**Which treats of the exalted adventure and rich prize of Mambrino's helmet, together with other things that happened to our invincible knight**
It now began to rain a little, and Sancho was for going into the fullin_ills, but Don Quixote had taken such an abhorrence to them on account of th_ate joke that he would not enter them on any account; so turning aside t_ight they came upon another road, different from that which they had take_he night before. Shortly afterwards Don Quixote perceived a man on horsebac_ho wore on his head something that shone like gold, and the moment he saw hi_e turned to Sancho and said:
"I think, Sancho, there is no proverb that is not true, all being maxims draw_rom experience itself, the mother of all the sciences, especially that on_hat says, 'Where one door shuts, another opens.' I say so because if las_ight fortune shut the door of the adventure we were looking for against us, cheating us with the fulling mills, it now opens wide another one for anothe_etter and more certain adventure, and if I do not contrive to enter it, i_ill be my own fault, and I cannot lay it to my ignorance of fulling mills, o_he darkness of the night. I say this because, if I mistake not, there come_owards us one who wears on his head the helmet of Mambrino, concerning whic_ took the oath thou rememberest."
"Mind what you say, your worship, and still more what you do," said Sancho,
"for I don't want any more fulling mills to finish off fulling and knockin_ur senses out."
"The devil take thee, man," said Don Quixote; "what has a helmet to do wit_ulling mills?"
"I don't know," replied Sancho, "but, faith, if I might speak as I used, perhaps I could give such reasons that your worship would see you wer_istaken in what you say."
"How can I be mistaken in what I say, unbelieving traitor?" returned Do_uixote; "tell me, seest thou not yonder knight coming towards us on a dapple_rey steed, who has upon his head a helmet of gold?"
"What I see and make out," answered Sancho, "is only a man on a grey ass lik_y own, who has something that shines on his head."
"Well, that is the helmet of Mambrino," said Don Quixote; "stand to one sid_nd leave me alone with him; thou shalt see how, without saying a word, t_ave time, I shall bring this adventure to an issue and possess myself of th_elmet I have so longed for."
"I will take care to stand aside," said Sancho; "but God grant, I say onc_ore, that it may be marjoram and not fulling mills."
"I have told thee, brother, on no account to mention those fulling mills to m_gain," said Don Quixote, "or I vow—and I say no more-I'll full the soul ou_f you."
Sancho held his peace in dread lest his master should carry out the vow he ha_urled like a bowl at him.
The fact of the matter as regards the helmet, steed, and knight that Do_uixote saw, was this. In that neighbourhood there were two villages, one o_hem so small that it had neither apothecary's shop nor barber, which th_ther that was close to it had, so the barber of the larger served th_maller, and in it there was a sick man who required to be bled and anothe_an who wanted to be shaved, and on this errand the barber was going, carryin_ith him a brass basin; but as luck would have it, as he was on the way i_egan to rain, and not to spoil his hat, which probably was a new one, he pu_he basin on his head, and being clean it glittered at half a league'_istance. He rode upon a grey ass, as Sancho said, and this was what made i_eem to Don Quixote to be a dapple-grey steed and a knight and a golde_elmet; for everything he saw he made to fall in with his crazy chivalry an_ll-errant notions; and when he saw the poor knight draw near, withou_ntering into any parley with him, at Rocinante's top speed he bore down upo_im with the pike pointed low, fully determined to run him through an_hrough, and as he reached him, without checking the fury of his charge, h_ried to him:
"Defend thyself, miserable being, or yield me of thine own accord that whic_s so reasonably my due."
The barber, who without any expectation or apprehension of it saw thi_pparition coming down upon him, had no other way of saving himself from th_troke of the lance but to let himself fall off his ass; and no sooner had h_ouched the ground than he sprang up more nimbly than a deer and sped awa_cross the plain faster than the wind.
He left the basin on the ground, with which Don Quixote contented himself, saying that the pagan had shown his discretion and imitated the beaver, whic_inding itself pressed by the hunters bites and cuts off with its teeth tha_or which, by its natural instinct, it knows it is pursued.
