**Of Don Quixote's adventure with a fair huntress**
They reached their beasts in low spirits and bad humour enough, knight an_quire, Sancho particularly, for with him what touched the stock of mone_ouched his heart, and when any was taken from him he felt as if he was robbe_f the apples of his eyes. In fine, without exchanging a word, they mounte_nd quitted the famous river, Don Quixote absorbed in thoughts of his love,
Sancho in thinking of his advancement, which just then, it seemed to him, h_as very far from securing; for, fool as he was, he saw clearly enough tha_is master's acts were all or most of them utterly senseless; and he began t_ast about for an opportunity of retiring from his service and going home som_ay, without entering into any explanations or taking any farewell of him.
Fortune, however, ordered matters after a fashion very much the opposite o_hat he contemplated.
It so happened that the next day towards sunset, on coming out of a wood, Do_uixote cast his eyes over a green meadow, and at the far end of it observe_ome people, and as he drew nearer saw that it was a hawking party. Comin_loser, he distinguished among them a lady of graceful mien, on a pure whit_alfrey or hackney caparisoned with green trappings and a silver-mounted side-
saddle. The lady was also in green, and so richly and splendidly dressed tha_plendour itself seemed personified in her. On her left hand she bore a hawk,
a proof to Don Quixote's mind that she must be some great lady and th_istress of the whole hunting party, which was the fact; so he said to Sancho,
"Run Sancho, my son, and say to that lady on the palfrey with the hawk that I,
the Knight of the Lions, kiss the hands of her exalted beauty, and if he_xcellence will grant me leave I will go and kiss them in person and plac_yself at her service for aught that may be in my power and her highness ma_ommand; and mind, Sancho, how thou speakest, and take care not to thrust i_ny of thy proverbs into thy message."
"You've got a likely one here to thrust any in!" said Sancho; "leave me alon_or that! Why, this is not the first time in my life I have carried message_o high and exalted ladies."
"Except that thou didst carry to the lady Dulcinea," said Don Quixote, "I kno_ot that thou hast carried any other, at least in my service."
"That is true," replied Sancho; "but pledges don't distress a good payer, an_n a house where there's plenty supper is soon cooked; I mean there's no nee_f telling or warning me about anything; for I'm ready for everything and kno_ little of everything."
"That I believe, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "go and good luck to thee, and Go_peed thee."
Sancho went off at top speed, forcing Dapple out of his regular pace, and cam_o where the fair huntress was standing, and dismounting knelt before her an_aid, "Fair lady, that knight that you see there, the Knight of the Lions b_ame, is my master, and I am a squire of his, and at home they call me Sanch_anza. This same Knight of the Lions, who was called not long since the Knigh_f the Rueful Countenance, sends by me to say may it please your highness t_ive him leave that, with your permission, approbation, and consent, he ma_ome and carry out his wishes, which are, as he says and I believe, to serv_our exalted loftiness and beauty; and if you give it, your ladyship will do _hing which will redound to your honour, and he will receive a mos_istinguished favour and happiness."
"You have indeed, squire," said the lady, "delivered your message with all th_ormalities such messages require; rise up, for it is not right that th_quire of a knight so great as he of the Rueful Countenance, of whom we hav_eard a great deal here, should remain on his knees; rise, my friend, and bi_our master welcome to the services of myself and the duke my husband, in _ountry house we have here."
Sancho got up, charmed as much by the beauty of the good lady as by her high-
bred air and her courtesy, but, above all, by what she had said about havin_eard of his master, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance; for if she did no_all him Knight of the Lions it was no doubt because he had so lately take_he name. "Tell me, brother squire," asked the duchess (whose title, however,
is not known), "this master of yours, is he not one of whom there is a histor_xtant in print, called 'The Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha,'
who has for the lady of his heart a certain Dulcinea del Toboso?"
"He is the same, senora," replied Sancho; "and that squire of his who figures,
or ought to figure, in the said history under the name of Sancho Panza, i_yself, unless they have changed me in the cradle, I mean in the press."
"I am rejoiced at all this," said the duchess; "go, brother Panza, and tel_our master that he is welcome to my estate, and that nothing could happen m_hat could give me greater pleasure."
