While Sancho went with the seneschal to have this attended to, Don Quixote lingered at the table with the Duke and the Duchess. The latter was anxious to have the hero tell her something about his Lady Dulcinea; and Don Quixote became reminiscent and began to sigh, telling her in exalted and flowery language of his great platonic love for this lady, who was now enchanted by some evil sage. When the Duchess asked Don Quixote if it were true that she was only an imaginary figure, he replied meekly that there was a good deal to be said on that point; still, he thought, one must not go to extreme lengths in asking for proof. They discussed many other things, not forgetting Sancho, whom his master praised for his drollery and criticised for being a booby.
Suddenly a great noise was heard and the next moment Sancho burst into the room trembling with rage. He was followed by some of the servants in the kitchen. Round his neck was a straining cloth, and dirty lather was splashed in various places over his person. He presented an appearance that at once made the Duchess scream with laughter. He proceeded to tell how he had been set upon by the kitchen-boy, who had been appointed barber by the rest, and how the lad had attempted to lather his face with kitchen soap and dishwater, applied with a scrubbing-brush. Don Quixote thought it best here to make the servants understand that he would tolerate no such jokes on his squire, so he addressed them in severe fashion and then ordered them back to the kitchen, with the Duchess' kind consent.
When the servants had left Sancho thought it a duty to himself and his master—in order to uphold their mutual dignity and for the sake of freeing himself from any untoward suspicion—to speak on his own behalf: "Let them bring a comb here and curry this beard of mine, and if they get anything out of it that offends against cleanliness, let them clip me to the skin." And when the Duchess had acknowledged her faith in Sancho and his virtues, the poor squire's happiness knew no bounds. He offered to serve her for the rest of his life. He wished that he might soon be dubbed a knight that he might carry out his desire on that point. She thanked him for expressing such a friendly feeling for her, and told him that she could plainly judge by his courteous offer to her that he had been reared in no other school than that of the great knight Don Quixote of La Mancha. And she assured him that the Duke would not forget the island he had promised him: she would see to that.
Don Quixote was now feeling the necessity for his mid-day nap, and begged to be permitted to retire. Sancho wanted to do the same, and remarked to the Duchess that he usually slept about four or five hours in the middle of a warm summer day; but upon her earnest request he promised her to try to wake up after an hour and come and visit with her and her duennas.
OF THE DELECTABLE DISCOURSE WHICH THE DUCHESS AND HER DAMSELS HELD WITH SANCHO PANZA, WELL WORTH READING AND NOTING
As soon as Sancho had eaten his dinner, he decided to have no sleep that afternoon, but to hasten to the Duchess' chambers that he might talk to her the whole afternoon. The Duchess asked him innumerable questions about his master and the Lady Dulcinea, and about Teresa Panza and every one concerned in the book about Don Quixote; and Sancho managed to keep the Duchess and her duennas in an uncommonly good humor for the rest of the day. They soon drifted to Sancho's government, and the squire expressed the belief that perhaps after a fortnight he would be as well versed in the affairs of government as he was in the farm labor he had been doing all his life.
"Let them only put me into this government and they will see wonders," he said; "for one who has been a good squire will be a good governor."
And then he took leave of the high lady, who suggested that he go home and sleep for the rest of the afternoon. He promised that he would, and entreated her to see to it that good care was taken of his Dapple. When he had explained to the Duchess that Dapple was his faithful donkey, and told her of the incident with Dona Rodriguez, she assured him that Dapple would want for nothing in her stable. She suggested that when he had his government in hand, he ought to pension Dapple off and let him quit working; and Sancho thought that was by no means a bad idea, for, he said, he would not be the first ass to be so pensioned.
The Duchess, when he had left, hastened to tell the Duke of her amusing conversation with Sancho; and again they put their heads together, trying to invent new ways and plots whereby they might derive amusement from the presence of Don Quixote and his squire.
WHICH RELATES HOW THEY LEARNED THE WAY IN WHICH THEY WERE TO DISENCHANT THE PEERLESS DULCINEA DEL TOBOSO, WHICH IS ONE OF THE RAREST ADVENTURES IN THIS BOOK
When the Duke and the Duchess had hit upon a plan they proceeded to make preparations for its being carried out, and on the sixth day they invited Don Quixote to go hunting with them. There was an array of huntsmen and beaters, as great a retinue as the Duke could possibly get together. Both Don Quixote and his squire had been presented with splendid hunting suits; but Don Quixote did not accept his, saying that he would soon have to return to the hard pursuits of his calling, and that it would only be a burden to carry it along.
Sancho did not know that his beautiful suit was destined to be torn that very day. A wild boar came along, and Sancho deserted his Dapple and climbed quickly up into the tallest tree he could find; but fate would have it that the branch gave way, and Sancho fell onto a branch below, where he hung suspended by a great rent in his breeches, screaming with all his might that he would be devoured by the boar; but the boar fell in the next moment, pierced by many spears, and Sancho was helped to the ground by his master.
The boar was taken to some tents nearby, where dinner soon was ready and being served for the hunters. Sancho could not refrain then from showing the Duchess what had befallen him in the tree-top, expressing to her his opinion of hunts of that kind, involving so much risk. Much better, he thought, it would be to hunt hares and other little animals. And then he went on at a tremendous speed, repeating proverb after proverb, one minute telling the Duchess how he would govern his island, and the next minute talking about something in his home village.
Night fell as they were talking. It was a very dark night, which helped to make the Duke's plan seem more likely of success. They had all left the tents and gone into the wood, when suddenly it seemed as if the whole space was afire in one blazing red mass of flames; then there came the sound of trumpets, numberless ones it seemed, and of hoofs, as if hordes of horses had passed through the wood, and of drums, and of battle-cries in Moorish. It was one long, tremendous, indescribable confusion. The Duke and the Duchess were seemingly taken aback; Don Quixote did not know what to think or do; and Sancho was absolutely panic-stricken. It was a din so overwhelming that even those who had arranged it were aghast and afraid.
Then there came a sudden lull, and a messenger—dressed like a demon and blowing a horn that sounded a weird and sickly note—appeared before their eyes, apparently in great haste. The Duke called to him and asked him where he was going; and he replied in a coarse voice that he was the Devil and was looking for Don Quixote of La Mancha. He pointed to the on-riding troops, and said that they were enchanters who were bringing the famous Lady Dulcinea del Toboso and the great Frenchman Montesinos on a triumphal car to seek their disenchantment through the only one who could accomplish it, the Knight of the Lions.
On hearing this, Don Quixote said: "If you are the Devil, you ought to know that I am Don Quixote!"
Whereupon the Devil exclaimed in surprise that he had not noticed the knight at all because he was so preoccupied with so many other things that he had almost forgotten what he was there for. Judging the Devil by his remark Sancho decided he was a very honest fellow and a good Christian; otherwise he would not have sworn—as Sancho did—by God and his conscience. After that the squire concluded that even hell had its quota of souls.
The Devil asked Don Quixote to communicate with Montesinos that he might receive instructions as to how to carry out the disenchantment of Lady Dulcinea; and then he turned around his horse and was gone. The whole thing had happened so suddenly that even Don Quixote was perplexed and seemed as if he did not know whether to believe what he had seen and heard. Sancho was dumbfounded and frightened out of his wits.
As Don Quixote made no move to follow the Devil's advice, the Duke turned to him and asked whether he intended to remain where he was. He answered that he would even if all the devils from hell should attack him. Scarcely had he vowed this when he had to gather all his courage in order not to give way to fear, for again there broke out a noise and din that surpassed anything that he had ever heard: shots of cannon and muskets, shouts and screams from all sides, and the terrific sound of all the trumpets, horns, drums, bugles and clarions; and then came the heavy creaking noise of carts, coming through the wood and all brightly lighted with rows of tapers.
It was too much for poor Sancho. He fell fainting on the Duchess' skirt. She ordered her servants to fan him and to throw water in his face, and he regained consciousness just as one of the carts was passing. It was drawn by four oxen, completely covered with black cloth, and attached to each horn was a lighted wax taper. Leading the oxen were two demons with such horrible, frightful faces that Sancho shut his eyes tightly after having got one glance of them. An old, worthy-looking man with a long, snow-white beard sat on a raised seat on the cart; and when he passed Don Quixote he said in a deep voice: "I am the sage Lirgandeo." And the cart continued. Then followed other carts, with other sages, and Sancho's face suddenly lighted up, for he heard sweet music in the distance, and he said to the Duchess: "Senora, where there is music, there can be no mischief."
But Don Quixote would not commit himself, for all he remarked was: "That remains to be seen."
WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE INSTRUCTION GIVEN TO DON QUIXOTE TOUCHING THE DISENCHANTMENT OF DULCINEA, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MARVELOUS INCIDENTS
As the sound of the music came closer, they distinguished a triumphal car, several times larger than the other ones, and on it were seated two figures, surrounded by a great many penitents, robed in white, and with lighted wax tapers in their hands. One of the figures was a young maiden in the costume of a nymph. She was very beautiful. The other one was dressed in a robe of state and had her head covered with a black veil.
As the car reached the spot where the Duke and Duchess and Don Quixote were standing, the music suddenly ceased, and the figure in the long robe rose and removed both the robe and the veil. All were astonished to find themselves face to face with Death. Sancho was frightened; Don Quixote felt ill at ease; and even the Duke and the Duchess seemed uncomfortable.
Then Death began to declaim a long poem which ended with the announcement that the Lady Dulcinea was enchanted by himself, the sage Merlin, here in the guise of Death, and that she could be redeemed in but one way: by three thousand three hundred lashes administered on Don Quixote's squire Sancho.
When Sancho heard this he exclaimed that he would rather stab himself that take the lashes, for he failed to see what he had to do with the enchantment of the Lady Dulcinea. This talk infuriated Don Quixote, who threatened to tie him to a tree and lay on the lashes himself, if his faithful squire had so little respect for his beloved one that he would not sacrifice himself to such an extent. But Merlin said that would have no effect, for the worthy Sancho must do the sacrifice of his own free will, or the disenchantment could not be accomplished.
Sancho, however, was as stubborn as a mule, and it was not until the Duke himself took a hand in the matter and threatened him with the loss of his governorship that he gave in; and then a compromise was made whereby Sancho promised to inflict the three thousand three hundred lashes upon himself. Merlin assured him, however, that if he should make any mistake in counting them, it would soon be known; for the moment all the lashes had been dealt, the Lady Dulcinea would be released—neither one lash before, nor one lash after—and she would at once come to thank and reward him for his sacrifice.
As soon as Sancho had testified his willingness to serve his master and his master's lady, Don Quixote fell on his squire's neck and kissed him. The Duke and the Duchess praised him for his unselfishness. And the music played again. Then the car moved on, Lady Dulcinea bowed to Sancho and the ducal pair, and dawn appeared with its glowing smile. The muskets were again heard; and all was calm.
The Duke was pleased beyond measure with his idea, which had been so effectively carried out. The hunt was at an end, and all returned happy and content—all except Sancho, who could not help thinking of the pain he was to give himself. But the Duke was bent on hitting upon new schemes whereby he should be able to continue the gaiety that Sancho and his master caused.
WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE AND UNDREAMED-OF ADVENTURE OF THE DISTRESSED DUENNA, ALIAS THE COUNTESS TRIFALDI, TOGETHER WITH A LETTER WHICH SANCHO PANZA WROTE TO HIS WIFE, TERESA PANZA
The Duke's majordomo had played the part of Merlin, and he it was who induced a page to appear as Dulcinea. This majordomo was a fellow full of pranks and good humor, and it was he who had written the verses he recited, too. To him the Duke now turned, and they contrived together another amusing scheme.
The next day Sancho was asked by the Duchess how many lashes he had given himself; and he replied meekly that he had commenced with five. After a moment's inquisition, however, the squire admitted that it had not been with lashes but slaps that he had done penance. The Duchess said she was certain that the sage Merlin would not tolerate any such false pretense. She suggested that he make a scourge with claws or knotted cords so that he would be sure to feel what he was doing to himself, and when the Duchess offered to bring him such a scourge in the morning, he had to promise to accept it. Then he told her that he had written a letter to his wife, Teresa Panza, in the governor style; and begged her to read it, which she did. The Duchess derived so much amusement from it that she hastened to show it to the Duke. And when Sancho was asked whether he had written the letter himself, he said that he only dictated it, since he could neither read nor write.
After dinner the Duke and the Duchess were sitting in the garden talking with Don Quixote and Sancho, when suddenly there was heard the sound of a deep doleful voice. They all turned quickly to see who was speaking, and there they saw approaching them a man with a snow-white beard that reached almost to the ground. He said he was Trifaldin, of the White Beard, squire to the Countess Trifaldi, otherwise called the Distressed Duenna, and that he had come in search of the valiant knight Don Quixote who he had heard was visiting at the castle. His mistress, he said, in order to find this knight had traveled all the way from the kingdom of Kandy without breaking her fast, and now he begged that Don Quixote would receive the lady, that she herself might tell him her misfortunes.
Don Quixote at once bade the squire go and fetch the Countess; at the same time he uttered a desire to the Duke that the confessor who did not believe in knights errant might have been present to see how appreciated and famed his achievements had become throughout the world.
WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE NOTABLE ADVENTURE OF THE DISTRESSED DUENNA, INCLUDING HER MARVELOUS AND MEMORABLE TALE OF MISFORTUNE
The Countess soon arrived, escorted by twelve duennas, who formed a lane through which she passed into the Duke's presence. On seeing so distinguished a guest, he went to receive her with all the honors due to her rank. When she had curtsied, she asked the Duke if it were true that the famous Don Quixote of La Mancha was present in the company. The import of her question was heightened by the way she expressed it, for these were her words spoken in a deep and coarse voice: "Are there present here that knight immaculatissimus, Don Quixote de la Manchissima, and his squirissimus Panza?"
Before Don Quixote or any one else had had an opportunity to reply, Sancho opened his mouth and burst out: "The Panza is here, and Don Quixottissimus too; and so, most distressedest Duennissima, you may say what you willissimus, for we are all readissimus to do you any servissimus."
Then Don Quixote stepped forward and begged the duenna to give him an account of her distress that he might know how to relieve it. The duenna became emotional almost beyond bounds. She thrust herself before Don Quixote and embraced his legs, imploring his and his squire's help, and then began to tell her story of misery.
All the while the Duke and the Duchess were in paroxysms of laughter, so well did the duenna act her part. And their enjoyment was further heightened by the remarks and questions that Sancho interspersed here and there, always at the wrong moment and much to his master's chagrin.
The weeping duenna went on to tell how she had been the ranking duenna at the court of the dowager-queen of Kandy; how she had been entrusted with the care and the bringing up of the Princess Antonomasia, the young heiress of the kingdom, and how she had permitted a young gentleman at the court, who was enamored of the Princess, to gain her favor in such a degree that marriage followed. The young Don had captivated both the Princess and the duenna with his accomplishments, for not only did he play the guitar and write poetry, and dance, but he could as well make bird-cages. But when the Queen learned of her daughter's marriage to one so much beneath her in rank, her heart broke in twain and she collapsed and was buried in three days, the duenna declared, tears streaming down her face all the while.
Sancho was curious at once, and wanted to have a doubt settled. "She died, no doubt?" he asked; and the duenna assured him that they did not bury the living in Kandy, only the dead. But Sancho thought it was a very stupid thing for the Old Queen to go and die thus; he said he could see no reason why she should have taken the whole thing so to heart, for the Princess might have married a page. That, in Sancho's opinion, might have been an excuse for dying; but the Don was such an accomplished man, and a gentleman at that, who could even make bird-cages. Dying was too absurd!
Then the duenna resumed, and now came the worst of her story. She told how the two lovers, upon the Queen's death, had become enchanted by the giant Malambruno, the Queen's first cousin, who had sworn that they would not regain their right shapes until the famous and valiant knight of La Mancha had met him in single combat. Having sentenced them thus, he summoned all the duennas in the castle, charging them with the responsibility of the evil match, and saying that since he did not wish them to suffer death, he would punish them in some other way. Scarcely had the giant uttered these words before their faces began to sting, their pores opened, and when the duennas put their hands to their faces, they felt themselves punished in a most horrifying manner.
Here the thirteen duennas raised their veils, and the Duke and his company were amazed to see that all the women were bearded. The Distressed Duenna raised a wail, and assured those present that had it not been that she had cried so much that she had no tears left, she would now shed them copiously, and she exclaimed: "Where, I ask, can a duenna with a beard go? What father or mother will pity her? Who will help her? For, if even when she has a smooth skin and a face tortured by a thousand kinds of cosmetics, she can hardly get anybody to love her, what will she do when she shows a countenance turned into a thicket? O duennas! It was an unlucky moment when we were born and when our fathers begot us!"
As the unhappy duenna spoke these words, it seemed as if she were about to faint. With a deep and distressing moan, she covered her face with her hands.
OF MATTERS RELATING AND BELONGING TO THIS ADVENTURE AND TO THIS MEMORABLE HISTORY
The one who was most impressed by this sad story and enchantment was Sancho, who thought it a dastardly trick for any giant to do. Did not the enchanter know that it cost money to shave? In Sancho's opinion, it would have been infinitely better to have taken off a part of their noses, even if it would have given them an impediment of speech. The duennas replied that some of them had tried sticking-plaster in order to spare themselves the expense of shaving, but to jerk it off their faces, was a painful procedure, they said.
