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Chapter 42

  • **Of the counsels which Don Quixote gave Sancho Panza before he set out t_overn the island, together with other well-considered matters**
  • The duke and duchess were so well pleased with the successful and droll resul_f the adventure of the Distressed One, that they resolved to carry on th_oke, seeing what a fit subject they had to deal with for making it all pas_or reality. So having laid their plans and given instructions to thei_ervants and vassals how to behave to Sancho in his government of the promise_sland, the next day, that following Clavileno's flight, the duke told Sanch_o prepare and get ready to go and be governor, for his islanders were alread_ooking out for him as for the showers of May.
  • Sancho made him an obeisance, and said, "Ever since I came down from heaven,
  • and from the top of it beheld the earth, and saw how little it is, the grea_esire I had to be a governor has been partly cooled in me; for what is ther_rand in being ruler on a grain of mustard seed, or what dignity or authorit_n governing half a dozen men about as big as hazel nuts; for, so far as _ould see, there were no more on the whole earth? If your lordship would be s_ood as to give me ever so small a bit of heaven, were it no more than half _eague, I'd rather have it than the best island in the world."
  • "Recollect, Sancho," said the duke, "I cannot give a bit of heaven, no not s_uch as the breadth of my nail, to anyone; rewards and favours of that sor_re reserved for God alone. What I can give I give you, and that is a real,
  • genuine island, compact, well proportioned, and uncommonly fertile an_ruitful, where, if you know how to use your opportunities, you may, with th_elp of the world's riches, gain those of heaven."
  • "Well then," said Sancho, "let the island come; and I'll try and be such _overnor, that in spite of scoundrels I'll go to heaven; and it's not from an_raving to quit my own humble condition or better myself, but from the desir_ have to try what it tastes like to be a governor."
  • "If you once make trial of it, Sancho," said the duke, "you'll eat you_ingers off after the government, so sweet a thing is it to command and b_beyed. Depend upon it when your master comes to be emperor (as he will beyon_ doubt from the course his affairs are taking), it will be no easy matter t_rest the dignity from him, and he will be sore and sorry at heart to hav_een so long without becoming one."
  • "Senor," said Sancho, "it is my belief it's a good thing to be in command, i_t's only over a drove of cattle."
  • "May I be buried with you, Sancho," said the duke, "but you know everything; _ope you will make as good a governor as your sagacity promises; and that i_ll I have to say; and now remember to-morrow is the day you must set out fo_he government of the island, and this evening they will provide you with th_roper attire for you to wear, and all things requisite for your departure."
  • "Let them dress me as they like," said Sancho; "however I'm dressed I'll b_ancho Panza."
  • "That's true," said the duke; "but one's dress must be suited to the office o_ank one holds; for it would not do for a jurist to dress like a soldier, or _oldier like a priest. You, Sancho, shall go partly as a lawyer, partly as _aptain, for, in the island I am giving you, arms are needed as much a_etters, and letters as much as arms."
  • "Of letters I know but little," said Sancho, "for I don't even know the A B C;
  • but it is enough for me to have the Christus in my memory to be a goo_overnor. As for arms, I'll handle those they give me till I drop, and then,
  • God be my help!"
  • "With so good a memory," said the duke, "Sancho cannot go wrong in anything."
  • Here Don Quixote joined them; and learning what passed, and how soon Sanch_as to go to his government, he with the duke's permission took him by th_and, and retired to his room with him for the purpose of giving him advice a_o how he was to demean himself in his office. As soon as they had entered th_hamber he closed the door after him, and almost by force made Sancho sit dow_eside him, and in a quiet tone thus addressed him: "I give infinite thanks t_eaven, friend Sancho, that, before I have met with any good luck, fortune ha_ome forward to meet thee. I who counted upon my good fortune to discharge th_ecompense of thy services, find myself still waiting for advancement, whil_hou, before the time, and contrary to all reasonable expectation, sees_hyself blessed in the fulfillment of thy desires. Some will bribe, beg,
  • solicit, rise early, entreat, persist, without attaining the object of thei_uit; while another comes, and without knowing why or wherefore, finds himsel_nvested with the place or office so many have sued for; and here it is tha_he common saying, 'There is good luck as well as bad luck in suits,' applies.
  • Thou, who, to my thinking, art beyond all doubt a dullard, without earl_ising or night watching or taking any trouble, with the mere breath o_night-errantry that has breathed upon thee, seest thyself without more ad_overnor of an island, as though it were a mere matter of course. This I say,
  • Sancho, that thou attribute not the favour thou hast received to thine ow_erits, but give thanks to heaven that disposes matters beneficently, an_econdly thanks to the great power the profession of knight-errantry contain_n itself. With a heart, then, inclined to believe what I have said to thee,
  • attend, my son, to thy Cato here who would counsel thee and be thy polesta_nd guide to direct and pilot thee to a safe haven out of this stormy se_herein thou art about to ingulf thyself; for offices and great trusts ar_othing else but a mighty gulf of troubles.
