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Chapter 49

  • **Of what happened Sancho in making the round of his island**
  • We left the great governor angered and irritated by that portrait-paintin_ogue of a farmer who, instructed the majordomo, as the majordomo was by th_uke, tried to practise upon him; he however, fool, boor, and clown as he was, held his own against them all, saying to those round him and to Doctor Pedr_ecio, who as soon as the private business of the duke's letter was dispose_f had returned to the room, "Now I see plainly enough that judges an_overnors ought to be and must be made of brass not to feel the importunitie_f the applicants that at all times and all seasons insist on being heard, an_aving their business despatched, and their own affairs and no others attende_o, come what may; and if the poor judge does not hear them and settle th_atter—either because he cannot or because that is not the time set apart fo_earing them-forthwith they abuse him, and run him down, and gnaw at hi_ones, and even pick holes in his pedigree. You silly, stupid applicant, don'_e in a hurry; wait for the proper time and season for doing business; don'_ome at dinner-hour, or at bed-time; for judges are only flesh and blood, an_ust give to Nature what she naturally demands of them; all except myself, fo_n my case I give her nothing to eat, thanks to Senor Doctor Pedro Reci_irteafuera here, who would have me die of hunger, and declares that death t_e life; and the same sort of life may God give him and all his kind—I mea_he bad doctors; for the good ones deserve palms and laurels."
  • All who knew Sancho Panza were astonished to hear him speak so elegantly, an_id not know what to attribute it to unless it were that office and grav_esponsibility either smarten or stupefy men's wits. At last Doctor Pedr_ecio Agilers of Tirteafuera promised to let him have supper that night thoug_t might be in contravention of all the aphorisms of Hippocrates. With thi_he governor was satisfied and looked forward to the approach of night an_upper-time with great anxiety; and though time, to his mind, stood still an_ade no progress, nevertheless the hour he so longed for came, and they gav_im a beef salad with onions and some boiled calves' feet rather far gone. A_his he fell to with greater relish than if they had given him francolins fro_ilan, pheasants from Rome, veal from Sorrento, partridges from Moron, o_eese from Lavajos, and turning to the doctor at supper he said to him, "Loo_ere, senor doctor, for the future don't trouble yourself about giving m_ainty things or choice dishes to eat, for it will be only taking my stomac_ff its hinges; it is accustomed to goat, cow, bacon, hung beef, turnips an_nions; and if by any chance it is given these palace dishes, it receives the_queamishly, and sometimes with loathing. What the head-carver had best do i_o serve me with what they call ollas podridas (and the rottener they are th_etter they smell); and he can put whatever he likes into them, so long as i_s good to eat, and I'll be obliged to him, and will requite him some day. Bu_et nobody play pranks on me, for either we are or we are not; let us live an_at in peace and good-fellowship, for when God sends the dawn, he sends it fo_ll. I mean to govern this island without giving up a right or taking a bribe; let everyone keep his eye open, and look out for the arrow; for I can tel_hem 'the devil's in Cantillana,' and if they drive me to it they'll se_omething that will astonish them. Nay! make yourself honey and the flies ea_ou."
  • "Of a truth, senor governor," said the carver, "your worship is in the righ_f it in everything you have said; and I promise you in the name of all th_nhabitants of this island that they will serve your worship with all zeal, affection, and good-will, for the mild kind of government you have given _ample of to begin with, leaves them no ground for doing or thinking anythin_o your worship's disadvantage."
  • "That I believe," said Sancho; "and they would be great fools if they did o_hought otherwise; once more I say, see to my feeding and my Dapple's for tha_s the great point and what is most to the purpose; and when the hour come_et us go the rounds, for it is my intention to purge this island of al_anner of uncleanness and of all idle good-for-nothing vagabonds; for I woul_ave you know that lazy idlers are the same thing in a State as the drones i_ hive, that eat up the honey the industrious bees make. I mean to protect th_usbandman, to preserve to the gentleman his privileges, to reward th_irtuous, and above all to respect religion and honour its ministers. What sa_ou to that, my friends? Is there anything in what I say, or am I talking t_o purpose?"
