Don Quixote De La Mancha, are you cultured enough to make it through Part III without sleeping? Find out while Jason reads Chapters 11 and 12.
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Today we are reading chapters 11 to 13 of The Life and Achievements of Don Quixote De La Mancha. Don Quixote is a Spanish epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Originally published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, its full title is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. A founding work of Western literature, it is often labelled as the first modern novel and one of the greatest works ever written. Don Quixote is also one of the most-translated books in the world.
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The sage discourse continued, with the adventures of a dead body.
THUS discoursing, night overtook them, and they were still in the high road; and the worst of it was, they were famished with hunger: for with their wallets they had lost their whole larder of provisions, and, to complete their misfortunes, an adventure now befell them which appeared indeed to be truly an adventure. The night came on rather dark; notwithstanding which they saw advancing towards them a great number of lights, resembling so many moving stars. Sancho stood aghast at the sight of them, nor was Don Quixote unmoved. The one checked his ass, and the other his horse, and both stood looking before them with eager attention. They perceived that the lights were advancing towards them, and that as they approached nearer they appeared larger. "I beseech thee, Sancho, to be of good courage; for experience shall give thee sufficient proof of mine." "I will, if it please God," answered Sancho; and, retiring a little on one side of the road, and again endeavouring to discover what those walking lights might be, they soon after perceived a great many persons clothed in white; this dreadful spectacle completely annihilated the courage of Sancho, whose teeth began to chatter, as if seized with a quartan ague. But it was otherwise with his master, whose lively imagination instantly suggested to him that this must be truly a chivalrous adventure. He conceived that the litter was a bier, whereon was carried some knight sorely wounded or slain, whose revenge was reserved for him alone. He therefore, without delay, couched his spear, seated himself firm in his saddle, and, with grace and spirit, advanced into the middle of the road by which the procession must pass; and when they were near he raised his voice, and said: "Ho! knights, whoever ye are, halt, and give me an account to whom ye belong, whence ye come, whither ye are going, and what it is ye carry upon that bier; for, in all appearance, either ye have done some injury to others, or others to you; and it is expedient and necessary that I be informed of it, either to chastise ye for the evil ye have done, or to revenge ye of wrongs sustained." "We are in haste," answered one in the procession; "the inn is a great way off; and we cannot stay to give so long an account as you require:" then, spurring his mule, he passed forward. Don Quixote, highly resenting this answer, laid hold of his bridle, and said, "Stand, and with more civility give me the account I demand; otherwise I challenge ye all to battle." The mule was timid, and started so much upon his touching the bridle, that, rising on her hind-legs, she threw her rider over the crupper to the ground. A lacquey that came on foot, seeing the man in white fall, began to revile Don Quixote; whose choler being now raised, he couched his spear, and immediately attacking one of the mourners, laid him on the ground grievously wounded; then turning about to the rest, it was worth seeing with what agility he attacked and defeated them; it seemed as if wings at that instant had sprung on Rozinante—so lightly and swiftly he moved! All the white-robed people, being timorous and unarmed, soon quitted the skirmish, and ran over the plain with their lighted torches, looking like so many masqueraders on a carnival or a festival night. The mourners were so wrapped up and muffled in their long robes that they could make no exertion; so that the Don, with entire safety to himself, assailed them all, and, sorely against their will, obliged them to quit the field; for they thought him no man, but the devil broke loose upon them to seize the dead body they were conveying in the litter.
All this Sancho beheld, with admiration at his master's intrepidity, and said to himself, "This master of mine is certainly as valiant and magnanimous as he pretends to be." A burning torch lay on the ground, near the first whom the mule had overthrown; by the light of which Don Quixote espied him, and going up to him placed the point of his spear to his throat, commanding him to surrender, on pain of death. To which the fallen man answered, "I am surrendered enough already, since I cannot stir, for one of my legs is broken. I beseech you, sir, if you are a Christian gentleman, do not kill me; you would commit a great sacrilege; for I am a licentiate, and have taken the lesser orders." "What, then, I pray you," said Don Quixote, "brought you hither, being an ecclesiastic?" "What, sir?" replied the fallen man, "but my evil fortune." "A worse fate now threatens you," said Don Quixote, "unless you reply satisfactorily to all my first questions." "Your worship shall soon be satisfied," answered the licentiate; "and therefore you must know, sir, that, though I told you before that I was a licentiate, I am, in fact, only a bachelor of arts, and my name is Alonzo Lopez. I am a native of Alcovendas, and came from the city of Baeza, with eleven more ecclesiastics, the same who fled with the torches; we were attending the corpse in that litter to the city of Segovia: it is that of a gentleman who died in Baeza, where he was deposited till now that, as I said before, we are carrying his bones to their place of burial in Segovia, where he was born." "And who killed him?" demanded Don Quixote. "God," replied the bachelor, "by means of a pestilential fever." "Then," said Don Quixote, "Heaven hath saved me the labour of revenging his death, in case he had been slain by any other hand; but since he fell by the decree of God, there is nothing expected from us but patience and resignation; for just the same must I have done, had it been his pleasure to pronounce the fatal sentence upon me. It is proper that your reverence should know that I am a knight of La Mancha, Don Quixote by name; and that it is my office and profession to go all over the world, righting wrongs and redressing grievances." "I do not understand your way of righting wrongs," said the bachelor; "for from right you have set me wrong, having broken my leg, which will never be right again whilst I live. But since my fate ordained it so, I beseech you, sigñor knight-errant, who have done me such arrant mischief, to help me to get from under this mule: for my leg is held fast between the stirrup and the saddle." "I might have continued talking until to-morrow," said Don Quixote; "why did you delay acquainting me with your embarrassment?" He then called out to Sancho Panza to assist; but he did not choose to obey, being employed in ransacking a sumpter-mule, which those pious men had brought with them, well stored with eatables. Sancho made a bag of his cloak, and having crammed into it as much as it would hold, he loaded his beast; after which he attended to his master's call, and helped to disengage the bachelor from the oppression of his mule; and, having mounted him and given him the torch, Don Quixote bade him follow the track of his companions, and beg their pardon, in his name, for the injury which he could not avoid doing them. Sancho likewise said, "If perchance those gentlemen would know who is the champion that routed them, tell them it is the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure."
The bachelor being gone, Don Quixote asked Sancho what induced him to call him the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, at that time more than any other? "I will tell you," answered Sancho; "it is because I have been viewing you by the light of the torch, which that unfortunate man carried; and, in truth, your worship at present makes the most woful figure I have ever seen; which must be owing, I suppose, either to the fatigue of this combat or the want of your teeth." "It is owing to neither," replied Don Quixote; "but the sage who has the charge of writing the history of my achievements has deemed it proper for me to assume an appellation, like the knights of old; one of whom called himself the Knight of the Burning Sword; another of the Unicorn; this, of the Damsels; that, of the Phœnix; another, the Knight of the Griffin; and another, the Knight of Death; and by those names and ensigns they were known over the whole surface of the earth. And therefore I say that the sage I just now mentioned has put it into thy thoughts and into thy mouth to call me the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, as I purpose to call myself from this day forward; and that this name may fit me the better, I determine, when an opportunity offers, to have a most sorrowful figure painted on my shield." "You need not spend time and money in getting this figure made," said Sancho; "your worship need only shew your own, and, without any other image or shield, they will immediately call you him of the Sorrowful Figure; and be assured I tell you the truth; for I promise you, sir, mind, I speak in jest, that hunger and the loss of your teeth makes you look so ruefully that, as I said before, the sorrowful picture may very well be spared."