Don Quixote interrupted and declared that they would have to follow no such course, for he would rid them of their beards or he would pluck out his own in the land of the Moors. Such a noble declaration seemed to revive the Distressed Duenna. She came up to Don Quixote and told him that the giant Malambruno had been courteous enough to offer to send the famous wooden steed that the valiant Pierres used. Merlin had made it. This horse could go through the air with a speed that carried its rider to the ends of the world overnight. It was steered by a peg in his forehead, she said, and this peg also served as a bridle. Furthermore, there was room for two—one in the saddle, and one on the croup.
"I should like to see him," said Sancho; "but to fancy that I am going to mount him, either in the saddle or on the croup, is to ask pears of an elm-tree. Let each one shave himself as best he can; I am not going to be bruised to get rid of any one's beard."
But Countess Trifaldi insisted that Panza was indispensable to the shaving of the duennas; and when the Duchess had pleaded with him and he saw the Distressed Duenna's eyes fill with tears, he could hardly keep his own back. He bent to their will and resigned himself to his fate and the adventure of riding through the air on the croup of the mighty wooden steed.
THE END OF THIS PROTRACTED ADVENTURE
Don Quixote was in a state of anxiety during the whole day for fear that Malambruno should not send the steed, but soon after nightfall there arrived in the garden four wild-men, clad in ivy, and carrying on their shoulders a large wooden horse. Don Quixote was summoned by the Distressed Duenna and he mounted the horse at once, not even putting on his spurs. By this time, however, Sancho had changed his mind and decided that he was not going to fly through the air like a witch. But upon the earnest and courteous solicitations of the Duke, Sancho at last consented to ride with his master.
Don Quixote begged Sancho to give himself five hundred lashes on behalf of his enchanted Dulcinea before they set off; but this request struck the squire as the absurdest one he had ever heard. How could his master expect him to sit on a hard wooden horse while he was all bruised and sore from the lashes? He did promise solemnly, however, that as soon as the duennas had been shaved he would turn to the fulfilling of the other debt.
The Distressed Duenna blindfolded them, saying that doing so would prevent them from getting dizzy when they rose to great heights; and Sancho, trembling and tearful, complained that the croup was too hard and begged for a cushion. But the duenna answered him that the magic steed permitted no trappings of any kind, and she suggested that he place himself sideways like a woman, for no doubt he would feel the hardness less in that position.
Sancho did so; and then he uncovered his eyes and looked in a tender fashion on those he was leaving behind, and began to cry piteously. Don Quixote told him sharply to cover his eyes again and not to act like a fool and a coward; and his squire did as he was bidden, after having commended himself to God and begged the duennas to pray all the paternosters and ave-marias they could for him. They in turn admonished him to stick tight to the croup and not to lose hold of it, warning him that if he fell, he would fall like a planet and be blinded by all the stars he would meet on his way down to Earth.
Sobbing, Sancho clung to his master, embracing him with his fat arms so tightly that Don Quixote came near being upset. The knight took a firm grip on the steering peg, and reprimanded his squire for squeezing him. He told him there was nothing to worry about, for it seemed to him he had never in his life ridden a steed that was so easy-going: one would hardly think they had budged from their original place, he said. When Sancho had calmed himself, he concurred in this opinion. He had never heard that there were people living in the air, and did he not hear voices quite close to his ears? Don Quixote then had to explain that affairs of this sort were not of the every-day kind, and that whenever one went on a trip like this, the voices from the Earth would reach thousands of leagues away.
Scarcely had Don Quixote said this, before a gust of wind came that threatened to unseat both the knight and his squire. (The fact was that it was the draught from a tremendous pair of bellows which the Duke had had unearthed for the occasion.) Sancho was shaking in his seat, and Don Quixote warned him again to sit still, for they were in danger of having a runaway straight into the regions of air and thunder, and then into the region of fire. He feared he might not get the steed to turn before it was too late, he said; for it seemed as if the machinery of the peg were rather intricate, and did not work quickly.
Suddenly Sancho began to yell that they were already lost in the flames, and would be burned to death. (He felt his beard being singed by a torch. It was one of a great number that the majordomo had provided.) Don Quixote, too, felt his face warm up. But he would not permit Sancho to uncover his eyes; if he did, the knight said he would only be seized with giddiness and both of them would fall off their horse. Besides, he comforted Sancho with the thought that the journey would last only a few moments longer, and that they were now passing a final test before landing in the kingdom of Kandy. Don Quixote added that the distance they had traveled must have been tremendous, and Sancho replied: "All I know is that if the Senora Magallanes or Magalona was satisfied with this croup, she could not have been very tender of flesh."
At this moment came the culmination of their journey through the air. A torch was tied to the tail of the steed, which was stuffed with fire-crackers, and suddenly there was a tremendous noise and a flash, and in the next moment Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, both scorched, lay as if thunderstruck on the ground.
When the knight and his squire finally came to, and looked about, they were aghast at what they saw. The ground was strewn with bodies, but the bearded duennas were gone. Planted in the ground they saw a lance, attached to which they found a parchment which proclaimed that the enchantment of the duennas and of the Don and his royal bride was at an end, and that as soon as the squire Sancho Panza deigned to carry out the flogging he was to give himself, the peerless Dulcinea would appear in all her original beauty again.
Now the Duke and the Duchess, who were among the bodies lying on the ground, seemingly dead, lifted up their heads, as if just coming out of a long sleep; and Don Quixote hastened to tell them of the great miracle that had befallen him. They were both convulsed with laughter—which Don Quixote mistook for emotion—and when he had finished telling them about his marvelous adventure, they had all they could do to reply. The Duke finally gathered enough strength to embrace him and tell him that he was no doubt the greatest knight the world had ever known.
The Duchess was curious to know how Sancho had enjoyed the trip; and he confessed that in spite of his master's command he had peered from underneath the kerchief before his eyes, and had seen the earth below, and that the people seemed as little as hazelnuts and the earth itself looked like a grain of mustard-seed; and when he passed through the region of fire he had seen the goats of heaven, he said.
OF THE COUNSELS WHICH DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA BEFORE HE SET OUT TO GOVERN THE ISLAND, TOGETHER WITH OTHER WELL-CONSIDERED MATTERS
The heaven-riding adventure had been such a success that the Duke and the Duchess could not rest until they had seen Sancho installed as governor of his island; for they felt certain they should derive a great fund of amusement from such an experiment. So Sancho was told to prepare himself.
But Sancho, having seen heaven, seemed less keen to be governor now, since he felt how small humanity really was, particularly in comparison with the goats of the sky which he claimed he had seen, and he replied that he would much rather have a bit of heaven than any island on earth. The Duke, however, told Sancho that, not being the ruler there, it was for God to dispose of such domains. So Sancho promised to come down to earth and be governor, and to attire himself in the regalia befitting the office.
This being done, Don Quixote and Sancho withdrew to the knight's room, and there Don Quixote gave his squire advice about governing. He admonished him to be a champion of virtue always, to strive to know himself and not to puff himself up like a peacock, whose feathers, he bade him remember, were fine, but who had ugly feet. And the advice and instructions that master gave servant were such that no one would have thought it was a madman speaking.
OF THE SECOND SET OF COUNSELS DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA
Don Quixote then told his squire to forget neither to cut his nails nor to supply his servants with livery. The latter, he said, must be neat and never showy. If he could do with three servants instead of six, he advised him to clothe three poor men: thus he would have pages for heaven as well as for earth. He must never eat garlic or onions, the knight said, and he begged him to leave out all affectations. When it came to drinking, he asked him always to bear in mind that too much wine kept neither secrets nor promises. Another thing he must not do was to flatter people; Don Quixote considered this a very odious practice. Last, but not least, said Don Quixote, he must remember not to use such quantities of proverbs as he had been wont to.
Here Sancho felt he had to break in and say a word, and he retorted: "God alone can cure that, for I have more proverbs in me than a book, and when I speak they fall to fighting among themselves to get out; that's why my tongue lets fly the first that comes, though it may not be pat to the purpose." And here Sancho in the very face of his master's admonitions, let go a string of proverbs so long that Don Quixote was almost in despair.
"My mother beats me, and I go on with my tricks," said Don Quixote. "I am bidding thee avoid proverbs, and here in a second thou hast shot out a whole litany of them. Those proverbs will bring thee to the gallows some day, I promise thee."
