow flows
In broken accents and in burning sighs.
And when the sun ascends his star-girt throne,
  And on the earth pours down his midday beams,
    Noon but renews my wailing and my tears;
And with the night again goes up my moan.
  Yet ever in my agony it seems
    To me that neither Heaven nor Chloris hears."

The sonnet pleased Camilla, and still more Anselmo, for he praised it and
said the lady was excessively cruel who made no return for sincerity so
manifest. On which Camilla said, "Then all that love-smitten poets say is

"As poets they do not tell the truth," replied Lothario; "but as lovers
they are not more defective in expression than they are truthful."

"There is no doubt of that," observed Anselmo, anxious to support and
uphold Lothario's ideas with Camilla, who was as regardless of his design
as she was deep in love with Lothario; and so taking delight in anything
that was his, and knowing that his thoughts and writings had her for
their object, and that she herself was the real Chloris, she asked him to
repeat some other sonnet or verses if he recollected any.

"I do," replied Lothario, "but I do not think it as good as the first
one, or, more correctly speaking, less bad; but you can easily judge, for
it is this.


I know that I am doomed; death is to me
  As certain as that thou, ungrateful fair,
  Dead at thy feet shouldst see me lying, ere
My heart repented of its love for thee.
If buried in oblivion I should be,
  Bereft of life, fame, favour, even there
  It would be found that I thy image bear
Deep graven in my breast for all to see.
This like some holy relic do I prize
  To save me from the fate my truth entails,
    Truth that to thy hard heart its vigour owes.
Alas for him that under lowering skies,
  In peril o'er a trackless ocean sails,
    Where neither friendly port nor pole-star shows."

Anselmo praised this second sonnet too, as he had praised the first; and
so he went on adding link after link to the chain with which he was
binding himself and making his dishonour secure; for when Lothario was
doing most to dishonour him he told him he was most honoured; and thus
each step that Camilla descended towards the depths of her abasement, she
mounted, in his opinion, towards the summit of virtue and fair fame.

It so happened that finding herself on one occasion alone with her maid,
Camilla said to her, "I am ashamed to think, my dear Leonela, how lightly
I have valued myself that I did not compel Lothario to purchase by at
least some expenditure of time that full possession of me that I so
quickly yielded him of my own free will. I fear that he will think ill of
my pliancy or lightness, not considering the irresistible influence he
brought to bear upon me."

"Let not that trouble you, my lady," said Leonela, "for it does not take
away the value of the thing given or make it the less precious to give it
quickly if it be really valuable and worthy of being prized; nay, they
are wont to say that he who gives quickly gives twice."

"They say also," said Camilla, "that what costs little is valued less."

"That saying does not hold good in your case," replied Leonela, "for
love, as I have heard say, sometimes flies and sometimes walks; with this
one it runs, with that it moves slowly; some it cools, others it burns;
some it wounds, others it slays; it begins the course of its desires, and
at the same moment completes and ends it; in the morning it will lay
siege to a fortress and by night will have taken it, for there is no
power that can resist it; so what are you in dread of, what do you fear,
when the same must have befallen Lothario, love having chosen the absence
of my lord as the instrument for subduing you? and it was absolutely
necessary to complete then what love had resolved upon, without affording
the time to let Anselmo return and by his presence compel the work to be
left unfinished; for love has no better agent for carrying out his
designs than opportunity; and of opportunity he avails himself in all his
feats, especially at the outset. All this I know well myself, more by
experience than by hearsay, and some day, senora, I will enlighten you on
the subject, for I am of your flesh and blood too. Moreover, lady
Camilla, you did not surrender yourself or yield so quickly but that
first you saw Lothario's whole soul in his eyes, in his sighs, in his
words, his promises and his gifts, and by it and his good qualities
perceived how worthy he was of your love. This, then, being the case, let
not these scrupulous and prudish ideas trouble your imagination, but be
assured that Lothario prizes you as you do him, and rest content and
satisfied that as you are caught in the noose of love it is one of worth
and merit that has taken you, and one that has not only the four S's that
they say true lovers ought to have, but a complete alphabet; only listen
to me and you will see how I can repeat it by rote. He is to my eyes and
thinking, Amiable, Brave, Courteous, Distinguished, Elegant, Fond, Gay,
Honourable, Illustrious, Loyal, Manly, Noble, Open, Polite, Quickwitted,
Rich, and the S's according to the saying, and then Tender, Veracious: X
does not suit him, for it is a rough letter; Y has been given already;
and Z Zealous for your honour."

Camilla laughed at her maid's alphabet, and perceived her to be more
experienced in love affairs than she said, which she admitted, confessing
to Camilla that she had love passages with a young man of good birth of
the same city. Camilla was uneasy at this, dreading lest it might prove
the means of endangering her honour, and asked whether her intrigue had
gone beyond words, and she with little shame and much effrontery said it
had; for certain it is that ladies' imprudences make servants shameless,
who, when they see their mistresses make a false step, think nothing of
going astray themselves, or of its being known. All that Camilla could do
was to entreat Leonela to say nothing about her doings to him whom she
called her lover, and to conduct her own affairs secretly lest they
should come to the knowledge of Anselmo or of Lothario. Leonela said she
would, but kept her word in such a way that she confirmed Camilla's
apprehension of losing her reputation through her means; for this
abandoned and bold Leonela, as soon as she perceived that her mistress's
demeanour was not what it was wont to be, had the audacity to introduce
her lover into the house, confident that even if her mistress saw him she
would not dare to expose him; for the sins of mistresses entail this
mischief among others; they make themselves the slaves of their own
servants, and are obliged to hide their laxities and depravities; as was
the case with Camilla, who though she perceived, not once but many times,
that Leonela was with her lover in some room of the house, not only did
not dare to chide her, but afforded her opportunities for concealing him
and removed all difficulties, lest he should be seen by her husband. She
was unable, however, to prevent him from being seen on one occasion, as
he sallied forth at daybreak, by Lothario, who, not knowing who he was,
at first took him for a spectre; but, as soon as he saw him hasten away,
muffling his face with his cloak and concealing himself carefully and
cautiously, he rejected this foolish idea, and adopted another, which
would have been the ruin of all had not Camilla found a remedy. It did
not occur to Lothario that this man he had seen issuing at such an
untimely hour from Anselmo's house could have entered it on Leonela's
account, nor did he even remember there was such a person as Leonela; all
he thought was that as Camilla had been light and yielding with him, so
she had been with another; for this further penalty the erring woman's
sin brings with it, that her honour is distrusted even by him to whose
overtures and persuasions she has yielded; and he believes her to have
surrendered more easily to others, and gives implicit credence to every
suspicion that comes into his mind. All Lothario's good sense seems to
have failed him at this juncture; all his prudent maxims escaped his
memory; for without once reflecting rationally, and without more ado, in
his impatience and in the blindness of the jealous rage that gnawed his
heart, and dying to revenge himself upon Camilla, who had done him no
wrong, before Anselmo had risen he hastened to him and said to him,
"Know, Anselmo, that for several days past I have been struggling with
myself, striving to withhold from thee what it is no longer possible or
right that I should conceal from thee. Know that Camilla's fortress has
surrendered and is ready to submit to my will; and if I have been slow to
reveal this fact to thee, it was in order to see if it were some light
caprice of hers, or if she sought to try me and ascertain if the love I
began to make to her with thy permission was made with a serious
intention. I thought, too, that she, if she were what she ought to be,
and what we both believed her, would have ere this given thee information
of my addresses; but seeing that she delays, I believe the truth of the
promise she has given me that the next time thou art absent from the
house she will grant me an interview in the closet where thy jewels are
kept (and it was true that Camilla used to meet him there); but I do not
wish thee to rush precipitately to take vengeance, for the sin is as yet
only committed in intention, and Camilla's may change perhaps between
this and the appointed time, and repentance spring up in its place. As
hitherto thou hast always followed my advice wholly or in part, follow
and observe this that I will give thee now, so that, without mistake, and
with mature deliberation, thou mayest satisfy thyself as to what may seem
the best course; pretend to absent thyself for two or three days as thou
hast been wont to do on other occasions, and contrive to hide thyself in
the closet; for the tapestries and other things there afford great
facilities for thy concealment, and then thou wilt see with thine own
eyes and I with mine what Camilla's purpose may be. And if it be a guilty
one, which may be feared rather than expected, with silence, prudence,
and discretion thou canst thyself become the instrument of punishment for
the wrong done thee."

Anselmo was amazed, overwhelmed, and astounded at the words of Lothario,
which came upon him at a time when he least expected to hear them, for he
now looked upon Camilla as having triumphed over the pretended attacks of
Lothario, and was beginning to enjoy the glory of her victory. He
remained silent for a considerable time, looking on the ground with fixed
gaze, and at length said, "Thou hast behaved, Lothario, as I expected of
thy friendship: I will follow thy advice in everything; do as thou wilt,
and keep this secret as thou seest it should be kept in circumstances so
unlooked for."

Lothario gave him his word, but after leaving him he repented altogether
of what he had said to him, perceiving how foolishly he had acted, as he
might have revenged himself upon Camilla in some less cruel and degrading
way. He cursed his want of sense, condemned his hasty resolution, and
knew not what course to take to undo the mischief or find some ready
escape from it. At last he decided upon revealing all to Camilla, and, as
there was no want of opportunity for doing so, he found her alone the
same day; but she, as soon as she had the chance of speaking to him,
said, "Lothario my friend, I must tell thee I have a sorrow in my heart
which fills it so that it seems ready to burst; and it will be a wonder
if it does not; for the audacity of Leonela has now reached such a pitch
that every night she conceals a gallant of hers in this house and remains
with him till morning, at the expense of my reputation; inasmuch as it is
open to anyone to question it who may see him quitting my house at such
unseasonable hours; but what distresses me is that I cannot punish or
chide her, for her privity to our intrigue bridles my mouth and keeps me
silent about hers, while I am dreading that some catastrophe will come of

As Camilla said this Lothario at first imagined it was some device to
delude him into the idea that the man he had seen going out was Leonela's
lover and not hers; but when he saw how she wept and suffered, and begged
him to help her, he became convinced of the truth, and the conviction
completed his confusion and remorse; however, he told Camilla not to
distress herself, as he would take measures to put a stop to the
insolence of Leonela. At the same time he told her what, driven by the
fierce rage of jealousy, he had said to Anselmo, and how he had arranged
to hide himself in the closet that he might there see plainly how little
she preserved her fidelity to him; and he entreated her pardon for this
madness, and her advice as to how to repair it, and escape safely from
the intricate labyrinth in which his imprudence had involved him. Camilla
was struck with alarm at hearing what Lothario said, and with much anger,
and great good sense, she reproved him and rebuked his base design and
the foolish and mischievous resolution he had made; but as woman has by
nature a nimbler wit than man for good and for evil, though it is apt to
fail when she sets herself deliberately to reason, Camilla on the spur of
the moment thought of a way to remedy what was to all appearance
irremediable, and told Lothario to contrive that the next day Anselmo
should conceal himself in the place he mentioned, for she hoped from his
concealment to obtain the means of their enjoying themselves for the
future without any apprehension; and without revealing her purpose to him
entirely she charged him to be careful, as soon as Anselmo was concealed,
to come to her when Leonela should call him, and to all she said to him
to answer as he would have answered had he not known that Anselmo was
listening. Lothario pressed her to explain her intention fully, so that
he might with more certainty and precaution take care to do what he saw
to be needful.

"I tell you," said Camilla, "there is nothing to take care of except to
answer me what I shall ask you;" for she did not wish to explain to him
beforehand what she meant to do, fearing lest he should be unwilling to
follow out an idea which seemed to her such a good one, and should try or
devise some other less practicable plan.

Lothario then retired, and the next day Anselmo, under pretence of going
to his friend's country house, took his departure, and then returned to
conceal himself, which he was able to do easily, as Camilla and Leonela
took care to give him the opportunity; and so he placed himself in hiding
in the state of agitation that it may be imagined he would feel who
expected to see the vitals of his honour laid bare before his eyes, and
found himself on the point of losing the supreme blessing he thought he
possessed in his beloved Camilla. Having made sure of Anselmo's being in
his hiding-place, Camilla and Leonela entered the closet, and the instant
she set foot within it Camilla said, with a deep sigh, "Ah! dear Leonela,
would it not be better, before I do what I am unwilling you should know
lest you should seek to prevent it, that you should take Anselmo's dagger
that I have asked of you and with it pierce this vile heart of mine? But
no; there is no reason why I should suffer the punishment of another's
fault. I will first know what it is that the bold licentious eyes of
Lothario have seen in me that could have encouraged him to reveal to me a
design so base as that which he has disclosed regardless of his friend
and of my honour. Go to the window, Leonela, and call him, for no doubt
he is in the street waiting to carry out his vile project; but mine,
cruel it may be, but honourable, shall be carried out first."

"Ah, senora," said the crafty Leonela, who knew her part, "what is it you
want to do with this dagger? Can it be that you mean to take your own
life, or Lothario's? for whichever you mean to do, it will lead to the
loss of your reputation and good name. It is better to dissemble your
wrong and not give this wicked man the chance of entering the house now
and finding us alone; consider, senora, we are weak women and he is a
man, and determined, and as he comes with such a base purpose, blind and
urged by passion, perhaps before you can put yours into execution he may
do what will be worse for you than taking your life. Ill betide my
master, Anselmo, for giving such authority in his house to this shameless
fellow! And supposing you kill him, senora, as I suspect you mean to do,
what shall we do with him when he is dead?"

"What, my friend?" replied Camilla, "we shall leave him for Anselmo to
bury him; for in reason it will be to him a light labour to hide his own
infamy under ground. Summon him, make haste, for all the time I delay in
taking vengeance for my wrong seems to me an offence against the loyalty
I owe my husband."

Anselmo was listening to all this, and every word that Camilla uttered
made him change his mind; but when he heard that it was resolved to kill
Lothario his first impulse was to come out and show himself to avert such
a disaster; but in his anxiety to see the issue of a resolution so bold
and virtuous he restrained himself, intending to come forth in time to
prevent the deed. At this moment Camilla, throwing herself upon a bed
that was close by, swooned away, and Leonela began to weep bitterly,
exclaiming, "Woe is me! that I should be fated to have dying here in my
arms the flower of virtue upon earth, the crown of true wives, the
pattern of chastity!" with more to the same effect, so that anyone who
heard her would have taken her for the most tender-hearted and faithful
handmaid in the world, and her mistress for another persecuted Penelope.

Camilla was not long in recovering from her fainting fit and on coming to
herself she said, "Why do you not go, Leonela, to call hither that
friend, the falsest to his friend the sun ever shone upon or night
concealed? Away, run, haste, speed! lest the fire of my wrath burn itself
out with delay, and the righteous vengeance that I hope for melt away in
menaces and maledictions."

"I am just going to call him, senora," said Leonela; "but you must first
give me that dagger, lest while I am gone you should by means of it give
cause to all who love you to weep all their lives."

"Go in peace, dear Leonela, I will not do so," said Camilla, "for rash
and foolish as I may be, to your mind, in defending my honour, I am not
going to be so much so as that Lucretia who they say killed herself
without having done anything wrong, and without having first killed him
on whom the guilt of her misfortune lay. I shall die, if I am to die; but
it must be after full vengeance upon him who has brought me here to weep
over audacity that no fault of mine gave birth to."

Leonela required much pressing before she would go to summon Lothario,
but at last she went, and while awaiting her return Camilla continued, as
if speaking to herself, "Good God! would it not have been more prudent to
have repulsed Lothario, as I have done many a time before, than to allow
him, as I am now doing, to think me unchaste and vile, even for the short
time I must wait until I undeceive him? No doubt it would have been
better; but I should not be avenged, nor the honour of my husband
vindicated, should he find so clear and easy an escape from the strait
into which his depravity has led him. Let the traitor pay with his life
for the temerity of his wanton wishes, and let the world know (if haply
it shall ever come to know) that Camilla not only preserved her
allegiance to her husband, but avenged him of the man who dared to wrong
him. Still, I think it might be better to disclose this to Anselmo. But
then I have called his attention to it in the letter I wrote to him in
the country, and, if he did nothing to prevent the mischief I there
pointed out to him, I suppose it was that from pure goodness of heart and
trustfulness he would not and could not believe that any thought against
his honour could harbour in the breast of so stanch a friend; nor indeed
did I myself believe it for many days, nor should I have ever believed it
if his insolence had not gone so far as to make it manifest by open
presents, lavish promises, and ceaseless tears. But why do I argue thus?
Does a bold determination stand in need of arguments? Surely not. Then
traitors avaunt! Vengeance to my aid! Let the false one come, approach,
advance, die, yield up his life, and then befall what may. Pure I came to
him whom Heaven bestowed upon me, pure I shall leave him; and at the
worst bathed in my own chaste blood and in the foul blood of the falsest
friend that friendship ever saw in the world;" and as she uttered these
words she paced the room holding the unsheathed dagger, with such
irregular and disordered steps, and such gestures that one would have
supposed her to have lost her senses, and taken her for some violent
desperado instead of a delicate woman.

Anselmo, hidden behind some tapestries where he had concealed himself,
beheld and was amazed at all, and already felt that what he had seen and
heard was a sufficient answer to even greater suspicions; and he would
have been now well pleased if the proof afforded by Lothario's coming
were dispensed with, as he feared some sudden mishap; but as he was on
the point of showing himself and coming forth to embrace and undeceive
his wife he paused as he saw Leonela returning, leading Lothario. Camilla
when she saw him, drawing a long line in front of her on the floor with
the dagger, said to him, "Lothario, pay attention to what I say to thee:
if by any chance thou darest to cross this line thou seest, or even
approach it, the instant I see thee attempt it that same instant will I
pierce my bosom with this dagger that I hold in my hand; and before thou
answerest me a word desire thee to listen to a few from me, and
afterwards thou shalt reply as may please thee. First, I desire thee to
tell me, Lothario, if thou knowest my husband Anselmo, and in what light
thou regardest him; and secondly I desire to know if thou knowest me too.
Answer me this, without embarrassment or reflecting deeply what thou wilt
answer, for they are no riddles I put to thee."

Lothario was not so dull but that from the first moment when Camilla
directed him to make Anselmo hide himself he understood what she intended
to do, and therefore he fell in with her idea so readily and promptly
that between them they made the imposture look more true than truth; so
he answered her thus: "I did not think, fair Camilla, that thou wert
calling me to ask questions so remote from the object with which I come;
but if it is to defer the promised reward thou art doing so, thou mightst
have put it off still longer, for the longing for happiness gives the
more distress the nearer comes the hope of gaining it; but lest thou
shouldst say that I do not answer thy questions, I say that I know thy
husband Anselmo, and that we have known each other from our earliest
years; I will not speak of what thou too knowest, of our friendship, that
I may not compel myself to testify against the wrong that love, the
mighty excuse for greater errors, makes me inflict upon him. Thee I know
and hold in the same estimation as he does, for were it not so I had not
for a lesser prize acted in opposition to what I owe to my station and
the holy laws of true friendship, now broken and violated by me through
that powerful enemy, love."

"If thou dost confess that," returned Camilla, "mortal enemy of all that
rightly deserves to be loved, with what face dost thou dare to come
before one whom thou knowest to be the mirror wherein he is reflected on
whom thou shouldst look to see how unworthily thou him? But, woe is me, I
now comprehend what has made thee give so little heed to what thou owest
to thyself; it must have been some freedom of mine, for I will not call
it immodesty, as it did not proceed from any deliberate intention, but
from some heedlessness such as women are guilty of through inadvertence
when they think they have no occasion for reserve. But tell me, traitor,
when did I by word or sign give a reply to thy prayers that could awaken
in thee a shadow of hope of attaining thy base wishes? When were not thy
professions of love sternly and scornfully rejected and rebuked? When
were thy frequent pledges and still more frequent gifts believed or
accepted? But as I am persuaded that no one can long persevere in the
attempt to win love unsustained by some hope, I am willing to attribute
to myself the blame of thy assurance, for no doubt some thoughtlessness
of mine has all this time fostered thy hopes; and therefore will I punish
myself and inflict upon myself the penalty thy guilt deserves. And that
thou mayest see that being so relentless to myself I cannot possibly be
otherwise to thee, I have summoned thee to be a witness of the sacrifice
I mean to offer to the injured honour of my honoured husband, wronged by
thee with all the assiduity thou wert capable of, and by me too through
want of caution in avoiding every occasion, if I have given any, of
encouraging and sanctioning thy base designs. Once more I say the
suspicion in my mind that some imprudence of mine has engendered these
lawless thoughts in thee, is what causes me most distress and what I
desire most to punish with my own hands, for were any other instrument of
punishment employed my error might become perhaps more widely known; but
before I do so, in my death I mean to inflict death, and take with me one
that will fully satisfy my longing for the revenge I hope for and have;
for I shall see, wheresoever it may be that I go, the penalty awarded by
inflexible, unswerving justice on him who has placed me in a position so

As she uttered these words, with incredible energy and swiftness she flew
upon Lothario with the naked dagger, so manifestly bent on burying it in
his breast that he was almost uncertain whether these demonstrations were
real or feigned, for he was obliged to have recourse to all his skill and
strength to prevent her from striking him; and with such reality did she
act this strange farce and mystification that, to give it a colour of
truth, she determined to stain it with her own blood; for perceiving, or
pretending, that she could not wound Lothario, she said, "Fate, it seems,
will not grant my just desire complete satisfaction, but it will not be
able to keep me from satisfying it partially at least;" and making an
effort to free the hand with the dagger which Lothario held in his grasp,
she released it, and directing the point to a place where it could not
inflict a deep wound, she plunged it into her left side high up close to
the shoulder, and then allowed herself to fall to the ground as if in a

Leonela and Lothario stood amazed and astounded at the catastrophe, and
seeing Camilla stretched on the ground and bathed in her blood they were
still uncertain as to the true nature of the act. Lothario, terrified and
breathless, ran in haste to pluck out the dagger; but when he saw how
slight the wound was he was relieved of his fears and once more admired
the subtlety, coolness, and ready wit of the fair Camilla; and the better
to support the part he had to play he began to utter profuse and doleful
lamentations over her body as if she were dead, invoking maledictions not
only on himself but also on him who had been the means of placing him in
such a position: and knowing that his friend Anselmo heard him he spoke
in such a way as to make a listener feel much more pity for him than for
Camilla, even though he supposed her dead. Leonela took her up in her
arms and laid her on the bed, entreating Lothario to go in quest of some
one to attend to her wound in secret, and at the same time asking his
advice and opinion as to what they should say to Anselmo about his lady's
wound if he should chance to return before it was healed. He replied they
might say what they liked, for he was not in a state to give advice that
would be of any use; all he could tell her was to try and stanch the
blood, as he was going where he should never more be seen; and with every
appearance of deep grief and sorrow he left the house; but when he found
himself alone, and where there was nobody to see him, he crossed himself
unceasingly, lost in wonder at the adroitness of Camilla and the
consistent acting of Leonela. He reflected how convinced Anselmo would be
that he had a second Portia for a wife, and he looked forward anxiously
to meeting him in order to rejoice together over falsehood and truth the
most craftily veiled that could be imagined.

Leonela, as he told her, stanched her lady's blood, which was no more
than sufficed to support her deception; and washing the wound with a
little wine she bound it up to the best of her skill, talking all the
time she was tending her in a strain that, even if nothing else had been
said before, would have been enough to assure Anselmo that he had in
Camilla a model of purity. To Leonela's words Camilla added her own,
calling herself cowardly and wanting in spirit, since she had not enough
at the time she had most need of it to rid herself of the life she so
much loathed. She asked her attendant's advice as to whether or not she
ought to inform her beloved husband of all that had happened, but the
other bade her say nothing about it, as she would lay upon him the
obligation of taking vengeance on Lothario, which he could not do but at
great risk to himself; and it was the duty of a true wife not to give her
husband provocation to quarrel, but, on the contrary, to remove it as far
as possible from him.

Camilla replied that she believed she was right and that she would follow
her advice, but at any rate it would be well to consider how she was to
explain the wound to Anselmo, for he could not help seeing it; to which
Leonela answered that she did not know how to tell a lie even in jest.

"How then can I know, my dear?" said Camilla, "for I should not dare to
forge or keep up a falsehood if my life depended on it. If we can think
of no escape from this difficulty, it will be better to tell him the
plain truth than that he should find us out in an untrue story."

