**In which the doubtful question of Mambrino's helmet and the pack-saddle i_inally settled, with other adventures that occurred in truth and earnest**
"What do you think now, gentlemen," said the barber, "of what these gentle_ay, when they want to make out that this is a helmet?"
"And whoever says the contrary," said Don Quixote, "I will let him know h_ies if he is a knight, and if he is a squire that he lies again a thousan_imes."
Our own barber, who was present at all this, and understood Don Quixote'_umour so thoroughly, took it into his head to back up his delusion and carr_n the joke for the general amusement; so addressing the other barber he said:
"Senor barber, or whatever you are, you must know that I belong to you_rofession too, and have had a licence to practise for more than twenty years,
and I know the implements of the barber craft, every one of them, perfectl_ell; and I was likewise a soldier for some time in the days of my youth, an_ know also what a helmet is, and a morion, and a headpiece with a visor, an_ther things pertaining to soldiering, I meant to say to soldiers' arms; and _ay-saving better opinions and always with submission to sounde_udgments—that this piece we have now before us, which this worthy gentlema_as in his hands, not only is no barber's basin, but is as far from being on_s white is from black, and truth from falsehood; I say, moreover, that this,
although it is a helmet, is not a complete helmet."
"Certainly not," said Don Quixote, "for half of it is wanting, that is to sa_he beaver."
"It is quite true," said the curate, who saw the object of his friend th_arber; and Cardenio, Don Fernando and his companions agreed with him, an_ven the Judge, if his thoughts had not been so full of Don Luis's affair,
would have helped to carry on the joke; but he was so taken up with th_erious matters he had on his mind that he paid little or no attention t_hese facetious proceedings.
"God bless me!" exclaimed their butt the barber at this; "is it possible tha_uch an honourable company can say that this is not a basin but a helmet? Why,
this is a thing that would astonish a whole university, however wise it migh_e! That will do; if this basin is a helmet, why, then the pack-saddle must b_ horse's caparison, as this gentleman has said."
"To me it looks like a pack-saddle," said Don Quixote; "but I have alread_aid that with that question I do not concern myself."
"As to whether it be pack-saddle or caparison," said the curate, "it is onl_or Senor Don Quixote to say; for in these matters of chivalry all thes_entlemen and I bow to his authority."
"By God, gentlemen," said Don Quixote, "so many strange things have happene_o me in this castle on the two occasions on which I have sojourned in it,
that I will not venture to assert anything positively in reply to any questio_ouching anything it contains; for it is my belief that everything that goe_n within it goes by enchantment. The first time, an enchanted Moor that ther_s in it gave me sore trouble, nor did Sancho fare well among certai_ollowers of his; and last night I was kept hanging by this arm for nearly tw_ours, without knowing how or why I came by such a mishap. So that now, for m_o come forward to give an opinion in such a puzzling matter, would be to ris_ rash decision. As regards the assertion that this is a basin and not _elmet I have already given an answer; but as to the question whether this i_ pack-saddle or a caparison I will not venture to give a positive opinion,
but will leave it to your worships' better judgment. Perhaps as you are no_ubbed knights like myself, the enchantments of this place have nothing to d_ith you, and your faculties are unfettered, and you can see things in thi_astle as they really and truly are, and not as they appear to me."
"There can be no question," said Don Fernando on this, "but that Senor Do_uixote has spoken very wisely, and that with us rests the decision of thi_atter; and that we may have surer ground to go on, I will take the votes o_he gentlemen in secret, and declare the result clearly and fully."
To those who were in the secret of Don Quixote's humour all this afforde_reat amusement; but to those who knew nothing about it, it seemed th_reatest nonsense in the world, in particular to the four servants of Do_uis, as well as to Don Luis himself, and to three other travellers who had b_hance come to the inn, and had the appearance of officers of the Hol_rotherhood, as indeed they were; but the one who above all was at his wits'
end, was the barber basin, there before his very eyes, had been turned int_ambrino's helmet, and whose pack-saddle he had no doubt whatever was about t_ecome a rich caparison for a horse. All laughed to see Don Fernando goin_rom one to another collecting the votes, and whispering to them to give hi_heir private opinion whether the treasure over which there had been so muc_ighting was a pack-saddle or a caparison; but after he had taken the votes o_hose who knew Don Quixote, he said aloud, "The fact is, my good fellow, tha_ am tired collecting such a number of opinions, for I find that there is no_ne of whom I ask what I desire to know, who does not tell me that it i_bsurd to say that this is the pack-saddle of an ass, and not the caparison o_ horse, nay, of a thoroughbred horse; so you must submit, for, in spite o_ou and your ass, this is a caparison and no pack-saddle, and you have state_nd proved your case very badly."
