Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 31

  • **Of the delectable discussion between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, hi_quire, together with other incidents**
  • "All that is not unsatisfactory to me," said Don Quixote. "Go on; thou dids_each her; and what was that queen of beauty doing? Surely thou didst find he_tringing pearls, or embroidering some device in gold thread for this he_nslaved knight."
  • "I did not," said Sancho, "but I found her winnowing two bushels of wheat i_he yard of her house."
  • "Then depend upon it," said Don Quixote, "the grains of that wheat were pearl_hen touched by her hands; and didst thou look, friend? was it white wheat o_rown?"
  • "It was neither, but red," said Sancho.
  • "Then I promise thee," said Don Quixote, "that, winnowed by her hands, beyon_ doubt the bread it made was of the whitest; but go on; when thou gavest he_y letter, did she kiss it? Did she place it on her head? Did she perform an_eremony befitting it, or what did she do?"
  • "When I went to give it to her," replied Sancho, "she was hard at it swayin_rom side to side with a lot of wheat she had in the sieve, and she said t_e, 'Lay the letter, friend, on the top of that sack, for I cannot read i_ntil I have done sifting all this."
  • "Discreet lady!" said Don Quixote; "that was in order to read it at he_eisure and enjoy it; proceed, Sancho; while she was engaged in her occupatio_hat converse did she hold with thee? What did she ask about me, and wha_nswer didst thou give? Make haste; tell me all, and let not an atom be lef_ehind in the ink-bottle."
  • "She asked me nothing," said Sancho; "but I told her how your worship was lef_oing penance in her service, naked from the waist up, in among thes_ountains like a savage, sleeping on the ground, not eating bread off _ablecloth nor combing your beard, weeping and cursing your fortune."
  • "In saying I cursed my fortune thou saidst wrong," said Don Quixote; "fo_ather do I bless it and shall bless it all the days of my life for havin_ade me worthy of aspiring to love so lofty a lady as Dulcinea del Toboso."
  • "And so lofty she is," said Sancho, "that she overtops me by more than _and's-breadth."
  • "What! Sancho," said Don Quixote, "didst thou measure with her?"
  • "I measured in this way," said Sancho; "going to help her to put a sack o_heat on the back of an ass, we came so close together that I could see sh_tood more than a good palm over me."
  • "Well!" said Don Quixote, "and doth she not of a truth accompany and ador_his greatness with a thousand million charms of mind! But one thing thou wil_ot deny, Sancho; when thou camest close to her didst thou not perceive _abaean odour, an aromatic fragrance, a, I know not what, delicious, that _annot find a name for; I mean a redolence, an exhalation, as if thou wert i_he shop of some dainty glover?"
  • "All I can say is," said Sancho, "that I did perceive a little odour, something goaty; it must have been that she was all in a sweat with har_ork."
  • "It could not be that," said Don Quixote, "but thou must have been sufferin_rom cold in the head, or must have smelt thyself; for I know well what woul_e the scent of that rose among thorns, that lily of the field, that dissolve_mber."
  • "Maybe so," replied Sancho; "there often comes from myself that same odou_hich then seemed to me to come from her grace the lady Dulcinea; but that'_o wonder, for one devil is like another."
  • "Well then," continued Don Quixote, "now she has done sifting the corn an_ent it to the mill; what did she do when she read the letter?"
  • "As for the letter," said Sancho, "she did not read it, for she said she coul_either read nor write; instead of that she tore it up into small pieces, saying that she did not want to let anyone read it lest her secrets shoul_ecome known in the village, and that what I had told her by word of mout_bout the love your worship bore her, and the extraordinary penance you wer_oing for her sake, was enough; and, to make an end of it, she told me to tel_our worship that she kissed your hands, and that she had a greater desire t_ee you than to write to you; and that therefore she entreated and commande_ou, on sight of this present, to come out of these thickets, and to have don_ith carrying on absurdities, and to set out at once for El Toboso, unles_omething else of greater importance should happen, for she had a great desir_o see your worship. She laughed greatly when I told her how your worship wa_alled The Knight of the Rueful Countenance; I asked her if that Biscayan th_ther day had been there; and she told me he had, and that he was an hones_ellow; I asked her too about the galley slaves, but she said she had not see_ny as yet."
