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Chapter 30

  • **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-
  • errant and such a homely squire in their castle.