"Be not uneasy, senora," said Leonela; "between this and to-morrow I will
think of what we must say to him, and perhaps the wound being where it is
it can be hidden from his sight, and Heaven will be pleased to aid us in
a purpose so good and honourable. Compose yourself, senora, and endeavour
to calm your excitement lest my lord find you agitated; and leave the
rest to my care and God's, who always supports good intentions."

Anselmo had with the deepest attention listened to and seen played out
the tragedy of the death of his honour, which the performers acted with
such wonderfully effective truth that it seemed as if they had become the
realities of the parts they played. He longed for night and an
opportunity of escaping from the house to go and see his good friend
Lothario, and with him give vent to his joy over the precious pearl he
had gained in having established his wife's purity. Both mistress and
maid took care to give him time and opportunity to get away, and taking
advantage of it he made his escape, and at once went in quest of
Lothario, and it would be impossible to describe how he embraced him when
he found him, and the things he said to him in the joy of his heart, and
the praises he bestowed upon Camilla; all which Lothario listened to
without being able to show any pleasure, for he could not forget how
deceived his friend was, and how dishonourably he had wronged him; and
though Anselmo could see that Lothario was not glad, still he imagined it
was only because he had left Camilla wounded and had been himself the
cause of it; and so among other things he told him not to be distressed
about Camilla's accident, for, as they had agreed to hide it from him,
the wound was evidently trifling; and that being so, he had no cause for
fear, but should henceforward be of good cheer and rejoice with him,
seeing that by his means and adroitness he found himself raised to the
greatest height of happiness that he could have ventured to hope for, and
desired no better pastime than making verses in praise of Camilla that
would preserve her name for all time to come. Lothario commended his
purpose, and promised on his own part to aid him in raising a monument so

And so Anselmo was left the most charmingly hoodwinked man there could be
in the world. He himself, persuaded he was conducting the instrument of
his glory, led home by the hand him who had been the utter destruction of
his good name; whom Camilla received with averted countenance, though
with smiles in her heart. The deception was carried on for some time,
until at the end of a few months Fortune turned her wheel and the guilt
which had been until then so skilfully concealed was published abroad,
and Anselmo paid with his life the penalty of his ill-advised curiosity.



There remained but little more of the novel to be read, when Sancho Panza
burst forth in wild excitement from the garret where Don Quixote was
lying, shouting, "Run, sirs! quick; and help my master, who is in the
thick of the toughest and stiffest battle I ever laid eyes on. By the
living God he has given the giant, the enemy of my lady the Princess
Micomicona, such a slash that he has sliced his head clean off as if it
were a turnip."

"What are you talking about, brother?" said the curate, pausing as he was
about to read the remainder of the novel. "Are you in your senses,
Sancho? How the devil can it be as you say, when the giant is two
thousand leagues away?"

Here they heard a loud noise in the chamber, and Don Quixote shouting
out, "Stand, thief, brigand, villain; now I have got thee, and thy
scimitar shall not avail thee!" And then it seemed as though he were
slashing vigorously at the wall.

"Don't stop to listen," said Sancho, "but go in and part them or help my
master: though there is no need of that now, for no doubt the giant is
dead by this time and giving account to God of his past wicked life; for
I saw the blood flowing on the ground, and the head cut off and fallen on
one side, and it is as big as a large wine-skin."

"May I die," said the landlord at this, "if Don Quixote or Don Devil has
not been slashing some of the skins of red wine that stand full at his
bed's head, and the spilt wine must be what this good fellow takes for
blood;" and so saying he went into the room and the rest after him, and
there they found Don Quixote in the strangest costume in the world. He
was in his shirt, which was not long enough in front to cover his thighs
completely and was six fingers shorter behind; his legs were very long
and lean, covered with hair, and anything but clean; on his head he had a
little greasy red cap that belonged to the host, round his left arm he
had rolled the blanket of the bed, to which Sancho, for reasons best
known to himself, owed a grudge, and in his right hand he held his
unsheathed sword, with which he was slashing about on all sides, uttering
exclamations as if he were actually fighting some giant: and the best of
it was his eyes were not open, for he was fast asleep, and dreaming that
he was doing battle with the giant. For his imagination was so wrought
upon by the adventure he was going to accomplish, that it made him dream
he had already reached the kingdom of Micomicon, and was engaged in
combat with his enemy; and believing he was laying on the giant, he had
given so many sword cuts to the skins that the whole room was full of
wine. On seeing this the landlord was so enraged that he fell on Don
Quixote, and with his clenched fist began to pummel him in such a way,
that if Cardenio and the curate had not dragged him off, he would have
brought the war of the giant to an end. But in spite of all the poor
gentleman never woke until the barber brought a great pot of cold water
from the well and flung it with one dash all over his body, on which Don
Quixote woke up, but not so completely as to understand what was the
matter. Dorothea, seeing how short and slight his attire was, would not
go in to witness the battle between her champion and her opponent. As for
Sancho, he went searching all over the floor for the head of the giant,
and not finding it he said, "I see now that it's all enchantment in this
house; for the last time, on this very spot where I am now, I got ever so
many thumps without knowing who gave them to me, or being able to see
anybody; and now this head is not to be seen anywhere about, though I saw
it cut off with my own eyes and the blood running from the body as if
from a fountain."

"What blood and fountains are you talking about, enemy of God and his
saints?" said the landlord. "Don't you see, you thief, that the blood and
the fountain are only these skins here that have been stabbed and the red
wine swimming all over the room?--and I wish I saw the soul of him that
stabbed them swimming in hell."

"I know nothing about that," said Sancho; "all I know is it will be my
bad luck that through not finding this head my county will melt away like
salt in water;"--for Sancho awake was worse than his master asleep, so
much had his master's promises addled his wits.

The landlord was beside himself at the coolness of the squire and the
mischievous doings of the master, and swore it should not be like the
last time when they went without paying; and that their privileges of
chivalry should not hold good this time to let one or other of them off
without paying, even to the cost of the plugs that would have to be put
to the damaged wine-skins. The curate was holding Don Quixote's hands,
who, fancying he had now ended the adventure and was in the presence of
the Princess Micomicona, knelt before the curate and said, "Exalted and
beauteous lady, your highness may live from this day forth fearless of
any harm this base being could do you; and I too from this day forth am
released from the promise I gave you, since by the help of God on high
and by the favour of her by whom I live and breathe, I have fulfilled it
so successfully."

"Did not I say so?" said Sancho on hearing this. "You see I wasn't drunk;
there you see my master has already salted the giant; there's no doubt
about the bulls; my county is all right!"

Who could have helped laughing at the absurdities of the pair, master and
man? And laugh they did, all except the landlord, who cursed himself; but
at length the barber, Cardenio, and the curate contrived with no small
trouble to get Don Quixote on the bed, and he fell asleep with every
appearance of excessive weariness. They left him to sleep, and came out
to the gate of the inn to console Sancho Panza on not having found the
head of the giant; but much more work had they to appease the landlord,
who was furious at the sudden death of his wine-skins; and said the
landlady half scolding, half crying, "At an evil moment and in an unlucky
hour he came into my house, this knight-errant--would that I had never
set eyes on him, for dear he has cost me; the last time he went off with
the overnight score against him for supper, bed, straw, and barley, for
himself and his squire and a hack and an ass, saying he was a knight
adventurer--God send unlucky adventures to him and all the adventurers in
the world--and therefore not bound to pay anything, for it was so settled
by the knight-errantry tariff: and then, all because of him, came the
other gentleman and carried off my tail, and gives it back more than two
cuartillos the worse, all stripped of its hair, so that it is no use for
my husband's purpose; and then, for a finishing touch to all, to burst my
wine-skins and spill my wine! I wish I saw his own blood spilt! But let
him not deceive himself, for, by the bones of my father and the shade of
my mother, they shall pay me down every quarts; or my name is not what it
is, and I am not my father's daughter." All this and more to the same
effect the landlady delivered with great irritation, and her good maid
Maritornes backed her up, while the daughter held her peace and smiled
from time to time. The curate smoothed matters by promising to make good
all losses to the best of his power, not only as regarded the wine-skins
but also the wine, and above all the depreciation of the tail which they
set such store by. Dorothea comforted Sancho, telling him that she
pledged herself, as soon as it should appear certain that his master had
decapitated the giant, and she found herself peacefully established in
her kingdom, to bestow upon him the best county there was in it. With
this Sancho consoled himself, and assured the princess she might rely
upon it that he had seen the head of the giant, and more by token it had
a beard that reached to the girdle, and that if it was not to be seen now
it was because everything that happened in that house went by
enchantment, as he himself had proved the last time he had lodged there.
Dorothea said she fully believed it, and that he need not be uneasy, for
all would go well and turn out as he wished. All therefore being
appeased, the curate was anxious to go on with the novel, as he saw there
was but little more left to read. Dorothea and the others begged him to
finish it, and he, as he was willing to please them, and enjoyed reading
it himself, continued the tale in these words:

The result was, that from the confidence Anselmo felt in Camilla's
virtue, he lived happy and free from anxiety, and Camilla purposely
looked coldly on Lothario, that Anselmo might suppose her feelings
towards him to be the opposite of what they were; and the better to
support the position, Lothario begged to be excused from coming to the
house, as the displeasure with which Camilla regarded his presence was
plain to be seen. But the befooled Anselmo said he would on no account
allow such a thing, and so in a thousand ways he became the author of his
own dishonour, while he believed he was insuring his happiness. Meanwhile
the satisfaction with which Leonela saw herself empowered to carry on her
amour reached such a height that, regardless of everything else, she
followed her inclinations unrestrainedly, feeling confident that her
mistress would screen her, and even show her how to manage it safely. At
last one night Anselmo heard footsteps in Leonela's room, and on trying
to enter to see who it was, he found that the door was held against him,
which made him all the more determined to open it; and exerting his
strength he forced it open, and entered the room in time to see a man
leaping through the window into the street. He ran quickly to seize him
or discover who he was, but he was unable to effect either purpose, for
Leonela flung her arms round him crying, "Be calm, senor; do not give way
to passion or follow him who has escaped from this; he belongs to me, and
in fact he is my husband."

Anselmo would not believe it, but blind with rage drew a dagger and
threatened to stab Leonela, bidding her tell the truth or he would kill
her. She, in her fear, not knowing what she was saying, exclaimed, "Do
not kill me, senor, for I can tell you things more important than any you
can imagine."

"Tell me then at once or thou diest," said Anselmo.

"It would be impossible for me now," said Leonela, "I am so agitated:
leave me till to-morrow, and then you shall hear from me what will fill
you with astonishment; but rest assured that he who leaped through the
window is a young man of this city, who has given me his promise to
become my husband."

Anselmo was appeased with this, and was content to wait the time she
asked of him, for he never expected to hear anything against Camilla, so
satisfied and sure of her virtue was he; and so he quitted the room, and
left Leonela locked in, telling her she should not come out until she had
told him all she had to make known to him. He went at once to see
Camilla, and tell her, as he did, all that had passed between him and her
handmaid, and the promise she had given him to inform him matters of
serious importance.

There is no need of saying whether Camilla was agitated or not, for so
great was her fear and dismay, that, making sure, as she had good reason
to do, that Leonela would tell Anselmo all she knew of her faithlessness,
she had not the courage to wait and see if her suspicions were confirmed;
and that same night, as soon as she thought that Anselmo was asleep, she
packed up the most valuable jewels she had and some money, and without
being observed by anybody escaped from the house and betook herself to
Lothario's, to whom she related what had occurred, imploring him to
convey her to some place of safety or fly with her where they might be
safe from Anselmo. The state of perplexity to which Camilla reduced
Lothario was such that he was unable to utter a word in reply, still less
to decide upon what he should do. At length he resolved to conduct her to
a convent of which a sister of his was prioress; Camilla agreed to this,
and with the speed which the circumstances demanded, Lothario took her to
the convent and left her there, and then himself quitted the city without
letting anyone know of his departure.

As soon as daylight came Anselmo, without missing Camilla from his side,
rose cager to learn what Leonela had to tell him, and hastened to the
room where he had locked her in. He opened the door, entered, but found
no Leonela; all he found was some sheets knotted to the window, a plain
proof that she had let herself down from it and escaped. He returned,
uneasy, to tell Camilla, but not finding her in bed or anywhere in the
house he was lost in amazement. He asked the servants of the house about
her, but none of them could give him any explanation. As he was going in
search of Camilla it happened by chance that he observed her boxes were
lying open, and that the greater part of her jewels were gone; and now he
became fully aware of his disgrace, and that Leonela was not the cause of
his misfortune; and, just as he was, without delaying to dress himself
completely, he repaired, sad at heart and dejected, to his friend
Lothario to make known his sorrow to him; but when he failed to find him
and the servants reported that he had been absent from his house all
night and had taken with him all the money he had, he felt as though he
were losing his senses; and to make all complete on returning to his own
house he found it deserted and empty, not one of all his servants, male
or female, remaining in it. He knew not what to think, or say, or do, and
his reason seemed to be deserting him little by little. He reviewed his
position, and saw himself in a moment left without wife, friend, or
servants, abandoned, he felt, by the heaven above him, and more than all
robbed of his honour, for in Camilla's disappearance he saw his own ruin.
After long reflection he resolved at last to go to his friend's village,
where he had been staying when he afforded opportunities for the
contrivance of this complication of misfortune. He locked the doors of
his house, mounted his horse, and with a broken spirit set out on his
journey; but he had hardly gone half-way when, harassed by his
reflections, he had to dismount and tie his horse to a tree, at the foot
of which he threw himself, giving vent to piteous heartrending sighs; and
there he remained till nearly nightfall, when he observed a man
approaching on horseback from the city, of whom, after saluting him, he
asked what was the news in Florence.

The citizen replied, "The strangest that have been heard for many a day;
for it is reported abroad that Lothario, the great friend of the wealthy
Anselmo, who lived at San Giovanni, carried off last night Camilla, the
wife of Anselmo, who also has disappeared. All this has been told by a
maid-servant of Camilla's, whom the governor found last night lowering
herself by a sheet from the windows of Anselmo's house. I know not
indeed, precisely, how the affair came to pass; all I know is that the
whole city is wondering at the occurrence, for no one could have expected
a thing of the kind, seeing the great and intimate friendship that
existed between them, so great, they say, that they were called 'The Two

"Is it known at all," said Anselmo, "what road Lothario and Camilla

"Not in the least," said the citizen, "though the governor has been very
active in searching for them."

"God speed you, senor," said Anselmo.

"God be with you," said the citizen and went his way.

This disastrous intelligence almost robbed Anselmo not only of his senses
but of his life. He got up as well as he was able and reached the house
of his friend, who as yet knew nothing of his misfortune, but seeing him
come pale, worn, and haggard, perceived that he was suffering some heavy
affliction. Anselmo at once begged to be allowed to retire to rest, and
to be given writing materials. His wish was complied with and he was left
lying down and alone, for he desired this, and even that the door should
be locked. Finding himself alone he so took to heart the thought of his
misfortune that by the signs of death he felt within him he knew well his
life was drawing to a close, and therefore he resolved to leave behind
him a declaration of the cause of his strange end. He began to write, but
before he had put down all he meant to say, his breath failed him and he
yielded up his life, a victim to the suffering which his ill-advised
curiosity had entailed upon him. The master of the house observing that
it was now late and that Anselmo did not call, determined to go in and
ascertain if his indisposition was increasing, and found him lying on his
face, his body partly in the bed, partly on the writing-table, on which
he lay with the written paper open and the pen still in his hand. Having
first called to him without receiving any answer, his host approached
him, and taking him by the hand, found that it was cold, and saw that he
was dead. Greatly surprised and distressed he summoned the household to
witness the sad fate which had befallen Anselmo; and then he read the
paper, the handwriting of which he recognised as his, and which contained
these words:

"A foolish and ill-advised desire has robbed me of life. If the news of
my death should reach the ears of Camilla, let her know that I forgive
her, for she was not bound to perform miracles, nor ought I to have
required her to perform them; and since I have been the author of my own
dishonour, there is no reason why-"

So far Anselmo had written, and thus it was plain that at this point,
before he could finish what he had to say, his life came to an end. The
next day his friend sent intelligence of his death to his relatives, who
had already ascertained his misfortune, as well as the convent where
Camilla lay almost on the point of accompanying her husband on that
inevitable journey, not on account of the tidings of his death, but
because of those she received of her lover's departure. Although she saw
herself a widow, it is said she refused either to quit the convent or
take the veil, until, not long afterwards, intelligence reached her that
Lothario had been killed in a battle in which M. de Lautrec had been
recently engaged with the Great Captain Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordova in
the kingdom of Naples, whither her too late repentant lover had repaired.
On learning this Camilla took the veil, and shortly afterwards died, worn
out by grief and melancholy. This was the end of all three, an end that
came of a thoughtless beginning.

"I like this novel," said the curate; "but I cannot persuade myself of
its truth; and if it has been invented, the author's invention is faulty,
for it is impossible to imagine any husband so foolish as to try such a
costly experiment as Anselmo's. If it had been represented as occurring
between a gallant and his mistress it might pass; but between husband and
wife there is something of an impossibility about it. As to the way in
which the story is told, however, I have no fault to find."



Just at that instant the landlord, who was standing at the gate of the
inn, exclaimed, "Here comes a fine troop of guests; if they stop here we
may say gaudeamus."

"What are they?" said Cardenio.

"Four men," said the landlord, "riding a la jineta, with lances and
bucklers, and all with black veils, and with them there is a woman in
white on a side-saddle, whose face is also veiled, and two attendants on

"Are they very near?" said the curate.

"So near," answered the landlord, "that here they come."

Hearing this Dorothea covered her face, and Cardenio retreated into Don
Quixote's room, and they hardly had time to do so before the whole party
the host had described entered the inn, and the four that were on
horseback, who were of highbred appearance and bearing, dismounted, and
came forward to take down the woman who rode on the side-saddle, and one
of them taking her in his arms placed her in a chair that stood at the
entrance of the room where Cardenio had hidden himself. All this time
neither she nor they had removed their veils or spoken a word, only on
sitting down on the chair the woman gave a deep sigh and let her arms
fall like one that was ill and weak. The attendants on foot then led the
horses away to the stable. Observing this the curate, curious to know who
these people in such a dress and preserving such silence were, went to
where the servants were standing and put the question to one of them, who
answered him.

"Faith, sir, I cannot tell you who they are, I only know they seem to be
people of distinction, particularly he who advanced to take the lady you
saw in his arms; and I say so because all the rest show him respect, and
nothing is done except what he directs and orders."

"And the lady, who is she?" asked the curate.

"That I cannot tell you either," said the servant, "for I have not seen
her face all the way: I have indeed heard her sigh many times and utter
such groans that she seems to be giving up the ghost every time; but it
is no wonder if we do not know more than we have told you, as my comrade
and I have only been in their company two days, for having met us on the
road they begged and persuaded us to accompany them to Andalusia,
promising to pay us well."

"And have you heard any of them called by his name?" asked the curate.

"No, indeed," replied the servant; "they all preserve a marvellous
silence on the road, for not a sound is to be heard among them except the
poor lady's sighs and sobs, which make us pity her; and we feel sure that
wherever it is she is going, it is against her will, and as far as one
can judge from her dress she is a nun or, what is more likely, about to
become one; and perhaps it is because taking the vows is not of her own
free will, that she is so unhappy as she seems to be."

"That may well be," said the curate, and leaving them he returned to
where Dorothea was, who, hearing the veiled lady sigh, moved by natural
compassion drew near to her and said, "What are you suffering from,
senora? If it be anything that women are accustomed and know how to
relieve, I offer you my services with all my heart."

To this the unhappy lady made no reply; and though Dorothea repeated her
offers more earnestly she still kept silence, until the gentleman with
the veil, who, the servant said, was obeyed by the rest, approached and
said to Dorothea, "Do not give yourself the trouble, senora, of making
any offers to that woman, for it is her way to give no thanks for
anything that is done for her; and do not try to make her answer unless
you want to hear some lie from her lips."

"I have never told a lie," was the immediate reply of her who had been
silent until now; "on the contrary, it is because I am so truthful and so
ignorant of lying devices that I am now in this miserable condition; and
this I call you yourself to witness, for it is my unstained truth that
has made you false and a liar."

Cardenio heard these words clearly and distinctly, being quite close to
the speaker, for there was only the door of Don Quixote's room between
them, and the instant he did so, uttering a loud exclamation he cried,
"Good God! what is this I hear? What voice is this that has reached my
ears?" Startled at the voice the lady turned her head; and not seeing the
speaker she stood up and attempted to enter the room; observing which the
gentleman held her back, preventing her from moving a step. In her
agitation and sudden movement the silk with which she had covered her
face fell off and disclosed a countenance of incomparable and marvellous
beauty, but pale and terrified; for she kept turning her eyes, everywhere
she could direct her gaze, with an eagerness that made her look as if she
had lost her senses, and so marked that it excited the pity of Dorothea
and all who beheld her, though they knew not what caused it. The
gentleman grasped her firmly by the shoulders, and being so fully
occupied with holding her back, he was unable to put a hand to his veil
which was falling off, as it did at length entirely, and Dorothea, who
was holding the lady in her arms, raising her eyes saw that he who
likewise held her was her husband, Don Fernando. The instant she
recognised him, with a prolonged plaintive cry drawn from the depths of
her heart, she fell backwards fainting, and but for the barber being
close by to catch her in his arms, she would have fallen completely to
the ground. The curate at once hastened to uncover her face and throw
water on it, and as he did so Don Fernando, for he it was who held the
other in his arms, recognised her and stood as if death-stricken by the
sight; not, however, relaxing his grasp of Luscinda, for it was she that
was struggling to release herself from his hold, having recognised
Cardenio by his voice, as he had recognised her. Cardenio also heard
Dorothea's cry as she fell fainting, and imagining that it came from his
Luscinda burst forth in terror from the room, and the first thing he saw
was Don Fernando with Luscinda in his arms. Don Fernando, too, knew
Cardenio at once; and all three, Luscinda, Cardenio, and Dorothea, stood
in silent amazement scarcely knowing what had happened to them.

They gazed at one another without speaking, Dorothea at Don Fernando, Don
Fernando at Cardenio, Cardenio at Luscinda, and Luscinda at Cardenio. The
first to break silence was Luscinda, who thus addressed Don Fernando:
"Leave me, Senor Don Fernando, for the sake of what you owe to yourself;
if no other reason will induce you, leave me to cling to the wall of
which I am the ivy, to the support from which neither your importunities,
nor your threats, nor your promises, nor your gifts have been able to
detach me. See how Heaven, by ways strange and hidden from our sight, has
brought me face to face with my true husband; and well you know by
dear-bought experience that death alone will be able to efface him from
my memory. May this plain declaration, then, lead you, as you can do
nothing else, to turn your love into rage, your affection into
resentment, and so to take my life; for if I yield it up in the presence
of my beloved husband I count it well bestowed; it may be by my death he
will be convinced that I kept my faith to him to the last moment of

Meanwhile Dorothea had come to herself, and had heard Luscinda's words,
by means of which she divined who she was; but seeing that Don Fernando
did not yet release her or reply to her, summoning up her resolution as
well as she could she rose and knelt at his feet, and with a flood of
bright and touching tears addressed him thus:

"If, my lord, the beams of that sun that thou holdest eclipsed in thine
arms did not dazzle and rob thine eyes of sight thou wouldst have seen by
this time that she who kneels at thy feet is, so long as thou wilt have
it so, the unhappy and unfortunate Dorothea. I am that lowly peasant girl
whom thou in thy goodness or for thy pleasure wouldst raise high enough
to call herself thine; I am she who in the seclusion of innocence led a
contented life until at the voice of thy importunity, and thy true and
tender passion, as it seemed, she opened the gates of her modesty and
surrendered to thee the keys of her liberty; a gift received by thee but
thanklessly, as is clearly shown by my forced retreat to the place where
thou dost find me, and by thy appearance under the circumstances in which
I see thee. Nevertheless, I would not have thee suppose that I have come
here driven by my shame; it is only grief and sorrow at seeing myself
forgotten by thee that have led me. It was thy will to make me thine, and
thou didst so follow thy will, that now, even though thou repentest, thou
canst not help being mine. Bethink thee, my lord, the unsurpassable
affection I bear thee may compensate for the beauty and noble birth for
which thou wouldst desert me. Thou canst not be the fair Luscinda's
because thou art mine, nor can she be thine because she is Cardenio's;
and it will be easier, remember, to bend thy will to love one who adores
thee, than to lead one to love thee who abhors thee now. Thou didst
address thyself to my simplicity, thou didst lay siege to my virtue, thou
wert not ignorant of my station, well dost thou know how I yielded wholly
to thy will; there is no ground or reason for thee to plead deception,
and if it be so, as it is, and if thou art a Christian as thou art a
gentleman, why dost thou by such subterfuges put off making me as happy
at last as thou didst at first? And if thou wilt not have me for what I
am, thy true and lawful wife, at least take and accept me as thy slave,
for so long as I am thine I will count myself happy and fortunate. Do not
by deserting me let my shame become the talk of the gossips in the
streets; make not the old age of my parents miserable; for the loyal
services they as faithful vassals have ever rendered thine are not
deserving of such a return; and if thou thinkest it will debase thy blood
to mingle it with mine, reflect that there is little or no nobility in
the world that has not travelled the same road, and that in illustrious
lineages it is not the woman's blood that is of account; and, moreover,
that true nobility consists in virtue, and if thou art wanting in that,
refusing me what in justice thou owest me, then even I have higher claims
to nobility than thine. To make an end, senor, these are my last words to
thee: whether thou wilt, or wilt not, I am thy wife; witness thy words,
which must not and ought not to be false, if thou dost pride thyself on
that for want of which thou scornest me; witness the pledge which thou
didst give me, and witness Heaven, which thou thyself didst call to
witness the promise thou hadst made me; and if all this fail, thy own
conscience will not fail to lift up its silent voice in the midst of all
thy gaiety, and vindicate the truth of what I say and mar thy highest
pleasure and enjoyment."

