**Of the reply Don Quixote gave his censurer, with other incidents, grave an_roll**
Don Quixote, then, having risen to his feet, trembling from head to foot lik_ man dosed with mercury, said in a hurried, agitated voice, "The place I a_n, the presence in which I stand, and the respect I have and always have ha_or the profession to which your worship belongs, hold and bind the hands o_y just indignation; and as well for these reasons as because I know, a_veryone knows, that a gownsman's weapon is the same as a woman's, the tongue, I will with mine engage in equal combat with your worship, from whom one migh_ave expected good advice instead of foul abuse. Pious, well-meant reproo_equires a different demeanour and arguments of another sort; at any rate, t_ave reproved me in public, and so roughly, exceeds the bounds of prope_eproof, for that comes better with gentleness than with rudeness; and it i_ot seemly to call the sinner roundly blockhead and booby, without knowin_nything of the sin that is reproved. Come, tell me, for which of th_tupidities you have observed in me do you condemn and abuse me, and bid me g_ome and look after my house and wife and children, without knowing whether _ave any? Is nothing more needed than to get a footing, by hook or by crook, in other people's houses to rule over the masters (and that, perhaps, afte_aving been brought up in all the straitness of some seminary, and withou_aving ever seen more of the world than may lie within twenty or thirt_eagues round), to fit one to lay down the law rashly for chivalry, and pas_udgment on knights-errant? Is it, haply, an idle occupation, or is the tim_ll-spent that is spent in roaming the world in quest, not of its enjoyments, but of those arduous toils whereby the good mount upwards to the abodes o_verlasting life? If gentlemen, great lords, nobles, men of high birth, wer_o rate me as a fool I should take it as an irreparable insult; but I care no_ farthing if clerks who have never entered upon or trod the paths of chivalr_hould think me foolish. Knight I am, and knight I will die, if such be th_leasure of the Most High. Some take the broad road of overweening ambition; others that of mean and servile flattery; others that of deceitful hypocrisy, and some that of true religion; but I, led by my star, follow the narrow pat_f knight-errantry, and in pursuit of that calling I despise wealth, but no_onour. I have redressed injuries, righted wrongs, punished insolences, vanquished giants, and crushed monsters; I am in love, for no other reaso_han that it is incumbent on knights-errant to be so; but though I am, I am n_arnal-minded lover, but one of the chaste, platonic sort. My intentions ar_lways directed to worthy ends, to do good to all and evil to none; and if h_ho means this, does this, and makes this his practice deserves to be called _ool, it is for your highnesses to say, O most excellent duke and duchess."
"Good, by God!" cried Sancho; "say no more in your own defence, master mine, for there's nothing more in the world to be said, thought, or insisted on; an_esides, when this gentleman denies, as he has, that there are or ever hav_een any knights-errant in the world, is it any wonder if he knows nothing o_hat he has been talking about?"
"Perhaps, brother," said the ecclesiastic, "you are that Sancho Panza that i_entioned, to whom your master has promised an island?"
"Yes, I am," said Sancho, "and what's more, I am one who deserves it as muc_s anyone; I am one of the sort—'Attach thyself to the good, and thou wilt b_ne of them,' and of those, 'Not with whom thou art bred, but with whom tho_rt fed,' and of those, 'Who leans against a good tree, a good shade cover_im;' I have leant upon a good master, and I have been for months going abou_ith him, and please God I shall be just such another; long life to him an_ong life to me, for neither will he be in any want of empires to rule, or _f islands to govern."
"No, Sancho my friend, certainly not," said the duke, "for in the name o_enor Don Quixote I confer upon you the government of one of no smal_mportance that I have at my disposal."
"Go down on thy knees, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and kiss the feet of hi_xcellence for the favour he has bestowed upon thee."
Sancho obeyed, and on seeing this the ecclesiastic stood up from tabl_ompletely out of temper, exclaiming, "By the gown I wear, I am almos_nclined to say that your excellence is as great a fool as these sinners. N_onder they are mad, when people who are in their senses sanction thei_adness! I leave your excellence with them, for so long as they are in th_ouse, I will remain in my own, and spare myself the trouble of reproving wha_ cannot remedy;" and without uttering another word, or eating another morsel, he went off, the entreaties of the duke and duchess being entirely unavailin_o stop him; not that the duke said much to him, for he could not, because o_he laughter his uncalled-for anger provoked.
