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Chapter 17

  • **In which are contained the innumerable troubles which the brave Don Quixot_nd his good squire Sancho Panza endured in the inn, which to his misfortun_e took to be a castle**
  • By this time Don Quixote had recovered from his swoon; and in the same tone o_oice in which he had called to his squire the day before when he la_tretched "in the vale of the stakes," he began calling to him now, "Sancho, my friend, art thou asleep? sleepest thou, friend Sancho?"
  • "How can I sleep, curses on it!" returned Sancho discontentedly and bitterly,
  • "when it is plain that all the devils have been at me this night?"
  • "Thou mayest well believe that," answered Don Quixote, "because, either I kno_ittle, or this castle is enchanted, for thou must know-but this that I am no_bout to tell thee thou must swear to keep secret until after my death."
  • "I swear it," answered Sancho.
  • "I say so," continued Don Quixote, "because I hate taking away anyone's goo_ame."
  • "I say," replied Sancho, "that I swear to hold my tongue about it till the en_f your worship's days, and God grant I may be able to let it out tomorrow."
  • "Do I do thee such injuries, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou wouldst se_e dead so soon?"
  • "It is not for that," replied Sancho, "but because I hate keeping things long, and I don't want them to grow rotten with me from over-keeping."
  • "At any rate," said Don Quixote, "I have more confidence in thy affection an_ood nature; and so I would have thee know that this night there befell me on_f the strangest adventures that I could describe, and to relate it to the_riefly thou must know that a little while ago the daughter of the lord o_his castle came to me, and that she is the most elegant and beautiful damse_hat could be found in the wide world. What I could tell thee of the charms o_er person! of her lively wit! of other secret matters which, to preserve th_ealty I owe to my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, I shall pass over unnoticed an_n silence! I will only tell thee that, either fate being envious of so grea_ boon placed in my hands by good fortune, or perhaps (and this is mor_robable) this castle being, as I have already said, enchanted, at the tim_hen I was engaged in the sweetest and most amorous discourse with her, ther_ame, without my seeing or knowing whence it came, a hand attached to some ar_f some huge giant, that planted such a cuff on my jaws that I have them al_athed in blood, and then pummelled me in such a way that I am in a wors_light than yesterday when the carriers, on account of Rocinante'_isbehaviour, inflicted on us the injury thou knowest of; whence conjectur_hat there must be some enchanted Moor guarding the treasure of this damsel'_eauty, and that it is not for me."
  • "Not for me either," said Sancho, "for more than four hundred Moors have s_hrashed me that the drubbing of the stakes was cakes and fancy-bread to it.
  • But tell me, senor, what do you call this excellent and rare adventure tha_as left us as we are left now? Though your worship was not so badly off, having in your arms that incomparable beauty you spoke of; but I, what did _ave, except the heaviest whacks I think I had in all my life? Unlucky me an_he mother that bore me! for I am not a knight-errant and never expect to b_ne, and of all the mishaps, the greater part falls to my share."
  • "Then thou hast been thrashed too?" said Don Quixote.
  • "Didn't I say so? worse luck to my line!" said Sancho.
  • "Be not distressed, friend," said Don Quixote, "for I will now make th_recious balsam with which we shall cure ourselves in the twinkling of a_ye."
  • By this time the cuadrillero had succeeded in lighting the lamp, and came i_o see the man that he thought had been killed; and as Sancho caught sight o_im at the door, seeing him coming in his shirt, with a cloth on his head, an_ lamp in his hand, and a very forbidding countenance, he said to his master,
  • "Senor, can it be that this is the enchanted Moor coming back to give us mor_astigation if there be anything still left in the ink-bottle?"
  • "It cannot be the Moor," answered Don Quixote, "for those under enchantment d_ot let themselves be seen by anyone."
  • "If they don't let themselves be seen, they let themselves be felt," sai_ancho; "if not, let my shoulders speak to the point."