HOW SANCHO PANZA WAS CONDUCTED TO HIS GOVERNMENT; AND OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE IN THE CASTLE
Before Sancho departed for his island—which was in reality a village belonging to his new master's duchy, and surrounded by land on all sides—Don Quixote wrote out carefully the advice he had given him in the morning of the same day. To escort the new governor to the village the Duke had chosen the majordomo, who had played the part of the Countess Trifaldi; and the moment Sancho saw his face and heard him speak, he confided to his master the resemblance in voice and appearance.
Always suspicious of enchanters, Don Quixote bade his late squire to keep a sharp eye on the man, and to be sure to inform him whether anything happened that confirmed his suspicion.
Then Sancho was dressed in the garb of a lawyer and mounted on a mule. Dapple followed behind with new trappings, and Sancho was so pleased with the appearance of Dapple that he could not help turning around from time to time to look at him. Don Quixote wept when it came to the leave-taking, and Sancho kissed devotedly the hands of the Duchess and the Duke.
But as soon as Sancho had left, Don Quixote felt a great loneliness in his heart; and that night, after having supped with the ducal pair, he begged to be excused early and retired to his room, saying he wanted no servant to wait on him.
He undressed at once, and went to bed, leaving the window overlooking the garden open. Soon he heard the voices of two young maidens, and he was surprised to hear that they were speaking of him. One of them he recognized as the fair Altisidora, and, persuaded by the other voice, she commenced to serenade the knight, to whom in her song she bared her aching heart, and the passion that burned there for him.
But the knight could not be moved. His was a love for no one but his Dulcinea. To indicate to the young maiden that he was aware of her intentions and could not be swayed, he rose from his bed, and went to the window and feigned a sneeze. When that was of no avail and neither produced reticence in the maidens nor drove them away from his window, he sighed: "O what an unlucky knight I am that no damsel can set eyes on me but falls in love with me!" And he went on to bewail his fate, crying out in the night that all the empresses in the world were jealous of the love he bore in his heart for the sweet Dulcinea, and saying that he must and would remain hers, pure, courteous, and chaste, in spite of all the magic-working powers on earth.
Then the worthy knight shut his window with a bang, and thrust himself on his bed, entirely out of patience with the enticing and sinful young maidens.
OF HOW THE GREAT SANCHO PANZA TOOK POSSESSION OF HIS ISLAND; AND OF HOW HE MADE A BEGINNING IN GOVERNING
When Sancho arrived in his village he learned that his island was called Barataria. He was greeted with great demonstrations: the whole community had turned out to meet him, and all the churchbells were ringing. He was first taken to the church, where he gave thanks to God; then he was presented with the keys of the town. From the church he was taken to the judgment seat outside, and there he was told to answer numerous questions which the majordomo put to him, saying that that was an ancient custom on taking office.
The questions were cases of quarrels between the villagers, and Sancho answered each one of them so sagely that every one gaped in wonder, for, judging by his appearance and the way he talked, they had thought their governor a fool. Instead of thinking thus, they now began to admire him and to consider themselves lucky and blessed by having him in their midst.
OF THE TERRIBLE BELL AND CAT FRIGHT THAT DON QUIXOTE GOT IN THE COURSE OF THE ENAMORED ALTISIDORA'S WOOING
The thought of Altisidora's love bothered Don Quixote so that he could not go to sleep. He had torn his green stockings, while undressing, and having neither needle nor thread he could not mend them, and this increased his annoyance. Soon it was morning, and to put an end to his agony, he rose and dressed himself. But on his way to the ante-chamber, where the Duke and Duchess would receive him, he passed through a gallery, where he was surprised to find the fair Altisidora and her friend who had been with her outside his window the night before.
When Altisidora laid eyes on the knight errant, she fell in a dead faint, but was caught in the arms of her friend, who began to unlace her dress. Don Quixote remained cold and untouched, mumbling all the while to himself that he knew perfectly well why she had fainted. Her friend retorted with venom in her voice that she wished he would disappear from the castle, for if he remained there much longer Altisidora would be wasting away into nothingness—even if she were the healthiest and most buxom maiden there at the moment—and die from a broken heart. This seemed to touch Don Quixote, for he replied that if she would see to it that a lute was put in his room that night, he would sing to her and try to comfort her in the night while she stood outside his window.
The damsels went at once to tell the Duchess what had happened, and she was pleased beyond words; and together they hit upon a new joke which would bring them fresh merriment.
Just before midnight Don Quixote came to his chamber and found there a guitar; and, having tuned it as best he could, he began to let out his rusty voice into the notes of a ballad that he himself had composed that day. While he stood there on his balcony singing, there suddenly broke out a tremendous din; and from above was let down a cord to which hundreds of bells were attached, making the most deafening sound. At the same time a bag of cats, each with a bell tied to its tail, came shooting down upon the unfortunate knight, who was frightened beyond words by the meowing and squalling and screaming of the cats and by the jingling of the bells.
Don Quixote stood paralyzed, with the guitar clutched in his hand, when suddenly it struck him that his room must have been invaded by jumping devils—for the cats had knocked the candles down on the floor, extinguishing them as they did so, and the room was now in pitch darkness. He suddenly flung his guitar away and drew his sword, charging the enchanters with all the fervor and energy that he possessed.
All the cats flew toward the balcony, from where they escaped into the garden—all except one, which Don Quixote had cornered, and was making violent stabs at, without hitting anything but the air, the wall and the floor. This little beast, fighting for its life, like one beset, jumped at the knight, put its teeth and claws into his nose, and remained there, holding on infuriated, while Don Quixote gave out the most terrible screams and howls.
When the Duke and the Duchess heard what was going on, they became afraid that some harm might be done the knight errant; so they ran to his chamber with all haste. The Duke rushed to the rescue of Don Quixote's nose; but in spite of the horrible pain he must have been in, the knight was brave enough to decline all aid, shouting aloud that he wished to fight the malignant enchanter alone. At last, however, the Duke could see the poor fellow suffer no longer, and he managed to separate the cat from Don Quixote's nose.
The fair Altisidora was given the task to cover the damaged parts of the knight's face with ointment, and she did this with a loving and caressing hand, although she could not resist telling him that he would not have been in this predicament if he had listened to her the night before. She jealously hoped, too, that his squire Sancho would forget all about the whippings so that Dulcinea would remain enchanted forever. But Don Quixote was insensible to anything she said; he only sighed and sighed. And then he thanked the Duke and the Duchess for all their kindness; and they really felt sorry in their hearts for the end the joke had taken. They bade him good-night; he stretched himself on his bed; and there he remained for five days.
WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE ACCOUNT OF HOW SANCHO PANZA CONDUCTED HIMSELF IN HIS GOVERNMENT
Having held court, Sancho was escorted to a magnificent palace, where dinner had been laid in a large and gorgeous chamber. There were numerous ceremonies that he had to pass through as he entered; but he went through them all undisturbed and with phlegmatic dignity. He was seated at the head of the table, his own guest of honor as it were, for he found he was the only one present there, excepting a number of pages who surrounded him. But then he discovered behind himself a gentleman who turned out to be a physician, and who soon aroused Sancho's ire. For every time a dish was passed to Sancho, it had first to be passed upon by the physician; and this dignitary seemed to have made up his mind that governors were not meant to live, for every dish was sent back to the kitchen, and Sancho found that a governor's meal consisted in starvation.
This finally enraged the new governor so that he ordered the doctor out of his sight, threatening to break a chair over his head if he did not disappear quickly enough; but just at that moment there arrived a messenger with a letter for the Governor from the Duke, and Sancho became so excited that he forgot about his physician's expulsion for the moment. The majordomo read the letter, which was addressed to the Governor of the Island of Barataria. In it the Duke warned Sancho that attacks would be made upon the island some night in the near future by enemies of the Duke, and also, the Duke said, he had learned that four men had entered the town in disguise, and that they would make an attempt upon the Governor's life. He therefore cautioned Sancho to eat nothing that was offered to him.
At once Sancho decided that the worst conspirator against his life was the physician, who wanted to kill him by the slow death of hunger. He said he thought it best to have him thrust into a dungeon. And then he asked for a piece of bread and four pounds of grapes, feeling sure that no poison would be in them, announcing at the same time as his maxim that if he were going to be able to combat enemies he would have to be well fed.
He then turned to the messenger and bade him say to the Duke that his wishes would be obeyed; at the same time he sent a request to the Duchess that she should not forget to have the letter he had written to his Teresa Panza delivered, together with the bundle, by a messenger. Last but not least, he asked to be remembered to his beloved master Don Quixote by a kiss of the hand.