Don Quixote smiled at Sancho's pleasantry; nevertheless, he resolved to call himself by that name, and to have his shield or buckler painted accordingly; and he said, "I conceive, Sancho, that I am liable to excommunication for having laid violent hands on holy things, although I know I did not lay my hands, but my spear, upon them; besides, I did not know that I was engaging with priests, or things belonging to the Church, which I reverence and adore, like a good catholic and faithful Christian as I am, but with phantoms and spectres of the other world. And even were it otherwise, I perfectly remember what befell the Cyd Ruy Diaz, when he broke the chair of that king's ambassador in the presence of his holiness the Pope, for which he was excommunicated; yet honest Roderigo de Vivar passed that day for an honourable and courageous knight."
They had not gone far between two hills, when they found themselves in a retired and spacious valley, where they alighted. Sancho disburdened his beast; and, extended on the green grass, with hunger for sauce, they despatched their breakfast, dinner, afternoon's luncheon, and supper all at once; regaling their palates with more than one cold mess, which the ecclesiastics who attended the deceased had brought with them on the sumpter-mule. But there was another misfortune, which Sancho accounted the worst of all; namely, they had no wine; nor even water, to drink; and were, moreover, parched with thirst.
But they had not gone two hundred paces when a great noise of water reached their ears, like that of some mighty cascade pouring down from a vast and steep rock. The sound rejoiced them exceedingly, and stopping to listen whence it came, they heard on a sudden another dreadful noise, which abated the pleasure occasioned by that of the water; especially in Sancho, who was naturally faint-hearted. I say they heard a dreadful din of irons and rattling chains, accompanied with mighty strokes, repeated in regular time and measure; which, together with the furious noise of the water, would have struck terror into any other heart but that of Don Quixote. The night, as we have before said, was dark; and they chanced to enter a grove of tall trees, whose leaves, agitated by the breeze, caused a kind of rustling noise, not loud, though fearful; so that the solitude, the situation, the darkness, and the sound of rushing water, with the agitated leaves, all concurred to produce surprise and horror, especially when they found that neither the blows ceased, nor the wind slept, nor the morning approached; and in addition to all this was their total ignorance of the place where they were in. But Don Quixote, supported by his intrepid heart, leaped upon Rozinante, and, bracing on his buckler, brandished his spear, and said, "Friend Sancho, know that, by the will of Heaven, I was born in this age of iron, to revive in it that of gold, or, as it is usually termed, 'the golden age.' I am he for whom dangers, great exploits, and valorous achievements, are reserved; I am he, I say again, who am destined to revive the order of the round table; that of the twelve peers of France, and the nine worthies, and to obliterate the memory of the Platirs, the Tablantes, Olivantes, and Tirantes, Knights of the Sun, and the Belianises, with the whole tribe of the famous knights-errant of times past. Stay for me here three days, and no more: if I return not in that time, thou mayest go back to our village; and thence, to oblige me, repair to Toboso, and inform my incomparable lady Dulcinea that her enthralled knight died in attempting things that might have made him worthy to be styled hers."
When Sancho heard these words of his master, he dissolved into tears, and said, "Sir, I cannot think why your worship should encounter this fearful adventure. It is now night, and nobody sees us. We may easily turn aside, and get out of danger, though we should not drink these three days; and, being unseen, we cannot be taxed with cowardice. Besides, I have heard the curate of our village, whom your worship knows very well, say in the pulpit that 'he who seeketh danger perisheth therein;' so that it is not good to tempt God by undertaking so extravagant an exploit, whence there is no escaping but by a miracle. I left my country and forsook my wife and children to follow and serve your worship; but as covetousness bursts the bag, so hath it rent my hopes; for when they were most alive, and I was just expecting to obtain that unlucky island which you have so often promised me, I find myself, in lieu thereof, ready to be abandoned by your worship in a place remote from every thing human." "Be silent," said Don Quixote; "for God, who has inspired me with courage to attempt this unparalleled and fearful adventure, will not fail to watch over my safety, and comfort thee in thy sadness. All thou hast to do is to girth Rozinante well, and remain here; for I will quickly return, alive or dead."
Sancho now had recourse to stratagem; therefore, while he was tightening the horse's girths, softly, and unperceived, with his halter he tied Rozinante's hinder feet together, so that when Don Quixote would fain have departed, the horse could move only by jumps. Sancho, perceiving the success of his contrivance, said: "Ah, sir, behold how Heaven, moved by my tears and prayers, has ordained that Rozinante should be unable to stir; and if you will obstinately persist to spur him, you will but provoke fortune." This made the Don quite desperate, and the more he spurred his horse the less he could move him; he therefore thought it best to be quiet, and wait either until day appeared or until Rozinante could proceed; never suspecting the artifice of Sancho, whom he thus addressed: "Since so it is, Sancho, that Rozinante cannot move, I consent to remain until the dawn smiles, although I weep in the interval". "You need not weep," answered Sancho; "for I will entertain you until day by telling you stories, if you had not rather alight and compose yourself to sleep a little upon the green grass, as knights-errant are wont to do, so that you may be less weary when the day and hour comes for engaging in that terrible adventure you wait for." "To whom dost thou talk of alighting or sleeping?" said Don Quixote. "Am I one of those knights who take repose in time of danger? Sleep thou, who wert born to sleep, or do what thou wilt: I shall act as becomes my profession." "Pray, good sir, be not angry," answered Sancho; "I did not mean to offend you:" and, coming close to him, he laid hold of the saddle before and behind, and thus stood embracing his master's left thigh, without daring to stir from him a finger's breadth, so much was he afraid of the blows which still continued to sound in regular succession. Don Quixote bade him tell some story for his entertainment, as he had promised; Sancho replied that he would, if his dread of the noise would permit him: "I will endeavour," said he, "in spite of it, to tell a story, which, if I can hit upon it, and it slips not through my fingers, is the best of all stories; and I beg your worship to be attentive, for now I begin:
"What hath been, hath been; the good that shall befall be for us all, and evil to him that evil seeks. Which fits the present purpose like a ring to your finger, signifying that your worship should be quiet, and not go about searching after evil". "Proceed with thy tale, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and leave to my care the road we are to follow." "I say then," continued Sancho, "that in a village of Estremadura, there was a shepherd, I mean a goatherd; which shepherd, or goatherd, as my story says, was called Lope Ruiz; and this Lope Ruiz was in love with a shepherdess called Torralv. which shepherdess called Torralva was daughter to a rich herdsman, and this rich herdsman"——"If this be thy manner of telling a story, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou wilt not have done these two days; tell it concisely, and like a man of sense, or else say no more." "I tell it in the same manner that they tell all stories in my country," answered Sancho; "and I cannot tell it otherwise, nor ought your worship to require me to make new customs." "Tell it as thou wilt, then," said Don Quixote; "since it is the will of fate that I must hear thee, go on."