All this and more the injured Dorothea delivered with such earnest
feeling and such tears that all present, even those who came with Don
Fernando, were constrained to join her in them. Don Fernando listened to
her without replying, until, ceasing to speak, she gave way to such sobs
and sighs that it must have been a heart of brass that was not softened
by the sight of so great sorrow. Luscinda stood regarding her with no
less compassion for her sufferings than admiration for her intelligence
and beauty, and would have gone to her to say some words of comfort to
her, but was prevented by Don Fernando's grasp which held her fast. He,
overwhelmed with confusion and astonishment, after regarding Dorothea for
some moments with a fixed gaze, opened his arms, and, releasing Luscinda,

"Thou hast conquered, fair Dorothea, thou hast conquered, for it is
impossible to have the heart to deny the united force of so many truths."

Luscinda in her feebleness was on the point of falling to the ground when
Don Fernando released her, but Cardenio, who stood near, having retreated
behind Don Fernando to escape recognition, casting fear aside and
regardless of what might happen, ran forward to support her, and said as
he clasped her in his arms, "If Heaven in its compassion is willing to
let thee rest at last, mistress of my heart, true, constant, and fair,
nowhere canst thou rest more safely than in these arms that now receive
thee, and received thee before when fortune permitted me to call thee

At these words Luscinda looked up at Cardenio, at first beginning to
recognise him by his voice and then satisfying herself by her eyes that
it was he, and hardly knowing what she did, and heedless of all
considerations of decorum, she flung her arms around his neck and
pressing her face close to his, said, "Yes, my dear lord, you are the
true master of this your slave, even though adverse fate interpose again,
and fresh dangers threaten this life that hangs on yours."

A strange sight was this for Don Fernando and those that stood around,
filled with surprise at an incident so unlooked for. Dorothea fancied
that Don Fernando changed colour and looked as though he meant to take
vengeance on Cardenio, for she observed him put his hand to his sword;
and the instant the idea struck her, with wonderful quickness she clasped
him round the knees, and kissing them and holding him so as to prevent
his moving, she said, while her tears continued to flow, "What is it thou
wouldst do, my only refuge, in this unforeseen event? Thou hast thy wife
at thy feet, and she whom thou wouldst have for thy wife is in the arms
of her husband: reflect whether it will be right for thee, whether it
will be possible for thee to undo what Heaven has done, or whether it
will be becoming in thee to seek to raise her to be thy mate who in spite
of every obstacle, and strong in her truth and constancy, is before thine
eyes, bathing with the tears of love the face and bosom of her lawful
husband. For God's sake I entreat of thee, for thine own I implore thee,
let not this open manifestation rouse thy anger; but rather so calm it as
to allow these two lovers to live in peace and quiet without any
interference from thee so long as Heaven permits them; and in so doing
thou wilt prove the generosity of thy lofty noble spirit, and the world
shall see that with thee reason has more influence than passion."

All the time Dorothea was speaking, Cardenio, though he held Luscinda in
his arms, never took his eyes off Don Fernando, determined, if he saw him
make any hostile movement, to try and defend himself and resist as best
he could all who might assail him, though it should cost him his life.
But now Don Fernando's friends, as well as the curate and the barber, who
had been present all the while, not forgetting the worthy Sancho Panza,
ran forward and gathered round Don Fernando, entreating him to have
regard for the tears of Dorothea, and not suffer her reasonable hopes to
be disappointed, since, as they firmly believed, what she said was but
the truth; and bidding him observe that it was not, as it might seem, by
accident, but by a special disposition of Providence that they had all
met in a place where no one could have expected a meeting. And the curate
bade him remember that only death could part Luscinda from Cardenio; that
even if some sword were to separate them they would think their death
most happy; and that in a case that admitted of no remedy his wisest
course was, by conquering and putting a constraint upon himself, to show
a generous mind, and of his own accord suffer these two to enjoy the
happiness Heaven had granted them. He bade him, too, turn his eyes upon
the beauty of Dorothea and he would see that few if any could equal much
less excel her; while to that beauty should be added her modesty and the
surpassing love she bore him. But besides all this, he reminded him that
if he prided himself on being a gentleman and a Christian, he could not
do otherwise than keep his plighted word; and that in doing so he would
obey God and meet the approval of all sensible people, who know and
recognised it to be the privilege of beauty, even in one of humble birth,
provided virtue accompany it, to be able to raise itself to the level of
any rank, without any slur upon him who places it upon an equality with
himself; and furthermore that when the potent sway of passion asserts
itself, so long as there be no mixture of sin in it, he is not to be
blamed who gives way to it.

To be brief, they added to these such other forcible arguments that Don
Fernando's manly heart, being after all nourished by noble blood, was
touched, and yielded to the truth which, even had he wished it, he could
not gainsay; and he showed his submission, and acceptance of the good
advice that had been offered to him, by stooping down and embracing
Dorothea, saying to her, "Rise, dear lady, it is not right that what I
hold in my heart should be kneeling at my feet; and if until now I have
shown no sign of what I own, it may have been by Heaven's decree in order
that, seeing the constancy with which you love me, I may learn to value
you as you deserve. What I entreat of you is that you reproach me not
with my transgression and grievous wrong-doing; for the same cause and
force that drove me to make you mine impelled me to struggle against
being yours; and to prove this, turn and look at the eyes of the now
happy Luscinda, and you will see in them an excuse for all my errors: and
as she has found and gained the object of her desires, and I have found
in you what satisfies all my wishes, may she live in peace and
contentment as many happy years with her Cardenio, as on my knees I pray
Heaven to allow me to live with my Dorothea;" and with these words he
once more embraced her and pressed his face to hers with so much
tenderness that he had to take great heed to keep his tears from
completing the proof of his love and repentance in the sight of all. Not
so Luscinda, and Cardenio, and almost all the others, for they shed so
many tears, some in their own happiness, some at that of the others, that
one would have supposed a heavy calamity had fallen upon them all. Even
Sancho Panza was weeping; though afterwards he said he only wept because
he saw that Dorothea was not as he fancied the queen Micomicona, of whom
he expected such great favours. Their wonder as well as their weeping
lasted some time, and then Cardenio and Luscinda went and fell on their
knees before Don Fernando, returning him thanks for the favour he had
rendered them in language so grateful that he knew not how to answer
them, and raising them up embraced them with every mark of affection and

He then asked Dorothea how she had managed to reach a place so far
removed from her own home, and she in a few fitting words told all that
she had previously related to Cardenio, with which Don Fernando and his
companions were so delighted that they wished the story had been longer;
so charmingly did Dorothea describe her misadventures. When she had
finished Don Fernando recounted what had befallen him in the city after
he had found in Luscinda's bosom the paper in which she declared that she
was Cardenio's wife, and never could be his. He said he meant to kill
her, and would have done so had he not been prevented by her parents, and
that he quitted the house full of rage and shame, and resolved to avenge
himself when a more convenient opportunity should offer. The next day he
learned that Luscinda had disappeared from her father's house, and that
no one could tell whither she had gone. Finally, at the end of some
months he ascertained that she was in a convent and meant to remain there
all the rest of her life, if she were not to share it with Cardenio; and
as soon as he had learned this, taking these three gentlemen as his
companions, he arrived at the place where she was, but avoided speaking
to her, fearing that if it were known he was there stricter precautions
would be taken in the convent; and watching a time when the porter's
lodge was open he left two to guard the gate, and he and the other
entered the convent in quest of Luscinda, whom they found in the
cloisters in conversation with one of the nuns, and carrying her off
without giving her time to resist, they reached a place with her where
they provided themselves with what they required for taking her away; all
which they were able to do in complete safety, as the convent was in the
country at a considerable distance from the city. He added that when
Luscinda found herself in his power she lost all consciousness, and after
returning to herself did nothing but weep and sigh without speaking a
word; and thus in silence and tears they reached that inn, which for him
was reaching heaven where all the mischances of earth are over and at an



To all this Sancho listened with no little sorrow at heart to see how his
hopes of dignity were fading away and vanishing in smoke, and how the
fair Princess Micomicona had turned into Dorothea, and the giant into Don
Fernando, while his master was sleeping tranquilly, totally unconscious
of all that had come to pass. Dorothea was unable to persuade herself
that her present happiness was not all a dream; Cardenio was in a similar
state of mind, and Luscinda's thoughts ran in the same direction. Don
Fernando gave thanks to Heaven for the favour shown to him and for having
been rescued from the intricate labyrinth in which he had been brought so
near the destruction of his good name and of his soul; and in short
everybody in the inn was full of contentment and satisfaction at the
happy issue of such a complicated and hopeless business. The curate as a
sensible man made sound reflections upon the whole affair, and
congratulated each upon his good fortune; but the one that was in the
highest spirits and good humour was the landlady, because of the promise
Cardenio and the curate had given her to pay for all the losses and
damage she had sustained through Don Quixote's means. Sancho, as has been
already said, was the only one who was distressed, unhappy, and dejected;
and so with a long face he went in to his master, who had just awoke, and
said to him:

"Sir Rueful Countenance, your worship may as well sleep on as much as you
like, without troubling yourself about killing any giant or restoring her
kingdom to the princess; for that is all over and settled now."

"I should think it was," replied Don Quixote, "for I have had the most
prodigious and stupendous battle with the giant that I ever remember
having had all the days of my life; and with one back-stroke-swish!--I
brought his head tumbling to the ground, and so much blood gushed forth
from him that it ran in rivulets over the earth like water."

"Like red wine, your worship had better say," replied Sancho; "for I
would have you know, if you don't know it, that the dead giant is a
hacked wine-skin, and the blood four-and-twenty gallons of red wine that
it had in its belly, and the cut-off head is the bitch that bore me; and
the devil take it all."

"What art thou talking about, fool?" said Don Quixote; "art thou in thy

"Let your worship get up," said Sancho, "and you will see the nice
business you have made of it, and what we have to pay; and you will see
the queen turned into a private lady called Dorothea, and other things
that will astonish you, if you understand them."

"I shall not be surprised at anything of the kind," returned Don Quixote;
"for if thou dost remember the last time we were here I told thee that
everything that happened here was a matter of enchantment, and it would
be no wonder if it were the same now."

"I could believe all that," replied Sancho, "if my blanketing was the
same sort of thing also; only it wasn't, but real and genuine; for I saw
the landlord, Who is here to-day, holding one end of the blanket and
jerking me up to the skies very neatly and smartly, and with as much
laughter as strength; and when it comes to be a case of knowing people, I
hold for my part, simple and sinner as I am, that there is no enchantment
about it at all, but a great deal of bruising and bad luck."

"Well, well, God will give a remedy," said Don Quixote; "hand me my
clothes and let me go out, for I want to see these transformations and
things thou speakest of."

Sancho fetched him his clothes; and while he was dressing, the curate
gave Don Fernando and the others present an account of Don Quixote's
madness and of the stratagem they had made use of to withdraw him from
that Pena Pobre where he fancied himself stationed because of his lady's
scorn. He described to them also nearly all the adventures that Sancho
had mentioned, at which they marvelled and laughed not a little, thinking
it, as all did, the strangest form of madness a crazy intellect could be
capable of. But now, the curate said, that the lady Dorothea's good
fortune prevented her from proceeding with their purpose, it would be
necessary to devise or discover some other way of getting him home.

Cardenio proposed to carry out the scheme they had begun, and suggested
that Luscinda would act and support Dorothea's part sufficiently well.

"No," said Don Fernando, "that must not be, for I want Dorothea to follow
out this idea of hers; and if the worthy gentleman's village is not very
far off, I shall be happy if I can do anything for his relief."

"It is not more than two days' journey from this," said the curate.

"Even if it were more," said Don Fernando, "I would gladly travel so far
for the sake of doing so good a work.

"At this moment Don Quixote came out in full panoply, with Mambrino's
helmet, all dinted as it was, on his head, his buckler on his arm, and
leaning on his staff or pike. The strange figure he presented filled Don
Fernando and the rest with amazement as they contemplated his lean yellow
face half a league long, his armour of all sorts, and the solemnity of
his deportment. They stood silent waiting to see what he would say, and
he, fixing his eyes on the air Dorothea, addressed her with great gravity
and composure:

"I am informed, fair lady, by my squire here that your greatness has been
annihilated and your being abolished, since, from a queen and lady of
high degree as you used to be, you have been turned into a private
maiden. If this has been done by the command of the magician king your
father, through fear that I should not afford you the aid you need and
are entitled to, I may tell you he did not know and does not know half
the mass, and was little versed in the annals of chivalry; for, if he had
read and gone through them as attentively and deliberately as I have, he
would have found at every turn that knights of less renown than mine have
accomplished things more difficult: it is no great matter to kill a whelp
of a giant, however arrogant he may be; for it is not many hours since I
myself was engaged with one, and-I will not speak of it, that they may
not say I am lying; time, however, that reveals all, will tell the tale
when we least expect it."

"You were engaged with a couple of wine-skins, and not a giant," said the
landlord at this; but Don Fernando told him to hold his tongue and on no
account interrupt Don Quixote, who continued, "I say in conclusion, high
and disinherited lady, that if your father has brought about this
metamorphosis in your person for the reason I have mentioned, you ought
not to attach any importance to it; for there is no peril on earth
through which my sword will not force a way, and with it, before many
days are over, I will bring your enemy's head to the ground and place on
yours the crown of your kingdom."

Don Quixote said no more, and waited for the reply of the princess, who
aware of Don Fernando's determination to carry on the deception until Don
Quixote had been conveyed to his home, with great ease of manner and
gravity made answer, "Whoever told you, valiant Knight of the Rueful
Countenance, that I had undergone any change or transformation did not
tell you the truth, for I am the same as I was yesterday. It is true that
certain strokes of good fortune, that have given me more than I could
have hoped for, have made some alteration in me; but I have not therefore
ceased to be what I was before, or to entertain the same desire I have
had all through of availing myself of the might of your valiant and
invincible arm. And so, senor, let your goodness reinstate the father
that begot me in your good opinion, and be assured that he was a wise and
prudent man, since by his craft he found out such a sure and easy way of
remedying my misfortune; for I believe, senor, that had it not been for
you I should never have lit upon the good fortune I now possess; and in
this I am saying what is perfectly true; as most of these gentlemen who
are present can fully testify. All that remains is to set out on our
journey to-morrow, for to-day we could not make much way; and for the
rest of the happy result I am looking forward to, I trust to God and the
valour of your heart."

So said the sprightly Dorothea, and on hearing her Don Quixote turned to
Sancho, and said to him, with an angry air, "I declare now, little
Sancho, thou art the greatest little villain in Spain. Say, thief and
vagabond, hast thou not just now told me that this princess had been
turned into a maiden called Dorothea, and that the head which I am
persuaded I cut off from a giant was the bitch that bore thee, and other
nonsense that put me in the greatest perplexity I have ever been in all
my life? I vow" (and here he looked to heaven and ground his teeth) "I
have a mind to play the mischief with thee, in a way that will teach
sense for the future to all lying squires of knights-errant in the

"Let your worship be calm, senor," returned Sancho, "for it may well be
that I have been mistaken as to the change of the lady princess
Micomicona; but as to the giant's head, or at least as to the piercing of
the wine-skins, and the blood being red wine, I make no mistake, as sure
as there is a God; because the wounded skins are there at the head of
your worship's bed, and the wine has made a lake of the room; if not you
will see when the eggs come to be fried; I mean when his worship the
landlord calls for all the damages: for the rest, I am heartily glad that
her ladyship the queen is as she was, for it concerns me as much as

"I tell thee again, Sancho, thou art a fool," said Don Quixote; "forgive
me, and that will do."

"That will do," said Don Fernando; "let us say no more about it; and as
her ladyship the princess proposes to set out to-morrow because it is too
late to-day, so be it, and we will pass the night in pleasant
conversation, and to-morrow we will all accompany Senor Don Quixote; for
we wish to witness the valiant and unparalleled achievements he is about
to perform in the course of this mighty enterprise which he has

"It is I who shall wait upon and accompany you," said Don Quixote; "and I
am much gratified by the favour that is bestowed upon me, and the good
opinion entertained of me, which I shall strive to justify or it shall
cost me my life, or even more, if it can possibly cost me more."

Many were the compliments and expressions of politeness that passed
between Don Quixote and Don Fernando; but they were brought to an end by
a traveller who at this moment entered the inn, and who seemed from his
attire to be a Christian lately come from the country of the Moors, for
he was dressed in a short-skirted coat of blue cloth with half-sleeves
and without a collar; his breeches were also of blue cloth, and his cap
of the same colour, and he wore yellow buskins and had a Moorish cutlass
slung from a baldric across his breast. Behind him, mounted upon an ass,
there came a woman dressed in Moorish fashion, with her face veiled and a
scarf on her head, and wearing a little brocaded cap, and a mantle that
covered her from her shoulders to her feet. The man was of a robust and
well-proportioned frame, in age a little over forty, rather swarthy in
complexion, with long moustaches and a full beard, and, in short, his
appearance was such that if he had been well dressed he would have been
taken for a person of quality and good birth. On entering he asked for a
room, and when they told him there was none in the inn he seemed
distressed, and approaching her who by her dress seemed to be a Moor he
her down from saddle in his arms. Luscinda, Dorothea, the landlady, her
daughter and Maritornes, attracted by the strange, and to them entirely
new costume, gathered round her; and Dorothea, who was always kindly,
courteous, and quick-witted, perceiving that both she and the man who had
brought her were annoyed at not finding a room, said to her, "Do not be
put out, senora, by the discomfort and want of luxuries here, for it is
the way of road-side inns to be without them; still, if you will be
pleased to share our lodging with us (pointing to Luscinda) perhaps you
will have found worse accommodation in the course of your journey."

To this the veiled lady made no reply; all she did was to rise from her
seat, crossing her hands upon her bosom, bowing her head and bending her
body as a sign that she returned thanks. From her silence they concluded
that she must be a Moor and unable to speak a Christian tongue.

At this moment the captive came up, having been until now otherwise
engaged, and seeing that they all stood round his companion and that she
made no reply to what they addressed to her, he said, "Ladies, this
damsel hardly understands my language and can speak none but that of her
own country, for which reason she does not and cannot answer what has
been asked of her."

"Nothing has been asked of her," returned Luscinda; "she has only been
offered our company for this evening and a share of the quarters we
occupy, where she shall be made as comfortable as the circumstances
allow, with the good-will we are bound to show all strangers that stand
in need of it, especially if it be a woman to whom the service is

"On her part and my own, senora," replied the captive, "I kiss your
hands, and I esteem highly, as I ought, the favour you have offered,
which, on such an occasion and coming from persons of your appearance,
is, it is plain to see, a very great one."

"Tell me, senor," said Dorothea, "is this lady a Christian or a Moor? for
her dress and her silence lead us to imagine that she is what we could
wish she was not."

"In dress and outwardly," said he, "she is a Moor, but at heart she is a
thoroughly good Christian, for she has the greatest desire to become

"Then she has not been baptised?" returned Luscinda.

"There has been no opportunity for that," replied the captive, "since she
left Algiers, her native country and home; and up to the present she has
not found herself in any such imminent danger of death as to make it
necessary to baptise her before she has been instructed in all the
ceremonies our holy mother Church ordains; but, please God, ere long she
shall be baptised with the solemnity befitting her which is higher than
her dress or mine indicates."

By these words he excited a desire in all who heard him, to know who the
Moorish lady and the captive were, but no one liked to ask just then,
seeing that it was a fitter moment for helping them to rest themselves
than for questioning them about their lives. Dorothea took the Moorish
lady by the hand and leading her to a seat beside herself, requested her
to remove her veil. She looked at the captive as if to ask him what they
meant and what she was to do. He said to her in Arabic that they asked
her to take off her veil, and thereupon she removed it and disclosed a
countenance so lovely, that to Dorothea she seemed more beautiful than
Luscinda, and to Luscinda more beautiful than Dorothea, and all the
bystanders felt that if any beauty could compare with theirs it was the
Moorish lady's, and there were even those who were inclined to give it
somewhat the preference. And as it is the privilege and charm of beauty
to win the heart and secure good-will, all forthwith became eager to show
kindness and attention to the lovely Moor.

Don Fernando asked the captive what her name was, and he replied that it
was Lela Zoraida; but the instant she heard him, she guessed what the
Christian had asked, and said hastily, with some displeasure and energy,
"No, not Zoraida; Maria, Maria!" giving them to understand that she was
called "Maria" and not "Zoraida." These words, and the touching
earnestness with which she uttered them, drew more than one tear from
some of the listeners, particularly the women, who are by nature
tender-hearted and compassionate. Luscinda embraced her affectionately,
saying, "Yes, yes, Maria, Maria," to which the Moor replied, "Yes, yes,
Maria; Zoraida macange," which means "not Zoraida."

Night was now approaching, and by the orders of those who accompanied Don
Fernando the landlord had taken care and pains to prepare for them the
best supper that was in his power. The hour therefore having arrived they
all took their seats at a long table like a refectory one, for round or
square table there was none in the inn, and the seat of honour at the
head of it, though he was for refusing it, they assigned to Don Quixote,
who desired the lady Micomicona to place herself by his side, as he was
her protector. Luscinda and Zoraida took their places next her, opposite
to them were Don Fernando and Cardenio, and next the captive and the
other gentlemen, and by the side of the ladies, the curate and the
barber. And so they supped in high enjoyment, which was increased when
they observed Don Quixote leave off eating, and, moved by an impulse like
that which made him deliver himself at such length when he supped with
the goatherds, begin to address them:

"Verily, gentlemen, if we reflect upon it, great and marvellous are the
things they see, who make profession of the order of knight-errantry.
Say, what being is there in this world, who entering the gate of this
castle at this moment, and seeing us as we are here, would suppose or
imagine us to be what we are? Who would say that this lady who is beside
me was the great queen that we all know her to be, or that I am that
Knight of the Rueful Countenance, trumpeted far and wide by the mouth of
Fame? Now, there can be no doubt that this art and calling surpasses all
those that mankind has invented, and is the more deserving of being held
in honour in proportion as it is the more exposed to peril. Away with
those who assert that letters have the preeminence over arms; I will tell
them, whosoever they may be, that they know not what they say. For the
reason which such persons commonly assign, and upon which they chiefly
rest, is, that the labours of the mind are greater than those of the
body, and that arms give employment to the body alone; as if the calling
were a porter's trade, for which nothing more is required than sturdy
strength; or as if, in what we who profess them call arms, there were not
included acts of vigour for the execution of which high intelligence is
requisite; or as if the soul of the warrior, when he has an army, or the
defence of a city under his care, did not exert itself as much by mind as
by body. Nay; see whether by bodily strength it be possible to learn or
divine the intentions of the enemy, his plans, stratagems, or obstacles,
or to ward off impending mischief; for all these are the work of the
mind, and in them the body has no share whatever. Since, therefore, arms
have need of the mind, as much as letters, let us see now which of the
two minds, that of the man of letters or that of the warrior, has most to
do; and this will be seen by the end and goal that each seeks to attain;
for that purpose is the more estimable which has for its aim the nobler
object. The end and goal of letters--I am not speaking now of divine
letters, the aim of which is to raise and direct the soul to Heaven; for
with an end so infinite no other can be compared--I speak of human
letters, the end of which is to establish distributive justice, give to
every man that which is his, and see and take care that good laws are
observed: an end undoubtedly noble, lofty, and deserving of high praise,
but not such as should be given to that sought by arms, which have for
their end and object peace, the greatest boon that men can desire in this
life. The first good news the world and mankind received was that which
the angels announced on the night that was our day, when they sang in the
air, 'Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of
good-will;' and the salutation which the great Master of heaven and earth
taught his disciples and chosen followers when they entered any house,
was to say, 'Peace be on this house;' and many other times he said to
them, 'My peace I give unto you, my peace I leave you, peace be with
you;' a jewel and a precious gift given and left by such a hand: a jewel
without which there can be no happiness either on earth or in heaven.
This peace is the true end of war; and war is only another name for arms.
This, then, being admitted, that the end of war is peace, and that so far
it has the advantage of the end of letters, let us turn to the bodily
labours of the man of letters, and those of him who follows the
profession of arms, and see which are the greater."

