Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 7

  • **Of what passed between Don Quixote and his squire, together with other ver_otable incidents**
  • The instant the housekeeper saw Sancho Panza shut himself in with her master, she guessed what they were about; and suspecting that the result of th_onsultation would be a resolve to undertake a third sally, she seized he_antle, and in deep anxiety and distress, ran to find the bachelor Samso_arrasco, as she thought that, being a well-spoken man, and a new friend o_er master's, he might be able to persuade him to give up any such craz_otion. She found him pacing the patio of his house, and, perspiring an_lurried, she fell at his feet the moment she saw him.
  • Carrasco, seeing how distressed and overcome she was, said to her, "What i_his, mistress housekeeper? What has happened to you? One would think yo_eart-broken."
  • "Nothing, Senor Samson," said she, "only that my master is breaking out, plainly breaking out."
  • "Whereabouts is he breaking out, senora?" asked Samson; "has any part of hi_ody burst?"
  • "He is only breaking out at the door of his madness," she replied; "I mean, dear senor bachelor, that he is going to break out again (and this will be th_hird time) to hunt all over the world for what he calls ventures, though _an't make out why he gives them that name. The first time he was brought bac_o us slung across the back of an ass, and belaboured all over; and the secon_ime he came in an ox-cart, shut up in a cage, in which he persuaded himsel_e was enchanted, and the poor creature was in such a state that the mothe_hat bore him would not have known him; lean, yellow, with his eyes sunk dee_n the cells of his skull; so that to bring him round again, ever so little, cost me more than six hundred eggs, as God knows, and all the world, and m_ens too, that won't let me tell a lie."
  • "That I can well believe," replied the bachelor, "for they are so good and s_at, and so well-bred, that they would not say one thing for another, thoug_hey were to burst for it. In short then, mistress housekeeper, that is all, and there is nothing the matter, except what it is feared Don Quixote may do?"
  • "No, senor," said she.
  • "Well then," returned the bachelor, "don't be uneasy, but go home in peace; get me ready something hot for breakfast, and while you are on the way say th_rayer of Santa Apollonia, that is if you know it; for I will come presentl_nd you will see miracles."
  • "Woe is me," cried the housekeeper, "is it the prayer of Santa Apollonia yo_ould have me say? That would do if it was the toothache my master had; but i_s in the brains, what he has got."
  • "I know what I am saying, mistress housekeeper; go, and don't set yourself t_rgue with me, for you know I am a bachelor of Salamanca, and one can't b_ore of a bachelor than that," replied Carrasco; and with this the housekeepe_etired, and the bachelor went to look for the curate, and arrange with hi_hat will be told in its proper place.
  • While Don Quixote and Sancho were shut up together, they had a discussio_hich the history records with great precision and scrupulous exactness.
  • Sancho said to his master, "Senor, I have educed my wife to let me go wit_our worship wherever you choose to take me."
  • "Induced, you should say, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "not educed."
  • "Once or twice, as well as I remember," replied Sancho, "I have begged of you_orship not to mend my words, if so be as you understand what I mean by them; and if you don't understand them to say 'Sancho,' or 'devil,' 'I don'_nderstand thee; and if I don't make my meaning plain, then you may correc_e, for I am so focile-"
  • "I don't understand thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote at once; "for I know no_hat 'I am so focile' means."
  • "'So focile' means I am so much that way," replied Sancho.
  • "I understand thee still less now," said Don Quixote.
  • "Well, if you can't understand me," said Sancho, "I don't know how to put it; I know no more, God help me."
  • "Oh, now I have hit it," said Don Quixote; "thou wouldst say thou art s_ocile, tractable, and gentle that thou wilt take what I say to thee, an_ubmit to what I teach thee."
  • "I would bet," said Sancho, "that from the very first you understood me, an_new what I meant, but you wanted to put me out that you might hear me mak_nother couple of dozen blunders."
  • "May be so," replied Don Quixote; "but to come to the point, what does Teres_ay?"
  • "Teresa says," replied Sancho, "that I should make sure with your worship, and
  • 'let papers speak and beards be still,' for 'he who binds does not wrangle,'
  • since one 'take' is better than two 'I'll give thee's;' and I say a woman'_dvice is no great thing, and he who won't take it is a fool."
  • "And so say I," said Don Quixote; "continue, Sancho my friend; go on; you tal_earls to-day."
  • "The fact is," continued Sancho, "that, as your worship knows better than _o, we are all of us liable to death, and to-day we are, and to-morrow we ar_ot, and the lamb goes as soon as the sheep, and nobody can promise himsel_ore hours of life in this world than God may be pleased to give him; fo_eath is deaf, and when it comes to knock at our life's door, it is alway_rgent, and neither prayers, nor struggles, nor sceptres, nor mitres, can kee_t back, as common talk and report say, and as they tell us from the pulpit_very day."
  • "All that is very true," said Don Quixote; "but I cannot make out what tho_rt driving at."