"And so, sir," continued Sancho, "as I said before, this shepherd was in love with the shepherdess Torralva, who was a merry strapping wench, somewhat scornful, and somewhat masculine; but, in process of time, it came about that the love which the shepherd bore to the shepherdess turned into hatred; and the cause was a certain quantity of little jealousies she gave him, so as to exceed all bounds: and so much did he hate her thenceforward, that, to shun the sight of her, he chose to absent himself from that country, and go where his eyes should never more behold her. Torralva, who found herself disdained by Lope, then began to love him better than ever she had loved him before." "It is a disposition natural in women," said Don Quixote, "to slight those who love them, and love those who hate them: go on, Sancho."
"It fell out," proceeded Sancho, "that the shepherd put his design into execution; and, collecting together his goats, went over the plains of Estremadura, in order to pass over into the kingdom of Portugal. Upon which, Torralva followed him at a distance, on foot and bare-legged, with a pilgrim's staff in her hand, and a wallet about her neck. Presently, the shepherd came with his flock to pass the river Guadiana, which at that time was swollen, and had almost overflowed its banks; and on the side he came to there was neither boat nor any body to ferry him or his flock over to the other side; which grieved him mightily: for he saw that Torralva was at his heels, and would give him much disturbance by her entreaties and tears. He therefore looked about him until he espied a fisherman with a boat near him, but so small that it could hold only one person and one goat: however, he spoke to him, and agreed with him to carry over himself and his three hundred goats. The fisherman got into the boat, and carried over a goat; he returned and carried over another; he came back again, and carried over another. Pray, sir, keep an account of the goats that the fisherman is carrying over; for if you lose count of a single goat, the story ends, and it will be impossible to tell a word more of it. I go on then, and say that the landing-place on the opposite side was covered with mud, and slippery, and the fisherman was a great while in coming and going. However, he returned for another goat, and another, and another." "Suppose them all carried over," said Don Quixote, "and do not be going and coming in this manner; or thou wilt not have finished carrying them over in a twelvemonth." "Tell me, how many have passed already?" said Sancho. "How should I know?" answered Don Quixote. "See there, now! did I not tell thee to keep an exact account? There is now an end of the story; I can go no farther." "How can this be?" answered Don Quixote. "Is it so essential to the story to know the exact number of goats that passed over, that if one error be made, the story can proceed no farther?" "Even so," answered Sancho; "for when I desired your worship to tell me how many goats had passed, and you answered you did not know, at that very instant all that I had to say fled out of my memory; though, in truth, it was very edifying and satisfactory." "So, then," said Don Quixote, "the story is at an end?" "To be sure it is," quoth Sancho. "Verily," answered Don Quixote, "thou hast told one of the rarest tales, fables, or histories, imaginable; and thy mode of relating and concluding it is such as never was, nor ever will be, equalled; although I expected no less from thy good sense: however, I do not wonder at it, for this incessant din may have disturbed thy understanding." "All that may be," answered Sancho; "but as to my story, I know there's no more to be told; for it ends just where the error begins in the account of carrying over the goats." "Let it end where it will," said Don Quixote, "and let us see whether Rozinante can stir himself." Again he clapt spurs to him, and again the animal jumped, and then stood stock still, so effectually was he fettered.
Thus passed the night; and when Sancho perceived the dawn of morning, with much caution he unbound Rozinante, who being at liberty, though naturally not over-mettlesome, seemed to feel himself alive, and began to paw the ground; but as for curvetting, begging his pardon, he knew nothing about it. Don Quixote, perceiving that Rozinante began to be active, took it for a good omen, and a signal that he should forthwith attempt the tremendous adventure. The dawn now making the surrounding objects visible, Don Quixote perceived he was beneath some tall chestnut-trees, which afforded a gloomy shade: but the cause of that striking, which yet continued, he was unable to discover; therefore, without farther delay, he made Rozinante feel the spur, and again taking leave of Sancho, commanded him to wait there three days at the farthest, as he had said before, and that if he returned not by that time, he might conclude that it was the will of Heaven that he should end his days in that perilous adventure. And now, dissembling as well as he could, he advanced towards the place whence the noise of the water and of the strokes seemed to proceed. Sancho followed him on foot, leading his ass—that constant companion of his fortunes, good or bad. And having proceeded some distance among those shady chestnut-trees, they came to a little green meadow, bounded by some steep rocks, down which a mighty torrent precipitated itself. At the foot of these rocks were several wretched huts, that seemed more like ruins than habitable dwellings; and it was from them, they now discovered, that the fearful din proceeded. Rozinante was startled at the noise; but Don Quixote, after quieting him, went slowly on towards the huts, recommending himself devoutly to his lady, and beseeching her to favour him in so terrific an enterprise. Sancho kept close to his side, stretching out his neck to see if he could discover the cause of his terrors. In this manner they advanced about a hundred yards farther, when, on doubling a point, the true and undoubted cause of that horrible noise, which had held them all night in such suspense, appeared plain and exposed to view. It was, kind reader, take it not in dudgeon, six fulling-hammers, whose alternate strokes produced that hideous sound. Don Quixote, on beholding them, was struck dumb, and in the utmost confusion. Sancho looked at him, and saw he hung down his head upon his breast, with manifest indications of being abashed. Don Quixote looked also at Sancho, and seeing his cheeks swollen, and his mouth full of laughter, betraying evident signs of being ready to explode, notwithstanding his vexation he could not forbear laughing himself at the sight of his squire, who, thus encouraged by his master, broke forth in so violent a manner that he was forced to apply both hands to his sides, to secure himself from bursting. Don Quixote, perceiving that Sancho made a jest of him, was so enraged that he lifted up his lance, and discharged two such blows on him that, had he received them on his head, instead of his shoulders, the knight would have acquitted himself of the payment of his wages, unless it were to his heirs. Sancho, finding he paid so dearly for his jokes, and fearing lest his master should proceed farther, with much humility said, "Pray, sir, be pacified; as truly as I live, I did but jest." "Though thou mayest jest, I do not," answered Don Quixote. "Come hither, merry sir; what thinkest thou? Suppose these mill-hammers had really been some perilous adventure, have I not given proof of the courage requisite to undertake and achieve it? Am I obliged, being a knight as I am, to distinguish sounds, and know which are, or are not, those of a fulling-mill, more especially if, which is indeed the truth, I had never seen any fulling-mills in my life, as thou hast—a pitiful rustic as thou art, who wert born and bred amongst them? but let these six fulling-hammers be transformed into six giants, and let them beard me one by one, or altogether, and if I do not set them all on their heads, then make what jest thou wilt of me." "It is enough, good sir," replied Sancho; "I confess I have been a little too jocose; but pray tell me, now that it is peace between us, was it not a thing to be laughed at, and worth telling, what a fearful taking we were in last night—I mean, that I was in?—for I know that your worship is a stranger to fear". "I do not deny," answered Don Quixote, "that what has befallen us may be risible, but it is not proper to be repeated; for all persons have not the sense to see things in their right point of view". "But," answered Sancho, "your worship knew how to point your lance aright when you pointed it at my head, and hit me on the shoulders; let that pass, for I have heard say, 'he loves thee well who makes thee weep;' and, besides, your people of condition, when they have given a servant a hard word, presently give him some old hose, though what is usually given after a beating I cannot tell, unless it be that your knights-errant, after bastinadoes, bestow islands, or kingdoms on terra firma." "The die may so run," quoth Don Quixote, "that all thou hast said may come to pass; excuse what is done, since thou art considerate; for know that first impulses are not under a man's control: and that thou mayest abstain from talking too much with me henceforth, I apprise thee of one thing, that in all the books of chivalry I ever read, numerous as they are, I recollect no example of a squire who conversed so much with his master as thou dost with thine. And really I account it a great fault both in thee and in myself; in thee, because thou payest me so little respect; in me, that I do not make myself respected more. There was Gandalin, squire to Amadis de Gaul, earl of the firm island, of whom we read that he always spoke to his master cap in hand, his head inclined, and body bent after the Turkish fashion. What shall we say of Gasabel, squire to Don Galaor, who was so silent that, to illustrate the excellence of his marvellous taciturnity, his name is mentioned but once in all that great and faithful history? From what I have said, thou mayest infer, Sancho, that there ought to be a difference between master and man, between lord and lacquey, and between knight and squire; so that, from this day forward, we must be treated with more respect: for howsoever thou mayest excite my anger, 'it will go ill with the pitcher.' The favours and benefits I promised thee will come in due time; and if they do not come, the wages, at least, thou wilt not lose." "Your worship says very well," quoth Sancho; "but I would fain know, if perchance the time of the favours should not come, and it should be necessary to have recourse to the article of the wages, how much might the squire of a knight-errant get in those times? and whether they agreed by the month, or by the day, like labourers?" "I do not believe," answered Don Quixote, "that those squires were retained at stated wages, but they relied on courtesy; and if I have appointed thee any in the will I left sealed at home, it was in case of accidents; for I know not yet how chivalry may succeed in these calamitous times, and I would not have my soul suffer in the other world for trifles; for I would have thee know, Sancho, that there is no state more perilous than that of adventurers." "It is so, in truth," said Sancho, "since the noise of the hammers of a fulling-mill were sufficient to disturb and discompose the heart of so valorous a knight as your worship."