When he had done laughing, he said to Don Quixote, "You have replied on you_wn behalf so stoutly, Sir Knight of the Lions, that there is no occasion t_eek further satisfaction for this, which, though it may look like an offence, is not so at all, for, as women can give no offence, no more ca_cclesiastics, as you very well know."
"That is true," said Don Quixote, "and the reason is, that he who is no_iable to offence cannot give offence to anyone. Women, children, an_cclesiastics, as they cannot defend themselves, though they may receiv_ffence cannot be insulted, because between the offence and the insult ther_s, as your excellence very well knows, this difference: the insult comes fro_ne who is capable of offering it, and does so, and maintains it; the offenc_ay come from any quarter without carrying insult. To take an example: a ma_s standing unsuspectingly in the street and ten others come up armed and bea_im; he draws his sword and quits himself like a man, but the number of hi_ntagonists makes it impossible for him to effect his purpose and aveng_imself; this man suffers an offence but not an insult. Another example wil_ake the same thing plain: a man is standing with his back turned, anothe_omes up and strikes him, and after striking him takes to flight, withou_aiting an instant, and the other pursues him but does not overtake him; h_ho received the blow received an offence, but not an insult, because a_nsult must be maintained. If he who struck him, though he did so sneakingl_nd treacherously, had drawn his sword and stood and faced him, then he wh_ad been struck would have received offence and insult at the same time; offence because he was struck treacherously, insult because he who struck hi_aintained what he had done, standing his ground without taking to flight. An_o, according to the laws of the accursed duel, I may have received offence, but not insult, for neither women nor children can maintain it, nor can the_ound, nor have they any way of standing their ground, and it is just the sam_ith those connected with religion; for these three sorts of persons ar_ithout arms offensive or defensive, and so, though naturally they are boun_o defend themselves, they have no right to offend anybody; and though I sai_ust now I might have received offence, I say now certainly not, for he wh_annot receive an insult can still less give one; for which reasons I ough_ot to feel, nor do I feel, aggrieved at what that good man said to me; I onl_ish he had stayed a little longer, that I might have shown him the mistake h_akes in supposing and maintaining that there are not and never have been an_nights-errant in the world; had Amadis or any of his countless descendant_eard him say as much, I am sure it would not have gone well with hi_orship."
"I will take my oath of that," said Sancho; "they would have given him a slas_hat would have slit him down from top to toe like a pomegranate or a rip_elon; they were likely fellows to put up with jokes of that sort! By m_aith, I'm certain if Reinaldos of Montalvan had heard the little man's word_e would have given him such a spank on the mouth that he wouldn't have spoke_or the next three years; ay, let him tackle them, and he'll see how he'll ge_ut of their hands!"
The duchess, as she listened to Sancho, was ready to die with laughter, and i_er own mind she set him down as droller and madder than his master; and ther_ere a good many just then who were of the same opinion.
Don Quixote finally grew calm, and dinner came to an end, and as the cloth wa_emoved four damsels came in, one of them with a silver basin, another with _ug also of silver, a third with two fine white towels on her shoulder, an_he fourth with her arms bared to the elbows, and in her white hands (fo_hite they certainly were) a round ball of Naples soap. The one with the basi_pproached, and with arch composure and impudence, thrust it under Do_uixote's chin, who, wondering at such a ceremony, said never a word, supposing it to be the custom of that country to wash beards instead of hands; he therefore stretched his out as far as he could, and at the same instant th_ug began to pour and the damsel with the soap rubbed his beard briskly, raising snow-flakes, for the soap lather was no less white, not only over th_eard, but all over the face, and over the eyes of the submissive knight, s_hat they were perforce obliged to keep shut. The duke and duchess, who ha_ot known anything about this, waited to see what came of this strang_ashing. The barber damsel, when she had him a hand's breadth deep in lather, pretended that there was no more water, and bade the one with the jug go an_etch some, while Senor Don Quixote waited. She did so, and Don Quixote wa_eft the strangest and most ludicrous figure that could be imagined. All thos_resent, and there were a good many, were watching him, and as they saw hi_here with half a yard of neck, and that uncommonly brown, his eyes shut, an_is beard full of soap, it was a great wonder, and only by great discretion, that they were able to restrain their laughter. The damsels, the concocters o_he joke, kept their eyes down, not daring to look at their master an_istress; and as for them, laughter and anger struggled within them, and the_new not what to do, whether to punish the audacity of the girls, or to rewar_hem for the amusement they had received from seeing Don Quixote in such _light.
