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Chapter 28

  • **Of matters that Benengeli says he who reads them will know, if he reads the_ith attention**
  • When the brave man flees, treachery is manifest and it is for wise men t_eserve themselves for better occasions. This proved to be the case with Do_uixote, who, giving way before the fury of the townsfolk and the hostil_ntentions of the angry troop, took to flight and, without a thought of Sanch_r the danger in which he was leaving him, retreated to such a distance as h_hought made him safe. Sancho, lying across his ass, followed him, as has bee_aid, and at length came up, having by this time recovered his senses, and o_oining him let himself drop off Dapple at Rocinante's feet, sore, bruised,
  • and belaboured. Don Quixote dismounted to examine his wounds, but finding hi_hole from head to foot, he said to him, angrily enough, "In an evil hou_idst thou take to braying, Sancho! Where hast thou learned that it is wel_one to mention the rope in the house of the man that has been hanged? To th_usic of brays what harmonies couldst thou expect to get but cudgels? Giv_hanks to God, Sancho, that they signed the cross on thee just now with _tick, and did not mark thee per signum crucis with a cutlass."
  • "I'm not equal to answering," said Sancho, "for I feel as if I was speakin_hrough my shoulders; let us mount and get away from this; I'll keep fro_raying, but not from saying that knights-errant fly and leave their goo_quires to be pounded like privet, or made meal of at the hands of thei_nemies."
  • "He does not fly who retires," returned Don Quixote; "for I would have the_now, Sancho, that the valour which is not based upon a foundation of prudenc_s called rashness, and the exploits of the rash man are to be attribute_ather to good fortune than to courage; and so I own that I retired, but no_hat I fled; and therein I have followed the example of many valiant men wh_ave reserved themselves for better times; the histories are full of instance_f this, but as it would not be any good to thee or pleasure to me, I will no_ecount them to thee now."
  • Sancho was by this time mounted with the help of Don Quixote, who then himsel_ounted Rocinante, and at a leisurely pace they proceeded to take shelter in _rove which was in sight about a quarter of a league off. Every now and the_ancho gave vent to deep sighs and dismal groans, and on Don Quixote askin_im what caused such acute suffering, he replied that, from the end of hi_ack-bone up to the nape of his neck, he was so sore that it nearly drove hi_ut of his senses.
  • "The cause of that soreness," said Don Quixote, "will be, no doubt, that th_taff wherewith they smote thee being a very long one, it caught thee all dow_he back, where all the parts that are sore are situated, and had it reache_ny further thou wouldst be sorer still."
  • "By God," said Sancho, "your worship has relieved me of a great doubt, an_leared up the point for me in elegant style! Body o' me! is the cause of m_oreness such a mystery that there's any need to tell me I am sore everywher_he staff hit me? If it was my ankles that pained me there might be somethin_n going divining why they did, but it is not much to divine that I'm sor_here they thrashed me. By my faith, master mine, the ills of others hang by _air; every day I am discovering more and more how little I have to hope fo_rom keeping company with your worship; for if this time you have allowed m_o be drubbed, the next time, or a hundred times more, we'll have th_lanketings of the other day over again, and all the other pranks which, i_hey have fallen on my shoulders now, will be thrown in my teeth by-and-by. _ould do a great deal better (if I was not an ignorant brute that will neve_o any good all my life), I would do a great deal better, I say, to go home t_y wife and children and support them and bring them up on what God may pleas_o give me, instead of following your worship along roads that lead nowher_nd paths that are none at all, with little to drink and less to eat. And the_hen it comes to sleeping! Measure out seven feet on the earth, brothe_quire, and if that's not enough for you, take as many more, for you may hav_t all your own way and stretch yourself to your heart's content. Oh that _ould see burnt and turned to ashes the first man that meddled with knight-
  • errantry or at any rate the first who chose to be squire to such fools as al_he knights-errant of past times must have been! Of those of the present day _ay nothing, because, as your worship is one of them, I respect them, an_ecause I know your worship knows a point more than the devil in all you sa_nd think."
  • "I would lay a good wager with you, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that now tha_ou are talking on without anyone to stop you, you don't feel a pain in you_hole body. Talk away, my son, say whatever comes into your head or mouth, fo_o long as you feel no pain, the irritation your impertinences give me will b_ pleasure to me; and if you are so anxious to go home to your wife an_hildren, God forbid that I should prevent you; you have money of mine; se_ow long it is since we left our village this third time, and how much you ca_nd ought to earn every month, and pay yourself out of your own hand."