Which treats of the grand adventure of Mambrino's helmet, with other things which befel our invincible Knight.
ABOUT this time it began to rain, and Sancho proposed entering the fulling-mill; but Don Quixote had conceived such an abhorrence for the late jest that he would by no means go in. Soon after he discovered a man on horseback, who had on his head something which glittered, as if it had been of gold; and turning to Sancho, he said, "I am of opinion, Sancho, there is no proverb but what is true, because they are all sentences drawn from experience; especially that which says, 'Where one door is shut, another is opened.' I say this because, if fortune last night shut the door against us with the fulling-mills, it now opens another, for a better and more certain adventure, in which, if I am deceived, the fault will be mine, without imputing it to my ignorance of fulling-mills, or to the darkness of night. This I say because, if I mistake not, there comes one towards us who carries on his head Mambrino's helmet." "Take care, sir, what you say, and more what you do," said Sancho; "for I would not wish for other fulling-mills to finish the milling and mashing our senses." "What has a helmet to do with fulling-mills?" replied Don Quixote. "I know not," answered Sancho; "but if I might talk as much as I used to do, perhaps I could give such reasons that your worship would see you are mistaken in what you say." "How can I be mistaken?" said Don Quixote. "Seest thou not yon knight coming towards us on a dapple-grey steed, with a helmet of gold on his head?" "What I see and perceive," answered Sancho, "is only a man on a grey ass like mine, with something on his head that glitters." "Why, that is Mambrino's helmet," said Don Quixote; "retire, and leave me alone to deal with him, and thou shalt see how, in order to save time, I shall conclude this adventure without speaking a word, and the helmet I have so much desired remain my own." "I shall take care to get out of the way," replied Sancho; "but grant, I say again, it may not prove another fulling-mill adventure." "I have already told thee, Sancho, not to mention those fulling-mills, nor even think of them," said Don Quixote.
Now, the truth of the matter, concerning the helmet, the steed, and the knight which Don Quixote saw, was this. There were two villages in that neighbourhood, one of them so small that it had neither shop nor barber, but the other adjoining to it had both; therefore the barber of the larger served also the less, wherein one customer now wanted to be let blood, and another to be shaved; to perform which the barber was now on his way, carrying with him his brass basin; and it so happened that, while upon the road, it began to rain, and to save his hat, which was a new one, he clapped the basin on his head, which being lately scoured, was seen glittering at the distance of half a league; and he rode on a grey ass, as Sancho had affirmed. Thus Don Quixote took the barber for a knight, his ass for a dapple-grey steed, and his basin for a golden helmet; and when the knight drew near, he advanced at Rozinante's best speed, and couched his lance, intending to run him through and through; but when close upon him, without checking the fury of his career, he cried out, "Defend thyself, caitiff, or instantly surrender what is justly my due!" The barber had no other way to avoid the thrust of the lance than to slip down from the ass: and leaping up nimbler than a roebuck, he scampered over the plain with such speed that the wind could not overtake him. The basin he left on the ground, with which Don Quixote was satisfied. He ordered Sancho to take up the helmet, who, holding it in his hand, said, "The basin is a special one, and is well worth a piece of eight, if it is worth a farthing." He then gave it to his master, who immediately placed it upon his head, turning it round in search of the vizor; and, not finding it, he said, "Doubtless the pagan for whom this famous helmet was originally forged must have had a prodigious head—the worst of it is, that one half is wanting." When Sancho heard the basin called a helmet, he could not forbear laughing; which, however, he instantly checked on recollecting his master's late choler. "What dost thou laugh at, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "I am laughing," answered he, "to think what a huge head the pagan had who owned that helmet, which is for all the world just like a barber's basin." "Knowest thou, Sancho, what I conceive to be the case? This famous piece, this enchanted helmet, by some strange accident must have fallen into the possession of one who, ignorant of its true value as a helmet, and seeing it to be of the purest gold, hath inconsiderately melted down the one half for lucre's sake, and of the other half made this, which, as thou sayest, doth indeed look like a barber's basin; but to me, who know what it really is, its transformation is of no importance, for I will have it so repaired, in the first town where there is a smith, that it shall not be surpassed, nor even equalled. In the mean time I will wear it as I can; for something is better than nothing; and it will be sufficient to defend me from stones." "It will so," said Sancho, "if they do not throw them with slings, as they did in the battle of the two armies, when they crossed your worship's chops. As to being tossed again in a blanket, I say nothing; for it is difficult to prevent such mishaps, and if they do come, there is nothing to be done but to wink, hold one's breath, and submit to go whither fortune and the blanket shall please." "Thou art no good Christian, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "since thou dost not forget an injury once done thee; but know it is inherent in generous and noble minds to disregard trifles. What leg of thine is lamed, or what rib or head broken, that thou canst not forget that jest? for, properly considered, it was a mere jest and pastime; otherwise I should long ago have returned thither, and done more mischief in revenging thy quarrel than the Greeks did for the rape of Helen; who, had she lived in these times, or my Dulcinea in those, would never have been so famous for beauty as she is!" and here he heaved a sigh towards heaven. "Let it pass, then, for a jest," said Sancho, "since it is not likely to be revenged in earnest: but I know of what kind the jests and the earnests were; and I know also they will no more slip out of my memory than off my shoulders. But, setting this aside, tell me, sir, what shall we do with this dapple-grey steed which looks so like a grey ass, and which that caitiff whom your worship overthrew has left behind here, to shift for itself; for, by his scouring off so hastily, he does not think of ever returning for him; and, by my beard, the beast is a special one." "It is not my custom," said Don Quixote, "to plunder those whom I overcome, nor is it the usage of chivalry to take from the vanquished their horses, and leave them on foot, unless the victor hath lost his own in the conflict; in such a case it is lawful to take that of the enemy, as fairly won in battle. Therefore, Sancho, leave this horse, or ass, or whatever thou wilt have it to be; for, when we are gone, his owner will return for him."