  • "So far all goes well," said Don Quixote; "but tell me what jewel was it tha_he gave thee on taking thy leave, in return for thy tidings of me? For it i_ usual and ancient custom with knights and ladies errant to give the squires, damsels, or dwarfs who bring tidings of their ladies to the knights, or o_heir knights to the ladies, some rich jewel as a guerdon for good news,' an_cknowledgment of the message."
  • "That is very likely," said Sancho, "and a good custom it was, to my mind; bu_hat must have been in days gone by, for now it would seem to be the custo_nly to give a piece of bread and cheese; because that was what my lad_ulcinea gave me over the top of the yard-wall when I took leave of her; an_ore by token it was sheep's-milk cheese."
  • "She is generous in the extreme," said Don Quixote, "and if she did not giv_hee a jewel of gold, no doubt it must have been because she had not one t_and there to give thee; but sleeves are good after Easter; I shall see he_nd all shall be made right. But knowest thou what amazes me, Sancho? It seem_o me thou must have gone and come through the air, for thou hast taken bu_ittle more than three days to go to El Toboso and return, though it is mor_han thirty leagues from here to there. From which I am inclined to think tha_he sage magician who is my friend, and watches over my interests (for o_ecessity there is and must be one, or else I should not be a right knight- errant), that this same, I say, must have helped thee to travel without th_nowledge; for some of these sages will catch up a knight-errant sleeping i_is bed, and without his knowing how or in what way it happened, he wakes u_he next day more than a thousand leagues away from the place where he went t_leep. And if it were not for this, knights-errant would not be able to giv_id to one another in peril, as they do at every turn. For a knight, maybe, i_ighting in the mountains of Armenia with some dragon, or fierce serpent, o_nother knight, and gets the worst of the battle, and is at the point o_eath; but when he least looks for it, there appears over against him on _loud, or chariot of fire, another knight, a friend of his, who just befor_ad been in England, and who takes his part, and delivers him from death; an_t night he finds himself in his own quarters supping very much to hi_atisfaction; and yet from one place to the other will have been two or thre_housand leagues. And all this is done by the craft and skill of the sag_nchanters who take care of those valiant knights; so that, friend Sancho, _ind no difficulty in believing that thou mayest have gone from this place t_l Toboso and returned in such a short time, since, as I have said, som_riendly sage must have carried thee through the air without thee perceivin_t."
  • "That must have been it," said Sancho, "for indeed Rocinante went like _ipsy's ass with quicksilver in his ears."
  • "Quicksilver!" said Don Quixote, "aye and what is more, a legion of devils, folk that can travel and make others travel without being weary, exactly a_he whim seizes them. But putting this aside, what thinkest thou I ought to d_bout my lady's command to go and see her? For though I feel that I am boun_o obey her mandate, I feel too that I am debarred by the boon I have accorde_o the princess that accompanies us, and the law of chivalry compels me t_ave regard for my word in preference to my inclination; on the one hand th_esire to see my lady pursues and harasses me, on the other my solemn promis_nd the glory I shall win in this enterprise urge and call me; but what _hink I shall do is to travel with all speed and reach quickly the place wher_his giant is, and on my arrival I shall cut off his head, and establish th_rincess peacefully in her realm, and forthwith I shall return to behold th_ight that lightens my senses, to whom I shall make such excuses that she wil_e led to approve of my delay, for she will see that it entirely tends t_ncrease her glory and fame; for all that I have won, am winning, or shall wi_y arms in this life, comes to me of the favour she extends to me, and becaus_ am hers."
  • "Ah! what a sad state your worship's brains are in!" said Sancho. "Tell me, senor, do you mean to travel all that way for nothing, and to let slip an_ose so rich and great a match as this where they give as a portion a kingdo_hat in sober truth I have heard say is more than twenty thousand league_ound about, and abounds with all things necessary to support human life, an_s bigger than Portugal and Castile put together? Peace, for the love of God!
  • Blush for what you have said, and take my advice, and forgive me, and marry a_nce in the first village where there is a curate; if not, here is ou_icentiate who will do the business beautifully; remember, I am old enough t_ive advice, and this I am giving comes pat to the purpose; for a sparrow i_he hand is better than a vulture on the wing, and he who has the good to hi_and and chooses the bad, that the good he complains of may not come to him."
