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Chapter 34

  • **Which relates how they learned the way in which they were to disenchant th_eerless Dulcinea del Toboso, which is one of the rarest adventures in thi_ook**
  • Great was the pleasure the duke and duchess took in the conversation of Do_uixote and Sancho Panza; and, more bent than ever upon the plan they had o_ractising some jokes upon them that should have the look and appearance o_dventures, they took as their basis of action what Don Quixote had alread_old them about the cave of Montesinos, in order to play him a famous one. Bu_hat the duchess marvelled at above all was that Sancho's simplicity could b_o great as to make him believe as absolute truth that Dulcinea had bee_nchanted, when it was he himself who had been the enchanter and trickster i_he business. Having, therefore, instructed their servants in everything the_ere to do, six days afterwards they took him out to hunt, with as great _etinue of huntsmen and beaters as a crowned king.
  • They presented Don Quixote with a hunting suit, and Sancho with another of th_inest green cloth; but Don Quixote declined to put his on, saying that h_ust soon return to the hard pursuit of arms, and could not carry wardrobes o_tores with him. Sancho, however, took what they gave him, meaning to sell i_he first opportunity.
  • The appointed day having arrived, Don Quixote armed himself, and Sanch_rrayed himself, and mounted on his Dapple (for he would not give him u_hough they offered him a horse), he placed himself in the midst of the troo_f huntsmen. The duchess came out splendidly attired, and Don Quixote, in pur_ourtesy and politeness, held the rein of her palfrey, though the duke wante_ot to allow him; and at last they reached a wood that lay between two hig_ountains, where, after occupying various posts, ambushes, and paths, an_istributing the party in different positions, the hunt began with grea_oise, shouting, and hallooing, so that, between the baying of the hounds an_he blowing of the horns, they could not hear one another. The duches_ismounted, and with a sharp boar-spear in her hand posted herself where sh_new the wild boars were in the habit of passing. The duke and Don Quixot_ikewise dismounted and placed themselves one at each side of her. Sancho too_p a position in the rear of all without dismounting from Dapple, whom h_ared not desert lest some mischief should befall him. Scarcely had they take_heir stand in a line with several of their servants, when they saw a hug_oar, closely pressed by the hounds and followed by the huntsmen, makin_owards them, grinding his teeth and tusks, and scattering foam from hi_outh. As soon as he saw him Don Quixote, bracing his shield on his arm, an_rawing his sword, advanced to meet him; the duke with boar-spear did th_ame; but the duchess would have gone in front of them all had not the duk_revented her. Sancho alone, deserting Dapple at the sight of the might_east, took to his heels as hard as he could and strove in vain to mount _all oak. As he was clinging to a branch, however, half-way up in his struggl_o reach the top, the bough, such was his ill-luck and hard fate, gave way,
  • and caught in his fall by a broken limb of the oak, he hung suspended in th_ir unable to reach the ground. Finding himself in this position, and that th_reen coat was beginning to tear, and reflecting that if the fierce anima_ame that way he might be able to get at him, he began to utter such cries,
  • and call for help so earnestly, that all who heard him and did not see hi_elt sure he must be in the teeth of some wild beast. In the end the tuske_oar fell pierced by the blades of the many spears they held in front of him;
  • and Don Quixote, turning round at the cries of Sancho, for he knew by the_hat it was he, saw him hanging from the oak head downwards, with Dapple, wh_id not forsake him in his distress, close beside him; and Cide Hamet_bserves that he seldom saw Sancho Panza without seeing Dapple, or Dappl_ithout seeing Sancho Panza; such was their attachment and loyalty one to th_ther. Don Quixote went over and unhooked Sancho, who, as soon as he foun_imself on the ground, looked at the rent in his huntingcoat and was grieve_o the heart, for he thought he had got a patrimonial estate in that suit.
  • Meanwhile they had slung the mighty boar across the back of a mule, and havin_overed it with sprigs of rosemary and branches of myrtle, they bore it awa_s the spoils of victory to some large field-tents which had been pitched i_he middle of the wood, where they found the tables laid and dinner served, i_uch grand and sumptuous style that it was easy to see the rank an_agnificence of those who had provided it. Sancho, as he showed the rents i_is torn suit to the duchess, observed, "If we had been hunting hares, o_fter small birds, my coat would have been safe from being in the plight it'_n; I don't know what pleasure one can find in lying in wait for an anima_hat may take your life with his tusk if he gets at you. I recollect havin_eard an old ballad sung that says,
  • By bears be thou devoured, as erst
  • Was famous Favila."
  • "That," said Don Quixote, "was a Gothic king, who, going a-hunting, wa_evoured by a bear."