They now breakfasted on the remains of the plunder from the sumpter-mule, and drank of the water belonging to the fulling-mills, but without turning their faces towards them—such was the abhorrence in which they were held. Being thus refreshed and comforted, both in body and mind, they mounted, and, without determining upon what road to follow, according to the custom of knights-errant, they went on as Rozinante's will directed, which was a guide to his master and also to Dapple, who always followed, in love and good fellowship, wherever he led the way. They soon, however, turned into the great road, which they followed at a venture, without forming any plan.
As they were thus sauntering on, Sancho said to his master: "Sir, will your worship be pleased to indulge me the liberty of a word or two; for, since you imposed on me that harsh command of silence, sundry things have been rotting in my breast, and I have one just now at my tongue's end that I would not for any thing should miscarry." "Speak, then," said Don Quixote, "and be brief in thy discourse; for what is prolix cannot be pleasing." "I say, then, sir," answered Sancho, "that for some days past I have been considering how little is gained by wandering about in quest of those adventures your worship is seeking through these deserts and cross ways, where, though you should overcome and achieve the most perilous, there is nobody to see or know anything of them; so that they must remain in perpetual oblivion, to the prejudice of your worship's intention and their deserts. And therefore I think it would be more advisable for us, with submission to your better judgment, to serve some emperor or other great prince engaged in war, in whose service your worship may display your valour, great strength, and superior understanding: which being perceived by the lord we serve, he must of course reward each of us according to his merit. This is what I would be at," quoth Sancho; "this I stick to: for every tittle of this must happen." "Doubt not that this will happen, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "for by those very means and those very steps which we are pursuing, knights-errant do rise, and have risen, to be kings and emperors. All that remains to be done is to look out and find what king of the Christians or of the Pagans is at war, and has a beautiful daughter—but there is time enough to think of this; for you know we must procure renown elsewhere before we repair to court. Besides, there is yet another difficulty; for, if a king were found who is at war and has a handsome daughter, and I had acquired incredible fame throughout the whole universe, I do not see how it can be made appear that I am of the lineage of kings, or even second cousin to an emperor; for the king will not give me his daughter to wife until he is first very well assured that I am such, however my renowned actions might deserve it. For thou must know, Sancho, that there are two kinds of lineages in the world. Some there are who derive their pedigree from princes and monarchs, whom time has gradually reduced until they have ended in a point, like a pyramid; others have had a low origin, and have risen by degrees, until they have become great lords. So that the difference is, that some have been what now they are not, and others are now what they were not before; and who knows but I may be one of the former, and that, upon examination, my origin may be found to have been great and glorious, with which the king, my future father-in-law, ought to be satisfied? and if he should not be satisfied, the infanta is to be so in love with me that, in spite of her father, she is to receive me for her lord and husband, even though she knew me to be the son of a water-carrier; and in case she should not, then is the time to take her away by force, and convey her whither I please; there to remain until time or death put a period to the displeasure of her parents."
"Here," said Sancho, "comes in properly what some naughty people say, 'Never stand begging for that which you have the power to take;' though this other is nearer to the purpose: 'A leap from a hedge is better than a hundred petitions.' I say this, because if my lord the king, your worship's father-in-law, should not vouchsafe to yield unto you my lady the infanta, there is no more to be done, as your worship says, but to steal and carry her off. But the mischief is, that while peace is making, and before you can enjoy the kingdom quietly, the poor squire may go whistle for his reward." "Say what they will," rejoined Don Quixote, "in good faith, they must style thee 'your lordship,' however unwillingly." "Do you think," quoth Sancho, "I should not know how to give authority to the indignity?" "Dignity, you should say, and not indignity," said his master. "So let be," answered Sancho Panza. "I say, I should do well enough with it; for I assure you I was once beadle of a company, and the beadle's gown became me so well that every body said I had a presence fit to be warden of the same company: what then will it be when I am arrayed in a duke's robe, all shining with gold and pearls, like a foreign count? I am of opinion folks will come a hundred leagues to see me." "Thou wilt make a goodly appearance indeed," said Don Quixote; "but it will be necessary to trim thy beard a little oftener, for it is so rough and matted that, if thou shavest not every day at least, what thou art will be seen at the distance of a bow-shot." "Why," said Sancho, "it is but taking a barber into the house, and giving him a salary; and, if there be occasion, I will make him follow me like a gentleman of the horse to a grandee." "How camest thou to know," demanded Don Quixote, "that grandees have their gentlemen of the horse to follow them?" "I will tell you," said Sancho; "some years ago I was near the court for a month, and I often saw a very little gentleman riding about, who, they said, was a very great lord; and behind him I noticed a man on horseback, turning about as he turned, so that one would have thought he had been his tail. I asked why that man did not ride by the side of the other, but kept always behind him? They answered me that it was his gentleman of the horse, and that it was the custom for noblemen to be followed by them; and from that day to this I have never forgotten it." "Thou art in the right," said Don Quixote, "and in the same manner thou mayest carry about thy barber; for all customs do not arise together, nor were they invented at once; and thou mayest be the first earl who carried about his barber after him: and, indeed, it is a higher trust to dress the beard than to saddle a horse." "Leave the business of the barber to me," said Sancho; "and let it be your worship's care to become a king and to make me an earl."
Presently our knight raised his eyes, and saw approaching, in the same road, about a dozen men on foot, strung like beads, by the necks, in a great iron chain, and all handcuffed. There came also with them two men on horseback, and two on foot; those on horseback were armed with firelocks, and those on foot with pikes and swords. As soon as Sancho Panza saw them, he said: "This is a chain of galley-slaves, persons forced by the king to serve in the galleys." "How! forced do you say?" quoth Don Quixote, "is it possible the king should force any body?" "I mean not so," answered Sancho, "but that they are persons who, for their crimes, are condemned by law to the galleys, where they are forced to serve the king." "In truth, then," replied Don Quixote, "these people are conveyed by force, and not voluntarily?" "So it is," said Sancho. "Then," said his master, "here the execution of my office takes place, which is to defeat violence, and to succour and relieve the wretched." "Consider, sir," quoth Sancho, "that justice—which is the king himself—does no violence to such persons, he only punishes them for their crimes." But his master gave no heed to him.
By this time the chain of galley-slaves had reached them, and Don Quixote desired the guard to inform him of the cause or causes for which they conducted those persons in that manner. One of the guards answered that they were slaves, and on their way to the galleys; which was all he had to say, nor was there anything more to know. "Nevertheless," replied Don Quixote, "I should be glad to be informed, by each individually, of the cause of his misfortune." To these he added such other courteous expressions, entreating the information he desired, that the other horseman said, "Though we have here the certificate of the sentence of each of these wretches, this is no time to produce them; make your inquiry of themselves; they may inform you, if they please, and no doubt they will: for they are such as take a pleasure in acting and relating rogueries." With this Don Quixote went up to them, and demanded of the first for what offence he marched in such evil plight? He answered, that it was for being in love. "For that alone?" replied the Don; "if people are sent to the galleys for being in love, I might long since have been rowing in them myself." "It was not such love as your worship imagines," said the galley-slave; "mine was a strong affection for a basket of fine linen. The process was short; they gave me a hundred lashes, and sent me to the galleys."
