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Chapter 27

  • **Wherein it is shown who Master Pedro and his ape were, together with th_ishap Don Quixote had in the braying adventure, which he did not conclude a_e would have liked or as he had expected**
  • Cide Hamete, the chronicler of this great history, begins this chapter wit_hese words, "I swear as a Catholic Christian;" with regard to which hi_ranslator says that Cide Hamete's swearing as a Catholic Christian, h_eing—as no doubt he was—a Moor, only meant that, just as a Catholic Christia_aking an oath swears, or ought to swear, what is true, and tell the truth i_hat he avers, so he was telling the truth, as much as if he swore as _atholic Christian, in all he chose to write about Quixote, especially i_eclaring who Master Pedro was and what was the divining ape that astonishe_ll the villages with his divinations. He says, then, that he who has read th_irst Part of this history will remember well enough the Gines de Pasamont_hom, with other galley slaves, Don Quixote set free in the Sierra Morena: _indness for which he afterwards got poor thanks and worse payment from tha_vil-minded, ill-conditioned set. This Gines de Pasamonte—Don Ginesillo d_arapilla, Don Quixote called him—it was that stole Dapple from Sancho Panza;
  • which, because by the fault of the printers neither the how nor the when wa_tated in the First Part, has been a puzzle to a good many people, wh_ttribute to the bad memory of the author what was the error of the press. I_act, however, Gines stole him while Sancho Panza was asleep on his back,
  • adopting the plan and device that Brunello had recourse to when he stol_acripante's horse from between his legs at the siege of Albracca; and, as ha_een told, Sancho afterwards recovered him. This Gines, then, afraid of bein_aught by the officers of justice, who were looking for him to punish him fo_is numberless rascalities and offences (which were so many and so great tha_e himself wrote a big book giving an account of them), resolved to shift hi_uarters into the kingdom of Aragon, and cover up his left eye, and take u_he trade of a puppet-showman; for this, as well as juggling, he knew how t_ractise to perfection. From some released Christians returning from Barbary,
  • it so happened, he bought the ape, which he taught to mount upon his shoulde_n his making a certain sign, and to whisper, or seem to do so, in his ear.
  • Thus prepared, before entering any village whither he was bound with his sho_nd his ape, he used to inform himself at the nearest village, or from th_ost likely person he could find, as to what particular things had happene_here, and to whom; and bearing them well in mind, the first thing he did wa_o exhibit his show, sometimes one story, sometimes another, but all lively,
  • amusing, and familiar. As soon as the exhibition was over he brought forwar_he accomplishments of his ape, assuring the public that he divined all th_ast and the present, but as to the future he had no skill. For each questio_nswered he asked two reals, and for some he made a reduction, just as h_appened to feel the pulse of the questioners; and when now and then he cam_o houses where things that he knew of had happened to the people livin_here, even if they did not ask him a question, not caring to pay for it, h_ould make the sign to the ape and then declare that it had said so and so,
  • which fitted the case exactly. In this way he acquired a prodigious name an_ll ran after him; on other occasions, being very crafty, he would answer i_uch a way that the answers suited the questions; and as no one cross-
  • questioned him or pressed him to tell how his ape divined, he made fools o_hem all and filled his pouch. The instant he entered the inn he knew Do_uixote and Sancho, and with that knowledge it was easy for him to astonis_hem and all who were there; but it would have cost him dear had Don Quixot_rought down his hand a little lower when he cut off King Marsilio's head an_estroyed all his horsemen, as related in the preceeding chapter.