  • "There is so much in what your worship says, senor governor," said th_ajordomo, "that I am filled with wonder when I see a man like your worship, entirely without learning (for I believe you have none at all), say suc_hings, and so full of sound maxims and sage remarks, very different from wha_as expected of your worship's intelligence by those who sent us or by us wh_ame here. Every day we see something new in this world; jokes becom_ealities, and the jokers find the tables turned upon them."
  • Night came, and with the permission of Doctor Pedro Recio, the governor ha_upper. They then got ready to go the rounds, and he started with th_ajordomo, the secretary, the head-carver, the chronicler charged wit_ecording his deeds, and alguacils and notaries enough to form a fair-size_quadron. In the midst marched Sancho with his staff, as fine a sight as on_ould wish to see, and but a few streets of the town had been traversed whe_hey heard a noise as of a clashing of swords. They hastened to the spot, an_ound that the combatants were but two, who seeing the authorities approachin_tood still, and one of them exclaimed, "Help, in the name of God and th_ing! Are men to be allowed to rob in the middle of this town, and rush ou_nd attack people in the very streets?"
  • "Be calm, my good man," said Sancho, "and tell me what the cause of thi_uarrel is; for I am the governor."
  • Said the other combatant, "Senor governor, I will tell you in a very fe_ords. Your worship must know that this gentleman has just now won more than _housand reals in that gambling house opposite, and God knows how. I wa_here, and gave more than one doubtful point in his favour, very much agains_hat my conscience told me. He made off with his winnings, and when I mad_ure he was going to give me a crown or so at least by way of a present, as i_s usual and customary to give men of quality of my sort who stand by to se_air or foul play, and back up swindles, and prevent quarrels, he pocketed hi_oney and left the house. Indignant at this I followed him, and speaking hi_airly and civilly asked him to give me if it were only eight reals, for h_nows I am an honest man and that I have neither profession nor property, fo_y parents never brought me up to any or left me any; but the rogue, who is _reater thief than Cacus and a greater sharper than Andradilla, would not giv_e more than four reals; so your worship may see how little shame an_onscience he has. But by my faith if you had not come up I'd have made hi_isgorge his winnings, and he'd have learned what the range of the steel-yar_as."
  • "What say you to this?" asked Sancho. The other replied that all hi_ntagonist said was true, and that he did not choose to give him more tha_our reals because he very often gave him money; and that those who expecte_resents ought to be civil and take what is given them with a cheerfu_ountenance, and not make any claim against winners unless they know them fo_ertain to be sharpers and their winnings to be unfairly won; and that ther_ould be no better proof that he himself was an honest man than his havin_efused to give anything; for sharpers always pay tribute to lookers-on wh_now them.
  • "That is true," said the majordomo; "let your worship consider what is to b_one with these men."
  • "What is to be done," said Sancho, "is this; you, the winner, be you good, bad, or indifferent, give this assailant of yours a hundred reals at once, an_ou must disburse thirty more for the poor prisoners; and you who have neithe_rofession nor property, and hang about the island in idleness, take thes_undred reals now, and some time of the day to-morrow quit the island unde_entence of banishment for ten years, and under pain of completing it i_nother life if you violate the sentence, for I'll hang you on a gibbet, or a_east the hangman will by my orders; not a word from either of you, or I'l_ake him feel my hand."
  • The one paid down the money and the other took it, and the latter quitted th_sland, while the other went home; and then the governor said, "Either I a_ot good for much, or I'll get rid of these gambling houses, for it strikes m_hey are very mischievous."
  • "This one at least," said one of the notaries, "your worship will not be abl_o get rid of, for a great man owns it, and what he loses every year is beyon_ll comparison more than what he makes by the cards. On the minor gamblin_ouses your worship may exercise your power, and it is they that do most har_nd shelter the most barefaced practices; for in the houses of lords an_entlemen of quality the notorious sharpers dare not attempt to play thei_ricks; and as the vice of gambling has become common, it is better that me_hould play in houses of repute than in some tradesman's, where they catch a_nlucky fellow in the small hours of the morning and skin him alive."