  • "Mine could speak too," said Don Quixote, "but that is not a sufficient reaso_or believing that what we see is the enchanted Moor."
  • The officer came up, and finding them engaged in such a peaceful conversation, stood amazed; though Don Quixote, to be sure, still lay on his back unable t_ove from pure pummelling and plasters. The officer turned to him and said,
  • "Well, how goes it, good man?"
  • "I would speak more politely if I were you," replied Don Quixote; "is it th_ay of this country to address knights-errant in that style, you booby?"
  • The cuadrillero finding himself so disrespectfully treated by such a sorry- looking individual, lost his temper, and raising the lamp full of oil, smot_on Quixote such a blow with it on the head that he gave him a badly broke_ate; then, all being in darkness, he went out, and Sancho Panza said, "Tha_s certainly the enchanted Moor, Senor, and he keeps the treasure for others, and for us only the cuffs and lamp-whacks."
  • "That is the truth," answered Don Quixote, "and there is no use in troublin_neself about these matters of enchantment or being angry or vexed at them, for as they are invisible and visionary we shall find no one on whom to aveng_urselves, do what we may; rise, Sancho, if thou canst, and call the alcaid_f this fortress, and get him to give me a little oil, wine, salt, an_osemary to make the salutiferous balsam, for indeed I believe I have grea_eed of it now, because I am losing much blood from the wound that phanto_ave me."
  • Sancho got up with pain enough in his bones, and went after the innkeeper i_he dark, and meeting the officer, who was looking to see what had become o_is enemy, he said to him, "Senor, whoever you are, do us the favour an_indness to give us a little rosemary, oil, salt, and wine, for it is wante_o cure one of the best knights-errant on earth, who lies on yonder be_ounded by the hands of the enchanted Moor that is in this inn."
  • When the officer heard him talk in this way, he took him for a man out of hi_enses, and as day was now beginning to break, he opened the inn gate, an_alling the host, he told him what this good man wanted. The host furnishe_im with what he required, and Sancho brought it to Don Quixote, who, with hi_and to his head, was bewailing the pain of the blow of the lamp, which ha_one him no more harm than raising a couple of rather large lumps, and what h_ancied blood was only the sweat that flowed from him in his sufferings durin_he late storm. To be brief, he took the materials, of which he made _ompound, mixing them all and boiling them a good while until it seemed to hi_hey had come to perfection. He then asked for some vial to pour it into, an_s there was not one in the inn, he decided on putting it into a tin oil- bottle or flask of which the host made him a free gift; and over the flask h_epeated more than eighty paternosters and as many more ave-marias, salves, and credos, accompanying each word with a cross by way of benediction, at al_hich there were present Sancho, the innkeeper, and the cuadrillero; for th_arrier was now peacefully engaged in attending to the comfort of his mules.
  • This being accomplished, he felt anxious to make trial himself, on the spot, of the virtue of this precious balsam, as he considered it, and so he dran_ear a quart of what could not be put into the flask and remained in th_igskin in which it had been boiled; but scarcely had he done drinking when h_egan to vomit in such a way that nothing was left in his stomach, and wit_he pangs and spasms of vomiting he broke into a profuse sweat, on account o_hich he bade them cover him up and leave him alone. They did so, and he la_leeping more than three hours, at the end of which he awoke and felt ver_reat bodily relief and so much ease from his bruises that he thought himsel_uite cured, and verily believed he had hit upon the balsam of Fierabras; an_hat with this remedy he might thenceforward, without any fear, face any kin_f destruction, battle, or combat, however perilous it might be.
  • Sancho Panza, who also regarded the amendment of his master as miraculous, begged him to give him what was left in the pigskin, which was no smal_uantity. Don Quixote consented, and he, taking it with both hands, in goo_aith and with a better will, gulped down and drained off very little les_han his master. But the fact is, that the stomach of poor Sancho was o_ecessity not so delicate as that of his master, and so, before vomiting, h_as seized with such gripings and retchings, and such sweats and faintness, that verily and truly be believed his last hour had come, and finding himsel_o racked and tormented he cursed the balsam and the thief that had given i_o him.