He told Sancho to pick up the helmet, and he taking it in his hands said:
"By God the basin is a good one, and worth a real of eight if it is worth _aravedis," and handed it to his master, who immediately put it on his head, turning it round, now this way, now that, in search of fitment, and no_inding it he said, "Clearly the pagan to whose measure this famous head-piec_as first forged must have had a very large head; but the worst of it is hal_f it is wanting."
When Sancho heard him call the basin a headpiece he was unable to restrain hi_aughter, but remembering his master's wrath he checked himself in the mids_f it.
"What art thou laughing at, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.
"I am laughing," said he, "to think of the great head the pagan must have ha_ho owned this helmet, for it looks exactly like a regular barber's basin."
"Dost thou know what I suspect, Sancho?" said Don Quixote; "that thi_onderful piece of this enchanted helmet must by some strange accident hav_ome into the hands of some one who was unable to recognise or realise it_alue, and who, not knowing what he did, and seeing it to be of the pures_old, must have melted down one half for the sake of what it might be worth, and of the other made this which is like a barber's basin as thou sayest; bu_e it as it may, to me who recognise it, its transformation makes n_ifference, for I will set it to rights at the first village where there is _lacksmith, and in such style that that helmet the god of smithies forged fo_he god of battles shall not surpass it or even come up to it; and in th_eantime I will wear it as well as I can, for something is better tha_othing; all the more as it will be quite enough to protect me from any chanc_low of a stone."
"That is," said Sancho, "if it is not shot with a sling as they were in th_attle of the two armies, when they signed the cross on your worship'_rinders and smashed the flask with that blessed draught that made me vomit m_owels up."
"It does not grieve me much to have lost it," said Don Quixote, "for tho_nowest, Sancho, that I have the receipt in my memory."
"So have I," answered Sancho, "but if ever I make it, or try it again as lon_s I live, may this be my last hour; moreover, I have no intention of puttin_yself in the way of wanting it, for I mean, with all my five senses, to kee_yself from being wounded or from wounding anyone: as to being blanketed agai_ say nothing, for it is hard to prevent mishaps of that sort, and if the_ome there is nothing for it but to squeeze our shoulders together, hold ou_reath, shut our eyes, and let ourselves go where luck and the blanket ma_end us."
"Thou art a bad Christian, Sancho," said Don Quixote on hearing this, "fo_nce an injury has been done thee thou never forgettest it: but know that i_s the part of noble and generous hearts not to attach importance to trifles.
What lame leg hast thou got by it, what broken rib, what cracked head, tha_hou canst not forget that jest? For jest and sport it was, properly regarded, and had I not seen it in that light I would have returned and done mor_ischief in revenging thee than the Greeks did for the rape of Helen, who, i_he were alive now, or if my Dulcinea had lived then, might depend upon it sh_ould not be so famous for her beauty as she is;" and here he heaved a sig_nd sent it aloft; and said Sancho, "Let it pass for a jest as it cannot b_evenged in earnest, but I know what sort of jest and earnest it was, and _now it will never be rubbed out of my memory any more than off my shoulders.
But putting that aside, will your worship tell me what are we to do with thi_apple-grey steed that looks like a grey ass, which that Martino that you_orship overthrew has left deserted here? for, from the way he took to hi_eels and bolted, he is not likely ever to come back for it; and by my bear_ut the grey is a good one."
"I have never been in the habit," said Don Quixote, "of taking spoil of thos_hom I vanquish, nor is it the practice of chivalry to take away their horse_nd leave them to go on foot, unless indeed it be that the victor have los_is own in the combat, in which case it is lawful to take that of th_anquished as a thing won in lawful war; therefore, Sancho, leave this horse, or ass, or whatever thou wilt have it to be; for when its owner sees us gon_ence he will come back for it."
"God knows I should like to take it," returned Sancho, "or at least to chang_t for my own, which does not seem to me as good a one: verily the laws o_hivalry are strict, since they cannot be stretched to let one ass be change_or another; I should like to know if I might at least change trappings."
"On that head I am not quite certain," answered Don Quixote, "and the matte_eing doubtful, pending better information, I say thou mayest change them, i_o be thou hast urgent need of them."
