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Chapter 15

  • **Wherein it is told and known who the knight of the mirrors and his squir_ere**
  • Don Quixote went off satisfied, elated, and vain-glorious in the highes_egree at having won a victory over such a valiant knight as he fancied him o_he Mirrors to be, and one from whose knightly word he expected to lear_hether the enchantment of his lady still continued; inasmuch as the sai_anquished knight was bound, under the penalty of ceasing to be one, to retur_nd render him an account of what took place between him and her. But Do_uixote was of one mind, he of the Mirrors of another, for he just then had n_hought of anything but finding some village where he could plaster himself,
  • as has been said already. The history goes on to say, then, that when th_achelor Samson Carrasco recommended Don Quixote to resume his knight-errantr_hich he had laid aside, it was in consequence of having been previously i_onclave with the curate and the barber on the means to be adopted to induc_on Quixote to stay at home in peace and quiet without worrying himself wit_is ill-starred adventures; at which consultation it was decided by th_nanimous vote of all, and on the special advice of Carrasco, that Don Quixot_hould be allowed to go, as it seemed impossible to restrain him, and tha_amson should sally forth to meet him as a knight-errant, and do battle wit_im, for there would be no difficulty about a cause, and vanquish him, tha_eing looked upon as an easy matter; and that it should be agreed and settle_hat the vanquished was to be at the mercy of the victor. Then, Don Quixot_eing vanquished, the bachelor knight was to command him to return to hi_illage and his house, and not quit it for two years, or until he receive_urther orders from him; all which it was clear Don Quixote woul_nhesitatingly obey, rather than contravene or fail to observe the laws o_hivalry; and during the period of his seclusion he might perhaps forget hi_olly, or there might be an opportunity of discovering some ready remedy fo_is madness. Carrasco undertook the task, and Tom Cecial, a gossip an_eighbour of Sancho Panza's, a lively, feather-headed fellow, offered himsel_s his squire. Carrasco armed himself in the fashion described, and To_ecial, that he might not be known by his gossip when they met, fitted on ove_is own natural nose the false masquerade one that has been mentioned; and s_hey followed the same route Don Quixote took, and almost came up with him i_ime to be present at the adventure of the cart of Death and finall_ncountered them in the grove, where all that the sagacious reader has bee_eading about took place; and had it not been for the extraordinary fancies o_on Quixote, and his conviction that the bachelor was not the bachelor, seno_achelor would have been incapacitated for ever from taking his degree o_icentiate, all through not finding nests where he thought to find birds.
  • Tom Cecial, seeing how ill they had succeeded, and what a sorry end thei_xpedition had come to, said to the bachelor, "Sure enough, Senor Samso_arrasco, we are served right; it is easy enough to plan and set about a_nterprise, but it is often a difficult matter to come well out of it. Do_uixote a madman, and we sane; he goes off laughing, safe, and sound, and yo_re left sore and sorry! I'd like to know now which is the madder, he who i_o because he cannot help it, or he who is so of his own choice?"
  • To which Samson replied, "The difference between the two sorts of madmen is,
  • that he who is so will he nil he, will be one always, while he who is so o_is own accord can leave off being one whenever he likes."
  • "In that case," said Tom Cecial, "I was a madman of my own accord when _olunteered to become your squire, and, of my own accord, I'll leave off bein_ne and go home."
  • "That's your affair," returned Samson, "but to suppose that I am going hom_ntil I have given Don Quixote a thrashing is absurd; and it is not any wis_hat he may recover his senses that will make me hunt him out now, but a wis_or the sore pain I am in with my ribs won't let me entertain more charitabl_houghts."
  • Thus discoursing, the pair proceeded until they reached a town where it wa_heir good luck to find a bone-setter, with whose help the unfortunate Samso_as cured. Tom Cecial left him and went home, while he stayed behin_editating vengeance; and the history will return to him again at the prope_ime, so as not to omit making merry with Don Quixote now.