Don Quixote delivered his discourse in such a manner and in such correct
language, that for the time being he made it impossible for any of his
hearers to consider him a madman; on the contrary, as they were mostly
gentlemen, to whom arms are an appurtenance by birth, they listened to
him with great pleasure as he continued: "Here, then, I say is what the
student has to undergo; first of all poverty: not that all are poor, but
to put the case as strongly as possible: and when I have said that he
endures poverty, I think nothing more need be said about his hard
fortune, for he who is poor has no share of the good things of life. This
poverty he suffers from in various ways, hunger, or cold, or nakedness,
or all together; but for all that it is not so extreme but that he gets
something to eat, though it may be at somewhat unseasonable hours and
from the leavings of the rich; for the greatest misery of the student is
what they themselves call 'going out for soup,' and there is always some
neighbour's brazier or hearth for them, which, if it does not warm, at
least tempers the cold to them, and lastly, they sleep comfortably at
night under a roof. I will not go into other particulars, as for example
want of shirts, and no superabundance of shoes, thin and threadbare
garments, and gorging themselves to surfeit in their voracity when good
luck has treated them to a banquet of some sort. By this road that I have
described, rough and hard, stumbling here, falling there, getting up
again to fall again, they reach the rank they desire, and that once
attained, we have seen many who have passed these Syrtes and Scyllas and
Charybdises, as if borne flying on the wings of favouring fortune; we
have seen them, I say, ruling and governing the world from a chair, their
hunger turned into satiety, their cold into comfort, their nakedness into
fine raiment, their sleep on a mat into repose in holland and damask, the
justly earned reward of their virtue; but, contrasted and compared with
what the warrior undergoes, all they have undergone falls far short of
it, as I am now about to show."



Continuing his discourse Don Quixote said: "As we began in the student's
case with poverty and its accompaniments, let us see now if the soldier
is richer, and we shall find that in poverty itself there is no one
poorer; for he is dependent on his miserable pay, which comes late or
never, or else on what he can plunder, seriously imperilling his life and
conscience; and sometimes his nakedness will be so great that a slashed
doublet serves him for uniform and shirt, and in the depth of winter he
has to defend himself against the inclemency of the weather in the open
field with nothing better than the breath of his mouth, which I need not
say, coming from an empty place, must come out cold, contrary to the laws
of nature. To be sure he looks forward to the approach of night to make
up for all these discomforts on the bed that awaits him, which, unless by
some fault of his, never sins by being over narrow, for he can easily
measure out on the ground as he likes, and roll himself about in it to
his heart's content without any fear of the sheets slipping away from
him. Then, after all this, suppose the day and hour for taking his degree
in his calling to have come; suppose the day of battle to have arrived,
when they invest him with the doctor's cap made of lint, to mend some
bullet-hole, perhaps, that has gone through his temples, or left him with
a crippled arm or leg. Or if this does not happen, and merciful Heaven
watches over him and keeps him safe and sound, it may be he will be in
the same poverty he was in before, and he must go through more
engagements and more battles, and come victorious out of all before he
betters himself; but miracles of that sort are seldom seen. For tell me,
sirs, if you have ever reflected upon it, by how much do those who have
gained by war fall short of the number of those who have perished in it?
No doubt you will reply that there can be no comparison, that the dead
cannot be numbered, while the living who have been rewarded may be summed
up with three figures. All which is the reverse in the case of men of
letters; for by skirts, to say nothing of sleeves, they all find means of
support; so that though the soldier has more to endure, his reward is
much less. But against all this it may be urged that it is easier to
reward two thousand soldiers, for the former may be remunerated by giving
them places, which must perforce be conferred upon men of their calling,
while the latter can only be recompensed out of the very property of the
master they serve; but this impossibility only strengthens my argument.

"Putting this, however, aside, for it is a puzzling question for which it
is difficult to find a solution, let us return to the superiority of arms
over letters, a matter still undecided, so many are the arguments put
forward on each side; for besides those I have mentioned, letters say
that without them arms cannot maintain themselves, for war, too, has its
laws and is governed by them, and laws belong to the domain of letters
and men of letters. To this arms make answer that without them laws
cannot be maintained, for by arms states are defended, kingdoms
preserved, cities protected, roads made safe, seas cleared of pirates;
and, in short, if it were not for them, states, kingdoms, monarchies,
cities, ways by sea and land would be exposed to the violence and
confusion which war brings with it, so long as it lasts and is free to
make use of its privileges and powers. And then it is plain that whatever
costs most is valued and deserves to be valued most. To attain to
eminence in letters costs a man time, watching, hunger, nakedness,
headaches, indigestions, and other things of the sort, some of which I
have already referred to. But for a man to come in the ordinary course of
things to be a good soldier costs him all the student suffers, and in an
incomparably higher degree, for at every step he runs the risk of losing
his life. For what dread of want or poverty that can reach or harass the
student can compare with what the soldier feels, who finds himself
beleaguered in some stronghold mounting guard in some ravelin or
cavalier, knows that the enemy is pushing a mine towards the post where
he is stationed, and cannot under any circumstances retire or fly from
the imminent danger that threatens him? All he can do is to inform his
captain of what is going on so that he may try to remedy it by a
counter-mine, and then stand his ground in fear and expectation of the
moment when he will fly up to the clouds without wings and descend into
the deep against his will. And if this seems a trifling risk, let us see
whether it is equalled or surpassed by the encounter of two galleys stem
to stem, in the midst of the open sea, locked and entangled one with the
other, when the soldier has no more standing room than two feet of the
plank of the spur; and yet, though he sees before him threatening him as
many ministers of death as there are cannon of the foe pointed at him,
not a lance length from his body, and sees too that with the first
heedless step he will go down to visit the profundities of Neptune's
bosom, still with dauntless heart, urged on by honour that nerves him, he
makes himself a target for all that musketry, and struggles to cross that
narrow path to the enemy's ship. And what is still more marvellous, no
sooner has one gone down into the depths he will never rise from till the
end of the world, than another takes his place; and if he too falls into
the sea that waits for him like an enemy, another and another will
succeed him without a moment's pause between their deaths: courage and
daring the greatest that all the chances of war can show. Happy the blest
ages that knew not the dread fury of those devilish engines of artillery,
whose inventor I am persuaded is in hell receiving the reward of his
diabolical invention, by which he made it easy for a base and cowardly
arm to take the life of a gallant gentleman; and that, when he knows not
how or whence, in the height of the ardour and enthusiasm that fire and
animate brave hearts, there should come some random bullet, discharged
perhaps by one who fled in terror at the flash when he fired off his
accursed machine, which in an instant puts an end to the projects and
cuts off the life of one who deserved to live for ages to come. And thus
when I reflect on this, I am almost tempted to say that in my heart I
repent of having adopted this profession of knight-errant in so
detestable an age as we live in now; for though no peril can make me
fear, still it gives me some uneasiness to think that powder and lead may
rob me of the opportunity of making myself famous and renowned throughout
the known earth by the might of my arm and the edge of my sword. But
Heaven's will be done; if I succeed in my attempt I shall be all the more
honoured, as I have faced greater dangers than the knights-errant of yore
exposed themselves to."

All this lengthy discourse Don Quixote delivered while the others supped,
forgetting to raise a morsel to his lips, though Sancho more than once
told him to eat his supper, as he would have time enough afterwards to
say all he wanted. It excited fresh pity in those who had heard him to
see a man of apparently sound sense, and with rational views on every
subject he discussed, so hopelessly wanting in all, when his wretched
unlucky chivalry was in question. The curate told him he was quite right
in all he had said in favour of arms, and that he himself, though a man
of letters and a graduate, was of the same opinion.

They finished their supper, the cloth was removed, and while the hostess,
her daughter, and Maritornes were getting Don Quixote of La Mancha's
garret ready, in which it was arranged that the women were to be
quartered by themselves for the night, Don Fernando begged the captive to
tell them the story of his life, for it could not fail to be strange and
interesting, to judge by the hints he had let fall on his arrival in
company with Zoraida. To this the captive replied that he would very
willingly yield to his request, only he feared his tale would not give
them as much pleasure as he wished; nevertheless, not to be wanting in
compliance, he would tell it. The curate and the others thanked him and
added their entreaties, and he finding himself so pressed said there was
no occasion ask, where a command had such weight, and added, "If your
worships will give me your attention you will hear a true story which,
perhaps, fictitious ones constructed with ingenious and studied art
cannot come up to." These words made them settle themselves in their
places and preserve a deep silence, and he seeing them waiting on his
words in mute expectation, began thus in a pleasant quiet voice.



My family had its origin in a village in the mountains of Leon, and
nature had been kinder and more generous to it than fortune; though in
the general poverty of those communities my father passed for being even
a rich man; and he would have been so in reality had he been as clever in
preserving his property as he was in spending it. This tendency of his to
be liberal and profuse he had acquired from having been a soldier in his
youth, for the soldier's life is a school in which the niggard becomes
free-handed and the free-handed prodigal; and if any soldiers are to be
found who are misers, they are monsters of rare occurrence. My father
went beyond liberality and bordered on prodigality, a disposition by no
means advantageous to a married man who has children to succeed to his
name and position. My father had three, all sons, and all of sufficient
age to make choice of a profession. Finding, then, that he was unable to
resist his propensity, he resolved to divest himself of the instrument
and cause of his prodigality and lavishness, to divest himself of wealth,
without which Alexander himself would have seemed parsimonious; and so
calling us all three aside one day into a room, he addressed us in words
somewhat to the following effect:

"My sons, to assure you that I love you, no more need be known or said
than that you are my sons; and to encourage a suspicion that I do not
love you, no more is needed than the knowledge that I have no
self-control as far as preservation of your patrimony is concerned;
therefore, that you may for the future feel sure that I love you like a
father, and have no wish to ruin you like a stepfather, I propose to do
with you what I have for some time back meditated, and after mature
deliberation decided upon. You are now of an age to choose your line of
life or at least make choice of a calling that will bring you honour and
profit when you are older; and what I have resolved to do is to divide my
property into four parts; three I will give to you, to each his portion
without making any difference, and the other I will retain to live upon
and support myself for whatever remainder of life Heaven may be pleased
to grant me. But I wish each of you on taking possession of the share
that falls to him to follow one of the paths I shall indicate. In this
Spain of ours there is a proverb, to my mind very true--as they all are,
being short aphorisms drawn from long practical experience--and the one I
refer to says, 'The church, or the sea, or the king's house;' as much as
to say, in plainer language, whoever wants to flourish and become rich,
let him follow the church, or go to sea, adopting commerce as his
calling, or go into the king's service in his household, for they say,
'Better a king's crumb than a lord's favour.' I say so because it is my
will and pleasure that one of you should follow letters, another trade,
and the third serve the king in the wars, for it is a difficult matter to
gain admission to his service in his household, and if war does not bring
much wealth it confers great distinction and fame. Eight days hence I
will give you your full shares in money, without defrauding you of a
farthing, as you will see in the end. Now tell me if you are willing to
follow out my idea and advice as I have laid it before you."

Having called upon me as the eldest to answer, I, after urging him not to
strip himself of his property but to spend it all as he pleased, for we
were young men able to gain our living, consented to comply with his
wishes, and said that mine were to follow the profession of arms and
thereby serve God and my king. My second brother having made the same
proposal, decided upon going to the Indies, embarking the portion that
fell to him in trade. The youngest, and in my opinion the wisest, said he
would rather follow the church, or go to complete his studies at
Salamanca. As soon as we had come to an understanding, and made choice of
our professions, my father embraced us all, and in the short time he
mentioned carried into effect all he had promised; and when he had given
to each his share, which as well as I remember was three thousand ducats
apiece in cash (for an uncle of ours bought the estate and paid for it
down, not to let it go out of the family), we all three on the same day
took leave of our good father; and at the same time, as it seemed to me
inhuman to leave my father with such scanty means in his old age, I
induced him to take two of my three thousand ducats, as the remainder
would be enough to provide me with all a soldier needed. My two brothers,
moved by my example, gave him each a thousand ducats, so that there was
left for my father four thousand ducats in money, besides three thousand,
the value of the portion that fell to him which he preferred to retain in
land instead of selling it. Finally, as I said, we took leave of him, and
of our uncle whom I have mentioned, not without sorrow and tears on both
sides, they charging us to let them know whenever an opportunity offered
how we fared, whether well or ill. We promised to do so, and when he had
embraced us and given us his blessing, one set out for Salamanca, the
other for Seville, and I for Alicante, where I had heard there was a
Genoese vessel taking in a cargo of wool for Genoa.

It is now some twenty-two years since I left my father's house, and all
that time, though I have written several letters, I have had no news
whatever of him or of my brothers; my own adventures during that period I
will now relate briefly. I embarked at Alicante, reached Genoa after a
prosperous voyage, and proceeded thence to Milan, where I provided myself
with arms and a few soldier's accoutrements; thence it was my intention
to go and take service in Piedmont, but as I was already on the road to
Alessandria della Paglia, I learned that the great Duke of Alva was on
his way to Flanders. I changed my plans, joined him, served under him in
the campaigns he made, was present at the deaths of the Counts Egmont and
Horn, and was promoted to be ensign under a famous captain of
Guadalajara, Diego de Urbina by name. Some time after my arrival in
Flanders news came of the league that his Holiness Pope Pius V of happy
memory, had made with Venice and Spain against the common enemy, the
Turk, who had just then with his fleet taken the famous island of Cyprus,
which belonged to the Venetians, a loss deplorable and disastrous. It was
known as a fact that the Most Serene Don John of Austria, natural brother
of our good king Don Philip, was coming as commander-in-chief of the
allied forces, and rumours were abroad of the vast warlike preparations
which were being made, all which stirred my heart and filled me with a
longing to take part in the campaign which was expected; and though I had
reason to believe, and almost certain promises, that on the first
opportunity that presented itself I should be promoted to be captain, I
preferred to leave all and betake myself, as I did, to Italy; and it was
my good fortune that Don John had just arrived at Genoa, and was going on
to Naples to join the Venetian fleet, as he afterwards did at Messina. I
may say, in short, that I took part in that glorious expedition, promoted
by this time to be a captain of infantry, to which honourable charge my
good luck rather than my merits raised me; and that day--so fortunate for
Christendom, because then all the nations of the earth were disabused of
the error under which they lay in imagining the Turks to be invincible on
sea-on that day, I say, on which the Ottoman pride and arrogance were
broken, among all that were there made happy (for the Christians who died
that day were happier than those who remained alive and victorious) I
alone was miserable; for, instead of some naval crown that I might have
expected had it been in Roman times, on the night that followed that
famous day I found myself with fetters on my feet and manacles on my

It happened in this way: El Uchali, the king of Algiers, a daring and
successful corsair, having attacked and taken the leading Maltese galley
(only three knights being left alive in it, and they badly wounded), the
chief galley of John Andrea, on board of which I and my company were
placed, came to its relief, and doing as was bound to do in such a case,
I leaped on board the enemy's galley, which, sheering off from that which
had attacked it, prevented my men from following me, and so I found
myself alone in the midst of my enemies, who were in such numbers that I
was unable to resist; in short I was taken, covered with wounds; El
Uchali, as you know, sirs, made his escape with his entire squadron, and
I was left a prisoner in his power, the only sad being among so many
filled with joy, and the only captive among so many free; for there were
fifteen thousand Christians, all at the oar in the Turkish fleet, that
regained their longed-for liberty that day.

They carried me to Constantinople, where the Grand Turk, Selim, made my
master general at sea for having done his duty in the battle and carried
off as evidence of his bravery the standard of the Order of Malta. The
following year, which was the year seventy-two, I found myself at
Navarino rowing in the leading galley with the three lanterns. There I
saw and observed how the opportunity of capturing the whole Turkish fleet
in harbour was lost; for all the marines and janizzaries that belonged to
it made sure that they were about to be attacked inside the very harbour,
and had their kits and pasamaques, or shoes, ready to flee at once on
shore without waiting to be assailed, in so great fear did they stand of
our fleet. But Heaven ordered it otherwise, not for any fault or neglect
of the general who commanded on our side, but for the sins of
Christendom, and because it was God's will and pleasure that we should
always have instruments of punishment to chastise us. As it was, El
Uchali took refuge at Modon, which is an island near Navarino, and
landing forces fortified the mouth of the harbour and waited quietly
until Don John retired. On this expedition was taken the galley called
the Prize, whose captain was a son of the famous corsair Barbarossa. It
was taken by the chief Neapolitan galley called the She-wolf, commanded
by that thunderbolt of war, that father of his men, that successful and
unconquered captain Don Alvaro de Bazan, Marquis of Santa Cruz; and I
cannot help telling you what took place at the capture of the Prize.

The son of Barbarossa was so cruel, and treated his slaves so badly,
that, when those who were at the oars saw that the She-wolf galley was
bearing down upon them and gaining upon them, they all at once dropped
their oars and seized their captain who stood on the stage at the end of
the gangway shouting to them to row lustily; and passing him on from
bench to bench, from the poop to the prow, they so bit him that before he
had got much past the mast his soul had already got to hell; so great, as
I said, was the cruelty with which he treated them, and the hatred with
which they hated him.

We returned to Constantinople, and the following year, seventy-three, it
became known that Don John had seized Tunis and taken the kingdom from
the Turks, and placed Muley Hamet in possession, putting an end to the
hopes which Muley Hamida, the cruelest and bravest Moor in the world,
entertained of returning to reign there. The Grand Turk took the loss
greatly to heart, and with the cunning which all his race possess, he
made peace with the Venetians (who were much more eager for it than he
was), and the following year, seventy-four, he attacked the Goletta and
the fort which Don John had left half built near Tunis. While all these
events were occurring, I was labouring at the oar without any hope of
freedom; at least I had no hope of obtaining it by ransom, for I was
firmly resolved not to write to my father telling him of my misfortunes.
At length the Goletta fell, and the fort fell, before which places there
were seventy-five thousand regular Turkish soldiers, and more than four
hundred thousand Moors and Arabs from all parts of Africa, and in the
train of all this great host such munitions and engines of war, and so
many pioneers that with their hands they might have covered the Goletta
and the fort with handfuls of earth. The first to fall was the Goletta,
until then reckoned impregnable, and it fell, not by any fault of its
defenders, who did all that they could and should have done, but because
experiment proved how easily entrenchments could be made in the desert
sand there; for water used to be found at two palms depth, while the
Turks found none at two yards; and so by means of a quantity of sandbags
they raised their works so high that they commanded the walls of the
fort, sweeping them as if from a cavalier, so that no one was able to
make a stand or maintain the defence.

It was a common opinion that our men should not have shut themselves up
in the Goletta, but should have waited in the open at the landing-place;
but those who say so talk at random and with little knowledge of such
matters; for if in the Goletta and in the fort there were barely seven
thousand soldiers, how could such a small number, however resolute, sally
out and hold their own against numbers like those of the enemy? And how
is it possible to help losing a stronghold that is not relieved, above
all when surrounded by a host of determined enemies in their own country?
But many thought, and I thought so too, that it was special favour and
mercy which Heaven showed to Spain in permitting the destruction of that
source and hiding place of mischief, that devourer, sponge, and moth of
countless money, fruitlessly wasted there to no other purpose save
preserving the memory of its capture by the invincible Charles V; as if
to make that eternal, as it is and will be, these stones were needed to
support it. The fort also fell; but the Turks had to win it inch by inch,
for the soldiers who defended it fought so gallantly and stoutly that the
number of the enemy killed in twenty-two general assaults exceeded
twenty-five thousand. Of three hundred that remained alive not one was
taken unwounded, a clear and manifest proof of their gallantry and
resolution, and how sturdily they had defended themselves and held their
post. A small fort or tower which was in the middle of the lagoon under
the command of Don Juan Zanoguera, a Valencian gentleman and a famous
soldier, capitulated upon terms. They took prisoner Don Pedro
Puertocarrero, commandant of the Goletta, who had done all in his power
to defend his fortress, and took the loss of it so much to heart that he
died of grief on the way to Constantinople, where they were carrying him
a prisoner. They also took the commandant of the fort, Gabrio Cerbellon
by name, a Milanese gentleman, a great engineer and a very brave soldier.
In these two fortresses perished many persons of note, among whom was
Pagano Doria, knight of the Order of St. John, a man of generous
disposition, as was shown by his extreme liberality to his brother, the
famous John Andrea Doria; and what made his death the more sad was that
he was slain by some Arabs to whom, seeing that the fort was now lost, he
entrusted himself, and who offered to conduct him in the disguise of a
Moor to Tabarca, a small fort or station on the coast held by the Genoese
employed in the coral fishery. These Arabs cut off his head and carried
it to the commander of the Turkish fleet, who proved on them the truth of
our Castilian proverb, that "though the treason may please, the traitor
is hated;" for they say he ordered those who brought him the present to
be hanged for not having brought him alive.

Among the Christians who were taken in the fort was one named Don Pedro
de Aguilar, a native of some place, I know not what, in Andalusia, who
had been ensign in the fort, a soldier of great repute and rare
intelligence, who had in particular a special gift for what they call
poetry. I say so because his fate brought him to my galley and to my
bench, and made him a slave to the same master; and before we left the
port this gentleman composed two sonnets by way of epitaphs, one on the
Goletta and the other on the fort; indeed, I may as well repeat them, for
I have them by heart, and I think they will be liked rather than

The instant the captive mentioned the name of Don Pedro de Aguilar, Don
Fernando looked at his companions and they all three smiled; and when he
came to speak of the sonnets one of them said, "Before your worship
proceeds any further I entreat you to tell me what became of that Don
Pedro de Aguilar you have spoken of."

"All I know is," replied the captive, "that after having been in
Constantinople two years, he escaped in the disguise of an Arnaut, in
company with a Greek spy; but whether he regained his liberty or not I
cannot tell, though I fancy he did, because a year afterwards I saw the
Greek at Constantinople, though I was unable to ask him what the result
of the journey was."

"Well then, you are right," returned the gentleman, "for that Don Pedro
is my brother, and he is now in our village in good health, rich,
married, and with three children."

"Thanks be to God for all the mercies he has shown him," said the
captive; "for to my mind there is no happiness on earth to compare with
recovering lost liberty."

"And what is more," said the gentleman, "I know the sonnets my brother

"Then let your worship repeat them," said the captive, "for you will
recite them better than I can."

"With all my heart," said the gentleman; "that on the Goletta runs thus."




"Blest souls, that, from this mortal husk set free,
  In guerdon of brave deeds beatified,
  Above this lowly orb of ours abide
Made heirs of heaven and immortality,
With noble rage and ardour glowing ye
  Your strength, while strength was yours, in battle plied,
  And with your own blood and the foeman's dyed
The sandy soil and the encircling sea.
It was the ebbing life-blood first that failed
The weary arms; the stout hearts never quailed.
  Though vanquished, yet ye earned the victor's crown:
Though mourned, yet still triumphant was your fall
For there ye won, between the sword and wall,
  In Heaven glory and on earth renown."
"That is it exactly, according to my recollection," said the captive.