At length the damsel with the jug returned and they made an end of washing Do_uixote, and the one who carried the towels very deliberately wiped him an_ried him; and all four together making him a profound obeisance and curtsey, they were about to go, when the duke, lest Don Quixote should see through th_oke, called out to the one with the basin saying, "Come and wash me, and tak_are that there is water enough." The girl, sharp-witted and prompt, came an_laced the basin for the duke as she had done for Don Quixote, and they soo_ad him well soaped and washed, and having wiped him dry they made thei_beisance and retired. It appeared afterwards that the duke had sworn that i_hey had not washed him as they had Don Quixote he would have punished the_or their impudence, which they adroitly atoned for by soaping him as well.
Sancho observed the ceremony of the washing very attentively, and said t_imself, "God bless me, if it were only the custom in this country to was_quires' beards too as well as knights'. For by God and upon my soul I want i_adly; and if they gave me a scrape of the razor besides I'd take it as _till greater kindness."
"What are you saying to yourself, Sancho?" asked the duchess.
"I was saying, senora," he replied, "that in the courts of other princes, whe_he cloth is taken away, I have always heard say they give water for th_ands, but not lye for the beard; and that shows it is good to live long tha_ou may see much; to be sure, they say too that he who lives a long life mus_ndergo much evil, though to undergo a washing of that sort is pleasure rathe_han pain."
"Don't be uneasy, friend Sancho," said the duchess; "I will take care that m_amsels wash you, and even put you in the tub if necessary."
"I'll be content with the beard," said Sancho, "at any rate for the present; and as for the future, God has decreed what is to be."
"Attend to worthy Sancho's request, seneschal," said the duchess, "and d_xactly what he wishes."
The seneschal replied that Senor Sancho should be obeyed in everything; an_ith that he went away to dinner and took Sancho along with him, while th_uke and duchess and Don Quixote remained at table discussing a great variet_f things, but all bearing on the calling of arms and knight-errantry.
The duchess begged Don Quixote, as he seemed to have a retentive memory, t_escribe and portray to her the beauty and features of the lady Dulcinea de_oboso, for, judging by what fame trumpeted abroad of her beauty, she fel_ure she must be the fairest creature in the world, nay, in all La Mancha.
Don Quixote sighed on hearing the duchess's request, and said, "If I coul_luck out my heart, and lay it on a plate on this table here before you_ighness's eyes, it would spare my tongue the pain of telling what can hardl_e thought of, for in it your excellence would see her portrayed in full. Bu_hy should I attempt to depict and describe in detail, and feature by feature, the beauty of the peerless Dulcinea, the burden being one worthy of othe_houlders than mine, an enterprise wherein the pencils of Parrhasius, Timantes, and Apelles, and the graver of Lysippus ought to be employed, t_aint it in pictures and carve it in marble and bronze, and Ciceronian an_emosthenian eloquence to sound its praises?"
"What does Demosthenian mean, Senor Don Quixote?" said the duchess; "it is _ord I never heard in all my life."
"Demosthenian eloquence," said Don Quixote, "means the eloquence o_emosthenes, as Ciceronian means that of Cicero, who were the two mos_loquent orators in the world."
"True," said the duke; "you must have lost your wits to ask such a question.
Nevertheless, Senor Don Quixote would greatly gratify us if he would depic_er to us; for never fear, even in an outline or sketch she will be somethin_o make the fairest envious."
"I would do so certainly," said Don Quixote, "had she not been blurred to m_ind's eye by the misfortune that fell upon her a short time since, one o_uch a nature that I am more ready to weep over it than to describe it. Fo_our highnesses must know that, going a few days back to kiss her hands an_eceive her benediction, approbation, and permission for this third sally, _ound her altogether a different being from the one I sought; I found he_nchanted and changed from a princess into a peasant, from fair to foul, fro_n angel into a devil, from fragrant to pestiferous, from refined to clownish, from a dignified lady into a jumping tomboy, and, in a word, from Dulcinea de_oboso into a coarse Sayago wench."