Don Quixote put the same question to the second, who returned no answer, he was so melancholy and dejected; but the first answered for him, and said, "This gentleman goes for being a canary-bird,—I mean, for being a musician and a singer." "How so?" replied Don Quixote; "are men sent to the galleys for being musicians and singers?" "Yes, sir," replied the slave; "for there is nothing worse than to sing in an agony." "Nay," said Don Quixote, "I have heard say, 'Who sings in grief, procures relief.'" "This is the very reverse," said the slave; "for here he who sings once weeps all his life after." "I do not understand that," said Don Quixote. One of the guards said to him, "Sigñor Cavalier, to sing in an agony means, in the cant of these rogues, to confess upon the rack. This offender was put to the torture, and confessed his crime, which was that of a stealer of cattle; and, because he confessed, he is sentenced for six years, besides two hundred lashes on the shoulders. He is pensive and sad, because all the other rogues abuse, vilify, flout, and despise him for confessing, and not having the courage to say No: for, say they, No does not contain more letters than Ay; and think it lucky, when it so happens that a man's life or death depends upon his own tongue, and not upon proofs and witnesses; and, for my part, I think they are in the right." "And so I think," answered Don Quixote; who, passing on to the third, interrogated him as he had done the others. He answered very readily, and with much indifference, "I am also going for five years, merely for want of ten ducats." "I will give twenty, with all my heart," said Don Quixote, "to redeem you from this misery." "That," said the convict, "is like having money at sea, where, though dying for hunger, nothing can be bought with it. I say this because, if I had been possessed in time of those twenty ducats you now offer me, I would have so greased the clerk's pen and sharpened my advocate's wit that I should have been this day upon the market-place of Toledo, and not upon this road, coupled and dragged like a hound: but God is great; patience and—that is enough."
Behind all these came a man about thirty years of age, of a goodly aspect, only that his eyes looked at each other. Don Quixote asked why this man was fettered so much more than the rest. The guard answered, because he alone had committed more crimes than all the rest together; and that he was so bold and desperate a villain that, although shackled in that manner, they were not secure of him, but were still afraid he would make his escape. "What kind of villanies has he committed?" said Don Quixote. "He goes for ten years," said the guard, "which is a kind of civil death. You need only be told that this honest gentleman is the famous Gines de Passamonte, alias Ginesillo de Parapilla." "Fair and softly, sigñor commissary," interrupted the slave. "Let us not now be spinning out names and surnames. Gines is my name, and not Ginesillo; and Passamonte is the name of my family, and not Parapilla, as you say?" "Are you not so called, lying rascal?" said the guard. "Yes," answered Gines; "but I will make them cease calling me so, or I will flay them where I care not at present to say. Sigñor Cavalier," continued he, "if you have anything to give us, let us have it now, and God be with you; for you tire us with inquiring so much after other men's lives. If you would know mine, I am Gines de Passamonte, whose life is written by these very fingers." "He says true," said the commissary; "for he himself has written his own history as well as heart could wish, and has left the book in prison pawned for two hundred reals." "Ay, and I intend to redeem it," said Gines, "if it lay for two hundred ducats." "What, is it so good?" said Don Quixote. "So good," answered Gines, "that woe be to Lazarillo de Tormes, and to all that have written or shall write in that way. What I can affirm is, that it relates truths, and truths so ingenious and entertaining that no fiction can equal them." "What is the title of your book?" demanded Don Quixote. "The Life of Gines de Passamonte," replied Gines himself. "And is it finished?" quoth Don Quixote. "How can it be finished?" answered he, "since my life is not yet finished?" "You seem to be an ingenious fellow," said Don Quixote. "And an unfortunate one," answered Gines; "but misfortunes always persecute genius."
The commissary lifted up his staff to strike Passamonte, in return for his threats; but Don Quixote interposed, and desired he would not illtreat him, since it was but fair that he who had his hands so tied up should have his tongue a little at liberty. After questioning several more in a similar fashion, the Don thus addressed the company: "From all you have told me, dearest brethren, I clearly gather that, although it be only the punishment of your crimes, you do not much relish what you are to suffer, and that you go to it with ill-will, and much against your inclination. Now this being the case, my mind prompts me to manifest in you the purpose for which heaven cast me into the world, and ordained me to profess the order of chivalry, which I do profess, and the vow I thereby made to succour the needy and those oppressed by the powerful; for it seems to me a hard case to make slaves of those whom God and nature made free." "This is pleasant fooling," answered the commissary. "An admirable conceit he has hit upon at last! Go on your way, sigñor, and give us no more of your meddling impertinence." "Insulting scoundrel!" answered Don Quixote; and thereupon, with a word and a blow, he attacked him so suddenly that, before he could stand upon his defence, he threw him to the ground, much wounded with a thrust of the lance. The rest of the guards were astonished and confounded at the unexpected encounter; and the galley-slaves seized the opportunity now offered to them of recovering their liberty, by breaking the chain with which they were linked together. The confusion was such that the guards could do nothing to any purpose. Sancho, for his part, assisted in releasing Gines de Passamonte; who, attacking the commissary, took away his sword and his gun, by levelling which first at one, then at another, he cleared the field of all the guard.
"It is well," said Don Quixote; "but I know what is first expedient to be done." Then, having called all the slaves before him, they gathered round to know his pleasure; when he thus addressed them: "To be grateful for benefits received is natural to persons well born. This I say, gentlemen, because you already know, by manifest experience, the benefit you have received at my hands; in return for which it is my desire that you immediately go to the city of Toboso, and there present yourselves before the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and tell her that her Knight of the Sorrowful Figure sends you to present his service to her; and recount to her every circumstance of this memorable adventure, to the point of restoring you to your wished-for liberty: this done, you may go wherever good fortune may lead you."
Gines de Passamonte answered for them all, and said, "What your worship commands us, noble sir and our deliverer, is of all impossibilities the most impossible to be complied with; for we dare not be seen together on the road, but must go separate, each man by himself, and endeavour to hide ourselves in the very bowels of the earth from the holy brotherhood, who doubtless will be out in quest of us. To think that we will now return to our chains, and put ourselves on our way to Toboso, is to imagine it already night, whereas it is not yet ten o'clock in the morning; and to expect this from us is to expect pears from an elm-tree." "I vow, then," quoth Don Quixote in a rage, "that you Don Ginesillo de Parapilla, or whatever you call yourself, shall go there alone and the whole chain upon your back." Passamonte, who was not over passive, seeing himself thus treated, gave a signal to his comrades, upon which they all began to rain such a shower of stones upon the knight that he could not contrive to cover himself with his buckler; and poor Rozinante cared no more for the spur than if he had been made of brass. Sancho got behind his ass, and thereby sheltered himself from the hailstorm that poured upon them both. Don Quixote could not screen himself sufficiently to avoid the stones, which came against him with such force that they brought him to the ground. They stripped him of a jacket he wore over his armour, and would have taken his trousers too, if the greaves had not hindered them. They took Sancho's cloak, leaving him stripped; and after dividing the spoils of the battle, they made the best of their way off, each taking a different course; more solicitous to escape the holy brotherhood than to drag their chain to Toboso and present themselves before the Lady Dulcinea.