  • "Just so," said Sancho; "and I would not have kings and princes expos_hemselves to such dangers for the sake of a pleasure which, to my mind, ough_ot to be one, as it consists in killing an animal that has done no har_hatever."
  • "Quite the contrary, Sancho; you are wrong there," said the duke; "for huntin_s more suitable and requisite for kings and princes than for anybody else.
  • The chase is the emblem of war; it has stratagems, wiles, and crafty device_or overcoming the enemy in safety; in it extreme cold and intolerable hea_ave to be borne, indolence and sleep are despised, the bodily powers ar_nvigorated, the limbs of him who engages in it are made supple, and, in _ord, it is a pursuit which may be followed without injury to anyone and wit_njoyment to many; and the best of it is, it is not for everybody, as field-
  • sports of other sorts are, except hawking, which also is only for kings an_reat lords. Reconsider your opinion therefore, Sancho, and when you ar_overnor take to hunting, and you will find the good of it."
  • "Nay," said Sancho, "the good governor should have a broken leg and keep a_ome;" it would be a nice thing if, after people had been at the trouble o_oming to look for him on business, the governor were to be away in the fores_njoying himself; the government would go on badly in that fashion. By m_aith, senor, hunting and amusements are more fit for idlers than fo_overnors; what I intend to amuse myself with is playing all fours a_astertime, and bowls on Sundays and holidays; for these huntings don't sui_y condition or agree with my conscience."
  • "God grant it may turn out so," said the duke; "because it's a long step fro_aying to doing."
  • "Be that as it may," said Sancho, "'pledges don't distress a good payer,' and
  • 'he whom God helps does better than he who gets up early,' and 'it's th_ripes that carry the feet and not the feet the tripes;' I mean to say that i_od gives me help and I do my duty honestly, no doubt I'll govern better tha_ gerfalcon. Nay, let them only put a finger in my mouth, and they'll se_hether I can bite or not."
  • "The curse of God and all his saints upon thee, thou accursed Sancho!"
  • exclaimed Don Quixote; "when will the day come—as I have often said t_hee—when I shall hear thee make one single coherent, rational remark withou_roverbs? Pray, your highnesses, leave this fool alone, for he will grind you_ouls between, not to say two, but two thousand proverbs, dragged in as muc_n season, and as much to the purpose as—may God grant as much health to him,
  • or to me if I want to listen to them!"
  • "Sancho Panza's proverbs," said the duchess, "though more in number than th_reek Commander's, are not therefore less to be esteemed for the concisenes_f the maxims. For my own part, I can say they give me more pleasure tha_thers that may be better brought in and more seasonably introduced."
  • In pleasant conversation of this sort they passed out of the tent into th_ood, and the day was spent in visiting some of the posts and hiding-places,
  • and then night closed in, not, however, as brilliantly or tranquilly as migh_ave been expected at the season, for it was then midsummer; but bringing wit_t a kind of haze that greatly aided the project of the duke and duchess; an_hus, as night began to fall, and a little after twilight set in, suddenly th_hole wood on all four sides seemed to be on fire, and shortly after, here,
  • there, on all sides, a vast number of trumpets and other military instrument_ere heard, as if several troops of cavalry were passing through the wood. Th_laze of the fire and the noise of the warlike instruments almost blinded th_yes and deafened the ears of those that stood by, and indeed of all who wer_n the wood. Then there were heard repeated lelilies after the fashion of th_oors when they rush to battle; trumpets and clarions brayed, drums beat,
  • fifes played, so unceasingly and so fast that he could not have had any sense_ho did not lose them with the confused din of so many instruments. The duk_as astounded, the duchess amazed, Don Quixote wondering, Sancho Panz_rembling, and indeed, even they who were aware of the cause were frightened.
  • In their fear, silence fell upon them, and a postillion, in the guise of _emon, passed in front of them, blowing, in lieu of a bugle, a huge hollo_orn that gave out a horrible hoarse note.
  • "Ho there! brother courier," cried the duke, "who are you? Where are yo_oing? What troops are these that seem to be passing through the wood?"
  • To which the courier replied in a harsh, discordant voice, "I am the devil; _m in search of Don Quixote of La Mancha; those who are coming this way ar_ix troops of enchanters, who are bringing on a triumphal car the peerles_ulcinea del Toboso; she comes under enchantment, together with the gallan_renchman Montesinos, to give instructions to Don Quixote as to how, she th_aid lady, may be disenchanted."
  • "If you were the devil, as you say and as your appearance indicates," said th_uke, "you would have known the said knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, for yo_ave him here before you."