OF WHAT HAPPENED TO SANCHO IN MAKING THE ROUND OF HIS ISLAND
At last the physician felt it to his advantage to consent to prescribe a good supper for the Governor that evening. The day had been taken up with all sorts of applicants, who, it seemed to Sancho, would always arrive at the wrong time, either when he was about to eat or wanted to sleep.
The supper hour, which Sancho had been longing for all that day arrived at last, and he was delighted with the beef, salad, onions, and calves' feet that were put before him. He told the doctor that for the future he ought never to trouble himself about giving him dainty dishes and choice food to eat, for it would only unhinge his stomach. Then to the head-carver he said: "What you had best do is to serve me with what they call ollas podridas—and the rottener they are the better they smell!" The others he addressed proverbially thus: "But let nobody play pranks on me, for either we are or we are not. Let us live and eat in peace and good fellowship, for when God sends the dawn, he sends it for all. I mean to govern this island without giving up a right or taking a bribe. Let every one keep his eye open, and look out for the arrow; for I can tell them 'the devil is in Cantillana,' and if they drive me to it they shall see something that will astonish them. Nay, make yourself honey and the flies will eat you."
In reply to this the head-carver took it upon himself to speak for the rest of the inhabitants on the island, assuring Sancho that every one was greatly pleased with his mild government, and that he already stood high in their affections.
This brought forth a declaration from Sancho that if the people were not pleased with his government, they would be fools; and then he went on to state that he intended to see to it himself that the island was purged of everything unclean and of all idlers and vagabonds. The latter he compared to the drones in a hive, that eat up the honey the industrious bees make. Furthermore, he emphasized that he would encourage and reward the virtuous, and protect the church and its ministers.
The majordomo was genuinely filled with admiration for all the excellent ideas and remarks of the new governor, particularly when he considered that he was a man without either education or culture; and he could not help admitting to himself that even a joke could sometimes become a reality, and that those who had played a joke on some one might live to find themselves the victims of the very same joke.
That night the Governor as usual made his rounds, accompanied by the majordomo and his whole staff, including the chronicler, who was to record the deeds of Governor Don Sancho Panza; and before the night was over he had given fresh proof of his wisdom, for he settled a quarrel between two gamblers and decided to break up gambling on his island. He kept a youth out of jail. And he restored a young girl, who wanted to see the world as a boy, to her father.
WHEREIN IS SET FORTH HOW GOVERNOR SANCHO PANZA'S WIFE RECEIVED A MESSAGE AND A GIFT FROM THE DUCHESS; AND ALSO WHAT BEFELL THE PAGE WHO CARRIED THE LETTER TO TERESA PANZA
The Duchess did not forget her promise, and she sent the page who had played the part of Dulcinea when the Devil entered a plea for her disenchantment, with Governor Sancho's letter and bundle to his wife. At the same time the Duchess entrusted him with a string of coral beads as a gift from herself to Teresa Panza, with which gift went a letter as well.
When the page reached the village of La Mancha he saw, on entering it, some women washing clothes in a brook; and he found that one of them was no other than the Governor's young daughter. She eagerly ran to the good-looking young man, and, breathless with excitement at the thought of his having news from her father, she skipped along in front of him until they had reached their little house.
Teresa Panza was spinning, and she came out in a gray petticoat, vigorous, sunburnt and healthy, and wanted to know what all the excitement was about. The page quickly jumped from his horse, thrust himself on his knees before her, and exclaimed to the bewildered woman: "Let me kiss your hand, Senora Dona Panza, as the lawful and only wife of Senor Don Sancho Panza, rightful governor of the island of Barataria."
But by this time the poor woman had got over her first surprise, and she bade him rise, saying that he should not do things like that, and that she was only a poor country woman, and the wife of a squire errant, not a governor. However, when the page had given her the letters and the gifts, her doubts were crushed, and she decided that Sancho's master must have given her husband the government he had promised him, the one that Sancho had been talking about all the time. And then she asked the page to read the letters to her, since she herself had not learned that art, although she could spin, she said.
When the page had finished reading the Duchess' letter, poor Teresa Panza was overcome with gratitude to the gracious lady who had made her husband, a poor illiterate booby, governor—and a good one besides—and who had deigned to ask her, humble woman that she was, for a couple of dozen or so of acorns.
"Ah, what a good, plain, lowly lady!" she exclaimed. "May I be buried with ladies of that sort, and not with the gentlewomen we have in this town, that fancy, because they are gentlewomen, the wind must not touch them, and go to church with as much airs as if they were queens, no less, and who seem to think they are disgraced if they look at a farmer's wife! And see here how this good lady, for all she is a Duchess, calls me her friend, and treats me as if I were her equal!"
Then she told her Sanchica to make ready a meal, with plenty of eggs and bacon, for the lad who had brought them such good news, while she herself ran out and told the neighbors of their great luck. Soon Samson Carrasco and the curate came to the house, having heard the news, and wanted to know what madness had taken possession of Sancho's wife. But when they had read the letters and had seen the presents, they themselves were perplexed, and did not know what to make of it; and when they had met the page and he had confirmed everything that was said in the letters, they were convinced, although they were at a loss to understand how it all had come to happen.
The Duchess' asking for a few acorns, they could not quite comprehend, but even this was soon explained, for the page assured them that his lady, the Duchess, was so plain and unassuming that she had even been known to have borrowed a comb from a peasant-woman neighbor on one occasion; and he added that the ladies of Aragon were not nearly as stiff and arrogant as those of Castile.
Sanchica's greatest concern centered around her father's legs. She was anxious to learn how he covered them, now that he had become governor. She was hoping that he would wear trunk-hose, for she had always had a secret longing, she said, to see her father in tights; "What a sight he must be in them!" she added.
The page replied that he had not observed her father's legs or how they were dressed; but the joking way in which he gave his answer furnished the curate and the bachelor with a fresh doubt as to the reality of the governorship and Sancho's position. Yet they could not forget the coral beads and the fine hunting-suit that the page had brought, and which pointed to some truth in the matter.
Sanchica was anxious to make the trip to her father's island at once with the messenger, who told them he had to leave that evening; and Teresa Panza wanted to know whether the curate had heard of any one in the village going to Madrid or Toledo, for she thought that she at least ought to provide herself with a hooped petticoat, now that she was the wife of a distinguished governor and no doubt destined to be made a countess.
And while mother and daughter were contemplating and worrying about their new position in life, they interspersed their sentences with so many proverbs that the curate felt obliged to remark that he thought that all the Panzas were born with a sackful of proverbs in their insides. The page told them here that the Governor uttered them most frequently and spontaneously, much to the amusement of the Duke and the Duchess; and then he reminded the Governor's lady of his hunger. But the curate softly took him by the arm and whispered to him that poor Teresa Panza had more will to serve than she had means, and invited him to sup at his own house.
In order not to lose weight or starve, the page consented; and the curate was glad to have an opportunity to talk with him alone.
Sanchica again expressed her desire to travel with the page; and the page tried to persuade her not to come along, for, he said, the daughters of governors must travel in a coach and in style, with many attendants. The girl thought that was nonsense, however, and it was not until her mother hushed her up with her proverbial logic that she ceased arguing. Said mother Teresa Panza to her daughter: "As the time so the behavior: when it was Sancho it was Sanchica, when it is governor it is senorita." And that settled it.
The bachelor offered to write letters for Teresa Panza to her husband and the Duchess; but, somehow, she did not seem to trust him, for she refused his offer. Instead she induced a young acolyte to write the epistles for her, paying him with the eggs which she was to have used for the page's supper.
OF THE PROGRESS OF SANCHO'S GOVERNMENT; AND OTHER SUCH ENTERTAINING MATTERS
The thing that troubled Sancho most was not his manifold duties nor his judgments, but his appetite. It was as keen as ever, yet he got next to nothing to eat. The morning after he had made his round, they gave him only some water and a little conserve for breakfast, the doctor advising him that light food was the most nourishing for the wits, and especially to be recommended to people who were placed in responsible positions—such as governors, for instance. Thus poor Sancho was persuaded to submit to a process of starvation which was gradually making him regret, and finally curse, his ever having become governor.
He sat in judgment that day but a short time, and made a decision in an intricate case with so much good sense and wit that the majordomo was overwhelmed with admiration, and could not refrain from taking pity on the governor's stomach. So he stood up and announced, knowing it would have the Governor's immediate and unqualified sanction, that the session had come to an end for the morning; then turning to Sancho, he promised to give him a dinner that day that would please him.
Sancho was grateful in advance, and felt moved to thank him. "That is all I ask for," he declared: "fair play! Give me my dinner, and then let it rain cases and questions on me, and I shall despatch them in a twinkling." And since it had been arranged by the conspirators in the joke that this was to be the last day of Sancho Panza's reign as governor, the majordomo gave him the best dinner that he could.