  • "Look here, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "If thou art advising me to marry, i_rder that immediately on slaying the giant I may become king, and be able t_onfer favours on thee, and give thee what I have promised, let me tell thee _hall be able very easily to satisfy thy desires without marrying; for befor_oing into battle I will make it a stipulation that, if I come out of i_ictorious, even I do not marry, they shall give me a portion portion of th_ingdom, that I may bestow it upon whomsoever I choose, and when they give i_o me upon whom wouldst thou have me bestow it but upon thee?"
  • "That is plain speaking," said Sancho; "but let your worship take care t_hoose it on the seacoast, so that if I don't like the life, I may be able t_hip off my black vassals and deal with them as I have said; don't mind goin_o see my lady Dulcinea now, but go and kill this giant and let us finish of_his business; for by God it strikes me it will be one of great honour an_reat profit."
  • "I hold thou art in the right of it, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and I wil_ake thy advice as to accompanying the princess before going to see Dulcinea; but I counsel thee not to say anything to any one, or to those who are wit_s, about what we have considered and discussed, for as Dulcinea is s_ecorous that she does not wish her thoughts to be known it is not right tha_ or anyone for me should disclose them."
  • "Well then, if that be so," said Sancho, "how is it that your worship make_ll those you overcome by your arm go to present themselves before my lad_ulcinea, this being the same thing as signing your name to it that you lov_er and are her lover? And as those who go must perforce kneel before her an_ay they come from your worship to submit themselves to her, how can th_houghts of both of you be hid?"
  • "O, how silly and simple thou art!" said Don Quixote; "seest thou not, Sancho, that this tends to her greater exaltation? For thou must know that accordin_o our way of thinking in chivalry, it is a high honour to a lady to have man_nights-errant in her service, whose thoughts never go beyond serving her fo_er own sake, and who look for no other reward for their great and tru_evotion than that she should be willing to accept them as her knights."
  • "It is with that kind of love," said Sancho, "I have heard preachers say w_ught to love our Lord, for himself alone, without being moved by the hope o_lory or the fear of punishment; though for my part, I would rather love an_erve him for what he could do."
  • "The devil take thee for a clown!" said Don Quixote, "and what shrewd thing_hou sayest at times! One would think thou hadst studied."
  • "In faith, then, I cannot even read."
  • Master Nicholas here called out to them to wait a while, as they wanted t_alt and drink at a little spring there was there. Don Quixote drew up, not _ittle to the satisfaction of Sancho, for he was by this time weary of tellin_o many lies, and in dread of his master catching him tripping, for though h_new that Dulcinea was a peasant girl of El Toboso, he had never seen her i_ll his life. Cardenio had now put on the clothes which Dorothea was wearin_hen they found her, and though they were not very good, they were far bette_han those he put off. They dismounted together by the side of the spring, an_ith what the curate had provided himself with at the inn they appeased, though not very well, the keen appetite they all of them brought with them.
  • While they were so employed there happened to come by a youth passing on hi_ay, who stopping to examine the party at the spring, the next moment ran t_on Quixote and clasping him round the legs, began to weep freely, saying, "O, senor, do you not know me? Look at me well; I am that lad Andres that you_orship released from the oak-tree where I was tied."
  • Don Quixote recognised him, and taking his hand he turned to those present an_aid: "That your worships may see how important it is to have knights-erran_o redress the wrongs and injuries done by tyrannical and wicked men in thi_orld, I may tell you that some days ago passing through a wood, I heard crie_nd piteous complaints as of a person in pain and distress; I immediatel_astened, impelled by my bounden duty, to the quarter whence the plaintiv_ccents seemed to me to proceed, and I found tied to an oak this lad who no_tands before you, which in my heart I rejoice at, for his testimony will no_ermit me to depart from the truth in any particular. He was, I say, tied t_n oak, naked from the waist up, and a clown, whom I afterwards found to b_is master, was scarifying him by lashes with the reins of his mare. As soo_s I saw him I asked the reason of so cruel a flagellation. The boor replie_hat he was flogging him because he was his servant and because o_arelessness that proceeded rather from dishonesty than stupidity; on whic_his boy said, 'Senor, he flogs me only because I ask for my wages.' Th_aster made I know not what speeches and explanations, which, though _istened to them, I did not accept. In short, I compelled the clown to unbin_im, and to swear he would take him with him, and pay him real by real, an_erfumed into the bargain. Is not all this true, Andres my son? Didst thou no_ark with what authority I commanded him, and with what humility he promise_o do all I enjoined, specified, and required of him? Answer withou_esitation; tell these gentlemen what took place, that they may see that it i_s great an advantage as I say to have knights-errant abroad."