"God bless me!" said the duke aloud at this, "who can have done the world suc_n injury? Who can have robbed it of the beauty that gladdened it, of th_race and gaiety that charmed it, of the modesty that shed a lustre upon it?"
"Who?" replied Don Quixote; "who could it be but some malignant enchanter o_he many that persecute me out of envy—that accursed race born into the worl_o obscure and bring to naught the achievements of the good, and glorify an_xalt the deeds of the wicked? Enchanters have persecuted me, enchanter_ersecute me still, and enchanters will continue to persecute me until the_ave sunk me and my lofty chivalry in the deep abyss of oblivion; and the_njure and wound me where they know I feel it most. For to deprive a knight- errant of his lady is to deprive him of the eyes he sees with, of the sun tha_ives him light, of the food whereby he lives. Many a time before have I sai_t, and I say it now once more, a knight-errant without a lady is like a tre_ithout leaves, a building without a foundation, or a shadow without the bod_hat causes it."
"There is no denying it," said the duchess; "but still, if we are to believ_he history of Don Quixote that has come out here lately with genera_pplause, it is to be inferred from it, if I mistake not, that you never sa_he lady Dulcinea, and that the said lady is nothing in the world but a_maginary lady, one that you yourself begot and gave birth to in your brain, and adorned with whatever charms and perfections you chose."
"There is a good deal to be said on that point," said Don Quixote; "God know_hether there be any Dulcinea or not in the world, or whether she is imaginar_r not imaginary; these are things the proof of which must not be pushed t_xtreme lengths. I have not begotten nor given birth to my lady, though _ehold her as she needs must be, a lady who contains in herself all th_ualities to make her famous throughout the world, beautiful without blemish, dignified without haughtiness, tender and yet modest, gracious from courtes_nd courteous from good breeding, and lastly, of exalted lineage, becaus_eauty shines forth and excels with a higher degree of perfection upon goo_lood than in the fair of lowly birth."
"That is true," said the duke; "but Senor Don Quixote will give me leave t_ay what I am constrained to say by the story of his exploits that I hav_ead, from which it is to be inferred that, granting there is a Dulcinea in E_oboso, or out of it, and that she is in the highest degree beautiful as yo_ave described her to us, as regards the loftiness of her lineage she is no_n a par with the Orianas, Alastrajareas, Madasimas, or others of that sort, with whom, as you well know, the histories abound."
"To that I may reply," said Don Quixote, "that Dulcinea is the daughter of he_wn works, and that virtues rectify blood, and that lowly virtue is more to b_egarded and esteemed than exalted vice. Dulcinea, besides, has that withi_er that may raise her to be a crowned and sceptred queen; for the merit of _air and virtuous woman is capable of performing greater miracles; an_irtually, though not formally, she has in herself higher fortunes."
"I protest, Senor Don Quixote," said the duchess, "that in all you say, you g_ost cautiously and lead in hand, as the saying is; henceforth I will believ_yself, and I will take care that everyone in my house believes, even my lor_he duke if needs be, that there is a Dulcinea in El Toboso, and that she i_iving to-day, and that she is beautiful and nobly born and deserves to hav_uch a knight as Senor Don Quixote in her service, and that is the highes_raise that it is in my power to give her or that I can think of. But I canno_elp entertaining a doubt, and having a certain grudge against Sancho Panza; the doubt is this, that the aforesaid history declares that the said Sanch_anza, when he carried a letter on your worship's behalf to the said lad_ulcinea, found her sifting a sack of wheat; and more by token it says it wa_ed wheat; a thing which makes me doubt the loftiness of her lineage."
To this Don Quixote made answer, "Senora, your highness must know tha_verything or almost everything that happens me transcends the ordinary limit_f what happens to other knights-errant; whether it be that it is directed b_he inscrutable will of destiny, or by the malice of some jealous enchanter.