"May I never share heaven," said the poor barber, "if your worships are no_ll mistaken; and may my soul appear before God as that appears to me a pack-
saddle and not a caparison; but, 'laws go,'-I say no more; and indeed I am no_runk, for I am fasting, except it be from sin."
The simple talk of the barber did not afford less amusement than th_bsurdities of Don Quixote, who now observed:
"There is no more to be done now than for each to take what belongs to him,
and to whom God has given it, may St. Peter add his blessing."
But said one of the four servants, "Unless, indeed, this is a deliberate joke,
I cannot bring myself to believe that men so intelligent as those present are,
or seem to be, can venture to declare and assert that this is not a basin, an_hat not a pack-saddle; but as I perceive that they do assert and declare it,
I can only come to the conclusion that there is some mystery in thi_ersistence in what is so opposed to the evidence of experience and trut_tself; for I swear by"—and here he rapped out a round oath-"all the people i_he world will not make me believe that this is not a barber's basin and tha_ jackass's pack-saddle."
"It might easily be a she-ass's," observed the curate.
"It is all the same," said the servant; "that is not the point; but whether i_s or is not a pack-saddle, as your worships say."
On hearing this one of the newly arrived officers of the Brotherhood, who ha_een listening to the dispute and controversy, unable to restrain his ange_nd impatience, exclaimed, "It is a pack-saddle as sure as my father is m_ather, and whoever has said or will say anything else must be drunk."
"You lie like a rascally clown," returned Don Quixote; and lifting his pike,
which he had never let out of his hand, he delivered such a blow at his hea_hat, had not the officer dodged it, it would have stretched him at ful_ength. The pike was shivered in pieces against the ground, and the rest o_he officers, seeing their comrade assaulted, raised a shout, calling for hel_or the Holy Brotherhood. The landlord, who was of the fraternity, ran at onc_o fetch his staff of office and his sword, and ranged himself on the side o_is comrades; the servants of Don Luis clustered round him, lest he shoul_scape from them in the confusion; the barber, seeing the house turned upsid_own, once more laid hold of his pack-saddle and Sancho did the same; Do_uixote drew his sword and charged the officers; Don Luis cried out to hi_ervants to leave him alone and go and help Don Quixote, and Cardenio and Do_ernando, who were supporting him; the curate was shouting at the top of hi_oice, the landlady was screaming, her daughter was wailing, Maritornes wa_eeping, Dorothea was aghast, Luscinda terror-stricken, and Dona Clara in _aint. The barber cudgelled Sancho, and Sancho pommelled the barber; Don Lui_ave one of his servants, who ventured to catch him by the arm to keep hi_rom escaping, a cuff that bathed his teeth in blood; the Judge took his part;
Don Fernando had got one of the officers down and was belabouring hi_eartily; the landlord raised his voice again calling for help for the Hol_rotherhood; so that the whole inn was nothing but cries, shouts, shrieks,
kicks, and bloodshed; and in the midst of all this chaos, complication, an_eneral entanglement, Don Quixote took it into his head that he had bee_lunged into the thick of the discord of Agramante's camp; and, in a voic_hat shook the inn like thunder, he cried out:
"Hold all, let all sheathe their swords, let all be calm and attend to me a_hey value their lives!"
All paused at his mighty voice, and he went on to say, "Did I not tell you,
sirs, that this castle was enchanted, and that a legion or so of devils dwel_n it? In proof whereof I call upon you to behold with your own eyes how th_iscord of Agramante's camp has come hither, and been transferred into th_idst of us. See how they fight, there for the sword, here for the horse, o_hat side for the eagle, on this for the helmet; we are all fighting, and al_t cross purposes. Come then, you, Senor Judge, and you, senor curate; let th_ne represent King Agramante and the other King Sobrino, and make peace amon_s; for by God Almighty it is a sorry business that so many persons of qualit_s we are should slay one another for such trifling cause." The officers, wh_id not understand Don Quixote's mode of speaking, and found themselve_oughly handled by Don Fernando, Cardenio, and their companions, were not t_e appeased; the barber was, however, for both his beard and his pack-saddl_ere the worse for the struggle; Sancho like a good servant obeyed th_lightest word of his master; while the four servants of Don Luis kept quie_hen they saw how little they gained by not being so. The landlord alon_nsisted upon it that they must punish the insolence of this madman, who a_very turn raised a disturbance in the inn; but at length the uproar wa_tilled for the present; the pack-saddle remained a caparison till the day o_udgment, and the basin a helmet and the inn a castle in Don Quixote'_magination.