"Well then, that on the fort," said the gentleman, "if my memory serves
me, goes thus:


"Up from this wasted soil, this shattered shell,
  Whose walls and towers here in ruin lie,
  Three thousand soldier souls took wing on high,
In the bright mansions of the blest to dwell.
The onslaught of the foeman to repel
  By might of arm all vainly did they try,
  And when at length 'twas left them but to die,
Wearied and few the last defenders fell.
And this same arid soil hath ever been
A haunt of countless mournful memories,
  As well in our day as in days of yore.
But never yet to Heaven it sent, I ween,
From its hard bosom purer souls than these,
  Or braver bodies on its surface bore."

The sonnets were not disliked, and the captive was rejoiced at the
tidings they gave him of his comrade, and continuing his tale, he went on
to say:

The Goletta and the fort being thus in their hands, the Turks gave orders
to dismantle the Goletta--for the fort was reduced to such a state that
there was nothing left to level--and to do the work more quickly and
easily they mined it in three places; but nowhere were they able to blow
up the part which seemed to be the least strong, that is to say, the old
walls, while all that remained standing of the new fortifications that
the Fratin had made came to the ground with the greatest ease. Finally
the fleet returned victorious and triumphant to Constantinople, and a few
months later died my master, El Uchali, otherwise Uchali Fartax, which
means in Turkish "the scabby renegade;" for that he was; it is the
practice with the Turks to name people from some defect or virtue they
may possess; the reason being that there are among them only four
surnames belonging to families tracing their descent from the Ottoman
house, and the others, as I have said, take their names and surnames
either from bodily blemishes or moral qualities. This "scabby one" rowed
at the oar as a slave of the Grand Signor's for fourteen years, and when
over thirty-four years of age, in resentment at having been struck by a
Turk while at the oar, turned renegade and renounced his faith in order
to be able to revenge himself; and such was his valour that, without
owing his advancement to the base ways and means by which most favourites
of the Grand Signor rise to power, he came to be king of Algiers, and
afterwards general-on-sea, which is the third place of trust in the
realm. He was a Calabrian by birth, and a worthy man morally, and he
treated his slaves with great humanity. He had three thousand of them,
and after his death they were divided, as he directed by his will,
between the Grand Signor (who is heir of all who die and shares with the
children of the deceased) and his renegades. I fell to the lot of a
Venetian renegade who, when a cabin boy on board a ship, had been taken
by Uchali and was so much beloved by him that he became one of his most
favoured youths. He came to be the most cruel renegade I ever saw: his
name was Hassan Aga, and he grew very rich and became king of Algiers.
With him I went there from Constantinople, rather glad to be so near
Spain, not that I intended to write to anyone about my unhappy lot, but
to try if fortune would be kinder to me in Algiers than in
Constantinople, where I had attempted in a thousand ways to escape
without ever finding a favourable time or chance; but in Algiers I
resolved to seek for other means of effecting the purpose I cherished so
dearly; for the hope of obtaining my liberty never deserted me; and when
in my plots and schemes and attempts the result did not answer my
expectations, without giving way to despair I immediately began to look
out for or conjure up some new hope to support me, however faint or
feeble it might be.

In this way I lived on immured in a building or prison called by the
Turks a bano in which they confine the Christian captives, as well those
that are the king's as those belonging to private individuals, and also
what they call those of the Almacen, which is as much as to say the
slaves of the municipality, who serve the city in the public works and
other employments; but captives of this kind recover their liberty with
great difficulty, for, as they are public property and have no particular
master, there is no one with whom to treat for their ransom, even though
they may have the means. To these banos, as I have said, some private
individuals of the town are in the habit of bringing their captives,
especially when they are to be ransomed; because there they can keep them
in safety and comfort until their ransom arrives. The king's captives
also, that are on ransom, do not go out to work with the rest of the
crew, unless when their ransom is delayed; for then, to make them write
for it more pressingly, they compel them to work and go for wood, which
is no light labour.

I, however, was one of those on ransom, for when it was discovered that I
was a captain, although I declared my scanty means and want of fortune,
nothing could dissuade them from including me among the gentlemen and
those waiting to be ransomed. They put a chain on me, more as a mark of
this than to keep me safe, and so I passed my life in that bano with
several other gentlemen and persons of quality marked out as held to
ransom; but though at times, or rather almost always, we suffered from
hunger and scanty clothing, nothing distressed us so much as hearing and
seeing at every turn the unexampled and unheard-of cruelties my master
inflicted upon the Christians. Every day he hanged a man, impaled one,
cut off the ears of another; and all with so little provocation, or so
entirely without any, that the Turks acknowledged he did it merely for
the sake of doing it, and because he was by nature murderously disposed
towards the whole human race. The only one that fared at all well with
him was a Spanish soldier, something de Saavedra by name, to whom he
never gave a blow himself, or ordered a blow to be given, or addressed a
hard word, although he had done things that will dwell in the memory of
the people there for many a year, and all to recover his liberty; and for
the least of the many things he did we all dreaded that he would be
impaled, and he himself was in fear of it more than once; and only that
time does not allow, I could tell you now something of what that soldier
did, that would interest and astonish you much more than the narration of
my own tale.

To go on with my story; the courtyard of our prison was overlooked by the
windows of the house belonging to a wealthy Moor of high position; and
these, as is usual in Moorish houses, were rather loopholes than windows,
and besides were covered with thick and close lattice-work. It so
happened, then, that as I was one day on the terrace of our prison with
three other comrades, trying, to pass away the time, how far we could
leap with our chains, we being alone, for all the other Christians had
gone out to work, I chanced to raise my eyes, and from one of these
little closed windows I saw a reed appear with a cloth attached to the
end of it, and it kept waving to and fro, and moving as if making signs
to us to come and take it. We watched it, and one of those who were with
me went and stood under the reed to see whether they would let it drop,
or what they would do, but as he did so the reed was raised and moved
from side to side, as if they meant to say "no" by a shake of the head.
The Christian came back, and it was again lowered, making the same
movements as before. Another of my comrades went, and with him the same
happened as with the first, and then the third went forward, but with the
same result as the first and second. Seeing this I did not like not to
try my luck, and as soon as I came under the reed it was dropped and fell
inside the bano at my feet. I hastened to untie the cloth, in which I
perceived a knot, and in this were ten cianis, which are coins of base
gold, current among the Moors, and each worth ten reals of our money.

It is needless to say I rejoiced over this godsend, and my joy was not
less than my wonder as I strove to imagine how this good fortune could
have come to us, but to me specially; for the evident unwillingness to
drop the reed for any but me showed that it was for me the favour was
intended. I took my welcome money, broke the reed, and returned to the
terrace, and looking up at the window, I saw a very white hand put out
that opened and shut very quickly. From this we gathered or fancied that
it must be some woman living in that house that had done us this
kindness, and to show that we were grateful for it, we made salaams after
the fashion of the Moors, bowing the head, bending the body, and crossing
the arms on the breast. Shortly afterwards at the same window a small
cross made of reeds was put out and immediately withdrawn. This sign led
us to believe that some Christian woman was a captive in the house, and
that it was she who had been so good to us; but the whiteness of the hand
and the bracelets we had perceived made us dismiss that idea, though we
thought it might be one of the Christian renegades whom their masters
very often take as lawful wives, and gladly, for they prefer them to the
women of their own nation. In all our conjectures we were wide of the
truth; so from that time forward our sole occupation was watching and
gazing at the window where the cross had appeared to us, as if it were
our pole-star; but at least fifteen days passed without our seeing either
it or the hand, or any other sign and though meanwhile we endeavoured
with the utmost pains to ascertain who it was that lived in the house,
and whether there were any Christian renegade in it, nobody could ever
tell us anything more than that he who lived there was a rich Moor of
high position, Hadji Morato by name, formerly alcaide of La Pata, an
office of high dignity among them. But when we least thought it was going
to rain any more cianis from that quarter, we saw the reed suddenly
appear with another cloth tied in a larger knot attached to it, and this
at a time when, as on the former occasion, the bano was deserted and

We made trial as before, each of the same three going forward before I
did; but the reed was delivered to none but me, and on my approach it was
let drop. I untied the knot and I found forty Spanish gold crowns with a
paper written in Arabic, and at the end of the writing there was a large
cross drawn. I kissed the cross, took the crowns and returned to the
terrace, and we all made our salaams; again the hand appeared, I made
signs that I would read the paper, and then the window was closed. We
were all puzzled, though filled with joy at what had taken place; and as
none of us understood Arabic, great was our curiosity to know what the
paper contained, and still greater the difficulty of finding some one to
read it. At last I resolved to confide in a renegade, a native of Murcia,
who professed a very great friendship for me, and had given pledges that
bound him to keep any secret I might entrust to him; for it is the custom
with some renegades, when they intend to return to Christian territory,
to carry about them certificates from captives of mark testifying, in
whatever form they can, that such and such a renegade is a worthy man who
has always shown kindness to Christians, and is anxious to escape on the
first opportunity that may present itself. Some obtain these testimonials
with good intentions, others put them to a cunning use; for when they go
to pillage on Christian territory, if they chance to be cast away, or
taken prisoners, they produce their certificates and say that from these
papers may be seen the object they came for, which was to remain on
Christian ground, and that it was to this end they joined the Turks in
their foray. In this way they escape the consequences of the first
outburst and make their peace with the Church before it does them any
harm, and then when they have the chance they return to Barbary to become
what they were before. Others, however, there are who procure these
papers and make use of them honestly, and remain on Christian soil. This
friend of mine, then, was one of these renegades that I have described;
he had certificates from all our comrades, in which we testified in his
favour as strongly as we could; and if the Moors had found the papers
they would have burned him alive.

I knew that he understood Arabic very well, and could not only speak but
also write it; but before I disclosed the whole matter to him, I asked
him to read for me this paper which I had found by accident in a hole in
my cell. He opened it and remained some time examining it and muttering
to himself as he translated it. I asked him if he understood it, and he
told me he did perfectly well, and that if I wished him to tell me its
meaning word for word, I must give him pen and ink that he might do it
more satisfactorily. We at once gave him what he required, and he set
about translating it bit by bit, and when he had done he said:

"All that is here in Spanish is what the Moorish paper contains, and you
must bear in mind that when it says 'Lela Marien' it means 'Our Lady the
Virgin Mary.'"

We read the paper and it ran thus:

"When I was a child my father had a slave who taught me to pray the
Christian prayer in my own language, and told me many things about Lela
Marien. The Christian died, and I know that she did not go to the fire,
but to Allah, because since then I have seen her twice, and she told me
to go to the land of the Christians to see Lela Marien, who had great
love for me. I know not how to go. I have seen many Christians, but
except thyself none has seemed to me to be a gentleman. I am young and
beautiful, and have plenty of money to take with me. See if thou canst
contrive how we may go, and if thou wilt thou shalt be my husband there,
and if thou wilt not it will not distress me, for Lela Marien will find
me some one to marry me. I myself have written this: have a care to whom
thou givest it to read: trust no Moor, for they are all perfidious. I am
greatly troubled on this account, for I would not have thee confide in
anyone, because if my father knew it he would at once fling me down a
well and cover me with stones. I will put a thread to the reed; tie the
answer to it, and if thou hast no one to write for thee in Arabic, tell
it to me by signs, for Lela Marien will make me understand thee. She and
Allah and this cross, which I often kiss as the captive bade me, protect

Judge, sirs, whether we had reason for surprise and joy at the words of
this paper; and both one and the other were so great, that the renegade
perceived that the paper had not been found by chance, but had been in
reality addressed to some one of us, and he begged us, if what he
suspected were the truth, to trust him and tell him all, for he would
risk his life for our freedom; and so saying he took out from his breast
a metal crucifix, and with many tears swore by the God the image
represented, in whom, sinful and wicked as he was, he truly and
faithfully believed, to be loyal to us and keep secret whatever we chose
to reveal to him; for he thought and almost foresaw that by means of her
who had written that paper, he and all of us would obtain our liberty,
and he himself obtain the object he so much desired, his restoration to
the bosom of the Holy Mother Church, from which by his own sin and
ignorance he was now severed like a corrupt limb. The renegade said this
with so many tears and such signs of repentance, that with one consent we
all agreed to tell him the whole truth of the matter, and so we gave him
a full account of all, without hiding anything from him. We pointed out
to him the window at which the reed appeared, and he by that means took
note of the house, and resolved to ascertain with particular care who
lived in it. We agreed also that it would be advisable to answer the
Moorish lady's letter, and the renegade without a moment's delay took
down the words I dictated to him, which were exactly what I shall tell
you, for nothing of importance that took place in this affair has escaped
my memory, or ever will while life lasts. This, then, was the answer
returned to the Moorish lady:

"The true Allah protect thee, Lady, and that blessed Marien who is the
true mother of God, and who has put it into thy heart to go to the land
of the Christians, because she loves thee. Entreat her that she be
pleased to show thee how thou canst execute the command she gives thee,
for she will, such is her goodness. On my own part, and on that of all
these Christians who are with me, I promise to do all that we can for
thee, even to death. Fail not to write to me and inform me what thou dost
mean to do, and I will always answer thee; for the great Allah has given
us a Christian captive who can speak and write thy language well, as thou
mayest see by this paper; without fear, therefore, thou canst inform us
of all thou wouldst. As to what thou sayest, that if thou dost reach the
land of the Christians thou wilt be my wife, I give thee my promise upon
it as a good Christian; and know that the Christians keep their promises
better than the Moors. Allah and Marien his mother watch over thee, my

The paper being written and folded I waited two days until the bano was
empty as before, and immediately repaired to the usual walk on the
terrace to see if there were any sign of the reed, which was not long in
making its appearance. As soon as I saw it, although I could not
distinguish who put it out, I showed the paper as a sign to attach the
thread, but it was already fixed to the reed, and to it I tied the paper;
and shortly afterwards our star once more made its appearance with the
white flag of peace, the little bundle. It was dropped, and I picked it
up, and found in the cloth, in gold and silver coins of all sorts, more
than fifty crowns, which fifty times more strengthened our joy and
doubled our hope of gaining our liberty. That very night our renegade
returned and said he had learned that the Moor we had been told of lived
in that house, that his name was Hadji Morato, that he was enormously
rich, that he had one only daughter the heiress of all his wealth, and
that it was the general opinion throughout the city that she was the most
beautiful woman in Barbary, and that several of the viceroys who came
there had sought her for a wife, but that she had been always unwilling
to marry; and he had learned, moreover, that she had a Christian slave
who was now dead; all which agreed with the contents of the paper. We
immediately took counsel with the renegade as to what means would have to
be adopted in order to carry off the Moorish lady and bring us all to
Christian territory; and in the end it was agreed that for the present we
should wait for a second communication from Zoraida (for that was the
name of her who now desires to be called Maria), because we saw clearly
that she and no one else could find a way out of all these difficulties.
When we had decided upon this the renegade told us not to be uneasy, for
he would lose his life or restore us to liberty. For four days the bano
was filled with people, for which reason the reed delayed its appearance
for four days, but at the end of that time, when the bano was, as it
generally was, empty, it appeared with the cloth so bulky that it
promised a happy birth. Reed and cloth came down to me, and I found
another paper and a hundred crowns in gold, without any other coin. The
renegade was present, and in our cell we gave him the paper to read,
which was to this effect:

"I cannot think of a plan, senor, for our going to Spain, nor has Lela
Marien shown me one, though I have asked her. All that can be done is for
me to give you plenty of money in gold from this window. With it ransom
yourself and your friends, and let one of you go to the land of the
Christians, and there buy a vessel and come back for the others; and he
will find me in my father's garden, which is at the Babazon gate near the
seashore, where I shall be all this summer with my father and my
servants. You can carry me away from there by night without any danger,
and bring me to the vessel. And remember thou art to be my husband, else
I will pray to Marien to punish thee. If thou canst not trust anyone to
go for the vessel, ransom thyself and do thou go, for I know thou wilt
return more surely than any other, as thou art a gentleman and a
Christian. Endeavour to make thyself acquainted with the garden; and when
I see thee walking yonder I shall know that the bano is empty and I will
give thee abundance of money. Allah protect thee, senor."

These were the words and contents of the second paper, and on hearing
them, each declared himself willing to be the ransomed one, and promised
to go and return with scrupulous good faith; and I too made the same
offer; but to all this the renegade objected, saying that he would not on
any account consent to one being set free before all went together, as
experience had taught him how ill those who have been set free keep
promises which they made in captivity; for captives of distinction
frequently had recourse to this plan, paying the ransom of one who was to
go to Valencia or Majorca with money to enable him to arm a bark and
return for the others who had ransomed him, but who never came back; for
recovered liberty and the dread of losing it again efface from the memory
all the obligations in the world. And to prove the truth of what he said,
he told us briefly what had happened to a certain Christian gentleman
almost at that very time, the strangest case that had ever occurred even
there, where astonishing and marvellous things are happening every
instant. In short, he ended by saying that what could and ought to be
done was to give the money intended for the ransom of one of us
Christians to him, so that he might with it buy a vessel there in Algiers
under the pretence of becoming a merchant and trader at Tetuan and along
the coast; and when master of the vessel, it would be easy for him to hit
on some way of getting us all out of the bano and putting us on board;
especially if the Moorish lady gave, as she said, money enough to ransom
all, because once free it would be the easiest thing in the world for us
to embark even in open day; but the greatest difficulty was that the
Moors do not allow any renegade to buy or own any craft, unless it be a
large vessel for going on roving expeditions, because they are afraid
that anyone who buys a small vessel, especially if he be a Spaniard, only
wants it for the purpose of escaping to Christian territory. This however
he could get over by arranging with a Tagarin Moor to go shares with him
in the purchase of the vessel, and in the profit on the cargo; and under
cover of this he could become master of the vessel, in which case he
looked upon all the rest as accomplished. But though to me and my
comrades it had seemed a better plan to send to Majorca for the vessel,
as the Moorish lady suggested, we did not dare to oppose him, fearing
that if we did not do as he said he would denounce us, and place us in
danger of losing all our lives if he were to disclose our dealings with
Zoraida, for whose life we would have all given our own. We therefore
resolved to put ourselves in the hands of God and in the renegade's; and
at the same time an answer was given to Zoraida, telling her that we
would do all she recommended, for she had given as good advice as if Lela
Marien had delivered it, and that it depended on her alone whether we
were to defer the business or put it in execution at once. I renewed my
promise to be her husband; and thus the next day that the bano chanced to
be empty she at different times gave us by means of the reed and cloth
two thousand gold crowns and a paper in which she said that the next
Juma, that is to say Friday, she was going to her father's garden, but
that before she went she would give us more money; and if it were not
enough we were to let her know, as she would give us as much as we asked,
for her father had so much he would not miss it, and besides she kept all
the keys.

We at once gave the renegade five hundred crowns to buy the vessel, and
with eight hundred I ransomed myself, giving the money to a Valencian
merchant who happened to be in Algiers at the time, and who had me
released on his word, pledging it that on the arrival of the first ship
from Valencia he would pay my ransom; for if he had given the money at
once it would have made the king suspect that my ransom money had been
for a long time in Algiers, and that the merchant had for his own
advantage kept it secret. In fact my master was so difficult to deal with
that I dared not on any account pay down the money at once. The Thursday
before the Friday on which the fair Zoraida was to go to the garden she
gave us a thousand crowns more, and warned us of her departure, begging
me, if I were ransomed, to find out her father's garden at once, and by
all means to seek an opportunity of going there to see her. I answered in
a few words that I would do so, and that she must remember to commend us
to Lela Marien with all the prayers the captive had taught her. This
having been done, steps were taken to ransom our three comrades, so as to
enable them to quit the bano, and lest, seeing me ransomed and themselves
not, though the money was forthcoming, they should make a disturbance
about it and the devil should prompt them to do something that might
injure Zoraida; for though their position might be sufficient to relieve
me from this apprehension, nevertheless I was unwilling to run any risk
in the matter; and so I had them ransomed in the same way as I was,
handing over all the money to the merchant so that he might with safety
and confidence give security; without, however, confiding our arrangement
and secret to him, which might have been dangerous.



Before fifteen days were over our renegade had already purchased an
excellent vessel with room for more than thirty persons; and to make the
transaction safe and lend a colour to it, he thought it well to make, as
he did, a voyage to a place called Shershel, twenty leagues from Algiers
on the Oran side, where there is an extensive trade in dried figs. Two or
three times he made this voyage in company with the Tagarin already
mentioned. The Moors of Aragon are called Tagarins in Barbary, and those
of Granada Mudejars; but in the Kingdom of Fez they call the Mudejars
Elches, and they are the people the king chiefly employs in war. To
proceed: every time he passed with his vessel he anchored in a cove that
was not two crossbow shots from the garden where Zoraida was waiting; and
there the renegade, together with the two Moorish lads that rowed, used
purposely to station himself, either going through his prayers, or else
practising as a part what he meant to perform in earnest. And thus he
would go to Zoraida's garden and ask for fruit, which her father gave
him, not knowing him; but though, as he afterwards told me, he sought to
speak to Zoraida, and tell her who he was, and that by my orders he was
to take her to the land of the Christians, so that she might feel
satisfied and easy, he had never been able to do so; for the Moorish
women do not allow themselves to be seen by any Moor or Turk, unless
their husband or father bid them: with Christian captives they permit
freedom of intercourse and communication, even more than might be
considered proper. But for my part I should have been sorry if he had
spoken to her, for perhaps it might have alarmed her to find her affairs
talked of by renegades. But God, who ordered it otherwise, afforded no
opportunity for our renegade's well-meant purpose; and he, seeing how
safely he could go to Shershel and return, and anchor when and how and
where he liked, and that the Tagarin his partner had no will but his, and
that, now I was ransomed, all we wanted was to find some Christians to
row, told me to look out for any I should be willing to take with me,
over and above those who had been ransomed, and to engage them for the
next Friday, which he fixed upon for our departure. On this I spoke to
twelve Spaniards, all stout rowers, and such as could most easily leave
the city; but it was no easy matter to find so many just then, because
there were twenty ships out on a cruise and they had taken all the rowers
with them; and these would not have been found were it not that their
master remained at home that summer without going to sea in order to
finish a galliot that he had upon the stocks. To these men I said nothing
more than that the next Friday in the evening they were to come out
stealthily one by one and hang about Hadji Morato's garden, waiting for
me there until I came. These directions I gave each one separately, with
orders that if they saw any other Christians there they were not to say
anything to them except that I had directed them to wait at that spot.

This preliminary having been settled, another still more necessary step
had to be taken, which was to let Zoraida know how matters stood that she
might be prepared and forewarned, so as not to be taken by surprise if we
were suddenly to seize upon her before she thought the Christians' vessel
could have returned. I determined, therefore, to go to the garden and try
if I could speak to her; and the day before my departure I went there
under the pretence of gathering herbs. The first person I met was her
father, who addressed me in the language that all over Barbary and even
in Constantinople is the medium between captives and Moors, and is
neither Morisco nor Castilian, nor of any other nation, but a mixture of
all languages, by means of which we can all understand one another. In
this sort of language, I say, he asked me what I wanted in his garden,
and to whom I belonged. I replied that I was a slave of the Arnaut Mami
(for I knew as a certainty that he was a very great friend of his), and
that I wanted some herbs to make a salad. He asked me then whether I were
on ransom or not, and what my master demanded for me. While these
questions and answers were proceeding, the fair Zoraida, who had already
perceived me some time before, came out of the house in the garden, and
as Moorish women are by no means particular about letting themselves be
seen by Christians, or, as I have said before, at all coy, she had no
hesitation in coming to where her father stood with me; moreover her
father, seeing her approaching slowly, called to her to come. It would be
beyond my power now to describe to you the great beauty, the high-bred
air, the brilliant attire of my beloved Zoraida as she presented herself
before my eyes. I will content myself with saying that more pearls hung
from her fair neck, her ears, and her hair than she had hairs on her
head. On her ankles, which as is customary were bare, she had carcajes
(for so bracelets or anklets are called in Morisco) of the purest gold,
set with so many diamonds that she told me afterwards her father valued
them at ten thousand doubloons, and those she had on her wrists were
worth as much more. The pearls were in profusion and very fine, for the
highest display and adornment of the Moorish women is decking themselves
with rich pearls and seed-pearls; and of these there are therefore more
among the Moors than among any other people. Zoraida's father had to the
reputation of possessing a great number, and the purest in all Algiers,
and of possessing also more than two hundred thousand Spanish crowns; and
she, who is now mistress of me only, was mistress of all this. Whether
thus adorned she would have been beautiful or not, and what she must have
been in her prosperity, may be imagined from the beauty remaining to her
after so many hardships; for, as everyone knows, the beauty of some women
has its times and its seasons, and is increased or diminished by chance
causes; and naturally the emotions of the mind will heighten or impair
it, though indeed more frequently they totally destroy it. In a word she
presented herself before me that day attired with the utmost splendour,
and supremely beautiful; at any rate, she seemed to me the most beautiful
object I had ever seen; and when, besides, I thought of all I owed to her
I felt as though I had before me some heavenly being come to earth to
bring me relief and happiness.