  • Don Quixote seeing him in this state said, "It is my belief, Sancho, that thi_ischief comes of thy not being dubbed a knight, for I am persuaded thi_iquor cannot be good for those who are not so."
  • "If your worship knew that," returned Sancho—"woe betide me and all m_indred!—why did you let me taste it?"
  • At this moment the draught took effect, and the poor squire began to discharg_oth ways at such a rate that the rush mat on which he had thrown himself an_he canvas blanket he had covering him were fit for nothing afterwards. H_weated and perspired with such paroxysms and convulsions that not only h_imself but all present thought his end had come. This tempest and tribulatio_asted about two hours, at the end of which he was left, not like his master, but so weak and exhausted that he could not stand. Don Quixote, however, who, as has been said, felt himself relieved and well, was eager to take hi_eparture at once in quest of adventures, as it seemed to him that all th_ime he loitered there was a fraud upon the world and those in it who stood i_eed of his help and protection, all the more when he had the security an_onfidence his balsam afforded him; and so, urged by this impulse, he saddle_ocinante himself and put the pack-saddle on his squire's beast, whom likewis_e helped to dress and mount the ass; after which he mounted his horse an_urning to a corner of the inn he laid hold of a pike that stood there, t_erve him by way of a lance. All that were in the inn, who were more tha_wenty persons, stood watching him; the innkeeper's daughter was likewis_bserving him, and he too never took his eyes off her, and from time to tim_etched a sigh that he seemed to pluck up from the depths of his bowels; bu_hey all thought it must be from the pain he felt in his ribs; at any rat_hey who had seen him plastered the night before thought so.
  • As soon as they were both mounted, at the gate of the inn, he called to th_ost and said in a very grave and measured voice, "Many and great are th_avours, Senor Alcaide, that I have received in this castle of yours, and _emain under the deepest obligation to be grateful to you for them all th_ays of my life; if I can repay them in avenging you of any arrogant foe wh_ay have wronged you, know that my calling is no other than to aid the weak, to avenge those who suffer wrong, and to chastise perfidy. Search your memory, and if you find anything of this kind you need only tell me of it, and _romise you by the order of knighthood which I have received to procure yo_atisfaction and reparation to the utmost of your desire."
  • The innkeeper replied to him with equal calmness, "Sir Knight, I do not wan_our worship to avenge me of any wrong, because when any is done me I can tak_hat vengeance seems good to me; the only thing I want is that you pay me th_core that you have run up in the inn last night, as well for the straw an_arley for your two beasts, as for supper and beds."
  • "Then this is an inn?" said Don Quixote.
  • "And a very respectable one," said the innkeeper.
  • "I have been under a mistake all this time," answered Don Quixote, "for i_ruth I thought it was a castle, and not a bad one; but since it appears tha_t is not a castle but an inn, all that can be done now is that you shoul_xcuse the payment, for I cannot contravene the rule of knights-errant, o_hom I know as a fact (and up to the present I have read nothing to th_ontrary) that they never paid for lodging or anything else in the inn wher_hey might be; for any hospitality that might be offered them is their due b_aw and right in return for the insufferable toil they endure in seekin_dventures by night and by day, in summer and in winter, on foot and o_orseback, in hunger and thirst, cold and heat, exposed to all th_nclemencies of heaven and all the hardships of earth."
  • "I have little to do with that," replied the innkeeper; "pay me what you ow_e, and let us have no more talk of chivalry, for all I care about is to ge_y money."
  • "You are a stupid, scurvy innkeeper," said Don Quixote, and putting spurs t_ocinante and bringing his pike to the slope he rode out of the inn befor_nyone could stop him, and pushed on some distance without looking to see i_is squire was following him.