All having been now pacified and made friends by the persuasion of the Judg_nd the curate, the servants of Don Luis began again to urge him to retur_ith them at once; and while he was discussing the matter with them, the Judg_ook counsel with Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the curate as to what he ough_o do in the case, telling them how it stood, and what Don Luis had said t_im. It was agreed at length that Don Fernando should tell the servants of Do_uis who he was, and that it was his desire that Don Luis should accompany hi_o Andalusia, where he would receive from the marquis his brother the welcom_is quality entitled him to; for, otherwise, it was easy to see from th_etermination of Don Luis that he would not return to his father at present,
though they tore him to pieces. On learning the rank of Don Fernando and th_esolution of Don Luis the four then settled it between themselves that thre_f them should return to tell his father how matters stood, and that the othe_hould remain to wait upon Don Luis, and not leave him until they came bac_or him, or his father's orders were known. Thus by the authority of Agramant_nd the wisdom of King Sobrino all this complication of disputes was arranged;
but the enemy of concord and hater of peace, feeling himself slighted and mad_ fool of, and seeing how little he had gained after having involved them al_n such an elaborate entanglement, resolved to try his hand once more b_tirring up fresh quarrels and disturbances.
It came about in this wise: the officers were pacified on learning the rank o_hose with whom they had been engaged, and withdrew from the contest,
considering that whatever the result might be they were likely to get th_orst of the battle; but one of them, the one who had been thrashed and kicke_y Don Fernando, recollected that among some warrants he carried for th_rrest of certain delinquents, he had one against Don Quixote, whom the Hol_rotherhood had ordered to be arrested for setting the galley slaves free, a_ancho had, with very good reason, apprehended. Suspecting how it was, then,
he wished to satisfy himself as to whether Don Quixote's feature_orresponded; and taking a parchment out of his bosom he lit upon what he wa_n search of, and setting himself to read it deliberately, for he was not _uick reader, as he made out each word he fixed his eyes on Don Quixote, an_ent on comparing the description in the warrant with his face, and discovere_hat beyond all doubt he was the person described in it. As soon as he ha_atisfied himself, folding up the parchment, he took the warrant in his lef_and and with his right seized Don Quixote by the collar so tightly that h_id not allow him to breathe, and shouted aloud, "Help for the Hol_rotherhood! and that you may see I demand it in earnest, read this warran_hich says this highwayman is to be arrested."
The curate took the warrant and saw that what the officer said was true, an_hat it agreed with Don Quixote's appearance, who, on his part, when he foun_imself roughly handled by this rascally clown, worked up to the highest pitc_f wrath, and all his joints cracking with rage, with both hands seized th_fficer by the throat with all his might, so that had he not been helped b_is comrades he would have yielded up his life ere Don Quixote released hi_old. The landlord, who had perforce to support his brother officers, ran a_nce to aid them. The landlady, when she saw her husband engaged in a fres_uarrel, lifted up her voice afresh, and its note was immediately caught up b_aritornes and her daughter, calling upon heaven and all present for help; an_ancho, seeing what was going on, exclaimed, "By the Lord, it is quite tru_hat my master says about the enchantments of this castle, for it i_mpossible to live an hour in peace in it!"
Don Fernando parted the officer and Don Quixote, and to their mutua_ontentment made them relax the grip by which they held, the one the coa_ollar, the other the throat of his adversary; for all this, however, th_fficers did not cease to demand their prisoner and call on them to help, an_eliver him over bound into their power, as was required for the service o_he King and of the Holy Brotherhood, on whose behalf they again demanded ai_nd assistance to effect the capture of this robber and footpad of th_ighways.
Don Quixote smiled when he heard these words, and said very calmly, "Come now,
base, ill-born brood; call ye it highway robbery to give freedom to those i_ondage, to release the captives, to succour the miserable, to raise up th_allen, to relieve the needy? Infamous beings, who by your vile grovellin_ntellects deserve that heaven should not make known to you the virtue tha_ies in knight-errantry, or show you the sin and ignorance in which ye li_hen ye refuse to respect the shadow, not to say the presence, of any knight-
errant! Come now; band, not of officers, but of thieves; footpads with th_icence of the Holy Brotherhood; tell me who was the ignoramus who signed _arrant of arrest against such a knight as I am? Who was he that did not kno_hat knights-errant are independent of all jurisdictions, that their law i_heir sword, their charter their prowess, and their edicts their will? Who, _ay again, was the fool that knows not that there are no letters patent o_obility that confer such privileges or exemptions as a knight-errant acquire_he day he is dubbed a knight, and devotes himself to the arduous calling o_hivalry? What knight-errant ever paid poll-tax, duty, queen's pin-money,
king's dues, toll or ferry? What tailor ever took payment of him for makin_is clothes? What castellan that received him in his castle ever made him pa_is shot? What king did not seat him at his table? What damsel was no_namoured of him and did not yield herself up wholly to his will and pleasure?
And, lastly, what knight-errant has there been, is there, or will there eve_e in the world, not bold enough to give, single-handed, four hundre_udgellings to four hundred officers of the Holy Brotherhood if they come i_is way?"