  • "All that your worship has said is quite true," answered the lad; "but the en_f the business turned out just the opposite of what your worship supposes."
  • "How! the opposite?" said Don Quixote; "did not the clown pay thee then?"
  • "Not only did he not pay me," replied the lad, "but as soon as your worshi_ad passed out of the wood and we were alone, he tied me up again to the sam_ak and gave me a fresh flogging, that left me like a flayed Sain_artholomew; and every stroke he gave me he followed up with some jest or gib_bout having made a fool of your worship, and but for the pain I was sufferin_ should have laughed at the things he said. In short he left me in such _ondition that I have been until now in a hospital getting cured of th_njuries which that rascally clown inflicted on me then; for all which you_orship is to blame; for if you had gone your own way and not come where ther_as no call for you, nor meddled in other people's affairs, my master woul_ave been content with giving me one or two dozen lashes, and would have the_oosed me and paid me what he owed me; but when your worship abused him so ou_f measure, and gave him so many hard words, his anger was kindled; and as h_ould not revenge himself on you, as soon as he saw you had left him the stor_urst upon me in such a way, that I feel as if I should never be a man again."
  • "The mischief," said Don Quixote, "lay in my going away; for I should not hav_one until I had seen thee paid; because I ought to have known well by lon_xperience that there is no clown who will keep his word if he finds it wil_ot suit him to keep it; but thou rememberest, Andres, that I swore if he di_ot pay thee I would go and seek him, and find him though he were to hid_imself in the whale's belly."
  • "That is true," said Andres; "but it was of no use."
  • "Thou shalt see now whether it is of use or not," said Don Quixote; and s_aying, he got up hastily and bade Sancho bridle Rocinante, who was browsin_hile they were eating. Dorothea asked him what he meant to do. He replie_hat he meant to go in search of this clown and chastise him for suc_niquitous conduct, and see Andres paid to the last maravedi, despite and i_he teeth of all the clowns in the world. To which she replied that he mus_emember that in accordance with his promise he could not engage in an_nterprise until he had concluded hers; and that as he knew this better tha_nyone, he should restrain his ardour until his return from her kingdom.
  • "That is true," said Don Quixote, "and Andres must have patience until m_eturn as you say, senora; but I once more swear and promise not to stop unti_ have seen him avenged and paid."
  • "I have no faith in those oaths," said Andres; "I would rather have no_omething to help me to get to Seville than all the revenges in the world; i_ou have here anything to eat that I can take with me, give it me, and God b_ith your worship and all knights-errant; and may their errands turn out a_ell for themselves as they have for me."
  • Sancho took out from his store a piece of bread and another of cheese, an_iving them to the lad he said, "Here, take this, brother Andres, for we hav_ll of us a share in your misfortune."
  • "Why, what share have you got?"
  • "This share of bread and cheese I am giving you," answered Sancho; "and Go_nows whether I shall feel the want of it myself or not; for I would have yo_now, friend, that we squires to knights-errant have to bear a great deal o_unger and hard fortune, and even other things more easily felt than told."
  • Andres seized his bread and cheese, and seeing that nobody gave him anythin_ore, bent his head, and took hold of the road, as the saying is. However, before leaving he said, "For the love of God, sir knight-errant, if you eve_eet me again, though you may see them cutting me to pieces, give me no aid o_uccour, but leave me to my misfortune, which will not be so great but that _reater will come to me by being helped by your worship, on whom and all th_nights-errant that have ever been born God send his curse."
  • Don Quixote was getting up to chastise him, but he took to his heels at such _ace that no one attempted to follow him; and mightily chapfallen was Do_uixote at Andres' story, and the others had to take great care to restrai_heir laughter so as not to put him entirely out of countenance.