"So urgent is it," answered Sancho, "that if they were for my own person _ould not want them more;" and forthwith, fortified by this licence, h_ffected the mutatio capparum, rigging out his beast to the ninety-nines an_aking quite another thing of it. This done, they broke their fast on th_emains of the spoils of war plundered from the sumpter mule, and drank of th_rook that flowed from the fulling mills, without casting a look in tha_irection, in such loathing did they hold them for the alarm they had cause_hem; and, all anger and gloom removed, they mounted and, without taking an_ixed road (not to fix upon any being the proper thing for true knights- errant), they set out, guided by Rocinante's will, which carried along with i_hat of his master, not to say that of the ass, which always followed hi_herever he led, lovingly and sociably; nevertheless they returned to the hig_oad, and pursued it at a venture without any other aim.
As they went along, then, in this way Sancho said to his master, "Senor, woul_our worship give me leave to speak a little to you? For since you laid tha_ard injunction of silence on me several things have gone to rot in m_tomach, and I have now just one on the tip of my tongue that I don't want t_e spoiled."
"Say, on, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and be brief in thy discourse, for ther_s no pleasure in one that is long."
"Well then, senor," returned Sancho, "I say that for some days past I hav_een considering how little is got or gained by going in search of thes_dventures that your worship seeks in these wilds and cross-roads, where, eve_f the most perilous are victoriously achieved, there is no one to see or kno_f them, and so they must be left untold for ever, to the loss of you_orship's object and the credit they deserve; therefore it seems to me i_ould be better (saving your worship's better judgment) if we were to go an_erve some emperor or other great prince who may have some war on hand, i_hose service your worship may prove the worth of your person, your grea_ight, and greater understanding, on perceiving which the lord in whos_ervice we may be will perforce have to reward us, each according to hi_erits; and there you will not be at a loss for some one to set down you_chievements in writing so as to preserve their memory for ever. Of my own _ay nothing, as they will not go beyond squirely limits, though I make bold t_ay that, if it be the practice in chivalry to write the achievements o_quires, I think mine must not be left out."
"Thou speakest not amiss, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "but before tha_oint is reached it is requisite to roam the world, as it were on probation, seeking adventures, in order that, by achieving some, name and fame may b_cquired, such that when he betakes himself to the court of some great monarc_he knight may be already known by his deeds, and that the boys, the instan_hey see him enter the gate of the city, may all follow him and surround him, crying, 'This is the Knight of the Sun'-or the Serpent, or any other titl_nder which he may have achieved great deeds. 'This,' they will say, 'is h_ho vanquished in single combat the gigantic Brocabruno of mighty strength; h_ho delivered the great Mameluke of Persia out of the long enchantment unde_hich he had been for almost nine hundred years.' So from one to another the_ill go proclaiming his achievements; and presently at the tumult of the boy_nd the others the king of that kingdom will appear at the windows of hi_oyal palace, and as soon as he beholds the knight, recognising him by hi_rms and the device on his shield, he will as a matter of course say, 'Wha_o! Forth all ye, the knights of my court, to receive the flower of chivalr_ho cometh hither!' At which command all will issue forth, and he himself, advancing half-way down the stairs, will embrace him closely, and salute him, kissing him on the cheek, and will then lead him to the queen's chamber, wher_he knight will find her with the princess her daughter, who will be one o_he most beautiful and accomplished damsels that could with the utmost pain_e discovered anywhere in the known world. Straightway it will come to pas_hat she will fix her eyes upon the knight and he his upon her, and each wil_eem to the other something more divine than human, and, without knowing ho_r why they will be taken and entangled in the inextricable toils of love, an_orely distressed in their hearts not to see any way of making their pains an_ufferings known by speech. Thence they will lead him, no doubt, to som_ichly adorned chamber of the palace, where, having removed his armour, the_ill bring him a rich mantle of scarlet wherewith to robe himself, and if h_ooked noble in his armour he will look still more so in a doublet. When nigh_omes he will sup with the king, queen, and princess; and all the time he wil_ever take his eyes off her, stealing stealthy glances, unnoticed by thos_resent, and she will do the same, and with equal cautiousness, being, as _ave said, a damsel of great discretion. The tables being removed, suddenl_hrough the door of the hall there will enter a hideous and diminutive dwar_ollowed by a fair dame, between two giants, who comes with a certai_dventure, the work of an ancient sage; and he who shall achieve it shall b_eemed the best knight in the world.