As she approached her father told her in his own language that I was a
captive belonging to his friend the Arnaut Mami, and that I had come for

She took up the conversation, and in that mixture of tongues I have
spoken of she asked me if I was a gentleman, and why I was not ransomed.

I answered that I was already ransomed, and that by the price it might be
seen what value my master set on me, as I had given one thousand five
hundred zoltanis for me; to which she replied, "Hadst thou been my
father's, I can tell thee, I would not have let him part with thee for
twice as much, for you Christians always tell lies about yourselves and
make yourselves out poor to cheat the Moors."

"That may be, lady," said I; "but indeed I dealt truthfully with my
master, as I do and mean to do with everybody in the world."

"And when dost thou go?" said Zoraida.

"To-morrow, I think," said I, "for there is a vessel here from France
which sails to-morrow, and I think I shall go in her."

"Would it not be better," said Zoraida, "to wait for the arrival of ships
from Spain and go with them and not with the French who are not your

"No," said I; "though if there were intelligence that a vessel were now
coming from Spain it is true I might, perhaps, wait for it; however, it
is more likely I shall depart to-morrow, for the longing I feel to return
to my country and to those I love is so great that it will not allow me
to wait for another opportunity, however more convenient, if it be

"No doubt thou art married in thine own country," said Zoraida, "and for
that reason thou art anxious to go and see thy wife."

"I am not married," I replied, "but I have given my promise to marry on
my arrival there."

"And is the lady beautiful to whom thou hast given it?" said Zoraida.

"So beautiful," said I, "that, to describe her worthily and tell thee the
truth, she is very like thee."

At this her father laughed very heartily and said, "By Allah, Christian,
she must be very beautiful if she is like my daughter, who is the most
beautiful woman in all this kingdom: only look at her well and thou wilt
see I am telling the truth."

Zoraida's father as the better linguist helped to interpret most of these
words and phrases, for though she spoke the bastard language, that, as I
have said, is employed there, she expressed her meaning more by signs
than by words.

While we were still engaged in this conversation, a Moor came running up,
exclaiming that four Turks had leaped over the fence or wall of the
garden, and were gathering the fruit though it was not yet ripe. The old
man was alarmed and Zoraida too, for the Moors commonly, and, so to
speak, instinctively have a dread of the Turks, but particularly of the
soldiers, who are so insolent and domineering to the Moors who are under
their power that they treat them worse than if they were their slaves.
Her father said to Zoraida, "Daughter, retire into the house and shut
thyself in while I go and speak to these dogs; and thou, Christian, pick
thy herbs, and go in peace, and Allah bring thee safe to thy own

I bowed, and he went away to look for the Turks, leaving me alone with
Zoraida, who made as if she were about to retire as her father bade her;
but the moment he was concealed by the trees of the garden, turning to me
with her eyes full of tears she said, "Tameji, cristiano, tameji?" that is
to say, "Art thou going, Christian, art thou going?"

I made answer, "Yes, lady, but not without thee, come what may: be on the
watch for me on the next Juma, and be not alarmed when thou seest us; for
most surely we shall go to the land of the Christians."

This I said in such a way that she understood perfectly all that passed
between us, and throwing her arm round my neck she began with feeble
steps to move towards the house; but as fate would have it (and it might
have been very unfortunate if Heaven had not otherwise ordered it), just
as we were moving on in the manner and position I have described, with
her arm round my neck, her father, as he returned after having sent away
the Turks, saw how we were walking and we perceived that he saw us; but
Zoraida, ready and quickwitted, took care not to remove her arm from my
neck, but on the contrary drew closer to me and laid her head on my
breast, bending her knees a little and showing all the signs and tokens
of fainting, while I at the same time made it seem as though I were
supporting her against my will. Her father came running up to where we
were, and seeing his daughter in this state asked what was the matter
with her; she, however, giving no answer, he said, "No doubt she has
fainted in alarm at the entrance of those dogs," and taking her from mine
he drew her to his own breast, while she sighing, her eyes still wet with
tears, said again, "Ameji, cristiano, ameji"--"Go, Christian, go." To
this her father replied, "There is no need, daughter, for the Christian
to go, for he has done thee no harm, and the Turks have now gone; feel no
alarm, there is nothing to hurt thee, for as I say, the Turks at my
request have gone back the way they came."

"It was they who terrified her, as thou hast said, senor," said I to her
father; "but since she tells me to go, I have no wish to displease her:
peace be with thee, and with thy leave I will come back to this garden
for herbs if need be, for my master says there are nowhere better herbs
for salad then here."

"Come back for any thou hast need of," replied Hadji Morato; "for my
daughter does not speak thus because she is displeased with thee or any
Christian: she only meant that the Turks should go, not thou; or that it
was time for thee to look for thy herbs."

With this I at once took my leave of both; and she, looking as though her
heart were breaking, retired with her father. While pretending to look
for herbs I made the round of the garden at my ease, and studied
carefully all the approaches and outlets, and the fastenings of the house
and everything that could be taken advantage of to make our task easy.

Having done so I went and gave an account of all that had taken place to
the renegade and my comrades, and looked forward with impatience to the
hour when, all fear at an end, I should find myself in possession of the
prize which fortune held out to me in the fair and lovely Zoraida. The
time passed at length, and the appointed day we so longed for arrived;
and, all following out the arrangement and plan which, after careful
consideration and many a long discussion, we had decided upon, we
succeeded as fully as we could have wished; for on the Friday following
the day upon which I spoke to Zoraida in the garden, the renegade
anchored his vessel at nightfall almost opposite the spot where she was.
The Christians who were to row were ready and in hiding in different
places round about, all waiting for me, anxious and elated, and eager to
attack the vessel they had before their eyes; for they did not know the
renegade's plan, but expected that they were to gain their liberty by
force of arms and by killing the Moors who were on board the vessel. As
soon, then, as I and my comrades made our appearance, all those that were
in hiding seeing us came and joined us. It was now the time when the city
gates are shut, and there was no one to be seen in all the space outside.
When we were collected together we debated whether it would be better
first to go for Zoraida, or to make prisoners of the Moorish rowers who
rowed in the vessel; but while we were still uncertain our renegade came
up asking us what kept us, as it was now the time, and all the Moors were
off their guard and most of them asleep. We told him why we hesitated,
but he said it was of more importance first to secure the vessel, which
could be done with the greatest ease and without any danger, and then we
could go for Zoraida. We all approved of what he said, and so without
further delay, guided by him we made for the vessel, and he leaping on
board first, drew his cutlass and said in Morisco, "Let no one stir from
this if he does not want it to cost him his life." By this almost all the
Christians were on board, and the Moors, who were fainthearted, hearing
their captain speak in this way, were cowed, and without any one of them
taking to his arms (and indeed they had few or hardly any) they submitted
without saying a word to be bound by the Christians, who quickly secured
them, threatening them that if they raised any kind of outcry they would
be all put to the sword. This having been accomplished, and half of our
party being left to keep guard over them, the rest of us, again taking
the renegade as our guide, hastened towards Hadji Morato's garden, and as
good luck would have it, on trying the gate it opened as easily as if it
had not been locked; and so, quite quietly and in silence, we reached the
house without being perceived by anybody. The lovely Zoraida was watching
for us at a window, and as soon as she perceived that there were people
there, she asked in a low voice if we were "Nizarani," as much as to say
or ask if we were Christians. I answered that we were, and begged her to
come down. As soon as she recognised me she did not delay an instant, but
without answering a word came down immediately, opened the door and
presented herself before us all, so beautiful and so richly attired that
I cannot attempt to describe her. The moment I saw her I took her hand
and kissed it, and the renegade and my two comrades did the same; and the
rest, who knew nothing of the circumstances, did as they saw us do, for
it only seemed as if we were returning thanks to her, and recognising her
as the giver of our liberty. The renegade asked her in the Morisco
language if her father was in the house. She replied that he was and that
he was asleep.

"Then it will be necessary to waken him and take him with us," said the
renegade, "and everything of value in this fair mansion."

"Nay," said she, "my father must not on any account be touched, and there
is nothing in the house except what I shall take, and that will be quite
enough to enrich and satisfy all of you; wait a little and you shall
see," and so saying she went in, telling us she would return immediately
and bidding us keep quiet making any noise.

I asked the renegade what had passed between them, and when he told me, I
declared that nothing should be done except in accordance with the wishes
of Zoraida, who now came back with a little trunk so full of gold crowns
that she could scarcely carry it. Unfortunately her father awoke while
this was going on, and hearing a noise in the garden, came to the window,
and at once perceiving that all those who were there were Christians,
raising a prodigiously loud outcry, he began to call out in Arabic,
"Christians, Christians! thieves, thieves!" by which cries we were all
thrown into the greatest fear and embarrassment; but the renegade seeing
the danger we were in and how important it was for him to effect his
purpose before we were heard, mounted with the utmost quickness to where
Hadji Morato was, and with him went some of our party; I, however, did
not dare to leave Zoraida, who had fallen almost fainting in my arms. To
be brief, those who had gone upstairs acted so promptly that in an
instant they came down, carrying Hadji Morato with his hands bound and a
napkin tied over his mouth, which prevented him from uttering a word,
warning him at the same time that to attempt to speak would cost him his
life. When his daughter caught sight of him she covered her eyes so as
not to see him, and her father was horror-stricken, not knowing how
willingly she had placed herself in our hands. But it was now most
essential for us to be on the move, and carefully and quickly we regained
the vessel, where those who had remained on board were waiting for us in
apprehension of some mishap having befallen us. It was barely two hours
after night set in when we were all on board the vessel, where the cords
were removed from the hands of Zoraida's father, and the napkin from his
mouth; but the renegade once more told him not to utter a word, or they
would take his life. He, when he saw his daughter there, began to sigh
piteously, and still more when he perceived that I held her closely
embraced and that she lay quiet without resisting or complaining, or
showing any reluctance; nevertheless he remained silent lest they should
carry into effect the repeated threats the renegade had addressed to him.

Finding herself now on board, and that we were about to give way with the
oars, Zoraida, seeing her father there, and the other Moors bound, bade
the renegade ask me to do her the favour of releasing the Moors and
setting her father at liberty, for she would rather drown herself in the
sea than suffer a father that had loved her so dearly to be carried away
captive before her eyes and on her account. The renegade repeated this to
me, and I replied that I was very willing to do so; but he replied that
it was not advisable, because if they were left there they would at once
raise the country and stir up the city, and lead to the despatch of swift
cruisers in pursuit, and our being taken, by sea or land, without any
possibility of escape; and that all that could be done was to set them
free on the first Christian ground we reached. On this point we all
agreed; and Zoraida, to whom it was explained, together with the reasons
that prevented us from doing at once what she desired, was satisfied
likewise; and then in glad silence and with cheerful alacrity each of our
stout rowers took his oar, and commending ourselves to God with all our
hearts, we began to shape our course for the island of Majorca, the
nearest Christian land. Owing, however, to the Tramontana rising a
little, and the sea growing somewhat rough, it was impossible for us to
keep a straight course for Majorca, and we were compelled to coast in the
direction of Oran, not without great uneasiness on our part lest we
should be observed from the town of Shershel, which lies on that coast,
not more than sixty miles from Algiers. Moreover we were afraid of
meeting on that course one of the galliots that usually come with goods
from Tetuan; although each of us for himself and all of us together felt
confident that, if we were to meet a merchant galliot, so that it were
not a cruiser, not only should we not be lost, but that we should take a
vessel in which we could more safely accomplish our voyage. As we pursued
our course Zoraida kept her head between my hands so as not to see her
father, and I felt that she was praying to Lela Marien to help us.

We might have made about thirty miles when daybreak found us some three
musket-shots off the land, which seemed to us deserted, and without
anyone to see us. For all that, however, by hard rowing we put out a
little to sea, for it was now somewhat calmer, and having gained about
two leagues the word was given to row by batches, while we ate something,
for the vessel was well provided; but the rowers said it was not a time
to take any rest; let food be served out to those who were not rowing,
but they would not leave their oars on any account. This was done, but
now a stiff breeze began to blow, which obliged us to leave off rowing
and make sail at once and steer for Oran, as it was impossible to make
any other course. All this was done very promptly, and under sail we ran
more than eight miles an hour without any fear, except that of coming
across some vessel out on a roving expedition. We gave the Moorish rowers
some food, and the renegade comforted them by telling them that they were
not held as captives, as we should set them free on the first

The same was said to Zoraida's father, who replied, "Anything else,
Christian, I might hope for or think likely from your generosity and good
behaviour, but do not think me so simple as to imagine you will give me
my liberty; for you would have never exposed yourselves to the danger of
depriving me of it only to restore it to me so generously, especially as
you know who I am and the sum you may expect to receive on restoring it;
and if you will only name that, I here offer you all you require for
myself and for my unhappy daughter there; or else for her alone, for she
is the greatest and most precious part of my soul."

As he said this he began to weep so bitterly that he filled us all with
compassion and forced Zoraida to look at him, and when she saw him
weeping she was so moved that she rose from my feet and ran to throw her
arms round him, and pressing her face to his, they both gave way to such
an outburst of tears that several of us were constrained to keep them

But when her father saw her in full dress and with all her jewels about
her, he said to her in his own language, "What means this, my daughter?
Last night, before this terrible misfortune in which we are plunged
befell us, I saw thee in thy everyday and indoor garments; and now,
without having had time to attire thyself, and without my bringing thee
any joyful tidings to furnish an occasion for adorning and bedecking
thyself, I see thee arrayed in the finest attire it would be in my power
to give thee when fortune was most kind to us. Answer me this; for it
causes me greater anxiety and surprise than even this misfortune itself."

The renegade interpreted to us what the Moor said to his daughter; she,
however, returned him no answer. But when he observed in one corner of
the vessel the little trunk in which she used to keep her jewels, which
he well knew he had left in Algiers and had not brought to the garden, he
was still more amazed, and asked her how that trunk had come into our
hands, and what there was in it. To which the renegade, without waiting
for Zoraida to reply, made answer, "Do not trouble thyself by asking thy
daughter Zoraida so many questions, senor, for the one answer I will give
thee will serve for all; I would have thee know that she is a Christian,
and that it is she who has been the file for our chains and our deliverer
from captivity. She is here of her own free will, as glad, I imagine, to
find herself in this position as he who escapes from darkness into the
light, from death to life, and from suffering to glory."

"Daughter, is this true, what he says?" cried the Moor.

"It is," replied Zoraida.

"That thou art in truth a Christian," said the old man, "and that thou
hast given thy father into the power of his enemies?"

To which Zoraida made answer, "A Christian I am, but it is not I who have
placed thee in this position, for it never was my wish to leave thee or
do thee harm, but only to do good to myself."

"And what good hast thou done thyself, daughter?" said he.

"Ask thou that," said she, "of Lela Marien, for she can tell thee better
than I."

The Moor had hardly heard these words when with marvellous quickness he
flung himself headforemost into the sea, where no doubt he would have
been drowned had not the long and full dress he wore held him up for a
little on the surface of the water. Zoraida cried aloud to us to save
him, and we all hastened to help, and seizing him by his robe we drew him
in half drowned and insensible, at which Zoraida was in such distress
that she wept over him as piteously and bitterly as though he were
already dead. We turned him upon his face and he voided a great quantity
of water, and at the end of two hours came to himself. Meanwhile, the
wind having changed we were compelled to head for the land, and ply our
oars to avoid being driven on shore; but it was our good fortune to reach
a creek that lies on one side of a small promontory or cape, called by
the Moors that of the "Cava rumia," which in our language means "the
wicked Christian woman;" for it is a tradition among them that La Cava,
through whom Spain was lost, lies buried at that spot; "cava" in their
language meaning "wicked woman," and "rumia" "Christian;" moreover, they
count it unlucky to anchor there when necessity compels them, and they
never do so otherwise. For us, however, it was not the resting-place of
the wicked woman but a haven of safety for our relief, so much had the
sea now got up. We posted a look-out on shore, and never let the oars out
of our hands, and ate of the stores the renegade had laid in, imploring
God and Our Lady with all our hearts to help and protect us, that we
might give a happy ending to a beginning so prosperous. At the entreaty
of Zoraida orders were given to set on shore her father and the other
Moors who were still bound, for she could not endure, nor could her
tender heart bear to see her father in bonds and her fellow-countrymen
prisoners before her eyes. We promised her to do this at the moment of
departure, for as it was uninhabited we ran no risk in releasing them at
that place.

Our prayers were not so far in vain as to be unheard by Heaven, for after
a while the wind changed in our favour, and made the sea calm, inviting
us once more to resume our voyage with a good heart. Seeing this we
unbound the Moors, and one by one put them on shore, at which they were
filled with amazement; but when we came to land Zoraida's father, who had
now completely recovered his senses, he said:

"Why is it, think ye, Christians, that this wicked woman is rejoiced at
your giving me my liberty? Think ye it is because of the affection she
bears me? Nay verily, it is only because of the hindrance my presence
offers to the execution of her base designs. And think not that it is her
belief that yours is better than ours that has led her to change her
religion; it is only because she knows that immodesty is more freely
practised in your country than in ours." Then turning to Zoraida, while I
and another of the Christians held him fast by both arms, lest he should
do some mad act, he said to her, "Infamous girl, misguided maiden,
whither in thy blindness and madness art thou going in the hands of these
dogs, our natural enemies? Cursed be the hour when I begot thee! Cursed
the luxury and indulgence in which I reared thee!"

But seeing that he was not likely soon to cease I made haste to put him
on shore, and thence he continued his maledictions and lamentations
aloud; calling on Mohammed to pray to Allah to destroy us, to confound
us, to make an end of us; and when, in consequence of having made sail,
we could no longer hear what he said we could see what he did; how he
plucked out his beard and tore his hair and lay writhing on the ground.
But once he raised his voice to such a pitch that we were able to hear
what he said. "Come back, dear daughter, come back to shore; I forgive
thee all; let those men have the money, for it is theirs now, and come
back to comfort thy sorrowing father, who will yield up his life on this
barren strand if thou dost leave him."

All this Zoraida heard, and heard with sorrow and tears, and all she
could say in answer was, "Allah grant that Lela Marien, who has made me
become a Christian, give thee comfort in thy sorrow, my father. Allah
knows that I could not do otherwise than I have done, and that these
Christians owe nothing to my will; for even had I wished not to accompany
them, but remain at home, it would have been impossible for me, so
eagerly did my soul urge me on to the accomplishment of this purpose,
which I feel to be as righteous as to thee, dear father, it seems

But neither could her father hear her nor we see him when she said this;
and so, while I consoled Zoraida, we turned our attention to our voyage,
in which a breeze from the right point so favoured us that we made sure
of finding ourselves off the coast of Spain on the morrow by daybreak.
But, as good seldom or never comes pure and unmixed, without being
attended or followed by some disturbing evil that gives a shock to it,
our fortune, or perhaps the curses which the Moor had hurled at his
daughter (for whatever kind of father they may come from these are always
to be dreaded), brought it about that when we were now in mid-sea, and
the night about three hours spent, as we were running with all sail set
and oars lashed, for the favouring breeze saved us the trouble of using
them, we saw by the light of the moon, which shone brilliantly, a
square-rigged vessel in full sail close to us, luffing up and standing
across our course, and so close that we had to strike sail to avoid
running foul of her, while they too put the helm hard up to let us pass.
They came to the side of the ship to ask who we were, whither we were
bound, and whence we came, but as they asked this in French our renegade
said, "Let no one answer, for no doubt these are French corsairs who
plunder all comers."

Acting on this warning no one answered a word, but after we had gone a
little ahead, and the vessel was now lying to leeward, suddenly they
fired two guns, and apparently both loaded with chain-shot, for with one
they cut our mast in half and brought down both it and the sail into the
sea, and the other, discharged at the same moment, sent a ball into our
vessel amidships, staving her in completely, but without doing any
further damage. We, however, finding ourselves sinking began to shout for
help and call upon those in the ship to pick us up as we were beginning
to fill. They then lay to, and lowering a skiff or boat, as many as a
dozen Frenchmen, well armed with match-locks, and their matches burning,
got into it and came alongside; and seeing how few we were, and that our
vessel was going down, they took us in, telling us that this had come to
us through our incivility in not giving them an answer. Our renegade took
the trunk containing Zoraida's wealth and dropped it into the sea without
anyone perceiving what he did. In short we went on board with the
Frenchmen, who, after having ascertained all they wanted to know about
us, rifled us of everything we had, as if they had been our bitterest
enemies, and from Zoraida they took even the anklets she wore on her
feet; but the distress they caused her did not distress me so much as the
fear I was in that from robbing her of her rich and precious jewels they
would proceed to rob her of the most precious jewel that she valued more
than all. The desires, however, of those people do not go beyond money,
but of that their covetousness is insatiable, and on this occasion it was
carried to such a pitch that they would have taken even the clothes we
wore as captives if they had been worth anything to them. It was the
advice of some of them to throw us all into the sea wrapped up in a sail;
for their purpose was to trade at some of the ports of Spain, giving
themselves out as Bretons, and if they brought us alive they would be
punished as soon as the robbery was discovered; but the captain (who was
the one who had plundered my beloved Zoraida) said he was satisfied with
the prize he had got, and that he would not touch at any Spanish port,
but pass the Straits of Gibraltar by night, or as best he could, and make
for La Rochelle, from which he had sailed. So they agreed by common
consent to give us the skiff belonging to their ship and all we required
for the short voyage that remained to us, and this they did the next day
on coming in sight of the Spanish coast, with which, and the joy we felt,
all our sufferings and miseries were as completely forgotten as if they
had never been endured by us, such is the delight of recovering lost

It may have been about mid-day when they placed us in the boat, giving us
two kegs of water and some biscuit; and the captain, moved by I know not
what compassion, as the lovely Zoraida was about to embark, gave her some
forty gold crowns, and would not permit his men to take from her those
same garments which she has on now. We got into the boat, returning them
thanks for their kindness to us, and showing ourselves grateful rather
than indignant. They stood out to sea, steering for the straits; we,
without looking to any compass save the land we had before us, set
ourselves to row with such energy that by sunset we were so near that we
might easily, we thought, land before the night was far advanced. But as
the moon did not show that night, and the sky was clouded, and as we knew
not whereabouts we were, it did not seem to us a prudent thing to make
for the shore, as several of us advised, saying we ought to run ourselves
ashore even if it were on rocks and far from any habitation, for in this
way we should be relieved from the apprehensions we naturally felt of the
prowling vessels of the Tetuan corsairs, who leave Barbary at nightfall
and are on the Spanish coast by daybreak, where they commonly take some
prize, and then go home to sleep in their own houses. But of the
conflicting counsels the one which was adopted was that we should
approach gradually, and land where we could if the sea were calm enough
to permit us. This was done, and a little before midnight we drew near to
the foot of a huge and lofty mountain, not so close to the sea but that
it left a narrow space on which to land conveniently. We ran our boat up
on the sand, and all sprang out and kissed the ground, and with tears of
joyful satisfaction returned thanks to God our Lord for all his
incomparable goodness to us on our voyage. We took out of the boat the
provisions it contained, and drew it up on the shore, and then climbed a
long way up the mountain, for even there we could not feel easy in our
hearts, or persuade ourselves that it was Christian soil that was now
under our feet.