  • The innkeeper when he saw him go without paying him ran to get payment o_ancho, who said that as his master would not pay neither would he, because, being as he was squire to a knight-errant, the same rule and reason held goo_or him as for his master with regard to not paying anything in inns an_ostelries. At this the innkeeper waxed very wroth, and threatened if he di_ot pay to compel him in a way that he would not like. To which Sancho mad_nswer that by the law of chivalry his master had received he would not pay _ap, though it cost him his life; for the excellent and ancient usage o_nights-errant was not going to be violated by him, nor should the squires o_uch as were yet to come into the world ever complain of him or reproach hi_ith breaking so just a privilege.
  • The ill-luck of the unfortunate Sancho so ordered it that among the company i_he inn there were four woolcarders from Segovia, three needle-makers from th_olt of Cordova, and two lodgers from the Fair of Seville, lively fellows, tender-hearted, fond of a joke, and playful, who, almost as if instigated an_oved by a common impulse, made up to Sancho and dismounted him from his ass, while one of them went in for the blanket of the host's bed; but on flingin_im into it they looked up, and seeing that the ceiling was somewhat lowe_hat they required for their work, they decided upon going out into the yard, which was bounded by the sky, and there, putting Sancho in the middle of th_lanket, they began to raise him high, making sport with him as they woul_ith a dog at Shrovetide.
  • The cries of the poor blanketed wretch were so loud that they reached the ear_f his master, who, halting to listen attentively, was persuaded that some ne_dventure was coming, until he clearly perceived that it was his squire wh_ttered them. Wheeling about he came up to the inn with a laborious gallop, and finding it shut went round it to see if he could find some way of gettin_n; but as soon as he came to the wall of the yard, which was not very high, he discovered the game that was being played with his squire. He saw hi_ising and falling in the air with such grace and nimbleness that, had hi_age allowed him, it is my belief he would have laughed. He tried to clim_rom his horse on to the top of the wall, but he was so bruised and battere_hat he could not even dismount; and so from the back of his horse he began t_tter such maledictions and objurgations against those who were blanketin_ancho as it would be impossible to write down accurately: they, however, di_ot stay their laughter or their work for this, nor did the flying Sanch_ease his lamentations, mingled now with threats, now with entreaties but al_o little purpose, or none at all, until from pure weariness they left off.
  • They then brought him his ass, and mounting him on top of it they put hi_acket round him; and the compassionate Maritornes, seeing him so exhausted, thought fit to refresh him with a jug of water, and that it might be all th_ooler she fetched it from the well. Sancho took it, and as he was raising i_o his mouth he was stopped by the cries of his master exclaiming, "Sancho, m_on, drink not water; drink it not, my son, for it will kill thee; see, here _ave the blessed balsam (and he held up the flask of liquor), and wit_rinking two drops of it thou wilt certainly be restored."
  • At these words Sancho turned his eyes asquint, and in a still louder voic_aid, "Can it be your worship has forgotten that I am not a knight, or do yo_ant me to end by vomiting up what bowels I have left after last night? Kee_our liquor in the name of all the devils, and leave me to myself!" and at on_nd the same instant he left off talking and began drinking; but as at th_irst sup he perceived it was water he did not care to go on with it, an_egged Maritornes to fetch him some wine, which she did with right good will, and paid for it with her own money; for indeed they say of her that, thoug_he was in that line of life, there was some faint and distant resemblance t_ Christian about her. When Sancho had done drinking he dug his heels into hi_ss, and the gate of the inn being thrown open he passed out very well please_t having paid nothing and carried his point, though it had been at th_xpense of his usual sureties, his shoulders. It is true that the innkeepe_etained his alforjas in payment of what was owing to him, but Sancho took hi_eparture in such a flurry that he never missed them. The innkeeper, as soo_s he saw him off, wanted to bar the gate close, but the blanketers would no_gree to it, for they were fellows who would not have cared two farthings fo_on Quixote, even had he been really one of the knights-errant of the Roun_able.