  • "I know already, notary, that there is a good deal to be said on that point,"
  • said Sancho.
  • And now a tipstaff came up with a young man in his grasp, and said, "Seno_overnor, this youth was coming towards us, and as soon as he saw the officer_f justice he turned about and ran like a deer, a sure proof that he must b_ome evil-doer; I ran after him, and had it not been that he stumbled an_ell, I should never have caught him."
  • "What did you run for, fellow?" said Sancho.
  • To which the young man replied, "Senor, it was to avoid answering all th_uestions officers of justice put."
  • "What are you by trade?"
  • "A weaver."
  • "And what do you weave?"
  • "Lance heads, with your worship's good leave."
  • "You're facetious with me! You plume yourself on being a wag? Very good; an_here were you going just now?"
  • "To take the air, senor."
  • "And where does one take the air in this island?"
  • "Where it blows."
  • "Good! your answers are very much to the point; you are a smart youth; bu_ake notice that I am the air, and that I blow upon you a-stern, and send yo_o gaol. Ho there! lay hold of him and take him off; I'll make him sleep ther_o-night without air."
  • "By God," said the young man, "your worship will make me sleep in gaol just a_oon as make me king."
  • "Why shan't I make thee sleep in gaol?" said Sancho. "Have I not the power t_rrest thee and release thee whenever I like?"
  • "All the power your worship has," said the young man, "won't be able to mak_e sleep in gaol."
  • "How? not able!" said Sancho; "take him away at once where he'll see hi_istake with his own eyes, even if the gaoler is willing to exert hi_nterested generosity on his behalf; for I'll lay a penalty of two thousan_ucats on him if he allows him to stir a step from the prison."
  • "That's ridiculous," said the young man; "the fact is, all the men on eart_ill not make me sleep in prison."
  • "Tell me, you devil," said Sancho, "have you got any angel that will delive_ou, and take off the irons I am going to order them to put upon you?"
  • "Now, senor governor," said the young man in a sprightly manner, "let us b_easonable and come to the point. Granted your worship may order me to b_aken to prison, and to have irons and chains put on me, and to be shut up i_ cell, and may lay heavy penalties on the gaoler if he lets me out, and tha_e obeys your orders; still, if I don't choose to sleep, and choose to remai_wake all night without closing an eye, will your worship with all your powe_e able to make me sleep if I don't choose?"
  • "No, truly," said the secretary, "and the fellow has made his point."
  • "So then," said Sancho, "it would be entirely of your own choice you woul_eep from sleeping; not in opposition to my will?"
  • "No, senor," said the youth, "certainly not."
  • "Well then, go, and God be with you," said Sancho; "be off home to sleep, an_od give you sound sleep, for I don't want to rob you of it; but for th_uture, let me advise you don't joke with the authorities, because you ma_ome across some one who will bring down the joke on your own skull."
  • The young man went his way, and the governor continued his round, and shortl_fterwards two tipstaffs came up with a man in custody, and said, "Seno_overnor, this person, who seems to be a man, is not so, but a woman, and no_n ill-favoured one, in man's clothes." They raised two or three lanterns t_er face, and by their light they distinguished the features of a woman to al_ppearance of the age of sixteen or a little more, with her hair gathered int_ gold and green silk net, and fair as a thousand pearls. They scanned he_rom head to foot, and observed that she had on red silk stockings wit_arters of white taffety bordered with gold and pearl; her breeches were o_reen and gold stuff, and under an open jacket or jerkin of the same she wor_ doublet of the finest white and gold cloth; her shoes were white and such a_en wear; she carried no sword at her belt, but only a richly ornamente_agger, and on her fingers she had several handsome rings. In short, the gir_eemed fair to look at in the eyes of all, and none of those who beheld he_new her, the people of the town said they could not imagine who she was, an_hose who were in the secret of the jokes that were to be practised upo_ancho were the ones who were most surprised, for this incident or discover_ad not been arranged by them; and they watched anxiously to see how th_ffair would end.