Now it is an established fact that all or most famous knights-errant have som_pecial gift, one that of being proof against enchantment, another that o_eing made of such invulnerable flesh that he cannot be wounded, as was th_amous Roland, one of the twelve peers of France, of whom it is related tha_e could not be wounded except in the sole of his left foot, and that it mus_e with the point of a stout pin and not with any other sort of weapo_hatever; and so, when Bernardo del Carpio slew him at Roncesvalles, findin_hat he could not wound him with steel, he lifted him up from the ground i_is arms and strangled him, calling to mind seasonably the death whic_ercules inflicted on Antaeus, the fierce giant that they say was the son o_erra. I would infer from what I have mentioned that perhaps I may have som_ift of this kind, not that of being invulnerable, because experience has man_imes proved to me that I am of tender flesh and not at all impenetrable; no_hat of being proof against enchantment, for I have already seen myself thrus_nto a cage, in which all the world would not have been able to confine m_xcept by force of enchantments. But as I delivered myself from that one, I a_nclined to believe that there is no other that can hurt me; and so, thes_nchanters, seeing that they cannot exert their vile craft against my person, revenge themselves on what I love most, and seek to rob me of life b_altreating that of Dulcinea in whom I live; and therefore I am convinced tha_hen my squire carried my message to her, they changed her into a commo_easant girl, engaged in such a mean occupation as sifting wheat; I hav_lready said, however, that that wheat was not red wheat, nor wheat at all, but grains of orient pearl. And as a proof of all this, I must tell you_ighnesses that, coming to El Toboso a short time back, I was altogethe_nable to discover the palace of Dulcinea; and that the next day, thoug_ancho, my squire, saw her in her own proper shape, which is the fairest i_he world, to me she appeared to be a coarse, ill-favoured farm-wench, and b_o means a well-spoken one, she who is propriety itself. And so, as I am no_nd, so far as one can judge, cannot be enchanted, she it is that i_nchanted, that is smitten, that is altered, changed, and transformed; in he_ave my enemies revenged themselves upon me, and for her shall I live i_easeless tears, until I see her in her pristine state. I have mentioned thi_est anybody should mind what Sancho said about Dulcinea's winnowing o_ifting; for, as they changed her to me, it is no wonder if they changed he_o him. Dulcinea is illustrious and well-born, and of one of the gentl_amilies of El Toboso, which are many, ancient, and good. Therein, mos_ssuredly, not small is the share of the peerless Dulcinea, through whom he_own will be famous and celebrated in ages to come, as Troy was through Helen, and Spain through La Cava, though with a better title and tradition. Fo_nother thing; I would have your graces understand that Sancho Panza is one o_he drollest squires that ever served knight-errant; sometimes there is _implicity about him so acute that it is an amusement to try and make ou_hether he is simple or sharp; he has mischievous tricks that stamp him rogue, and blundering ways that prove him a booby; he doubts everything and believe_verything; when I fancy he is on the point of coming down headlong from shee_tupidity, he comes out with something shrewd that sends him up to the skies.
After all, I would not exchange him for another squire, though I were given _ity to boot, and therefore I am in doubt whether it will be well to send hi_o the government your highness has bestowed upon him; though I perceive i_im a certain aptitude for the work of governing, so that, with a littl_rimming of his understanding, he would manage any government as easily as th_ing does his taxes; and moreover, we know already ample experience that i_oes not require much cleverness or much learning to be a governor, for ther_re a hundred round about us that scarcely know how to read, and govern lik_erfalcons. The main point is that they should have good intentions and b_esirous of doing right in all things, for they will never be at a loss fo_ersons to advise and direct them in what they have to do, like those knight- governors who, being no lawyers, pronounce sentences with the aid of a_ssessor. My advice to him will be to take no bribe and surrender no right, and I have some other little matters in reserve, that shall be produced in du_eason for Sancho's benefit and the advantage of the island he is to govern."
The duke, duchess, and Don Quixote had reached this point in thei_onversation, when they heard voices and a great hubbub in the palace, an_ancho burst abruptly into the room all glowing with anger, with a straining- cloth by way of a bib, and followed by several servants, or, more properl_peaking, kitchen-boys and other underlings, one of whom carried a smal_rough full of water, that from its colour and impurity was plainly dishwater.
The one with the trough pursued him and followed him everywhere he went, endeavouring with the utmost persistence to thrust it under his chin, whil_nother kitchen-boy seemed anxious to wash his beard.
"What is all this, brothers?" asked the duchess. "What is it? What do you wan_o do to this good man? Do you forget he is a governor-elect?"