  • "When I worked for Tom Carrasco, the father of the bachelor Samson Carrasc_hat your worship knows," replied Sancho, "I used to earn two ducats a mont_esides my food; I can't tell what I can earn with your worship, though I kno_ knight-errant's squire has harder times of it than he who works for _armer; for after all, we who work for farmers, however much we toil all day,
  • at the worst, at night, we have our olla supper and sleep in a bed, which _ave not slept in since I have been in your worship's service, if it wasn'_he short time we were in Don Diego de Miranda's house, and the feast I ha_ith the skimmings I took off Camacho's pots, and what I ate, drank, and slep_n Basilio's house; all the rest of the time I have been sleeping on the har_round under the open sky, exposed to what they call the inclemencies o_eaven, keeping life in me with scraps of cheese and crusts of bread, an_rinking water either from the brooks or from the springs we come to on thes_y-paths we travel."
  • "I own, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that all thou sayest is true; how much,
  • thinkest thou, ought I to give thee over and above what Tom Carrasco gav_hee?"
  • "I think," said Sancho, "that if your worship was to add on two reals a mont_'d consider myself well paid; that is, as far as the wages of my labour go;
  • but to make up to me for your worship's pledge and promise to me to give m_he government of an island, it would be fair to add six reals more, makin_hirty in all."
  • "Very good," said Don Quixote; "it is twenty-five days since we left ou_illage, so reckon up, Sancho, according to the wages you have made out fo_ourself, and see how much I owe you in proportion, and pay yourself, as _aid before, out of your own hand."
  • "O body o' me!" said Sancho, "but your worship is very much out in tha_eckoning; for when it comes to the promise of the island we must count fro_he day your worship promised it to me to this present hour we are at now."
  • "Well, how long is it, Sancho, since I promised it to you?" said Don Quixote.
  • "If I remember rightly," said Sancho, "it must be over twenty years, thre_ays more or less."
  • Don Quixote gave himself a great slap on the forehead and began to laug_eartily, and said he, "Why, I have not been wandering, either in the Sierr_orena or in the whole course of our sallies, but barely two months, and tho_ayest, Sancho, that it is twenty years since I promised thee the island. _elieve now thou wouldst have all the money thou hast of mine go in thy wages.
  • If so, and if that be thy pleasure, I give it to thee now, once and for all,
  • and much good may it do thee, for so long as I see myself rid of such a good-
  • for-nothing squire I'll be glad to be left a pauper without a rap. But tel_e, thou perverter of the squirely rules of knight-errantry, where hast tho_ver seen or read that any knight-errant's squire made terms with his lord,
  • 'you must give me so much a month for serving you'? Plunge, scoundrel, rogue,
  • monster—for such I take thee to be—plunge, I say, into the mare magnum o_heir histories; and if thou shalt find that any squire ever said or though_hat thou hast said now, I will let thee nail it on my forehead, and give me,
  • over and above, four sound slaps in the face. Turn the rein, or the halter, o_hy Dapple, and begone home; for one single step further thou shalt not mak_n my company. O bread thanklessly received! O promises ill-bestowed! O ma_ore beast than human being! Now, when I was about to raise thee to such _osition, that, in spite of thy wife, they would call thee 'my lord,' thou ar_eaving me? Thou art going now when I had a firm and fixed intention of makin_hee lord of the best island in the world? Well, as thou thyself hast sai_efore now, honey is not for the mouth of the ass. Ass thou art, ass thou wil_e, and ass thou wilt end when the course of thy life is run; for I know i_ill come to its close before thou dost perceive or discern that thou art _east."
  • Sancho regarded Don Quixote earnestly while he was giving him this rating, an_as so touched by remorse that the tears came to his eyes, and in a piteou_nd broken voice he said to him, "Master mine, I confess that, to be _omplete ass, all I want is a tail; if your worship will only fix one on t_e, I'll look on it as rightly placed, and I'll serve you as an ass all th_emaining days of my life. Forgive me and have pity on my folly, and remembe_ know but little, and, if I talk much, it's more from infirmity than malice;
  • but he who sins and mends commends himself to God."
  • "I should have been surprised, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "if thou hadst no_ntroduced some bit of a proverb into thy speech. Well, well, I forgive thee,
  • provided thou dost mend and not show thyself in future so fond of thine ow_nterest, but try to be of good cheer and take heart, and encourage thyself t_ook forward to the fulfillment of my promises, which, by being delayed, doe_ot become impossible."
  • Sancho said he would do so, and keep up his heart as best he could. They the_ntered the grove, and Don Quixote settled himself at the foot of an elm, an_ancho at that of a beech, for trees of this kind and others like them alway_ave feet but no hands. Sancho passed the night in pain, for with the evenin_ews the blow of the staff made itself felt all the more. Don Quixote passe_t in his never-failing meditations; but, for all that, they had some winks o_leep, and with the appearance of daylight they pursued their journey in ques_f the banks of the famous Ebro, where that befell them which will be told i_he following chapter.