  • Sancho was fascinated by the girl's beauty, and he asked her who she was, where she was going, and what had induced her to dress herself in that garb.
  • She with her eyes fixed on the ground answered in modest confusion, "I canno_ell you, senor, before so many people what it is of such consequence to me t_ave kept secret; one thing I wish to be known, that I am no thief o_vildoer, but only an unhappy maiden whom the power of jealousy has led t_reak through the respect that is due to modesty."
  • Hearing this the majordomo said to Sancho, "Make the people stand back, seno_overnor, that this lady may say what she wishes with less embarrassment."
  • Sancho gave the order, and all except the majordomo, the head-carver, and th_ecretary fell back. Finding herself then in the presence of no more, th_amsel went on to say, "I am the daughter, sirs, of Pedro Perez Mazorca, th_ool-farmer of this town, who is in the habit of coming very often to m_ather's house."
  • "That won't do, senora," said the majordomo; "for I know Pedro Perez ver_ell, and I know he has no child at all, either son or daughter; and besides, though you say he is your father, you add then that he comes very often t_our father's house."
  • "I had already noticed that," said Sancho.
  • "I am confused just now, sirs," said the damsel, "and I don't know what I a_aying; but the truth is that I am the daughter of Diego de la Llana, whom yo_ust all know."
  • "Ay, that will do," said the majordomo; "for I know Diego de la Llana, an_now that he is a gentleman of position and a rich man, and that he has a so_nd a daughter, and that since he was left a widower nobody in all this tow_an speak of having seen his daughter's face; for he keeps her so closely shu_p that he does not give even the sun a chance of seeing her; and for all tha_eport says she is extremely beautiful."
  • "It is true," said the damsel, "and I am that daughter; whether report lies o_ot as to my beauty, you, sirs, will have decided by this time, as you hav_een me;" and with this she began to weep bitterly.
  • On seeing this the secretary leant over to the head-carver's ear, and said t_im in a low voice, "Something serious has no doubt happened this poor maiden, that she goes wandering from home in such a dress and at such an hour, and on_f her rank too." "There can be no doubt about it," returned the carver, "an_oreover her tears confirm your suspicion." Sancho gave her the best comfor_e could, and entreated her to tell them without any fear what had happene_er, as they would all earnestly and by every means in their power endeavou_o relieve her.
  • "The fact is, sirs," said she, "that my father has kept me shut up these te_ears, for so long is it since the earth received my mother. Mass is said a_ome in a sumptuous chapel, and all this time I have seen but the sun in th_eaven by day, and the moon and the stars by night; nor do I know what street_re like, or plazas, or churches, or even men, except my father and a brothe_ have, and Pedro Perez the wool-farmer; whom, because he came frequently t_ur house, I took it into my head to call my father, to avoid naming my own.
  • This seclusion and the restrictions laid upon my going out, were it only t_hurch, have been keeping me unhappy for many a day and month past; I longe_o see the world, or at least the town where I was born, and it did not see_o me that this wish was inconsistent with the respect maidens of good qualit_hould have for themselves. When I heard them talking of bull-fights takin_lace, and of javelin games, and of acting plays, I asked my brother, who is _ear younger than myself, to tell me what sort of things these were, and man_ore that I had never seen; he explained them to me as well as he could, bu_he only effect was to kindle in me a still stronger desire to see them. A_ast, to cut short the story of my ruin, I begged and entreated my brother—_hat I had never made such an entreaty-" And once more she gave way to a burs_f weeping.
  • "Proceed, senora," said the majordomo, "and finish your story of what ha_appened to you, for your words and tears are keeping us all in suspense."
  • "I have but little more to say, though many a tear to shed," said the damsel;
  • "for ill-placed desires can only be paid for in some such way."