The dawn came, more slowly, I think, than we could have wished; we
completed the ascent in order to see if from the summit any habitation or
any shepherds' huts could be discovered, but strain our eyes as we might,
neither dwelling, nor human being, nor path nor road could we perceive.
However, we determined to push on farther, as it could not but be that
ere long we must see some one who could tell us where we were. But what
distressed me most was to see Zoraida going on foot over that rough
ground; for though I once carried her on my shoulders, she was more
wearied by my weariness than rested by the rest; and so she would never
again allow me to undergo the exertion, and went on very patiently and
cheerfully, while I led her by the hand. We had gone rather less than a
quarter of a league when the sound of a little bell fell on our ears, a
clear proof that there were flocks hard by, and looking about carefully
to see if any were within view, we observed a young shepherd tranquilly
and unsuspiciously trimming a stick with his knife at the foot of a cork
tree. We called to him, and he, raising his head, sprang nimbly to his
feet, for, as we afterwards learned, the first who presented themselves
to his sight were the renegade and Zoraida, and seeing them in Moorish
dress he imagined that all the Moors of Barbary were upon him; and
plunging with marvellous swiftness into the thicket in front of him, he
began to raise a prodigious outcry, exclaiming, "The Moors--the Moors
have landed! To arms, to arms!" We were all thrown into perplexity by
these cries, not knowing what to do; but reflecting that the shouts of
the shepherd would raise the country and that the mounted coast-guard
would come at once to see what was the matter, we agreed that the
renegade must strip off his Turkish garments and put on a captive's
jacket or coat which one of our party gave him at once, though he himself
was reduced to his shirt; and so commending ourselves to God, we followed
the same road which we saw the shepherd take, expecting every moment that
the coast-guard would be down upon us. Nor did our expectation deceive
us, for two hours had not passed when, coming out of the brushwood into
the open ground, we perceived some fifty mounted men swiftly approaching
us at a hand-gallop. As soon as we saw them we stood still, waiting for
them; but as they came close and, instead of the Moors they were in quest
of, saw a set of poor Christians, they were taken aback, and one of them
asked if it could be we who were the cause of the shepherd having raised
the call to arms. I said "Yes," and as I was about to explain to him what
had occurred, and whence we came and who we were, one of the Christians
of our party recognised the horseman who had put the question to us, and
before I could say anything more he exclaimed:

"Thanks be to God, sirs, for bringing us to such good quarters; for, if I
do not deceive myself, the ground we stand on is that of Velez Malaga
unless, indeed, all my years of captivity have made me unable to
recollect that you, senor, who ask who we are, are Pedro de Bustamante,
my uncle."

The Christian captive had hardly uttered these words, when the horseman
threw himself off his horse, and ran to embrace the young man, crying:

"Nephew of my soul and life! I recognise thee now; and long have I
mourned thee as dead, I, and my sister, thy mother, and all thy kin that
are still alive, and whom God has been pleased to preserve that they may
enjoy the happiness of seeing thee. We knew long since that thou wert in
Algiers, and from the appearance of thy garments and those of all this
company, I conclude that ye have had a miraculous restoration to

"It is true," replied the young man, "and by-and-by we will tell you

As soon as the horsemen understood that we were Christian captives, they
dismounted from their horses, and each offered his to carry us to the
city of Velez Malaga, which was a league and a half distant. Some of them
went to bring the boat to the city, we having told them where we had left
it; others took us up behind them, and Zoraida was placed on the horse of
the young man's uncle. The whole town came out to meet us, for they had
by this time heard of our arrival from one who had gone on in advance.
They were not astonished to see liberated captives or captive Moors, for
people on that coast are well used to see both one and the other; but
they were astonished at the beauty of Zoraida, which was just then
heightened, as well by the exertion of travelling as by joy at finding
herself on Christian soil, and relieved of all fear of being lost; for
this had brought such a glow upon her face, that unless my affection for
her were deceiving me, I would venture to say that there was not a more
beautiful creature in the world--at least, that I had ever seen. We went
straight to the church to return thanks to God for the mercies we had
received, and when Zoraida entered it she said there were faces there
like Lela Marien's. We told her they were her images; and as well as he
could the renegade explained to her what they meant, that she might adore
them as if each of them were the very same Lela Marien that had spoken to
her; and she, having great intelligence and a quick and clear instinct,
understood at once all he said to her about them. Thence they took us
away and distributed us all in different houses in the town; but as for
the renegade, Zoraida, and myself, the Christian who came with us brought
us to the house of his parents, who had a fair share of the gifts of
fortune, and treated us with as much kindness as they did their own son.

We remained six days in Velez, at the end of which the renegade, having
informed himself of all that was requisite for him to do, set out for the
city of Granada to restore himself to the sacred bosom of the Church
through the medium of the Holy Inquisition. The other released captives
took their departures, each the way that seemed best to him, and Zoraida
and I were left alone, with nothing more than the crowns which the
courtesy of the Frenchman had bestowed upon Zoraida, out of which I
bought the beast on which she rides; and, I for the present attending her
as her father and squire and not as her husband, we are now going to
ascertain if my father is living, or if any of my brothers has had better
fortune than mine has been; though, as Heaven has made me the companion
of Zoraida, I think no other lot could be assigned to me, however happy,
that I would rather have. The patience with which she endures the
hardships that poverty brings with it, and the eagerness she shows to
become a Christian, are such that they fill me with admiration, and bind
me to serve her all my life; though the happiness I feel in seeing myself
hers, and her mine, is disturbed and marred by not knowing whether I
shall find any corner to shelter her in my own country, or whether time
and death may not have made such changes in the fortunes and lives of my
father and brothers, that I shall hardly find anyone who knows me, if
they are not alive.

I have no more of my story to tell you, gentlemen; whether it be an
interesting or a curious one let your better judgments decide; all I can
say is I would gladly have told it to you more briefly; although my fear
of wearying you has made me leave out more than one circumstance.



With these words the captive held his peace, and Don Fernando said to
him, "In truth, captain, the manner in which you have related this
remarkable adventure has been such as befitted the novelty and
strangeness of the matter. The whole story is curious and uncommon, and
abounds with incidents that fill the hearers with wonder and
astonishment; and so great is the pleasure we have found in listening to
it that we should be glad if it were to begin again, even though
to-morrow were to find us still occupied with the same tale." And while
he said this Cardenio and the rest of them offered to be of service to
him in any way that lay in their power, and in words and language so
kindly and sincere that the captain was much gratified by their
good-will. In particular Don Fernando offered, if he would go back with
him, to get his brother the marquis to become godfather at the baptism of
Zoraida, and on his own part to provide him with the means of making his
appearance in his own country with the credit and comfort he was entitled
to. For all this the captive returned thanks very courteously, although
he would not accept any of their generous offers.

By this time night closed in, and as it did, there came up to the inn a
coach attended by some men on horseback, who demanded accommodation; to
which the landlady replied that there was not a hand's breadth of the
whole inn unoccupied.

"Still, for all that," said one of those who had entered on horseback,
"room must be found for his lordship the Judge here."

At this name the landlady was taken aback, and said, "Senor, the fact is
I have no beds; but if his lordship the Judge carries one with him, as no
doubt he does, let him come in and welcome; for my husband and I will
give up our room to accommodate his worship."

"Very good, so be it," said the squire; but in the meantime a man had got
out of the coach whose dress indicated at a glance the office and post he
held, for the long robe with ruffled sleeves that he wore showed that he
was, as his servant said, a Judge of appeal. He led by the hand a young
girl in a travelling dress, apparently about sixteen years of age, and of
such a high-bred air, so beautiful and so graceful, that all were filled
with admiration when she made her appearance, and but for having seen
Dorothea, Luscinda, and Zoraida, who were there in the inn, they would
have fancied that a beauty like that of this maiden's would have been
hard to find. Don Quixote was present at the entrance of the Judge with
the young lady, and as soon as he saw him he said, "Your worship may with
confidence enter and take your ease in this castle; for though the
accommodation be scanty and poor, there are no quarters so cramped or
inconvenient that they cannot make room for arms and letters; above all
if arms and letters have beauty for a guide and leader, as letters
represented by your worship have in this fair maiden, to whom not only
ought castles to throw themselves open and yield themselves up, but rocks
should rend themselves asunder and mountains divide and bow themselves
down to give her a reception. Enter, your worship, I say, into this
paradise, for here you will find stars and suns to accompany the heaven
your worship brings with you, here you will find arms in their supreme
excellence, and beauty in its highest perfection."

The Judge was struck with amazement at the language of Don Quixote, whom
he scrutinized very carefully, no less astonished by his figure than by
his talk; and before he could find words to answer him he had a fresh
surprise, when he saw opposite to him Luscinda, Dorothea, and Zoraida,
who, having heard of the new guests and of the beauty of the young lady,
had come to see her and welcome her; Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the
curate, however, greeted him in a more intelligible and polished style.
In short, the Judge made his entrance in a state of bewilderment, as well
with what he saw as what he heard, and the fair ladies of the inn gave
the fair damsel a cordial welcome. On the whole he could perceive that
all who were there were people of quality; but with the figure,
countenance, and bearing of Don Quixote he was at his wits' end; and all
civilities having been exchanged, and the accommodation of the inn
inquired into, it was settled, as it had been before settled, that all
the women should retire to the garret that has been already mentioned,
and that the men should remain outside as if to guard them; the Judge,
therefore, was very well pleased to allow his daughter, for such the
damsel was, to go with the ladies, which she did very willingly; and with
part of the host's narrow bed and half of what the Judge had brought with
him, they made a more comfortable arrangement for the night than they had

The captive, whose heart had leaped within him the instant he saw the
Judge, telling him somehow that this was his brother, asked one of the
servants who accompanied him what his name was, and whether he knew from
what part of the country he came. The servant replied that he was called
the Licentiate Juan Perez de Viedma, and that he had heard it said he
came from a village in the mountains of Leon. From this statement, and
what he himself had seen, he felt convinced that this was his brother who
had adopted letters by his father's advice; and excited and rejoiced, he
called Don Fernando and Cardenio and the curate aside, and told them how
the matter stood, assuring them that the judge was his brother. The
servant had further informed him that he was now going to the Indies with
the appointment of Judge of the Supreme Court of Mexico; and he had
learned, likewise, that the young lady was his daughter, whose mother had
died in giving birth to her, and that he was very rich in consequence of
the dowry left to him with the daughter. He asked their advice as to what
means he should adopt to make himself known, or to ascertain beforehand
whether, when he had made himself known, his brother, seeing him so poor,
would be ashamed of him, or would receive him with a warm heart.

"Leave it to me to find out that," said the curate; "though there is no
reason for supposing, senor captain, that you will not be kindly
received, because the worth and wisdom that your brother's bearing shows
him to possess do not make it likely that he will prove haughty or
insensible, or that he will not know how to estimate the accidents of
fortune at their proper value."

"Still," said the captain, "I would not make myself known abruptly, but
in some indirect way."

"I have told you already," said the curate, "that I will manage it in a
way to satisfy us all."

By this time supper was ready, and they all took their seats at the
table, except the captive, and the ladies, who supped by themselves in
their own room. In the middle of supper the curate said:

"I had a comrade of your worship's name, Senor Judge, in Constantinople,
where I was a captive for several years, and that same comrade was one of
the stoutest soldiers and captains in the whole Spanish infantry; but he
had as large a share of misfortune as he had of gallantry and courage."

"And how was the captain called, senor?" asked the Judge.

"He was called Ruy Perez de Viedma," replied the curate, "and he was born
in a village in the mountains of Leon; and he mentioned a circumstance
connected with his father and his brothers which, had it not been told me
by so truthful a man as he was, I should have set down as one of those
fables the old women tell over the fire in winter; for he said his father
had divided his property among his three sons and had addressed words of
advice to them sounder than any of Cato's. But I can say this much, that
the choice he made of going to the wars was attended with such success,
that by his gallant conduct and courage, and without any help save his
own merit, he rose in a few years to be captain of infantry, and to see
himself on the high-road and in position to be given the command of a
corps before long; but Fortune was against him, for where he might have
expected her favour he lost it, and with it his liberty, on that glorious
day when so many recovered theirs, at the battle of Lepanto. I lost mine
at the Goletta, and after a variety of adventures we found ourselves
comrades at Constantinople. Thence he went to Algiers, where he met with
one of the most extraordinary adventures that ever befell anyone in the

Here the curate went on to relate briefly his brother's adventure with
Zoraida; to all which the Judge gave such an attentive hearing that he
never before had been so much of a hearer. The curate, however, only went
so far as to describe how the Frenchmen plundered those who were in the
boat, and the poverty and distress in which his comrade and the fair Moor
were left, of whom he said he had not been able to learn what became of
them, or whether they had reached Spain, or been carried to France by the

The captain, standing a little to one side, was listening to all the
curate said, and watching every movement of his brother, who, as soon as
he perceived the curate had made an end of his story, gave a deep sigh
and said with his eyes full of tears, "Oh, senor, if you only knew what
news you have given me and how it comes home to me, making me show how I
feel it with these tears that spring from my eyes in spite of all my
worldly wisdom and self-restraint! That brave captain that you speak of
is my eldest brother, who, being of a bolder and loftier mind than my
other brother or myself, chose the honourable and worthy calling of arms,
which was one of the three careers our father proposed to us, as your
comrade mentioned in that fable you thought he was telling you. I
followed that of letters, in which God and my own exertions have raised
me to the position in which you see me. My second brother is in Peru, so
wealthy that with what he has sent to my father and to me he has fully
repaid the portion he took with him, and has even furnished my father's
hands with the means of gratifying his natural generosity, while I too
have been enabled to pursue my studies in a more becoming and creditable
fashion, and so to attain my present standing. My father is still alive,
though dying with anxiety to hear of his eldest son, and he prays God
unceasingly that death may not close his eyes until he has looked upon
those of his son; but with regard to him what surprises me is, that
having so much common sense as he had, he should have neglected to give
any intelligence about himself, either in his troubles and sufferings, or
in his prosperity, for if his father or any of us had known of his
condition he need not have waited for that miracle of the reed to obtain
his ransom; but what now disquiets me is the uncertainty whether those
Frenchmen may have restored him to liberty, or murdered him to hide the
robbery. All this will make me continue my journey, not with the
satisfaction in which I began it, but in the deepest melancholy and
sadness. Oh dear brother! that I only knew where thou art now, and I
would hasten to seek thee out and deliver thee from thy sufferings,
though it were to cost me suffering myself! Oh that I could bring news to
our old father that thou art alive, even wert thou the deepest dungeon of
Barbary; for his wealth and my brother's and mine would rescue thee
thence! Oh beautiful and generous Zoraida, that I could repay thy good
goodness to a brother! That I could be present at the new birth of thy
soul, and at thy bridal that would give us all such happiness!"

All this and more the Judge uttered with such deep emotion at the news he
had received of his brother that all who heard him shared in it, showing
their sympathy with his sorrow. The curate, seeing, then, how well he had
succeeded in carrying out his purpose and the captain's wishes, had no
desire to keep them unhappy any longer, so he rose from the table and
going into the room where Zoraida was he took her by the hand, Luscinda,
Dorothea, and the Judge's daughter following her. The captain was waiting
to see what the curate would do, when the latter, taking him with the
other hand, advanced with both of them to where the Judge and the other
gentlemen were and said, "Let your tears cease to flow, Senor Judge, and
the wish of your heart be gratified as fully as you could desire, for you
have before you your worthy brother and your good sister-in-law. He whom
you see here is the Captain Viedma, and this is the fair Moor who has
been so good to him. The Frenchmen I told you of have reduced them to the
state of poverty you see that you may show the generosity of your kind

The captain ran to embrace his brother, who placed both hands on his
breast so as to have a good look at him, holding him a little way off but
as soon as he had fully recognised him he clasped him in his arms so
closely, shedding such tears of heartfelt joy, that most of those present
could not but join in them. The words the brothers exchanged, the emotion
they showed can scarcely be imagined, I fancy, much less put down in
writing. They told each other in a few words the events of their lives;
they showed the true affection of brothers in all its strength; then the
judge embraced Zoraida, putting all he possessed at her disposal; then he
made his daughter embrace her, and the fair Christian and the lovely Moor
drew fresh tears from every eye. And there was Don Quixote observing all
these strange proceedings attentively without uttering a word, and
attributing the whole to chimeras of knight-errantry. Then they agreed
that the captain and Zoraida should return with his brother to Seville,
and send news to his father of his having been delivered and found, so as
to enable him to come and be present at the marriage and baptism of
Zoraida, for it was impossible for the Judge to put off his journey, as
he was informed that in a month from that time the fleet was to sail from
Seville for New Spain, and to miss the passage would have been a great
inconvenience to him. In short, everybody was well pleased and glad at
the captive's good fortune; and as now almost two-thirds of the night
were past, they resolved to retire to rest for the remainder of it. Don
Quixote offered to mount guard over the castle lest they should be
attacked by some giant or other malevolent scoundrel, covetous of the
great treasure of beauty the castle contained. Those who understood him
returned him thanks for this service, and they gave the Judge an account
of his extraordinary humour, with which he was not a little amused.
Sancho Panza alone was fuming at the lateness of the hour for retiring to
rest; and he of all was the one that made himself most comfortable, as he
stretched himself on the trappings of his ass, which, as will be told
farther on, cost him so dear.

The ladies, then, having retired to their chamber, and the others having
disposed themselves with as little discomfort as they could, Don Quixote
sallied out of the inn to act as sentinel of the castle as he had
promised. It happened, however, that a little before the approach of dawn
a voice so musical and sweet reached the ears of the ladies that it
forced them all to listen attentively, but especially Dorothea, who had
been awake, and by whose side Dona Clara de Viedma, for so the Judge's
daughter was called, lay sleeping. No one could imagine who it was that
sang so sweetly, and the voice was unaccompanied by any instrument. At
one moment it seemed to them as if the singer were in the courtyard, at
another in the stable; and as they were all attention, wondering,
Cardenio came to the door and said, "Listen, whoever is not asleep, and
you will hear a muleteer's voice that enchants as it chants."

"We are listening to it already, senor," said Dorothea; on which Cardenio
went away; and Dorothea, giving all her attention to it, made out the
words of the song to be these:



Ah me, Love's mariner am I
  On Love's deep ocean sailing;
I know not where the haven lies,
  I dare not hope to gain it.

One solitary distant star
  Is all I have to guide me,
A brighter orb than those of old
  That Palinurus lighted.

And vaguely drifting am I borne,
  I know not where it leads me;
I fix my gaze on it alone,
  Of all beside it heedless.

But over-cautious prudery,
  And coyness cold and cruel,
When most I need it, these, like clouds,
  Its longed-for light refuse me.

Bright star, goal of my yearning eyes
  As thou above me beamest,
When thou shalt hide thee from my sight
  I'll know that death is near me.

The singer had got so far when it struck Dorothea that it was not fair to
let Clara miss hearing such a sweet voice, so, shaking her from side to
side, she woke her, saying:

"Forgive me, child, for waking thee, but I do so that thou mayest have
the pleasure of hearing the best voice thou hast ever heard, perhaps, in
all thy life."

Clara awoke quite drowsy, and not understanding at the moment what
Dorothea said, asked her what it was; she repeated what she had said, and
Clara became attentive at once; but she had hardly heard two lines, as
the singer continued, when a strange trembling seized her, as if she were
suffering from a severe attack of quartan ague, and throwing her arms
round Dorothea she said:

"Ah, dear lady of my soul and life! why did you wake me? The greatest
kindness fortune could do me now would be to close my eyes and ears so as
neither to see or hear that unhappy musician."

"What art thou talking about, child?" said Dorothea. "Why, they say this
singer is a muleteer!"

"Nay, he is the lord of many places," replied Clara, "and that one in my
heart which he holds so firmly shall never be taken from him, unless he
be willing to surrender it."

Dorothea was amazed at the ardent language of the girl, for it seemed to
be far beyond such experience of life as her tender years gave any
promise of, so she said to her:

"You speak in such a way that I cannot understand you, Senora Clara;
explain yourself more clearly, and tell me what is this you are saying
about hearts and places and this musician whose voice has so moved you?
But do not tell me anything now; I do not want to lose the pleasure I get
from listening to the singer by giving my attention to your transports,
for I perceive he is beginning to sing a new strain and a new air."

"Let him, in Heaven's name," returned Clara; and not to hear him she
stopped both ears with her hands, at which Dorothea was again surprised;
but turning her attention to the song she found that it ran in this

  Sweet Hope, my stay,
That onward to the goal of thy intent
  Dost make thy way,
Heedless of hindrance or impediment,
  Have thou no fear
If at each step thou findest death is near.

  No victory,
No joy of triumph doth the faint heart know;
  Unblest is he
That a bold front to Fortune dares not show,
  But soul and sense
In bondage yieldeth up to indolence.

  If Love his wares
Do dearly sell, his right must be contest;
  What gold compares
With that whereon his stamp he hath imprest?
  And all men know
What costeth little that we rate but low.

  Love resolute
Knows not the word "impossibility;"
  And though my suit
Beset by endless obstacles I see,
  Yet no despair
Shall hold me bound to earth while heaven is there.

Here the voice ceased and Clara's sobs began afresh, all which excited
Dorothea's curiosity to know what could be the cause of singing so sweet
and weeping so bitter, so she again asked her what it was she was going
to say before. On this Clara, afraid that Luscinda might overhear her,
winding her arms tightly round Dorothea put her mouth so close to her ear
that she could speak without fear of being heard by anyone else, and

"This singer, dear senora, is the son of a gentleman of Aragon, lord of
two villages, who lives opposite my father's house at Madrid; and though
my father had curtains to the windows of his house in winter, and
lattice-work in summer, in some way--I know not how--this gentleman, who
was pursuing his studies, saw me, whether in church or elsewhere, I
cannot tell, and, in fact, fell in love with me, and gave me to know it
from the windows of his house, with so many signs and tears that I was
forced to believe him, and even to love him, without knowing what it was
he wanted of me. One of the signs he used to make me was to link one hand
in the other, to show me he wished to marry me; and though I should have
been glad if that could be, being alone and motherless I knew not whom to
open my mind to, and so I left it as it was, showing him no favour,
except when my father, and his too, were from home, to raise the curtain
or the lattice a little and let him see me plainly, at which he would
show such delight that he seemed as if he were going mad. Meanwhile the
time for my father's departure arrived, which he became aware of, but not
from me, for I had never been able to tell him of it. He fell sick, of
grief I believe, and so the day we were going away I could not see him to
take farewell of him, were it only with the eyes. But after we had been
two days on the road, on entering the posada of a village a day's journey
from this, I saw him at the inn door in the dress of a muleteer, and so
well disguised, that if I did not carry his image graven on my heart it
would have been impossible for me to recognise him. But I knew him, and I
was surprised, and glad; he watched me, unsuspected by my father, from
whom he always hides himself when he crosses my path on the road, or in
the posadas where we halt; and, as I know what he is, and reflect that
for love of me he makes this journey on foot in all this hardship, I am
ready to die of sorrow; and where he sets foot there I set my eyes. I
know not with what object he has come; or how he could have got away from
his father, who loves him beyond measure, having no other heir, and
because he deserves it, as you will perceive when you see him. And
moreover, I can tell you, all that he sings is out of his own head; for I
have heard them say he is a great scholar and poet; and what is more,
every time I see him or hear him sing I tremble all over, and am
terrified lest my father should recognise him and come to know of our
loves. I have never spoken a word to him in my life; and for all that I
love him so that I could not live without him. This, dear senora, is all
I have to tell you about the musician whose voice has delighted you so
much; and from it alone you might easily perceive he is no muleteer, but
a lord of hearts and towns, as I told you already."

"Say no more, Dona Clara," said Dorothea at this, at the same time
kissing her a thousand times over, "say no more, I tell you, but wait
till day comes; when I trust in God to arrange this affair of yours so
that it may have the happy ending such an innocent beginning deserves."

"Ah, senora," said Dona Clara, "what end can be hoped for when his father
is of such lofty position, and so wealthy, that he would think I was not
fit to be even a servant to his son, much less wife? And as to marrying
without the knowledge of my father, I would not do it for all the world.
I would not ask anything more than that this youth should go back and
leave me; perhaps with not seeing him, and the long distance we shall
have to travel, the pain I suffer now may become easier; though I daresay
the remedy I propose will do me very little good. I don't know how the
devil this has come about, or how this love I have for him got in; I such
a young girl, and he such a mere boy; for I verily believe we are both of
an age, and I am not sixteen yet; for I will be sixteen Michaelmas Day,
next, my father says."

Dorothea could not help laughing to hear how like a child Dona Clara
spoke. "Let us go to sleep now, senora," said she, "for the little of the
night that I fancy is left to us: God will soon send us daylight, and we
will set all to rights, or it will go hard with me."