Just as the Governor was finishing his repast a courier arrived with a letter from Don Quixote. The secretary read it aloud to him, and he listened attentively and respectfully to the wisdom and good and sound advice that his beloved Don Quixote gave him in the letter. All who heard it read were agreed that they had seldom had the fortune to hear such a well-worded and thoroughly sensible epistle; and Sancho was proud of the praise that was being bestowed on his former master, to whom he still was as devoted as ever.
The Governor withdrew with his secretary into his own room, and there he dictated at once his reply to Don Quixote's letter. In this he confided to him all that had happened on his island, the reforms he had undertaken, and the judgments he had handed down. He finished by asking the knight to kiss the hand of the sweet Duchess for him and tell her that she had not thrown it into a sack with a hole in it, as she would see in the end: meaning by this that he would show her how grateful he was as soon as he had an opportunity.
The courier returned to the ducal palace with the Governor's message; and Sancho spent the afternoon in making provisions for all sorts of beneficial improvements in his government, reducing prices on a number of necessaries, and confirming laws that tended to help the poor and needy, while they would incriminate those who were impostors, good-for-nothings, and vagabonds. Even to this day some of these laws are in existence there, and are called The constitutions of the great governor, Sancho Panza.
WHEREIN THREE DELECTABLE EPISTLES ARE READ BY THE DUCHESS
Don Quixote had now been healed of his scratches, and he began to long for the road; for the life was too easy, he thought, for one who had dedicated himself to knight-errantry and valorous deeds. But the day he had decided to break the news to the Duke and the Duchess, the messenger that the Duchess had sent to Sancho's wife returned, bringing with him two letters, one addressed to "The Duchess So-and-so, of I don't know where," and the other one to "The Governor, Sancho Panza of the Island of Barataria, whom God prosper longer than me!"
The Duchess was so eager to read her letter that she opened it at once; and having read it to herself, she felt she ought to give amusement to the others too, so she read it aloud to all who were there. She was dying to see what the letter to the Governor contained, so she asked Don Quixote whether he thought it would be a breach of etiquette to read it; and Don Quixote took it upon himself, as Sancho's late master and guardian, to open it. Then he read it to the Duke and the Duchess, who laughed to their heart's content at the many drolleries with which Teresa Panza had stuffed her epistle.
Just as the merriment was at its peak, the courier with Sancho Panza's reply to Don Quixote arrived, and that communication too was read aloud; and the Duke could not omit remarking that it was a most excellent and sane letter. The Duchess, however, was anxious to question the page about his visit with Teresa Panza, so she excused herself, and withdrew with the page and her presents; for, besides the acorns, the Governor's wife had sent her a cheese, much to the gratification of the Duchess.
OF THE TROUBLOUS END AND TERMINATION OF SANCHO PANZA'S GOVERNMENT
The seventh day of Sancho's government was approaching its end. The Governor lay in his bed, resting after all the judgments and proclamations he had made that day upon a fasting stomach. Suddenly he rose in his bed, for he heard the most deafening noise, intermingled with the ringing of churchbells. To this sound was added that of trumpets and drums, and the combination made a din that frightened Sancho almost out of his wits. He flew out of bed, put on a pair of slippers, and rushed into the street, dressed in nothing but his night shirt. He was startled to see the streets crowded with men, carrying torches, and crying: "To arms, Senor Governor, to arms! The enemy is here, and we are lost, unless you come to the rescue with your sword!"
Sancho was lost; he did not know what to do, for swordsmanship was not among his accomplishments. And so he simply asked them whether the enemy could not wait until he had a chance to summon his master Don Quixote of La Mancha, who, he said, knew all about arms.
Just then one of the inhabitants came along, carrying two shields, and without any ceremony he told Sancho in plain language that it was his duty as their governor to lead them into battle. Then he covered him—without giving him a chance to put on anything besides his night-shirt—with the two shields, one in front and the other one behind; pressing them together as tightly as he and another man could manage, they laced them with rope, so that Sancho could neither move a muscle, nor bend a leg. Then they put a lance in his hand and told him to lead them into battle against the enemy, for now they were no longer afraid of the outcome, they said.
"How am I to march, unlucky being that I am," asked Sancho, "when I cannot stir my knee-caps for these boards that are bound so tightly to my body! What you must do is to carry me in your arms, and lay me across or set me upright in some postern, and I shall hold it either with this lance or with my body."
When the men heard the Governor speak thus, one of them was bold enough to suggest that he could not move because he was too frightened; and this angered poor Sancho into a frantic attempt to take a step in the direction of the invading army. But this step was a fatal one, for the Governor fell in his undignified stiffness flat on his back with such a crash that he thought he had broken every bone in his body.
The men now quickly extinguished their torches, and began to step on his shield, slashing their swords over his head, shouting and yelling, and making all the noise they could. Had Sancho not pulled in his head like a tortoise in his shell, he might have fared ill. One man boldly placed himself on Sancho's roof, calling in a mighty voice, now and then filled with an agonized grunt, such directions as these: "Hold the breach there! Shut the gate! Barricade those ladders! Block the streets with feather-beds! Here with your stink-pots of pitch and resin, and kettles of boiling oil!"
All these exclamations put fear in the already hard-pressed and squeezed heart of Sancho Panza, who was wishing where he lay that he had never seen the sight of an island. He was in such an agony that he began to pray to the Lord in Heaven to have mercy on him and let him die, or else let this terrible strife and warfare come to an end.
Heaven must have heard Sancho's prayer, for suddenly he heard cries of: "Victory! Victory! The enemy retreats!" Then some one jerked him by the arm, and told him to stand up and enjoy the victory; and finally some of the bystanders took pity on him, and lifted him up from his vertical position. But Sancho refused to enjoy any victory. All he asked for, he said, was that some one wipe the perspiration from his body, and give him some wine for his parched throat. When they had fulfilled this desire of his, they carried him to his chamber, were they put him to bed. Hardly had they got him to bed before he fainted away, overcome with excitement and governments.
The attendants sprinkled some water in the Governor's face, and he soon came back to life. The first thing he asked was what time it was. They replied it was early morning. He rose without saying a word, dressed himself in haste, and then went out to the stable, where they found him hanging round his Dapple's neck, kissing and embracing him, while tears were streaming down his face. Having swallowed the first flood of tears, the late squire addressed his faithful donkey in the tenderest and most heartrending terms, telling him that he should have stuck by him all the time, and not let himself be carried away by ambitions to become governor of islands.
Sancho then put the pack-saddle on Dapple's back, and mounted—a process of much pain—and from his dear confederate's back he addressed the majordomo and those of his staff who had followed him to the stable. "Make way," he said, "and let me go back to my old freedom; let me go look for my past life, and raise myself up from this present death. I was not born to be a governor or to protect islands or cities from the enemies that choose to attack them. Ploughing and digging, vine-dressing and pruning, are more in my way than defending provinces or kingdoms. Saint Peter is very well in Rome: I mean, each of us is best following the trade he was born to. I would rather have my fill of the simplest pot-luck than be subject to the misery of a meddling doctor who kills me with hunger; and I would rather lie in summer under the shade of an oak, and in winter wrap myself in a double sheepskin jacket in freedom, than to go to bed between Holland sheets and dress in sables under the restraint of a government. God be with your Worships! Tell my lord, the Duke, that naked was I born, naked I find myself, I neither lose nor gain: I mean that without a farthing I came into this government, and without a farthing I go out of it—very different from the way governors commonly leave other islands. Stand aside and let me go. I have to plaster myself, for I believe every one of my ribs is crushed, thanks to the enemies that have been trampling over me to-night."
Here the doctor offered to give the retiring governor a draught that would cure him of all pain. He also promised Sancho if he would stay he would behave better in the future, and give him as much to eat as he desired. But Sancho was not at a loss for an answer this time.
"You spoke late," said he. "I should as soon turn Turk as stay any longer. Those jokes will not pass a second time. By the Lord, I should as soon remain in this government, or take another one, even if it was offered me between two plates, as fly to heaven without wings. I am of the breed of Panzas, and they are every one of them obstinate, and if they once say odds, odds it must be, no matter if it is evens, in spite of all the world. Here in this stable I leave the ant's wings that lifted me up into the air for the swifts and other birds to eat them, and let us take to the level ground and our feet once more; and if they are not shod in pinked shoes of cordovan, they shall not want for rough sandals of hemp. Every ewe to her like and let no one stretch his leg beyond the length of the sheet. And now let me pass, for it is growing late with me."
After this meditation, strung with proverbs, the majordomo turned to Sancho and said that before he departed it was necessary that he render an account for the ten days that he had governed the island. But this was not Sancho's idea, and he quickly replied that he would seek out the Duke and give an accounting to him, for he was the only one to whom he was responsible. He added that as he would come to him naked, that would be the best proof that he had governed like an angel.