Sancho returned to his master mightily pleased with this gratifying answer,
and told him all the great lady had said to him, lauding to the skies, in hi_ustic phrase, her rare beauty, her graceful gaiety, and her courtesy. Do_uixote drew himself up briskly in his saddle, fixed himself in his stirrups,
settled his visor, gave Rocinante the spur, and with an easy bearing advance_o kiss the hands of the duchess, who, having sent to summon the duke he_usband, told him while Don Quixote was approaching all about the message; an_s both of them had read the First Part of this history, and from it wer_ware of Don Quixote's crazy turn, they awaited him with the greatest deligh_nd anxiety to make his acquaintance, meaning to fall in with his humour an_gree with everything he said, and, so long as he stayed with them, to trea_im as a knight-errant, with all the ceremonies usual in the books of chivalr_hey had read, for they themselves were very fond of them.
Don Quixote now came up with his visor raised, and as he seemed about t_ismount Sancho made haste to go and hold his stirrup for him; but in gettin_own off Dapple he was so unlucky as to hitch his foot in one of the ropes o_he pack-saddle in such a way that he was unable to free it, and was lef_anging by it with his face and breast on the ground. Don Quixote, who was no_sed to dismount without having the stirrup held, fancying that Sancho had b_his time come to hold it for him, threw himself off with a lurch and brough_ocinante's saddle after him, which was no doubt badly girthed, and saddle an_e both came to the ground; not without discomfiture to him and abundan_urses muttered between his teeth against the unlucky Sancho, who had his foo_till in the shackles. The duke ordered his huntsmen to go to the help o_night and squire, and they raised Don Quixote, sorely shaken by his fall; an_e, limping, advanced as best he could to kneel before the noble pair. This,
however, the duke would by no means permit; on the contrary, dismounting fro_is horse, he went and embraced Don Quixote, saying, "I am grieved, Sir Knigh_f the Rueful Countenance, that your first experience on my ground should hav_een such an unfortunate one as we have seen; but the carelessness of squire_s often the cause of worse accidents."
"That which has happened me in meeting you, mighty prince," replied Do_uixote, "cannot be unfortunate, even if my fall had not stopped short of th_epths of the bottomless pit, for the glory of having seen you would hav_ifted me up and delivered me from it. My squire, God's curse upon him, i_etter at unloosing his tongue in talking impertinence than in tightening th_irths of a saddle to keep it steady; but however I may be, allen or raise_p, on foot or on horseback, I shall always be at your service and that of m_ady the duchess, your worthy consort, worthy queen of beauty and paramoun_rincess of courtesy."
"Gently, Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha," said the duke; "where my lady Don_ulcinea del Toboso is, it is not right that other beauties should b_raised."
Sancho, by this time released from his entanglement, was standing by, an_efore his master could answer he said, "There is no denying, and it must b_aintained, that my lady Dulcinea del Toboso is very beautiful; but the har_umps up where one least expects it; and I have heard say that what we cal_ature is like a potter that makes vessels of clay, and he who makes one fai_essel can as well make two, or three, or a hundred; I say so because, by m_aith, my lady the duchess is in no way behind my mistress the lady Dulcine_el Toboso."
Don Quixote turned to the duchess and said, "Your highness may conceive tha_ever had knight-errant in this world a more talkative or a droller squir_han I have, and he will prove the truth of what I say, if your highness i_leased to accept of my services for a few days."
To which the duchess made answer, "that worthy Sancho is droll I consider _ery good thing, because it is a sign that he is shrewd; for drollery an_prightliness, Senor Don Quixote, as you very well know, do not take up thei_bode with dull wits; and as good Sancho is droll and sprightly I here set hi_own as shrewd."
"And talkative," added Don Quixote.
"So much the better," said the duke, "for many droll things cannot be said i_ew words; but not to lose time in talking, come, great Knight of the Ruefu_ountenance-"
"Of the Lions, your highness must say," said Sancho, "for there is no Ruefu_ountenance nor any such character now."
"He of the Lions be it," continued the duke; "I say, let Sir Knight of th_ions come to a castle of mine close by, where he shall be given tha_eception which is due to so exalted a personage, and which the duchess and _re wont to give to all knights-errant who come there."
By this time Sancho had fixed and girthed Rocinante's saddle, and Don Quixot_aving got on his back and the duke mounted a fine horse, they placed th_uchess in the middle and set out for the castle. The duchess desired Sanch_o come to her side, for she found infinite enjoyment in listening to hi_hrewd remarks. Sancho required no pressing, but pushed himself in betwee_hem and the duke, who thought it rare good fortune to receive such a knight-