"The king will then command all those present to essay it, and none will brin_t to an end and conclusion save the stranger knight, to the great enhancemen_f his fame, whereat the princess will be overjoyed and will esteem hersel_appy and fortunate in having fixed and placed her thoughts so high. And th_est of it is that this king, or prince, or whatever he is, is engaged in _ery bitter war with another as powerful as himself, and the stranger knight, after having been some days at his court, requests leave from him to go an_erve him in the said war. The king will grant it very readily, and the knigh_ill courteously kiss his hands for the favour done to him; and that night h_ill take leave of his lady the princess at the grating of the chamber wher_he sleeps, which looks upon a garden, and at which he has already many time_onversed with her, the go-between and confidante in the matter being a damse_uch trusted by the princess. He will sigh, she will swoon, the damsel wil_etch water, much distressed because morning approaches, and for the honour o_er lady he would not that they were discovered; at last the princess wil_ome to herself and will present her white hands through the grating to th_night, who will kiss them a thousand and a thousand times, bathing them wit_is tears. It will be arranged between them how they are to inform each othe_f their good or evil fortunes, and the princess will entreat him to make hi_bsence as short as possible, which he will promise to do with many oaths; once more he kisses her hands, and takes his leave in such grief that he i_ell-nigh ready to die. He betakes him thence to his chamber, flings himsel_n his bed, cannot sleep for sorrow at parting, rises early in the morning, goes to take leave of the king, queen, and princess, and, as he takes hi_eave of the pair, it is told him that the princess is indisposed and canno_eceive a visit; the knight thinks it is from grief at his departure, hi_eart is pierced, and he is hardly able to keep from showing his pain. Th_onfidante is present, observes all, goes to tell her mistress, who listen_ith tears and says that one of her greatest distresses is not knowing wh_his knight is, and whether he is of kingly lineage or not; the damsel assure_er that so much courtesy, gentleness, and gallantry of bearing as her knigh_ossesses could not exist in any save one who was royal and illustrious; he_nxiety is thus relieved, and she strives to be of good cheer lest she shoul_xcite suspicion in her parents, and at the end of two days she appears i_ublic. Meanwhile the knight has taken his departure; he fights in the war, conquers the king's enemy, wins many cities, triumphs in many battles, return_o the court, sees his lady where he was wont to see her, and it is agree_hat he shall demand her in marriage of her parents as the reward of hi_ervices; the king is unwilling to give her, as he knows not who he is, bu_evertheless, whether carried off or in whatever other way it may be, th_rincess comes to be his bride, and her father comes to regard it as very goo_ortune; for it so happens that this knight is proved to be the son of _aliant king of some kingdom, I know not what, for I fancy it is not likely t_e on the map. The father dies, the princess inherits, and in two words th_night becomes king. And here comes in at once the bestowal of rewards upo_is squire and all who have aided him in rising to so exalted a rank. H_arries his squire to a damsel of the princess's, who will be, no doubt, th_ne who was confidante in their amour, and is daughter of a very great duke."
"That's what I want, and no mistake about it!" said Sancho. "That's what I'_aiting for; for all this, word for word, is in store for your worship unde_he title of the Knight of the Rueful Countenance."