  • The maiden's beauty had made a deep impression on the head-carver's heart, an_e again raised his lantern for another look at her, and thought they were no_ears she was shedding, but seed-pearl or dew of the meadow, nay, he exalte_hem still higher, and made Oriental pearls of them, and fervently hoped he_isfortune might not be so great a one as her tears and sobs seemed t_ndicate. The governor was losing patience at the length of time the girl wa_aking to tell her story, and told her not to keep them waiting any longer; for it was late, and there still remained a good deal of the town to be gon_ver.
  • She, with broken sobs and half-suppressed sighs, went on to say, "M_isfortune, my misadventure, is simply this, that I entreated my brother t_ress me up as a man in a suit of his clothes, and take me some night, whe_ur father was asleep, to see the whole town; he, overcome by my entreaties, consented, and dressing me in this suit and himself in clothes of mine tha_itted him as if made for him (for he has not a hair on his chin, and migh_ass for a very beautiful young girl), to-night, about an hour ago, more o_ess, we left the house, and guided by our youthful and foolish impulse w_ade the circuit of the whole town, and then, as we were about to return home, we saw a great troop of people coming, and my brother said to me, 'Sister, this must be the round, stir your feet and put wings to them, and follow me a_ast as you can, lest they recognise us, for that would be a bad business fo_s;' and so saying he turned about and began, I cannot say to run but to fly; in less than six paces I fell from fright, and then the officer of justic_ame up and carried me before your worships, where I find myself put to sham_efore all these people as whimsical and vicious."
  • "So then, senora," said Sancho, "no other mishap has befallen you, nor was i_ealousy that made you leave home, as you said at the beginning of you_tory?"
  • "Nothing has happened me," said she, "nor was it jealousy that brought me out, but merely a longing to see the world, which did not go beyond seeing th_treets of this town."
  • The appearance of the tipstaffs with her brother in custody, whom one of the_ad overtaken as he ran away from his sister, now fully confirmed the truth o_hat the damsel said. He had nothing on but a rich petticoat and a short blu_amask cloak with fine gold lace, and his head was uncovered and adorned onl_ith its own hair, which looked like rings of gold, so bright and curly wa_t. The governor, the majordomo, and the carver went aside with him, and, unheard by his sister, asked him how he came to be in that dress, and he wit_o less shame and embarrassment told exactly the same story as his sister, t_he great delight of the enamoured carver; the governor, however, said t_hem, "In truth, young lady and gentleman, this has been a very childis_ffair, and to explain your folly and rashness there was no necessity for al_his delay and all these tears and sighs; for if you had said we are so-and- so, and we escaped from our father's house in this way in order to rambl_bout, out of mere curiosity and with no other object, there would have bee_n end of the matter, and none of these little sobs and tears and all the res_f it."
  • "That is true," said the damsel, "but you see the confusion I was in was s_reat it did not let me behave as I ought."
  • "No harm has been done," said Sancho; "come, we will leave you at you_ather's house; perhaps they will not have missed you; and another time don'_e so childish or eager to see the world; for a respectable damsel should hav_ broken leg and keep at home; and the woman and the hen by gadding about ar_oon lost; and she who is eager to see is also eager to be seen; I say n_ore."
  • The youth thanked the governor for his kind offer to take them home, and the_irected their steps towards the house, which was not far off. On reaching i_he youth threw a pebble up at a grating, and immediately a woman-servant wh_as waiting for them came down and opened the door to them, and they went in, leaving the party marvelling as much at their grace and beauty as at the fanc_hey had for seeing the world by night and without quitting the village; which, however, they set down to their youth.
  • The head-carver was left with a heart pierced through and through, and he mad_p his mind on the spot to demand the damsel in marriage of her father on th_orrow, making sure she would not be refused him as he was a servant of th_uke's; and even to Sancho ideas and schemes of marrying the youth to hi_aughter Sanchica suggested themselves, and he resolved to open th_egotiation at the proper season, persuading himself that no husband could b_efused to a governor's daughter. And so the night's round came to an end, an_ couple of days later the government, whereby all his plans were overthrow_nd swept away, as will be seen farther on.