So they all agreed to let him proceed, for they were certain that the Duke would be delighted to see him. They offered him anything that he might need for the journey; but all Sancho asked for was some barley for his Dapple, and some bread and cheese for himself. Then they all bade him godspeed and embraced him; and Sancho, with tears in his eyes, took leave of them. The majordomo and the rest of Sancho's staff could not help thinking that he had displayed more sense than most men might have under the same circumstances; for when Sancho left his government he had earned their admiration for many and good reasons.
OF WHAT BEFELL SANCHO ON THE ROAD; AND OTHER THINGS THAT CANNOT BE SURPASSED
Sancho had almost reached the Duke's castle, when night suddenly fell and it grew so dark that he considered it best to stop where he was and remain there overnight. Accordingly he took Dapple off the road, and they went in search for some comfortable place where they could rest. Presently Sancho found himself among some old ruins, and as he was stumbling along he suddenly felt himself and Dapple falling deep into the earth. He thought it was going to be an endless journey, but when he struck bottom he discovered that nothing had happened to him or to his faithful donkey, for there he was, still mounted even.
Of course he was somewhat shaken by this sudden plunge into the lower regions, and taken aback; but as soon as he realized that he was unhurt he began to praise the Lord and to give thanks to him on behalf of himself and Dapple, who had burst into lamentations upon finding himself separated from meadow and green grass. Then Sancho began to look about for a way out, but he searched in vain, and it became plain to him that here he was buried alive. He thought of his master's descent into the cave of Montesinos, and was envious of Don Quixote's imagination which could conjure up so easily soft beds to sleep in and good food to eat. He could already see himself as a skeleton, and he shed a tear when he thought of having no one to close his or Dapple's eyes, when they had breathed their last breath.
All that night they sat there in somber reflection on the strange fates of man and beast; and when dawn came Sancho found that he was in a cave that had no outlet but which seemed to extend for miles underneath the ground. He crawled with Dapple from one cavern or compartment to another one; one dungeon was dark, the next one had a bit of flickering light; and as he proceeded he kept calling aloud, "God Almighty, help me!" at every step he took, fearing that he would be plunged still deeper into the insides of the earth, into still darker abysses. And then he wished that it had been his master instead of himself who had landed in this spot, for he was sure that Don Quixote would have welcomed such an adventure.
It so happened that Don Quixote was riding along the countryside that day on Rocinante, and suddenly his steed's hoof grazed against a hole in the earth. Rocinante might have fallen into the hole had not Don Quixote swiftly pulled in the reins and held him back. As the knight was passing, and about to continue on his journey, he turned in his seat to observe the spot well, and then he was startled by a cry that seemed to come from the depths of the earth and found an outlet through this pit. Still more startled he was, when he recognized the voice of his own squire Sancho! These were the words he heard: "Ho, above there! Is there any Christian that hears me, or any charitable gentleman that will take pity on a sinner buried alive, or an unfortunate, disgoverned governor?"
Of course it never entered our valiant knight's mind, devout Catholic that he was, that it was the voice of any Sancho Panza in the flesh. He thought that his devoted squire had suddenly met with death, and that his soul was now in Purgatory, and that it was from there that these sounds emanated. So he answered that he would do all in his power to have Sancho released from his pains.
This brought forth an emphatic and tearful denial from below. Sancho swore that he had never died in his life. As if to corroborate that his master was not a liar, Dapple at this moment brayed most tellingly, and Don Quixote believed everything that Dapple told him in that short space of time, for Don Quixote knew Dapple's braying as well as if he had been his father. The knight errant assured Sancho that he would get him out of his prison in a very short time, though he thought it best to return to the castle first and get some men to help him in the task. Sancho begged his master to hurry, for he was afraid unto death, and could not stand the thought of being buried there much longer.
As soon as the Duke heard what had happened to his governor, he was extremely surprised, for he had had no news from the island of Barataria about Sancho's departure. He sent men with ropes and tackle, and after much trouble they finally succeeded in hoisting Sancho and his beloved donkey out of the cave.
Surrounded by a crowd of children and others, they arrived at the castle, where the Duke was awaiting them; but Sancho would not present himself before him until he had seen that Dapple was being taken good care of in the stable. Then he went before the Duke, and as soon as the Duke had greeted him, Sancho commenced a speech that seemed to last forever, stuffed with proverbs galore. In it he related to the Duke everything that happened during the time he was governor, ending it thus: "I have come by the knowledge that I should not give anything to be a governor, not to say of an island, but of the whole world; and that point being settled, kissing your Worship's feet, and imitating the game of the boys when they say, 'Leap thou, and give me one,' I take a leap out of the government and pass into the service of my master Don Quixote. For after all, though in it I eat my bread in fear and trembling, at any rate I take my fill; and, for my part, so long as I am full, it is alike to me whether it is with carrots or with partridges."
When Sancho had finished his discourse Don Quixote was grateful, for he was constantly worried that his squire might say something that would cover both of them with discredit, and Sancho made no great blunders in his speech this time.
The Duke and the Duchess both embraced Sancho with warmth, and he was greatly touched when they told him that they would try to find him another position, less responsible but more profitable, on their estate; and they gave orders that he was to be well taken care of and his wounds and bruises properly and carefully bandaged.
WHICH TREATS OF HOW DON QUIXOTE AGAIN FELT THE CALLING OF KNIGHT-ERRANTRY AND HOW HE TOOK LEAVE OF THE DUKE, AND OF WHAT FOLLOWED WITH THE WITTY AND IMPUDENT ALTISIDORA, ONE OF THE DUCHESS' DAMSELS
Again the feeling came over Don Quixote that he was wasting his life while he was staying at the castle in luxury and ease as the Duke's guest. Out yonder was the great, wide world in which adventures were calling to him all the time. So it finally came about that after much hesitation he requested of the Duke and his consort that they grant him his release. They gave it to him, although they were sorry to see him go, they said.
Early the following morning Sancho was soliloquizing in the courtyard of the castle, when suddenly Don Quixote appeared, in full regalia, ready to take to the road again for new adventures. The Duke and all in the castle were observing the departure from the corridors. Unobserved by Don Quixote, the majordomo gave Sancho a purse, in which he counted no less than two hundred gold crowns.
When knight and squire had mounted, the fair Altisidora declaimed with touching voice some verses of poetry which she had written in the night, and in which she bewailed her cruel fate that had thrust her in the path of the valorous Don Quixote. Each verse ended with a denunciation of his coldness toward her, and a curse upon him and his Dulcinea. Then the daring maiden had inserted lines in which she accused the innocent knight of having taken possession of three kerchiefs and a pair of garters belonging to her. Don Quixote blushed with perplexity, but his squire came to the rescue and said that he had the kerchiefs, but knew nothing about the garters. The Duke, who was well initiated in the joke, now rose and announced that it was beginning to seem like a serious matter; and if the knight had the garters and did not wish to part with them, he, the Duke, would have to defend the fair maiden's honor and challenge him to single combat.
Now Don Quixote was beside himself. Surely, he said, it would never occur to him, who had enjoyed such unbounded, superlative hospitality at the hands of one so illustrious as the Duke, to let such things come to pass as to bear arms against him; and he swore again by everything he could think of that he was innocent of what the maiden had inferred. Here the damsel gave a little shriek, and announced in a giggling voice that she had found the garters. Don Quixote was much relieved, and so seemed the Duke (though in reality both he and the Duchess were just about to burst from the pain that their own joke had inflicted upon them).
Now the knight errant could depart without any smudge or stain on his honor, and quickly and resolutely he gave Rocinante the spur, and his steed gathered all the strength he had and turned around. Gallantly saluting the Duke and the whole assembly with a sweep of his lance, Don Quixote set off on the road to Saragossa, followed by the retired governor, who sat on his Dapple's back as phlegmatically as if the two were grown together.
WHICH TELLS HOW ADVENTURES CAME CROWDING ON DON QUIXOTE IN SUCH NUMBERS THAT THEY GAVE ONE ANOTHER NO BREATHING-TIME
Out on the open road Don Quixote was himself again, and he turned to Sancho and began to discourse on freedom, telling his squire that it was more precious than anything else in the world. And he ended by saying: "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!"
Here Sancho broke his silence, for he felt that, in spite of what his master had just said, a good deal of thanks was due to the majordomo for the purse with the two hundred crowns, which he was carrying like a plaster next to his heart.