  • "First of all, my son, thou must fear God, for in the fear of him is wisdom,
  • and being wise thou canst not err in aught.
  • "Secondly, thou must keep in view what thou art, striving to know thyself, th_ost difficult thing to know that the mind can imagine. If thou knowes_hyself, it will follow thou wilt not puff thyself up like the frog tha_trove to make himself as large as the ox; if thou dost, the recollection o_aving kept pigs in thine own country will serve as the ugly feet for th_heel of thy folly."
  • "That's the truth," said Sancho; "but that was when I was a boy; afterward_hen I was something more of a man it was geese I kept, not pigs. But to m_hinking that has nothing to do with it; for all who are governors don't com_f a kingly stock."
  • "True," said Don Quixote, "and for that reason those who are not of nobl_rigin should take care that the dignity of the office they hold h_ccompanied by a gentle suavity, which wisely managed will save them from th_neers of malice that no station escapes.
  • "Glory in thy humble birth, Sancho, and be not ashamed of saying thou ar_easant-born; for when it is seen thou art not ashamed no one will set himsel_o put thee to the blush; and pride thyself rather upon being one of lowl_irtue than a lofty sinner. Countless are they who, born of mean parentage,
  • have risen to the highest dignities, pontifical and imperial, and of the trut_f this I could give thee instances enough to weary thee.
  • "Remember, Sancho, if thou make virtue thy aim, and take a pride in doin_irtuous actions, thou wilt have no cause to envy those who have princely an_ordly ones, for blood is an inheritance, but virtue an acquisition, an_irtue has in itself alone a worth that blood does not possess.
  • "This being so, if perchance anyone of thy kinsfolk should come to see the_hen thou art in thine island, thou art not to repel or slight him, but on th_ontrary to welcome him, entertain him, and make much of him; for in so doin_hou wilt be approved of heaven (which is not pleased that any should despis_hat it hath made), and wilt comply with the laws of well-ordered nature.
  • "If thou carriest thy wife with thee (and it is not well for those tha_dminister governments to be long without their wives), teach and instruc_er, and strive to smooth down her natural roughness; for all that may b_ained by a wise governor may be lost and wasted by a boorish stupid wife.
  • "If perchance thou art left a widower—a thing which may happen—and in virtu_f thy office seekest a consort of higher degree, choose not one to serve the_or a hook, or for a fishing-rod, or for the hood of thy 'won't have it;' fo_erily, I tell thee, for all the judge's wife receives, the husband will b_eld accountable at the general calling to account; where he will have repa_n death fourfold, items that in life he regarded as naught.
  • "Never go by arbitrary law, which is so much favoured by ignorant men wh_lume themselves on cleverness.
  • "Let the tears of the poor man find with thee more compassion, but not mor_ustice, than the pleadings of the rich.
  • "Strive to lay bare the truth, as well amid the promises and presents of th_ich man, as amid the sobs and entreaties of the poor.
  • "When equity may and should be brought into play, press not the utmost rigou_f the law against the guilty; for the reputation of the stern judge stand_ot higher than that of the compassionate.
  • "If perchance thou permittest the staff of justice to swerve, let it be not b_he weight of a gift, but by that of mercy.
  • "If it should happen thee to give judgment in the cause of one who is thin_nemy, turn thy thoughts away from thy injury and fix them on the justice o_he case.
  • "Let not thine own passion blind thee in another man's cause; for the error_hou wilt thus commit will be most frequently irremediable; or if not, only t_e remedied at the expense of thy good name and even of thy fortune.
  • "If any handsome woman come to seek justice of thee, turn away thine eyes fro_er tears and thine ears from her lamentations, and consider deliberately th_erits of her demand, if thou wouldst not have thy reason swept away by he_eeping, and thy rectitude by her sighs.
  • "Abuse not by word him whom thou hast to punish in deed, for the pain o_unishment is enough for the unfortunate without the addition of thin_bjurgations.
  • "Bear in mind that the culprit who comes under thy jurisdiction is but _iserable man subject to all the propensities of our depraved nature, and s_ar as may be in thy power show thyself lenient and forbearing; for though th_ttributes of God are all equal, to our eyes that of mercy is brighter an_oftier than that of justice.
  • "If thou followest these precepts and rules, Sancho, thy days will be long,
  • thy fame eternal, thy reward abundant, thy felicity unutterable; thou wil_arry thy children as thou wouldst; they and thy grandchildren will bea_itles; thou wilt live in peace and concord with all men; and, when life draw_o a close, death will come to thee in calm and ripe old age, and the ligh_nd loving hands of thy great-grandchildren will close thine eyes.
  • "What I have thus far addressed to thee are instructions for the adornment o_hy mind; listen now to those which tend to that of the body."