  • So much for Master Pedro and his ape; and now to return to Don Quixote of L_ancha. After he had left the inn he determined to visit, first of all, th_anks of the Ebro and that neighbourhood, before entering the city o_aragossa, for the ample time there was still to spare before the jousts lef_im enough for all. With this object in view he followed the road an_ravelled along it for two days, without meeting any adventure wort_ommitting to writing until on the third day, as he was ascending a hill, h_eard a great noise of drums, trumpets, and musket-shots. At first he imagine_ome regiment of soldiers was passing that way, and to see them he spurre_ocinante and mounted the hill. On reaching the top he saw at the foot of i_ver two hundred men, as it seemed to him, armed with weapons of variou_orts, lances, crossbows, partisans, halberds, and pikes, and a few musket_nd a great many bucklers. He descended the slope and approached the band nea_nough to see distinctly the flags, make out the colours and distinguish th_evices they bore, especially one on a standard or ensign of white satin, o_hich there was painted in a very life-like style an ass like a little sard,
  • with its head up, its mouth open and its tongue out, as if it were in the ac_nd attitude of braying; and round it were inscribed in large characters thes_wo lines—
  • {verse
  • They did not bray in vain,
  • Our alcaldes twain.
  • {verse
  • From this device Don Quixote concluded that these people must be from th_raying town, and he said so to Sancho, explaining to him what was written o_he standard. At the same time he observed that the man who had told the_bout the matter was wrong in saying that the two who brayed were regidors,
  • for according to the lines of the standard they were alcaldes. To which Sanch_eplied, "Senor, there's nothing to stick at in that, for maybe the regidor_ho brayed then came to be alcaldes of their town afterwards, and so they ma_o by both titles; moreover, it has nothing to do with the truth of the stor_hether the brayers were alcaldes or regidors, provided at any rate they di_ray; for an alcalde is just as likely to bray as a regidor." They perceived,
  • in short, clearly that the town which had been twitted had turned out to d_attle with some other that had jeered it more than was fair or neighbourly.
  • Don Quixote proceeded to join them, not a little to Sancho's uneasiness, fo_e never relished mixing himself up in expeditions of that sort. The member_f the troop received him into the midst of them, taking him to be some on_ho was on their side. Don Quixote, putting up his visor, advanced with a_asy bearing and demeanour to the standard with the ass, and all the chief me_f the army gathered round him to look at him, staring at him with the usua_mazement that everybody felt on seeing him for the first time. Don Quixote,
  • seeing them examining him so attentively, and that none of them spoke to hi_r put any question to him, determined to take advantage of their silence; so,
  • breaking his own, he lifted up his voice and said, "Worthy sirs, I entreat yo_s earnestly as I can not to interrupt an argument I wish to address to you,
  • until you find it displeases or wearies you; and if that come to pass, on th_lightest hint you give me I will put a seal upon my lips and a gag upon m_ongue."
  • They all bade him say what he liked, for they would listen to him willingly.
  • With this permission Don Quixote went on to say, "I, sirs, am a knight-erran_hose calling is that of arms, and whose profession is to protect those wh_equire protection, and give help to such as stand in need of it. Some day_go I became acquainted with your misfortune and the cause which impels you t_ake up arms again and again to revenge yourselves upon your enemies; an_aving many times thought over your business in my mind, I find that,
  • according to the laws of combat, you are mistaken in holding yourselve_nsulted; for a private individual cannot insult an entire community; unles_t be by defying it collectively as a traitor, because he cannot tell who i_articular is guilty of the treason for which he defies it. Of this we have a_xample in Don Diego Ordonez de Lara, who defied the whole town of Zamora,
  • because he did not know that Vellido Dolfos alone had committed the treacher_f slaying his king; and therefore he defied them all, and the vengeance an_he reply concerned all; though, to be sure, Senor Don Diego went rather to_ar, indeed very much beyond the limits of a defiance; for he had no occasio_o defy the dead, or the waters, or the fishes, or those yet unborn, and al_he rest of it as set forth; but let that pass, for when anger breaks ou_here's no father, governor, or bridle to check the tongue. The case being,
  • then, that no one person can insult a kingdom, province, city, state, o_ntire community, it is clear there is no reason for going out to avenge th_efiance of such an insult, inasmuch as it is not one. A fine thing it woul_e if the people of the clock town were to be at loggerheads every moment wit_veryone who called them by that name,—or the Cazoleros, Berengeneros,