With this they fell asleep, and deep silence reigned all through the inn.
The only persons not asleep were the landlady's daughter and her servant
Maritornes, who, knowing the weak point of Don Quixote's humour, and that
he was outside the inn mounting guard in armour and on horseback,
resolved, the pair of them, to play some trick upon him, or at any rate
to amuse themselves for a while by listening to his nonsense. As it so
happened there was not a window in the whole inn that looked outwards
except a hole in the wall of a straw-loft through which they used to
throw out the straw. At this hole the two demi-damsels posted themselves,
and observed Don Quixote on his horse, leaning on his pike and from time
to time sending forth such deep and doleful sighs, that he seemed to
pluck up his soul by the roots with each of them; and they could hear
him, too, saying in a soft, tender, loving tone, "Oh my lady Dulcinea del
Toboso, perfection of all beauty, summit and crown of discretion,
treasure house of grace, depositary of virtue, and finally, ideal of all
that is good, honourable, and delectable in this world! What is thy grace
doing now? Art thou, perchance, mindful of thy enslaved knight who of his
own free will hath exposed himself to so great perils, and all to serve
thee? Give me tidings of her, oh luminary of the three faces! Perhaps at
this moment, envious of hers, thou art regarding her, either as she paces
to and fro some gallery of her sumptuous palaces, or leans over some
balcony, meditating how, whilst preserving her purity and greatness, she
may mitigate the tortures this wretched heart of mine endures for her
sake, what glory should recompense my sufferings, what repose my toil,
and lastly what death my life, and what reward my services? And thou, oh
sun, that art now doubtless harnessing thy steeds in haste to rise
betimes and come forth to see my lady; when thou seest her I entreat of
thee to salute her on my behalf: but have a care, when thou shalt see her
and salute her, that thou kiss not her face; for I shall be more jealous
of thee than thou wert of that light-footed ingrate that made thee sweat
and run so on the plains of Thessaly, or on the banks of the Peneus (for
I do not exactly recollect where it was thou didst run on that occasion)
in thy jealousy and love."

Don Quixote had got so far in his pathetic speech when the landlady's
daughter began to signal to him, saying, "Senor, come over here, please."

At these signals and voice Don Quixote turned his head and saw by the
light of the moon, which then was in its full splendour, that some one
was calling to him from the hole in the wall, which seemed to him to be a
window, and what is more, with a gilt grating, as rich castles, such as
he believed the inn to be, ought to have; and it immediately suggested
itself to his imagination that, as on the former occasion, the fair
damsel, the daughter of the lady of the castle, overcome by love for him,
was once more endeavouring to win his affections; and with this idea, not
to show himself discourteous, or ungrateful, he turned Rocinante's head
and approached the hole, and as he perceived the two wenches he said:

"I pity you, beauteous lady, that you should have directed your thoughts
of love to a quarter from whence it is impossible that such a return can
be made to you as is due to your great merit and gentle birth, for which
you must not blame this unhappy knight-errant whom love renders incapable
of submission to any other than her whom, the first moment his eyes
beheld her, he made absolute mistress of his soul. Forgive me, noble
lady, and retire to your apartment, and do not, by any further
declaration of your passion, compel me to show myself more ungrateful;
and if, of the love you bear me, you should find that there is anything
else in my power wherein I can gratify you, provided it be not love
itself, demand it of me; for I swear to you by that sweet absent enemy of
mine to grant it this instant, though it be that you require of me a lock
of Medusa's hair, which was all snakes, or even the very beams of the sun
shut up in a vial."

"My mistress wants nothing of that sort, sir knight," said Maritornes at

"What then, discreet dame, is it that your mistress wants?" replied Don

"Only one of your fair hands," said Maritornes, "to enable her to vent
over it the great passion passion which has brought her to this loophole,
so much to the risk of her honour; for if the lord her father had heard
her, the least slice he would cut off her would be her ear."

"I should like to see that tried," said Don Quixote; "but he had better
beware of that, if he does not want to meet the most disastrous end that
ever father in the world met for having laid hands on the tender limbs of
a love-stricken daughter."

Maritornes felt sure that Don Quixote would present the hand she had
asked, and making up her mind what to do, she got down from the hole and
went into the stable, where she took the halter of Sancho Panza's ass,
and in all haste returned to the hole, just as Don Quixote had planted
himself standing on Rocinante's saddle in order to reach the grated
window where he supposed the lovelorn damsel to be; and giving her his
hand, he said, "Lady, take this hand, or rather this scourge of the
evil-doers of the earth; take, I say, this hand which no other hand of
woman has ever touched, not even hers who has complete possession of my
entire body. I present it to you, not that you may kiss it, but that you
may observe the contexture of the sinews, the close network of the
muscles, the breadth and capacity of the veins, whence you may infer what
must be the strength of the arm that has such a hand."

"That we shall see presently," said Maritornes, and making a running knot
on the halter, she passed it over his wrist and coming down from the hole
tied the other end very firmly to the bolt of the door of the straw-loft.

Don Quixote, feeling the roughness of the rope on his wrist, exclaimed,
"Your grace seems to be grating rather than caressing my hand; treat it
not so harshly, for it is not to blame for the offence my resolution has
given you, nor is it just to wreak all your vengeance on so small a part;
remember that one who loves so well should not revenge herself so

But there was nobody now to listen to these words of Don Quixote's, for
as soon as Maritornes had tied him she and the other made off, ready to
die with laughing, leaving him fastened in such a way that it was
impossible for him to release himself.

He was, as has been said, standing on Rocinante, with his arm passed
through the hole and his wrist tied to the bolt of the door, and in
mighty fear and dread of being left hanging by the arm if Rocinante were
to stir one side or the other; so he did not dare to make the least
movement, although from the patience and imperturbable disposition of
Rocinante, he had good reason to expect that he would stand without
budging for a whole century. Finding himself fast, then, and that the
ladies had retired, he began to fancy that all this was done by
enchantment, as on the former occasion when in that same castle that
enchanted Moor of a carrier had belaboured him; and he cursed in his
heart his own want of sense and judgment in venturing to enter the castle
again, after having come off so badly the first time; it being a settled
point with knights-errant that when they have tried an adventure, and
have not succeeded in it, it is a sign that it is not reserved for them
but for others, and that therefore they need not try it again.
Nevertheless he pulled his arm to see if he could release himself, but it
had been made so fast that all his efforts were in vain. It is true he
pulled it gently lest Rocinante should move, but try as he might to seat
himself in the saddle, he had nothing for it but to stand upright or pull
his hand off. Then it was he wished for the sword of Amadis, against
which no enchantment whatever had any power; then he cursed his ill
fortune; then he magnified the loss the world would sustain by his
absence while he remained there enchanted, for that he believed he was
beyond all doubt; then he once more took to thinking of his beloved
Dulcinea del Toboso; then he called to his worthy squire Sancho Panza,
who, buried in sleep and stretched upon the pack-saddle of his ass, was
oblivious, at that moment, of the mother that bore him; then he called
upon the sages Lirgandeo and Alquife to come to his aid; then he invoked
his good friend Urganda to succour him; and then, at last, morning found
him in such a state of desperation and perplexity that he was bellowing
like a bull, for he had no hope that day would bring any relief to his
suffering, which he believed would last for ever, inasmuch as he was
enchanted; and of this he was convinced by seeing that Rocinante never
stirred, much or little, and he felt persuaded that he and his horse were
to remain in this state, without eating or drinking or sleeping, until
the malign influence of the stars was overpast, or until some other more
sage enchanter should disenchant him.

But he was very much deceived in this conclusion, for daylight had hardly
begun to appear when there came up to the inn four men on horseback, well
equipped and accoutred, with firelocks across their saddle-bows. They
called out and knocked loudly at the gate of the inn, which was still
shut; on seeing which, Don Quixote, even there where he was, did not
forget to act as sentinel, and said in a loud and imperious tone,
"Knights, or squires, or whatever ye be, ye have no right to knock at the
gates of this castle; for it is plain enough that they who are within are
either asleep, or else are not in the habit of throwing open the fortress
until the sun's rays are spread over the whole surface of the earth.
Withdraw to a distance, and wait till it is broad daylight, and then we
shall see whether it will be proper or not to open to you."

"What the devil fortress or castle is this," said one, "to make us stand
on such ceremony? If you are the innkeeper bid them open to us; we are
travellers who only want to feed our horses and go on, for we are in

"Do you think, gentlemen, that I look like an innkeeper?" said Don

"I don't know what you look like," replied the other; "but I know that
you are talking nonsense when you call this inn a castle."

"A castle it is," returned Don Quixote, "nay, more, one of the best in
this whole province, and it has within it people who have had the sceptre
in the hand and the crown on the head."

"It would be better if it were the other way," said the traveller, "the
sceptre on the head and the crown in the hand; but if so, may be there is
within some company of players, with whom it is a common thing to have
those crowns and sceptres you speak of; for in such a small inn as this,
and where such silence is kept, I do not believe any people entitled to
crowns and sceptres can have taken up their quarters."

"You know but little of the world," returned Don Quixote, "since you are
ignorant of what commonly occurs in knight-errantry."

But the comrades of the spokesman, growing weary of the dialogue with Don
Quixote, renewed their knocks with great vehemence, so much so that the
host, and not only he but everybody in the inn, awoke, and he got up to
ask who knocked. It happened at this moment that one of the horses of the
four who were seeking admittance went to smell Rocinante, who melancholy,
dejected, and with drooping ears stood motionless, supporting his sorely
stretched master; and as he was, after all, flesh, though he looked as if
he were made of wood, he could not help giving way and in return smelling
the one who had come to offer him attentions. But he had hardly moved at
all when Don Quixote lost his footing; and slipping off the saddle, he
would have come to the ground, but for being suspended by the arm, which
caused him such agony that he believed either his wrist would be cut
through or his arm torn off; and he hung so near the ground that he could
just touch it with his feet, which was all the worse for him; for,
finding how little was wanted to enable him to plant his feet firmly, he
struggled and stretched himself as much as he could to gain a footing;
just like those undergoing the torture of the strappado, when they are
fixed at "touch and no touch," who aggravate their own sufferings by
their violent efforts to stretch themselves, deceived by the hope which
makes them fancy that with a very little more they will reach the ground.



So loud, in fact, were the shouts of Don Quixote, that the landlord
opening the gate of the inn in all haste, came out in dismay, and ran to
see who was uttering such cries, and those who were outside joined him.
Maritornes, who had been by this time roused up by the same outcry,
suspecting what it was, ran to the loft and, without anyone seeing her,
untied the halter by which Don Quixote was suspended, and down he came to
the ground in the sight of the landlord and the travellers, who
approaching asked him what was the matter with him that he shouted so. He
without replying a word took the rope off his wrist, and rising to his
feet leaped upon Rocinante, braced his buckler on his arm, put his lance
in rest, and making a considerable circuit of the plain came back at a
half-gallop exclaiming:

"Whoever shall say that I have been enchanted with just cause, provided
my lady the Princess Micomicona grants me permission to do so, I give him
the lie, challenge him and defy him to single combat."

The newly arrived travellers were amazed at the words of Don Quixote; but
the landlord removed their surprise by telling them who he was, and not
to mind him as he was out of his senses. They then asked the landlord if
by any chance a youth of about fifteen years of age had come to that inn,
one dressed like a muleteer, and of such and such an appearance,
describing that of Dona Clara's lover. The landlord replied that there
were so many people in the inn he had not noticed the person they were
inquiring for; but one of them observing the coach in which the Judge had
come, said, "He is here no doubt, for this is the coach he is following:
let one of us stay at the gate, and the rest go in to look for him; or
indeed it would be as well if one of us went round the inn, lest he
should escape over the wall of the yard." "So be it," said another; and
while two of them went in, one remained at the gate and the other made
the circuit of the inn; observing all which, the landlord was unable to
conjecture for what reason they were taking all these precautions, though
he understood they were looking for the youth whose description they had
given him.

It was by this time broad daylight; and for that reason, as well as in
consequence of the noise Don Quixote had made, everybody was awake and
up, but particularly Dona Clara and Dorothea; for they had been able to
sleep but badly that night, the one from agitation at having her lover so
near her, the other from curiosity to see him. Don Quixote, when he saw
that not one of the four travellers took any notice of him or replied to
his challenge, was furious and ready to die with indignation and wrath;
and if he could have found in the ordinances of chivalry that it was
lawful for a knight-errant to undertake or engage in another enterprise,
when he had plighted his word and faith not to involve himself in any
until he had made an end of the one to which he was pledged, he would
have attacked the whole of them, and would have made them return an
answer in spite of themselves. But considering that it would not become
him, nor be right, to begin any new emprise until he had established
Micomicona in her kingdom, he was constrained to hold his peace and wait
quietly to see what would be the upshot of the proceedings of those same
travellers; one of whom found the youth they were seeking lying asleep by
the side of a muleteer, without a thought of anyone coming in search of
him, much less finding him.

The man laid hold of him by the arm, saying, "It becomes you well indeed,
Senor Don Luis, to be in the dress you wear, and well the bed in which I
find you agrees with the luxury in which your mother reared you."

The youth rubbed his sleepy eyes and stared for a while at him who held
him, but presently recognised him as one of his father's servants, at
which he was so taken aback that for some time he could not find or utter
a word; while the servant went on to say, "There is nothing for it now,
Senor Don Luis, but to submit quietly and return home, unless it is your
wish that my lord, your father, should take his departure for the other
world, for nothing else can be the consequence of the grief he is in at
your absence."

"But how did my father know that I had gone this road and in this dress?"
said Don Luis.

"It was a student to whom you confided your intentions," answered the
servant, "that disclosed them, touched with pity at the distress he saw
your father suffer on missing you; he therefore despatched four of his
servants in quest of you, and here we all are at your service, better
pleased than you can imagine that we shall return so soon and be able to
restore you to those eyes that so yearn for you."

"That shall be as I please, or as heaven orders," returned Don Luis.

"What can you please or heaven order," said the other, "except to agree
to go back? Anything else is impossible."

All this conversation between the two was overheard by the muleteer at
whose side Don Luis lay, and rising, he went to report what had taken
place to Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the others, who had by this time
dressed themselves; and told them how the man had addressed the youth as
"Don," and what words had passed, and how he wanted him to return to his
father, which the youth was unwilling to do. With this, and what they
already knew of the rare voice that heaven had bestowed upon him, they
all felt very anxious to know more particularly who he was, and even to
help him if it was attempted to employ force against him; so they
hastened to where he was still talking and arguing with his servant.
Dorothea at this instant came out of her room, followed by Dona Clara all
in a tremor; and calling Cardenio aside, she told him in a few words the
story of the musician and Dona Clara, and he at the same time told her
what had happened, how his father's servants had come in search of him;
but in telling her so, he did not speak low enough but that Dona Clara
heard what he said, at which she was so much agitated that had not
Dorothea hastened to support her she would have fallen to the ground.
Cardenio then bade Dorothea return to her room, as he would endeavour to
make the whole matter right, and they did as he desired. All the four who
had come in quest of Don Luis had now come into the inn and surrounded
him, urging him to return and console his father at once and without a
moment's delay. He replied that he could not do so on any account until
he had concluded some business in which his life, honour, and heart were
at stake. The servants pressed him, saying that most certainly they would
not return without him, and that they would take him away whether he
liked it or not.

"You shall not do that," replied Don Luis, "unless you take me dead;
though however you take me, it will be without life."

By this time most of those in the inn had been attracted by the dispute,
but particularly Cardenio, Don Fernando, his companions, the Judge, the
curate, the barber, and Don Quixote; for he now considered there was no
necessity for mounting guard over the castle any longer. Cardenio being
already acquainted with the young man's story, asked the men who wanted
to take him away, what object they had in seeking to carry off this youth
against his will.

"Our object," said one of the four, "is to save the life of his father,
who is in danger of losing it through this gentleman's disappearance."

Upon this Don Luis exclaimed, "There is no need to make my affairs public
here; I am free, and I will return if I please; and if not, none of you
shall compel me."

"Reason will compel your worship," said the man, "and if it has no power
over you, it has power over us, to make us do what we came for, and what
it is our duty to do."

"Let us hear what the whole affair is about," said the Judge at this; but
the man, who knew him as a neighbour of theirs, replied, "Do you not know
this gentleman, Senor Judge? He is the son of your neighbour, who has run
away from his father's house in a dress so unbecoming his rank, as your
worship may perceive."

The judge on this looked at him more carefully and recognised him, and
embracing him said, "What folly is this, Senor Don Luis, or what can have
been the cause that could have induced you to come here in this way, and
in this dress, which so ill becomes your condition?"

Tears came into the eyes of the young man, and he was unable to utter a
word in reply to the Judge, who told the four servants not to be uneasy,
for all would be satisfactorily settled; and then taking Don Luis by the
hand, he drew him aside and asked the reason of his having come there.

But while he was questioning him they heard a loud outcry at the gate of
the inn, the cause of which was that two of the guests who had passed the
night there, seeing everybody busy about finding out what it was the four
men wanted, had conceived the idea of going off without paying what they
owed; but the landlord, who minded his own affairs more than other
people's, caught them going out of the gate and demanded his reckoning,
abusing them for their dishonesty with such language that he drove them
to reply with their fists, and so they began to lay on him in such a
style that the poor man was forced to cry out, and call for help. The
landlady and her daughter could see no one more free to give aid than Don
Quixote, and to him the daughter said, "Sir knight, by the virtue God has
given you, help my poor father, for two wicked men are beating him to a

To which Don Quixote very deliberately and phlegmatically replied, "Fair
damsel, at the present moment your request is inopportune, for I am
debarred from involving myself in any adventure until I have brought to a
happy conclusion one to which my word has pledged me; but that which I
can do for you is what I will now mention: run and tell your father to
stand his ground as well as he can in this battle, and on no account to
allow himself to be vanquished, while I go and request permission of the
Princess Micomicona to enable me to succour him in his distress; and if
she grants it, rest assured I will relieve him from it."

"Sinner that I am," exclaimed Maritornes, who stood by; "before you have
got your permission my master will be in the other world."

"Give me leave, senora, to obtain the permission I speak of," returned
Don Quixote; "and if I get it, it will matter very little if he is in the
other world; for I will rescue him thence in spite of all the same world
can do; or at any rate I will give you such a revenge over those who
shall have sent him there that you will be more than moderately
satisfied;" and without saying anything more he went and knelt before
Dorothea, requesting her Highness in knightly and errant phrase to be
pleased to grant him permission to aid and succour the castellan of that
castle, who now stood in grievous jeopardy. The princess granted it
graciously, and he at once, bracing his buckler on his arm and drawing
his sword, hastened to the inn-gate, where the two guests were still
handling the landlord roughly; but as soon as he reached the spot he
stopped short and stood still, though Maritornes and the landlady asked
him why he hesitated to help their master and husband.

"I hesitate," said Don Quixote, "because it is not lawful for me to draw
sword against persons of squirely condition; but call my squire Sancho to
me; for this defence and vengeance are his affair and business."

Thus matters stood at the inn-gate, where there was a very lively
exchange of fisticuffs and punches, to the sore damage of the landlord
and to the wrath of Maritornes, the landlady, and her daughter, who were
furious when they saw the pusillanimity of Don Quixote, and the hard
treatment their master, husband and father was undergoing. But let us
leave him there; for he will surely find some one to help him, and if
not, let him suffer and hold his tongue who attempts more than his
strength allows him to do; and let us go back fifty paces to see what Don
Luis said in reply to the Judge whom we left questioning him privately as
to his reasons for coming on foot and so meanly dressed.

To which the youth, pressing his hand in a way that showed his heart was
troubled by some great sorrow, and shedding a flood of tears, made

"Senor, I have no more to tell you than that from the moment when,
through heaven's will and our being near neighbours, I first saw Dona
Clara, your daughter and my lady, from that instant I made her the
mistress of my will, and if yours, my true lord and father, offers no
impediment, this very day she shall become my wife. For her I left my
father's house, and for her I assumed this disguise, to follow her
whithersoever she may go, as the arrow seeks its mark or the sailor the
pole-star. She knows nothing more of my passion than what she may have
learned from having sometimes seen from a distance that my eyes were
filled with tears. You know already, senor, the wealth and noble birth of
my parents, and that I am their sole heir; if this be a sufficient
inducement for you to venture to make me completely happy, accept me at
once as your son; for if my father, influenced by other objects of his
own, should disapprove of this happiness I have sought for myself, time
has more power to alter and change things, than human will."

With this the love-smitten youth was silent, while the Judge, after
hearing him, was astonished, perplexed, and surprised, as well at the
manner and intelligence with which Don Luis had confessed the secret of
his heart, as at the position in which he found himself, not knowing what
course to take in a matter so sudden and unexpected. All the answer,
therefore, he gave him was to bid him to make his mind easy for the
present, and arrange with his servants not to take him back that day, so
that there might be time to consider what was best for all parties. Don
Luis kissed his hands by force, nay, bathed them with his tears, in a way
that would have touched a heart of marble, not to say that of the Judge,
who, as a shrewd man, had already perceived how advantageous the marriage
would be to his daughter; though, were it possible, he would have
preferred that it should be brought about with the consent of the father
of Don Luis, who he knew looked for a title for his son.

The guests had by this time made peace with the landlord, for, by
persuasion and Don Quixote's fair words more than by threats, they had
paid him what he demanded, and the servants of Don Luis were waiting for
the end of the conversation with the Judge and their master's decision,
when the devil, who never sleeps, contrived that the barber, from whom
Don Quixote had taken Mambrino's helmet, and Sancho Panza the trappings
of his ass in exchange for those of his own, should at this instant enter
the inn; which said barber, as he led his ass to the stable, observed
Sancho Panza engaged in repairing something or other belonging to the
pack-saddle; and the moment he saw it he knew it, and made bold to attack
Sancho, exclaiming, "Ho, sir thief, I have caught you! hand over my basin
and my pack-saddle, and all my trappings that you robbed me of."

Sancho, finding himself so unexpectedly assailed, and hearing the abuse
poured upon him, seized the pack-saddle with one hand, and with the other
gave the barber a cuff that bathed his teeth in blood. The barber,
however, was not so ready to relinquish the prize he had made in the
pack-saddle; on the contrary, he raised such an outcry that everyone in
the inn came running to know what the noise and quarrel meant. "Here, in
the name of the king and justice!" he cried, "this thief and highwayman
wants to kill me for trying to recover my property."

"You lie," said Sancho, "I am no highwayman; it was in fair war my master
Don Quixote won these spoils."

Don Quixote was standing by at the time, highly pleased to see his
squire's stoutness, both offensive and defensive, and from that time
forth he reckoned him a man of mettle, and in his heart resolved to dub
him a knight on the first opportunity that presented itself, feeling sure
that the order of chivalry would be fittingly bestowed upon him.

In the course of the altercation, among other things the barber said,
"Gentlemen, this pack-saddle is mine as surely as I owe God a death, and
I know it as well as if I had given birth to it, and here is my ass in
the stable who will not let me lie; only try it, and if it does not fit
him like a glove, call me a rascal; and what is more, the same day I was
robbed of this, they robbed me likewise of a new brass basin, never yet
handselled, that would fetch a crown any day."

At this Don Quixote could not keep himself from answering; and
interposing between the two, and separating them, he placed the
pack-saddle on the ground, to lie there in sight until the truth was
established, and said, "Your worships may perceive clearly and plainly
the error under which this worthy squire lies when he calls a basin which
was, is, and shall be the helmet of Mambrino which I won from him in air
war, and made myself master of by legitimate and lawful possession. With
the pack-saddle I do not concern myself; but I may tell you on that head
that my squire Sancho asked my permission to strip off the caparison of
this vanquished poltroon's steed, and with it adorn his own; I allowed
him, and he took it; and as to its having been changed from a caparison
into a pack-saddle, I can give no explanation except the usual one, that
such transformations will take place in adventures of chivalry. To
confirm all which, run, Sancho my son, and fetch hither the helmet which
this good fellow calls a basin."

"Egad, master," said Sancho, "if we have no other proof of our case than
what your worship puts forward, Mambrino's helmet is just as much a basin
as this good fellow's caparison is a pack-saddle."

"Do as I bid thee," said Don Quixote; "it cannot be that everything in
this castle goes by enchantment."

Sancho hastened to where the basin was, and brought it back with him, and
when Don Quixote saw it, he took hold of it and said:

"Your worships may see with what a face this squire can assert that this
is a basin and not the helmet I told you of; and I swear by the order of
chivalry I profess, that this helmet is the identical one I took from
him, without anything added to or taken from it."

"There is no doubt of that," said Sancho, "for from the time my master
won it until now he has only fought one battle in it, when he let loose
those unlucky men in chains; and if had not been for this basin-helmet he
would not have come off over well that time