  • "By God and upon my conscience," said the devil, "I never observed it, for m_ind is occupied with so many different things that I was forgetting the mai_hing I came about."
  • "This demon must be an honest fellow and a good Christian," said Sancho; "fo_f he wasn't he wouldn't swear by God and his conscience; I feel sure no_here must be good souls even in hell itself."
  • Without dismounting, the demon then turned to Don Quixote and said, "Th_nfortunate but valiant knight Montesinos sends me to thee, the Knight of th_ions (would that I saw thee in their claws), bidding me tell thee to wait fo_im wherever I may find thee, as he brings with him her whom they cal_ulcinea del Toboso, that he may show thee what is needful in order t_isenchant her; and as I came for no more I need stay no longer; demons of m_ort be with thee, and good angels with these gentles;" and so saying he ble_is huge horn, turned about and went off without waiting for a reply fro_nyone.
  • They all felt fresh wonder, but particularly Sancho and Don Quixote; Sancho t_ee how, in defiance of the truth, they would have it that Dulcinea wa_nchanted; Don Quixote because he could not feel sure whether what ha_appened to him in the cave of Montesinos was true or not; and as he was dee_n these cogitations the duke said to him, "Do you mean to wait, Senor Do_uixote?"
  • "Why not?" replied he; "here will I wait, fearless and firm, though all hel_hould come to attack me."
  • "Well then, if I see another devil or hear another horn like the last, I'l_ait here as much as in Flanders," said Sancho.
  • Night now closed in more completely, and many lights began to flit through th_ood, just as those fiery exhalations from the earth, that look like shooting-
  • stars to our eyes, flit through the heavens; a frightful noise, too, wa_eard, like that made by the solid wheels the ox-carts usually have, by th_arsh, ceaseless creaking of which, they say, the bears and wolves are put t_light, if there happen to be any where they are passing. In addition to al_his commotion, there came a further disturbance to increase the tumult, fo_ow it seemed as if in truth, on all four sides of the wood, four encounter_r battles were going on at the same time; in one quarter resounded the dul_oise of a terrible cannonade, in another numberless muskets were bein_ischarged, the shouts of the combatants sounded almost close at hand, an_arther away the Moorish lelilies were raised again and again. In a word, th_ugles, the horns, the clarions, the trumpets, the drums, the cannon, th_usketry, and above all the tremendous noise of the carts, all made u_ogether a din so confused and terrific that Don Quixote had need to summon u_ll his courage to brave it; but Sancho's gave way, and he fell fainting o_he skirt of the duchess's robe, who let him lie there and promptly bade the_hrow water in his face. This was done, and he came to himself by the tim_hat one of the carts with the creaking wheels reached the spot. It was draw_y four plodding oxen all covered with black housings; on each horn they ha_ixed a large lighted wax taper, and on the top of the cart was constructed _aised seat, on which sat a venerable old man with a beard whiter than th_ery snow, and so long that it fell below his waist; he was dressed in a lon_obe of black buckram; for as the cart was thickly set with a multitude o_andles it was easy to make out everything that was on it. Leading it were tw_ideous demons, also clad in buckram, with countenances so frightful tha_ancho, having once seen them, shut his eyes so as not to see them again. A_oon as the cart came opposite the spot the old man rose from his lofty seat,
  • and standing up said in a loud voice, "I am the sage Lirgandeo," and withou_nother word the cart then passed on. Behind it came another of the same form,
  • with another aged man enthroned, who, stopping the cart, said in a voice n_ess solemn than that of the first, "I am the sage Alquife, the great frien_f Urganda the Unknown," and passed on. Then another cart came by at the sam_ace, but the occupant of the throne was not old like the others, but a ma_talwart and robust, and of a forbidding countenance, who as he came up sai_n a voice far hoarser and more devilish, "I am the enchanter Archelaus, th_ortal enemy of Amadis of Gaul and all his kindred," and then passed on.
  • Having gone a short distance the three carts halted and the monotonous nois_f their wheels ceased, and soon after they heard another, not noise, bu_ound of sweet, harmonious music, of which Sancho was very glad, taking it t_e a good sign; and said he to the duchess, from whom he did not stir a step,
  • or for a single instant, "Senora, where there's music there can't b_ischief."
  • "Nor where there are lights and it is bright," said the duchess; to whic_ancho replied, "Fire gives light, and it's bright where there are bonfires,
  • as we see by those that are all round us and perhaps may burn us; but music i_ sign of mirth and merrymaking."
  • "That remains to be seen," said Don Quixote, who was listening to all tha_assed; and he was right, as is shown in the following chapter.