  • Ballenatos, Jaboneros, or the bearers of all the other names and titles tha_re always in the mouth of the boys and common people! It would be a nic_usiness indeed if all these illustrious cities were to take huff and reveng_hemselves and go about perpetually making trombones of their swords in ever_etty quarrel! No, no; God forbid! There are four things for which sensibl_en and well-ordered States ought to take up arms, draw their swords, and ris_heir persons, lives, and properties. The first is to defend the Catholi_aith; the second, to defend one's life, which is in accordance with natura_nd divine law; the third, in defence of one's honour, family, and property;
  • the fourth, in the service of one's king in a just war; and if to these w_hoose to add a fifth (which may be included in the second), in defence o_ne's country. To these five, as it were capital causes, there may be adde_ome others that may be just and reasonable, and make it a duty to take u_rms; but to take them up for trifles and things to laugh at and he amused b_ather than offended, looks as though he who did so was altogether wanting i_ommon sense. Moreover, to take an unjust revenge (and there cannot be an_ust one) is directly opposed to the sacred law that we acknowledge, wherei_e are commanded to do good to our enemies and to love them that hate us; _ommand which, though it seems somewhat difficult to obey, is only so to thos_ho have in them less of God than of the world, and more of the flesh than o_he spirit; for Jesus Christ, God and true man, who never lied, and could no_nd cannot lie, said, as our law-giver, that his yoke was easy and his burde_ight; he would not, therefore, have laid any command upon us that it wa_mpossible to obey. Thus, sirs, you are bound to keep quiet by human an_ivine law."
  • "The devil take me," said Sancho to himself at this, "but this master of min_s a tologian; or, if not, faith, he's as like one as one egg is lik_nother."
  • Don Quixote stopped to take breath, and, observing that silence was stil_reserved, had a mind to continue his discourse, and would have done so ha_ot Sancho interposed with his smartness; for he, seeing his master pause,
  • took the lead, saying, "My lord Don Quixote of La Mancha, who once was calle_he Knight of the Rueful Countenance, but now is called the Knight of th_ions, is a gentleman of great discretion who knows Latin and his mothe_ongue like a bachelor, and in everything that he deals with or advise_roceeds like a good soldier, and has all the laws and ordinances of what the_all combat at his fingers' ends; so you have nothing to do but to le_ourselves be guided by what he says, and on my head be it if it is wrong.
  • Besides which, you have been told that it is folly to take offence at merel_earing a bray. I remember when I was a boy I brayed as often as I had _ancy, without anyone hindering me, and so elegantly and naturally that when _rayed all the asses in the town would bray; but I was none the less for tha_he son of my parents who were greatly respected; and though I was envie_ecause of the gift by more than one of the high and mighty ones of the town,
  • I did not care two farthings for it; and that you may see I am telling th_ruth, wait a bit and listen, for this art, like swimming, once learnt i_ever forgotten;" and then, taking hold of his nose, he began to bray s_igorously that all the valleys around rang again.
  • One of those, however, that stood near him, fancying he was mocking them,
  • lifted up a long staff he had in his hand and smote him such a blow with i_hat Sancho dropped helpless to the ground. Don Quixote, seeing him so roughl_andled, attacked the man who had struck him lance in hand, but so many thrus_hemselves between them that he could not avenge him. Far from it, finding _hower of stones rained upon him, and crossbows and muskets unnumbere_evelled at him, he wheeled Rocinante round and, as fast as his best gallo_ould take him, fled from the midst of them, commending himself to God wit_ll his heart to deliver him out of this peril, in dread every step of som_all coming in at his back and coming out at his breast, and every minut_rawing his breath to see whether it had gone from him. The members of th_and, however, were satisfied with seeing him take to flight, and did not fir_n him. They put up Sancho, scarcely restored to his senses, on his ass, an_et him go after his master; not that he was sufficiently in his wits to guid_he beast, but Dapple followed the footsteps of Rocinante, from whom he coul_ot remain a moment separated. Don Quixote having got some way off looke_ack, and seeing Sancho coming, waited for him, as he perceived that no on_ollowed him. The men of the troop stood their ground till night, and as th_nemy did not come out to battle, they returned to their town exulting; an_ad they been aware of the ancient custom of the Greeks, they would hav_rected a trophy on the spot.