"Thou needst not doubt it, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "for in the sam_anner, and by the same steps as I have described here, knights-errant ris_nd have risen to be kings and emperors; all we want now is to find out wha_ing, Christian or pagan, is at war and has a beautiful daughter; but ther_ill be time enough to think of that, for, as I have told thee, fame must b_on in other quarters before repairing to the court. There is another thing, too, that is wanting; for supposing we find a king who is at war and has _eautiful daughter, and that I have won incredible fame throughout th_niverse, I know not how it can be made out that I am of royal lineage, o_ven second cousin to an emperor; for the king will not be willing to give m_is daughter in marriage unless he is first thoroughly satisfied on thi_oint, however much my famous deeds may deserve it; so that by this deficienc_ fear I shall lose what my arm has fairly earned. True it is I am a gentlema_f known house, of estate and property, and entitled to the five hundre_ueldos mulct; and it may be that the sage who shall write my history will s_lear up my ancestry and pedigree that I may find myself fifth or sixth i_escent from a king; for I would have thee know, Sancho, that there are tw_inds of lineages in the world; some there be tracing and deriving thei_escent from kings and princes, whom time has reduced little by little unti_hey end in a point like a pyramid upside down; and others who spring from th_ommon herd and go on rising step by step until they come to be great lords; so that the difference is that the one were what they no longer are, and th_thers are what they formerly were not. And I may be of such that afte_nvestigation my origin may prove great and famous, with which the king, m_ather-in-law that is to be, ought to be satisfied; and should he not be, th_rincess will so love me that even though she well knew me to be the son of _ater-carrier, she will take me for her lord and husband in spite of he_ather; if not, then it comes to seizing her and carrying her off where _lease; for time or death will put an end to the wrath of her parents."
"It comes to this, too," said Sancho, "what some naughty people say, 'Neve_sk as a favour what thou canst take by force;' though it would fit better t_ay, 'A clear escape is better than good men's prayers.' I say so because i_y lord the king, your worship's father-in-law, will not condescend to giv_ou my lady the princess, there is nothing for it but, as your worship says, to seize her and transport her. But the mischief is that until peace is mad_nd you come into the peaceful enjoyment of your kingdom, the poor squire i_amishing as far as rewards go, unless it be that the confidante damsel tha_s to be his wife comes with the princess, and that with her he tides over hi_ad luck until Heaven otherwise orders things; for his master, I suppose, ma_s well give her to him at once for a lawful wife."
"Nobody can object to that," said Don Quixote.
"Then since that may be," said Sancho, "there is nothing for it but to commen_urselves to God, and let fortune take what course it will."
"God guide it according to my wishes and thy wants," said Don Quixote, "an_ean be he who thinks himself mean."
"In God's name let him be so," said Sancho: "I am an old Christian, and to fi_e for a count that's enough."
"And more than enough for thee," said Don Quixote; "and even wert thou not, i_ould make no difference, because I being the king can easily give the_obility without purchase or service rendered by thee, for when I make thee _ount, then thou art at once a gentleman; and they may say what they will, bu_y my faith they will have to call thee 'your lordship,' whether they like i_r not."
"Not a doubt of it; and I'll know how to support the tittle," said Sancho.
"Title thou shouldst say, not tittle," said his master.
"So be it," answered Sancho. "I say I will know how to behave, for once in m_ife I was beadle of a brotherhood, and the beadle's gown sat so well on m_hat all said I looked as if I was to be steward of the same brotherhood. Wha_ill it be, then, when I put a duke's robe on my back, or dress myself in gol_nd pearls like a count? I believe they'll come a hundred leagues to see me."
"Thou wilt look well," said Don Quixote, "but thou must shave thy beard often, for thou hast it so thick and rough and unkempt, that if thou dost not shav_t every second day at least, they will see what thou art at the distance of _usket shot."
"What more will it be," said Sancho, "than having a barber, and keeping him a_ages in the house? and even if it be necessary, I will make him go behind m_ike a nobleman's equerry."
"Why, how dost thou know that noblemen have equerries behind them?" asked Do_uixote.
"I will tell you," answered Sancho. "Years ago I was for a month at th_apital and there I saw taking the air a very small gentleman who they sai_as a very great man, and a man following him on horseback in every turn h_ook, just as if he was his tail. I asked why this man did not join the othe_an, instead of always going behind him; they answered me that he was hi_querry, and that it was the custom with nobles to have such persons behin_hem, and ever since then I know it, for I have never forgotten it."
"Thou art right," said Don Quixote, "and in the same way thou mayest carry th_arber with thee, for customs did not come into use all together, nor wer_hey all invented at once, and thou mayest be the first count to have a barbe_o follow him; and, indeed, shaving one's beard is a greater trust tha_addling one's horse."
"Let the barber business be my look-out," said Sancho; "and your worship's b_t to strive to become a king, and make me a count."
"So it shall be," answered Don Quixote, and raising his eyes he saw what wil_e told in the following chapter.