While they were conversing thus, they suddenly came to a spot from where they could see a great many men, dressed like laborers, lying on the grass of a meadow, and partaking of their noonday meal. Here and there on the grass were scattered some objects or figures covered with white cloth, and as soon as Don Quixote observed them he could constrain himself no longer but had to learn what they were. So he politely approached the men and asked them what was hidden underneath the white coverings, and was told that they were images of saints that they were transporting to their village church; and in order not to soil them, they had covered them thus.
The man took great pride in showing our knight the figures—there were Saint George, Saint Martin, Saint James the Moorslayer, and Saint Paul. Don Quixote spoke learnedly on each one of them. When he had seen them all, he bade the men cover the images with the cloths again. Then he declared that he considered it a happy omen to have come upon the images; for, said he, they were knights like himself. There was this difference, however, that while he fought with human weapons, poor sinner that he was, they used divine ones. And he added that if only his Dulcinea could be saved from her sufferings, perhaps his own mind might be restored to its proper function, and a desire for a milder and better life than he was leading now be the result. At this Sancho reverently chirped: "May God hear and sin be deaf!"
The men, having finished their repast, took leave of Don Quixote and Sancho and continued the journey to their village. They were not out of sight before Sancho broke loose with praise for his master, who knew everything under the sun, it seemed. Then he added: "In truth, master, if what has happened to us to-day is to be called an adventure, it has been one of the sweetest and pleasantest that has befallen us in the whole course of our travels; we have come out of it without having drawn sword, nor have we been left famishing. Blessed be God that he has let me see such a thing with my own eyes!"
The conversation now turned to other things, and soon love became the topic. Sancho could not understand why his master, as ugly as he was, should have turned the head of the fair Altisidora; and why his master had not fallen head over heels in love with her was entirely beyond Sancho's comprehension. Had he himself had the same opportunity he should not have foregone it, he could have promised his master. Here Don Quixote tried to explain to Sancho that there were different kinds of love: love of the mind, and of the body; but this explanation seemed to remain a puzzle to the squire.
While they had been talking in this manner, they had come into a wood, and suddenly Don Quixote rode into a green net which entangled him so completely that he began to shout that he had been enchanted again. He made ready to cut and slash with his sword, when two beautiful girls dressed as shepherdesses came from amidst the trees and began to plead with him not to tear the nets, which they had spread in the woods that they might snare the little birds. There was a holiday in the neighborhood, and they were to give a pageant and a play, they said, and they wanted the birds to be actors in the play with them. Then they courteously begged Don Quixote to be their guest and remain with them; but Don Quixote in return told them that the urgency of his calling made it necessary for him to refuse, whereupon he made them aware of who he was. As soon as the girls heard that they had Don Quixote of La Mancha in their midst, they became still more eager that he should remain, for they had all read and heard of their illustrious guest, they said, through the book that the whole of Spain and all the world was devouring just then.
A gay youth, who was the brother of the young maidens, came up at this moment and joined his sisters in their persuasions, and at last Don Quixote gave in and consented to stay. The youth, who was attired as a shepherd, brought Don Quixote to their tents, and after a morning of gaiety a repast was served, at which the knight was given the place of honor.
When the meal was over, Don Quixote rose and addressed the gathering in his usual dignified manner. He chose for his topic gratitude, and said that there was but one way in which he could show his full appreciation of the hospitality he had enjoyed that day at their hands: namely, to maintain in the middle of the highway leading to Saragossa, for a period of two days, that these two damsels were—with the exception of his lady Dulcinea—the most adorable and beautiful maidens in the world.
Don Quixote had got so far in the course of his speech, when the faithful Sancho could restrain his admiration for his master no longer. Brimming over with enthusiasm, he burst out: "Is it possible there is any one in the world who will dare to say and swear that this master of mine is a madman? Tell me, gentlemen shepherds, is there a village priest, be he ever so wise or learned, who could say what my master has said; or is there a knight errant, whatever renown he may have as a man of valor, who could offer what my master has offered now?" This outburst of his squire's infuriated Don Quixote. He began to foam at the mouth, and after having scolded the meek and meddlesome Sancho, he told him abruptly to go at once and saddle Rocinante. His hosts were astounded at his remarkable behavior and proposal, and did all they could to stay him from carrying it out, but he was not to be swayed. So they all followed at a distance to see what would happen to the knight, who in his anger had not been slow to mount and disappear with Sancho trailing behind on Dapple at his usual gait.
As soon as Don Quixote had posted himself in the middle of the road, he shouted out his challenge. But no one who passed seemed to pay any attention to what he said, much less were they inclined to take up the challenge, if they heard it. Suddenly, however, the knight sighted a troop of men on horseback, all armed with lances. They were coming closer at a fast pace, and as soon as the shepherds and shepherdesses saw them they withdrew in great haste. Sancho, overcome with some innate foreboding of disaster, took refuge in the shade of Rocinante's hindquarters; but Don Quixote stood resolute and held his ground.
Ahead of the oncoming troop rode a man, who, observing Don Quixote's position, began to make violent signs to him to get away from the road; and when he saw that he was not being understood or obeyed, he yelled out with fierceness: "Get out of the way, you son of the devil, or these bulls will knock you to pieces!"
But all Don Quixote was concerned about was his challenge, and permitting no evasions, he retorted heroically: "Rabble! I care nothing for bulls! Confess at once, scoundrels, that what I have declared is true; else ye have to deal with me in combat."
Hardly had he spoken these words before the drove of bulls was on him and Sancho, trampling them both to the ground as if they had been figures of pasteboard; for they were no common bulls, they were fierce animals that were being taken to a nearby village for a bull-fight on the following day. Yet when they had passed, and the valiant knight came to, he had lost none of his intrepidity, for as soon as he could stand up he kept shouting at them to return and he would fight them all alone.
The knight was so enraged and so humiliated to have been stepped on in such an unromantic fashion, that he sat down and buried his head in his hands; and Sancho could not persuade him to return to their hosts to bid them farewell. And so he decided instead to be on his way to Saragossa, and master and squire mounted again and continued their journey dejectedly.
WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE THING, WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS AN ADVENTURE, THAT HAPPENED TO DON QUIXOTE
Don Quixote was extremely weighed down and oppressed by the disaster of the morning. When they had ridden but a short way they came to a place where there was a spring, and they dismounted to refresh their dusty throats and to wash themselves. The knight was wearied, and Sancho suggested that he lie down and rest for a while. The suggestion pleased his master, who said he would do so if his squire would give himself three or four hundred lashes with Rocinante's reins in the meantime, as a help toward his Dulcinea's disenchantment. But after some arguing, Sancho wiggled himself out of the business for the moment, having pleaded an ill-nourished body—in spite of his constant eating. He said it was, besides, no easy matter to flog oneself in cold blood, but promised to make good some time, unexpectedly. Then they both ate a little, and soon afterward they fell asleep beside their faithful beasts. They awoke, refreshed, and made off to reach an inn—and Sancho gave thanks to Heaven that Don Quixote took it for an inn—that they had sighted in the distance before they went to sleep.
When they arrived at the inn Sancho at once took the beasts to the stable and fed them, while Don Quixote retired to his room. When supper time came the landlord brought in a stewpan which contained cow-heels that tasted, he swore, like calves' feet; and the knight and his squire gathered gluttonously around the meal. They had scarcely began eating, however, when Don Quixote heard his name mentioned next door, and, surprised, he listened and heard some one say: "What displeases me most in this Second Part of 'Don Quixote of La Mancha' is that it represents Don Quixote as now cured of his love for Dulcinea del Toboso."
Like a flash the knight was on his feet, shouting to the adjoining room: "Whoever he may be who says that Don Quixote of La Mancha has forgotten Dulcinea del Toboso, I will teach him with equal arms that what he says is very far from true; for his motto is constancy, and his profession is to maintain the same with his life and never wrong it."
Immediately voices from the other room wished to know who was speaking; and Sancho shouted back that it was his master, and that his master was none other than Don Quixote of La Mancha himself. In the next instant two gentlemen entered the room, and as soon as they perceived Don Quixote, they fell on his neck and embraced him, saying that they were pleased and proud beyond measure to meet so distinguished and illustrious a personage, their own morning star of knight-errantry. One of the gentlemen, Don Jeronimo, assured him that there was no doubt in his mind that he was the real Don Quixote of the First Part, and not the counterfeit one of the Aragonese Second Part. With these words he put his copy of the Second Part, which he had just been reading, into Don Quixote's hands and begged him to read it. Don Quixote took it and glanced it through, and after having read a few pages, he returned it to the gentleman, with the remark that he had already discovered three things in the book that ought to be censured; and he said that when an author could make such a colossal mistake as to speak of Sancho's wife as Mari Guiterrez, one would be likely to doubt the veracity of every other statement of his in the book.