Of what befel Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena, being one of the most extraordinary adventures related in this faithful history.
DON QUIXOTE, finding himself thus ill-requited, said to his squire: "Sancho, I have always heard it said that to do good to the vulgar is to throw water into the sea. Had I believed what you said to me, I might have prevented this trouble; but it is done, I must have patience, and henceforth take warning." "Your worship will as much take warning," answered Sancho, "as I am a Turk; but since you say that if you had believed me this mischief would have been prevented, believe me now, and you will avoid what is still worse; for, let me tell you, there is no putting off the holy brotherhood with chivalries; they do not care two farthings for all the knights-errant in the world, and I fancy already that I hear their arrows whizzing about my ears". "Thou art naturally a coward, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "but that thou mayest not say I am obstinate, and that I never do what thou advisest, I will for once take thy counsel, and retire from that fury of which thou art in so much fear; but upon this one condition—that, neither living nor dying, thou shalt ever say that I retired and withdrew myself from this peril out of fear, but that I did it out of mere compliance with thy entreaties." "Sir," answered Sancho, "retreating is not running away, nor is staying wisdom when the danger overbalances the hope; and it is the part of wise men to secure themselves to-day for to-morrow, and not to venture all upon one throw. And know that, although I am but a clown and a peasant, I yet have some smattering of what is called good conduct; therefore repent not of having taken my advice, but get upon Rozinante if you can, if not I will assist you, and follow me: for my head tells me that, for the present, we have more need of heels than hands." Don Quixote mounted without replying a word more; and, Sancho leading the way upon his ass, they entered on one side of the Sierra Morena, which was near, and it was Sancho's intention to pass through it, and get out at Viso or Almodovar del Campo, and there hide themselves for some days among those craggy rocks, in case the holy brotherhood should come in search of them. He was encouraged to this, by finding that the provisions carried by his ass had escaped safe from the skirmish with the galley-slaves, which he looked upon as a miracle, considering what the slaves took away, and how narrowly they searched.
That night they got into the heart of the Sierra Morena, where Sancho thought it would be well to pass the remainder of the night, if not some days, or at least as long as their provisions lasted. But destiny so ordered it that Gines de Passamonte, whom the valour and frenzy of Don Quixote had delivered from the chain, being justly afraid of the holy brotherhood, took it into his head to hide himself among those very mountains where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had taken refuge. Now, as the wicked are always ungrateful, Gines, who had neither gratitude nor good-nature, resolved to steal Sancho Panza's ass; not caring for Rozinante, as a thing neither pawnable nor saleable. Sancho Panza slept; the varlet stole his ass; and, before dawn of day, was too far off to be recovered.
Aurora issued forth, giving joy to the earth, but grief to Sancho Panza, who, when he missed his Dapple, began to utter the most doleful lamentations, insomuch that Don Quixote awaked at his cries, and heard him say, "O darling of my heart, born in my house, the joy of my children, the entertainment of my wife, the envy of my neighbours, the relief of my burdens, and lastly, the half of my maintenance! For, with the six and twenty maravedis which I have earned every day by thy means have I half supported my family!" Don Quixote, on learning the cause of these lamentations, comforted Sancho in the best manner he could, and desired him to have patience, promising to give him a bill of exchange for three asses out of five which he had left at home. Sancho, comforted by this promise, wiped away his tears, moderated his sighs, and thanked his master for the kindness he shewed him. Don Quixote's heart gladdened upon entering among the mountains, being the kind of situation he thought likely to furnish those adventures he was in quest of. They recalled to his memory the marvellous events which had befallen knights-errant in such solitudes and deserts. He went on meditating on these things, and his mind was so absorbed in them that he thought of nothing else. Nor had Sancho any other concern than to appease his hunger with what remained of the clerical spoils; and thus he jogged after his master, emptying the bag and stuffing his paunch; and while so employed he would not have given two maravedis for the rarest adventure that could have happened.
While thus engaged, he raised his eyes, and observed that his master, who had stopped, was endeavouring, with the point of his lance, to raise something that lay on the ground; upon which he hastened to assist him, if necessary, and came up to him just as he had turned over with his lance a saddle-cushion and a portmanteau fastened to it, half, or rather quite, rotten and torn, but so heavy that Sancho was forced to stoop down in order to take it up. His master ordered him to examine it. Sancho very readily obeyed, and although the portmanteau was secured with its chain and padlock, he could see through the chasms what it contained; which was four fine holland shirts, and other linen, no less curious than clean; and in a handkerchief he found a quantity of gold crowns, which he no sooner espied than he exclaimed: "Blessed be heaven, which has presented us with one profitable adventure!" And, searching further, he found a little pocket-book, richly bound; which Don Quixote desired to have, bidding him take the money and keep it for himself. Sancho kissed his hands for the favour; and, taking the linen out of the portmanteau, he put it in the provender-bag. All this was perceived by Don Quixote, who said, "I am of opinion, Sancho, nor can it possibly be otherwise, that some traveller must have lost his way in these mountains, and fallen into the hands of robbers, who have killed him, and brought him to this remote part to bury him." "It cannot be so," answered Sancho; "for had they been robbers they would not have left this money here." "Thou art in the right," said Don Quixote, "and I cannot conjecture what it should be; but stay, let us see whether this pocket-book has any thing written in it that may lead to a discovery." He opened it, and the first thing he found was a rough copy of verses, and, being legible, he read aloud, that Sancho might hear it, the following sonnet:
Love either cruel is or blind,Or still unequal to the causeIs this distemper of the mind,That with infernal torture knaws.
Of all my sufferings and my woeIs Chloe, then, the fatal source?Sure ill from good can never flow,Or so much beauty gild a curse!
From Smollett's translation.
"From those verses," quoth Sancho, "nothing can be collected, unless, from the clue there given, you can come at the whole bottom." "What clue is here?" said Don Quixote. "I thought," said Sancho, "your worship named a clue." "No, I said Chloe," answered Don Quixote; "and doubtless that is the name of the lady of whom the author of this sonnet complains; and, in faith, either he is a tolerable poet or I know but little of the art." "So, then," said Sancho, "your worship understands making verses too!" "Yes, and better than thou thinkest," answered Don Quixote; "and so thou shalt see, when thou bearest a letter to my lady Dulcinea del Toboso in verse; for know, Sancho, that all or most of the knights-errant of times past were great poets and great musicians; these two accomplishments, or rather graces, being annexed to lovers-errant. True it is that the couplets of former knights have more of passion than elegance in them." "Pray, sir, read on farther," said Sancho, "perhaps you may find something to satisfy us." Don Quixote turned over the leaf, and said, "This is in prose, and seems to be a letter." "A letter of business, sir?" demanded Sancho. "By the beginning, it seems rather to be one of love," answered Don Quixote. "Then pray, sir, read it aloud," said Sancho; "for I mightily relish these love-matters." "With all my heart," said Don Quixote; and reading aloud, as Sancho desired, he found it to this effect:
"Thy broken faith and my certain misery drive me to a place whence thou wilt sooner hear the news of my death than the cause of my complaint. Thou hast renounced me, O ungrateful maid, for one of larger possessions, but not of more worth than myself. What thy beauty excited, thy conduct has erased: by the former I thought thee an angel, by the latter I know thou art a woman. Peace be to thee, fair cause of my disquiet!"