To which the barber kitchen-boy replied, "The gentleman will not let himsel_e washed as is customary, and as my lord and the senor his master have been."
"Yes, I will," said Sancho, in a great rage; "but I'd like it to be wit_leaner towels, clearer lye, and not such dirty hands; for there's not so muc_ifference between me and my master that he should be washed with angels'
water and I with devil's lye. The customs of countries and princes' palace_re only good so long as they give no annoyance; but the way of washing the_ave here is worse than doing penance. I have a clean beard, and I don'_equire to be refreshed in that fashion, and whoever comes to wash me or touc_ hair of my head, I mean to say my beard, with all due respect be it said, I'll give him a punch that will leave my fist sunk in his skull; fo_irimonies and soapings of this sort are more like jokes than the polit_ttentions of one's host."
The duchess was ready to die with laughter when she saw Sancho's rage an_eard his words; but it was no pleasure to Don Quixote to see him in such _orry trim, with the dingy towel about him, and the hangers-on of the kitche_ll round him; so making a low bow to the duke and duchess, as if to ask thei_ermission to speak, he addressed the rout in a dignified tone: "Holloa, gentlemen! you let that youth alone, and go back to where you came from, o_nywhere else if you like; my squire is as clean as any other person, an_hose troughs are as bad as narrow thin-necked jars to him; take my advice an_eave him alone, for neither he nor I understand joking."
Sancho took the word out of his mouth and went on, "Nay, let them come and tr_heir jokes on the country bumpkin, for it's about as likely I'll stand the_s that it's now midnight! Let them bring me a comb here, or what they please, and curry this beard of mine, and if they get anything out of it that offend_gainst cleanliness, let them clip me to the skin."
Upon this, the duchess, laughing all the while, said, "Sancho Panza is right, and always will be in all he says; he is clean, and, as he says himself, h_oes not require to be washed; and if our ways do not please him, he is fre_o choose. Besides, you promoters of cleanliness have been excessivel_areless and thoughtless, I don't know if I ought not to say audacious, t_ring troughs and wooden utensils and kitchen dishclouts, instead of basin_nd jugs of pure gold and towels of holland, to such a person and such _eard; but, after all, you are ill-conditioned and ill-bred, and spiteful a_ou are, you cannot help showing the grudge you have against the squires o_nights-errant."
The impudent servitors, and even the seneschal who came with them, took th_uchess to be speaking in earnest, so they removed the straining-cloth fro_ancho's neck, and with something like shame and confusion of face went of_ll of them and left him; whereupon he, seeing himself safe out of tha_xtreme danger, as it seemed to him, ran and fell on his knees before th_uchess, saying, "From great ladies great favours may be looked for; thi_hich your grace has done me today cannot be requited with less than wishing _as dubbed a knight-errant, to devote myself all the days of my life to th_ervice of so exalted a lady. I am a labouring man, my name is Sancho Panza, _m married, I have children, and I am serving as a squire; if in any one o_hese ways I can serve your highness, I will not be longer in obeying tha_our grace in commanding."
"It is easy to see, Sancho," replied the duchess, "that you have learned to b_olite in the school of politeness itself; I mean to say it is easy to se_hat you have been nursed in the bosom of Senor Don Quixote, who is, o_ourse, the cream of good breeding and flower of ceremony—or cirimony, as yo_ould say yourself. Fair be the fortunes of such a master and such a servant, the one the cynosure of knight-errantry, the other the star of squirel_idelity! Rise, Sancho, my friend; I will repay your courtesy by taking car_hat my lord the duke makes good to you the promised gift of the government a_oon as possible."
With this, the conversation came to an end, and Don Quixote retired to tak_is midday sleep; but the duchess begged Sancho, unless he had a very grea_esire to go to sleep, to come and spend the afternoon with her and he_amsels in a very cool chamber. Sancho replied that, though he certainly ha_he habit of sleeping four or five hours in the heat of the day in summer, t_erve her excellence he would try with all his might not to sleep even on_hat day, and that he would come in obedience to her command, and with that h_ent off. The duke gave fresh orders with respect to treating Don Quixote as _night-errant, without departing even in smallest particular from the style i_hich, as the stories tell us, they used to treat the knights of old.