The letter being read, Don Quixote said, "We can gather little more from this than from the verses. It is evident, however, that the writer of them is some slighted lover." Then, turning over other parts of the book, he found other verses and letters, but the purport was the same in all—their sole contents being reproaches, lamentations, suspicions, desires, dislikings, favours, and slights, interspersed with rapturous praises and mournful complaints. While Don Quixote was examining the book, Sancho examined the portmanteau, without leaving a corner which he did not scrutinise, nor seam which he did not rip, nor lock of wool which he did not carefully pick—that nothing might be lost through carelessness—such was the cupidity excited in him by the discovery of this golden treasure, consisting of more than a hundred crowns! And although he could find no more, he thought himself abundantly rewarded for the tossings in the blanket, the loss of the wallet, and the theft of his cloak; together with all the hunger, thirst, and fatigue he had suffered in his good master's service.
The Knight of the Sorrowful Figure was extremely desirous to know who was the owner of the portmanteau; but as no information could be expected in that rugged place, he had only to proceed, taking whatever road Rozinante pleased, and still thinking that among the rocks he should certainly meet with some strange adventure.
As he went onward, impressed with this idea, he espied, on the top of a rising ground not far from him, a man springing from rock to rock with extraordinary agility. Don Quixote immediately conceived that this must be the owner of the portmanteau, and resolved therefore to go in search of him, even though it should prove a twelvemonth's labour, in that wild region. He immediately commanded Sancho to cut short over one side of the mountain, while he skirted the other, as they might possibly by this expedition find the man who had so suddenly vanished from their sight. To which Sancho replied, "It would be much more prudent not to look after him; for if we should find him, and he, perchance, proves to be the owner of the money, it is plain I must restore it; and therefore it would be better to preserve it faithfully until its owner shall find us out; by which time, perhaps, I may have spent it, and then I am free by law." "Therein thou art mistaken, Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "for since we have a vehement suspicion of who is the right owner, it is our duty to seek him, and to return it; otherwise that suspicion makes us no less guilty than if he really were so." Then he pricked Rozinante on, when, having gone round part of the mountain, they found a dead mule, saddled and bridled, which confirmed them in the opinion that he who fled from them was owner both of the mule and the portmanteau.
While they stood looking at the mule, a goatherd descended, and, coming to the place where Don Quixote stood, he said, "I suppose, gentlemen, you are looking at the dead mule? in truth, it has now lain there these six months. Pray tell me, have you met with his master hereabouts?" "We have met with nothing," answered Don Quixote, "but a saddle-cushion and a small portmanteau, which we found not far hence." "I found it too," answered the goatherd, "but would by no means take it up, nor come near it, for fear of some mischief, and of being charged with theft; for the devil is subtle, and lays stumbling-blocks in our way, over which we fall without knowing how." "Tell me, honest man," said Don Quixote, "do you know who is the owner of these goods?" "What I know," said the goatherd, "is, that six months ago there came to a shepherd's hut, three leagues from this place, a genteel and comely youth, mounted on the very mule which lies dead there. He inquired which of these mountains was the most unfrequented. We told him it was where we now are; and so it is truly, for if you were to go on about half a league farther, perhaps you would never find the way out; and I wonder how you could get even hither, since there is no road nor path to lead you to it. The youth, hearing our answer, turned about, and made towards the part we pointed out, leaving us all pleased with his goodly appearance, and wondering at his question and at the haste he made to reach the mountain. From that time we saw him not again until, some days after, he issued out upon one of our shepherds, and, without saying a word, struck him, and immediately fell upon our sumpter-ass, which he plundered of our bread and cheese, and then fled again to the rocks with wonderful swiftness. Some of us sought for him nearly two days, and at last found him lying in the hollow of a large cork-tree. He came out to us with much gentleness, his garment torn, and his face so disfigured and scorched by the sun that we should scarcely have known him, but that his clothes, ragged as they were, convinced us he was the person we were in search after. He saluted us, and in few but civil words bid us not be surprised to see him in that condition, which was necessary in order to perform a certain penance enjoined him for his sins. We entreated him to tell us who he was, but could get no more from him. We also desired him to inform us where he might be found; because when he stood in need of food, we would willingly bring some to him. He thanked us, and begged pardon for his past violence, and promised to ask it for God's sake, without molesting any body. As to the place of his abode, he said he had only that which chance presented him wherever the night overtook him; and he ended his discourse with so many tears, that we must have been very stones not to have wept with him, considering what he was when we first saw him; for, as I before said, he was a very comely and graceful youth, and by his courteous behaviour shewed himself to be well-born. We judged that his mad fit was coming on, and our suspicions were quickly confirmed; for he suddenly darted forward, and fell with great fury upon one that stood next him, whom he bit and struck with so much violence that, if we had not released him, he would have taken away his life. In the midst of his rage he frequently called out, 'Ah, traitor Fernando! now shalt thou pay for the wrong thou hast done me; these hands shall tear out that heart, the dark dwelling of deceit and villany!' We disengaged him from our companion at last, with no small difficulty; upon which he suddenly left us, and plunged into a thicket so entangled with bushes and briers that it was impossible to follow him. By this we guessed that his madness returned by fits, and that some person, whose name is Fernando, must have done him some injury of so grievous a nature as to reduce him to the wretched condition in which he appeared. And in that we have since been confirmed, as he has frequently come out into the road, sometimes begging food of the shepherds, and at other times taking it from them by force; for when the mad fit is upon him, though the shepherds offer it freely, he will not take it without coming to blows; but when he is in his senses, he asks it with courtesy, and receives it with thanks, and even with tears. In truth, gentlemen, I must tell you," pursued the goatherd, "that yesterday I and four young men, two of them my servants and two my friends, resolved to go in search of him, and, having found him, either by persuasion or force carry him to the town of Almodovar, which is eight leagues off, there to get him cured, if his distemper be curable, or at least to learn who he is, and whether he has any relations to whom we may give notice of his misfortune. This, gentlemen, is all I can tell you, in answer to your inquiry; by which you may understand that the owner of the goods you found is the same wretched person who passed you so quickly:"—for Don Quixote had told him that he had seen a man leaping about the rocks.
Don Quixote was surprised at what he heard; and being now still more desirous of knowing who the unfortunate madman was, he renewed his determination to search every part of the mountain until he should find him. But fortune managed better for him than he expected; for at that very instant the youth appeared, descending, and muttering to himself something which was not intelligible. The rags he wore were such as have been described; but as he drew near, Don Quixote perceived that his buff doublet, though torn to pieces, still retained the perfume of amber; whence he concluded that he could not possibly be of low condition. When he came up, he saluted them in a harsh and untuned voice, but with a civil air. Don Quixote politely returned the salute with graceful demeanour, and advanced to embrace him, and held him a considerable time clasped within his arms, as if they had been long acquainted. The other, whom we may truly call the Tattered Knight of the Woful, as Don Quixote was of the Sorrowful Figure, having suffered himself to be embraced, drew back a little, and laying his hands on Don Quixote's shoulders, stood contemplating him, as if to ascertain whether he knew him; and perhaps no less surprised at the aspect, demeanour, and habiliments of the knight than was Don Quixote at the sight of him. In short, the first who broke silence after this prelude was the Tattered Knight; and what he said shall be told in the next chapter.