  • "What I am driving at," said Sancho, "is that your worship settle some fixe_ages for me, to be paid monthly while I am in your service, and that the sam_e paid me out of your estate; for I don't care to stand on rewards whic_ither come late, or ill, or never at all; God help me with my own. In short, I would like to know what I am to get, be it much or little; for the hen wil_ay on one egg, and many littles make a much, and so long as one gain_omething there is nothing lost. To be sure, if it should happen (what _either believe nor expect) that your worship were to give me that island yo_ave promised me, I am not so ungrateful nor so grasping but that I would b_illing to have the revenue of such island valued and stopped out of my wage_n due promotion."
  • "Sancho, my friend," replied Don Quixote, "sometimes proportion may be as goo_s promotion."
  • "I see," said Sancho; "I'll bet I ought to have said proportion, and no_romotion; but it is no matter, as your worship has understood me."
  • "And so well understood," returned Don Quixote, "that I have seen into th_epths of thy thoughts, and know the mark thou art shooting at with th_ountless shafts of thy proverbs. Look here, Sancho, I would readily fix th_ages if I had ever found any instance in the histories of the knights-erran_o show or indicate, by the slightest hint, what their squires used to ge_onthly or yearly; but I have read all or the best part of their histories, and I cannot remember reading of any knight-errant having assigned fixed wage_o his squire; I only know that they all served on reward, and that when the_east expected it, if good luck attended their masters, they found themselve_ecompensed with an island or something equivalent to it, or at the least the_ere left with a title and lordship. If with these hopes and additiona_nducements you, Sancho, please to return to my service, well and good; but t_uppose that I am going to disturb or unhinge the ancient usage of knight- errantry, is all nonsense. And so, my Sancho, get you back to your house an_xplain my intentions to your Teresa, and if she likes and you like to be o_eward with me, bene quidem; if not, we remain friends; for if the pigeon- house does not lack food, it will not lack pigeons; and bear in mind, my son, that a good hope is better than a bad holding, and a good grievance bette_han a bad compensation. I speak in this way, Sancho, to show you that I ca_hower down proverbs just as well as yourself; and in short, I mean to say, and I do say, that if you don't like to come on reward with me, and run th_ame chance that I run, God be with you and make a saint of you; for I shal_ind plenty of squires more obedient and painstaking, and not so thickheade_r talkative as you are."
  • When Sancho heard his master's firm, resolute language, a cloud came over th_ky with him and the wings of his heart drooped, for he had made sure that hi_aster would not go without him for all the wealth of the world; and as h_tood there dumbfoundered and moody, Samson Carrasco came in with th_ousekeeper and niece, who were anxious to hear by what arguments he was abou_o dissuade their master from going to seek adventures. The arch wag Samso_ame forward, and embracing him as he had done before, said with a loud voice,
  • "O flower of knight-errantry! O shining light of arms! O honour and mirror o_he Spanish nation! may God Almighty in his infinite power grant that an_erson or persons, who would impede or hinder thy third sally, may find no wa_ut of the labyrinth of their schemes, nor ever accomplish what they mos_esire!" And then, turning to the housekeeper, he said, "Mistress housekeepe_ay just as well give over saying the prayer of Santa Apollonia, for I know i_s the positive determination of the spheres that Senor Don Quixote shal_roceed to put into execution his new and lofty designs; and I should lay _eavy burden on my conscience did I not urge and persuade this knight not t_eep the might of his strong arm and the virtue of his valiant spirit an_onger curbed and checked, for by his inactivity he is defrauding the world o_he redress of wrongs, of the protection of orphans, of the honour of virgins, of the aid of widows, and of the support of wives, and other matters of thi_ind appertaining, belonging, proper and peculiar to the order of knight- errantry. On, then, my lord Don Quixote, beautiful and brave, let your worshi_nd highness set out to-day rather than to-morrow; and if anything be neede_or the execution of your purpose, here am I ready in person and purse t_upply the want; and were it requisite to attend your magnificence as squire, I should esteem it the happiest good fortune."
  • At this, Don Quixote, turning to Sancho, said, "Did I not tell thee, Sancho, there would be squires enough and to spare for me? See now who offers t_ecome one; no less than the illustrious bachelor Samson Carrasco, th_erpetual joy and delight of the courts of the Salamancan schools, sound i_ody, discreet, patient under heat or cold, hunger or thirst, with all th_ualifications requisite to make a knight-errant's squire! But heaven forbi_hat, to gratify my own inclination, I should shake or shatter this pillar o_etters and vessel of the sciences, and cut down this towering palm of th_air and liberal arts. Let this new Samson remain in his own country, and, bringing honour to it, bring honour at the same time on the grey heads of hi_enerable parents; for I will be content with any squire that comes to hand, as Sancho does not deign to accompany me."
  • "I do deign," said Sancho, deeply moved and with tears in his eyes; "it shal_ot be said of me, master mine," he continued, "'the bread eaten and th_ompany dispersed.' Nay, I come of no ungrateful stock, for all the worl_nows, but particularly my own town, who the Panzas from whom I am descende_ere; and, what is more, I know and have learned, by many good words an_eeds, your worship's desire to show me favour; and if I have been bargainin_ore or less about my wages, it was only to please my wife, who, when she set_erself to press a point, no hammer drives the hoops of a cask as she drive_ne to do what she wants; but, after all, a man must be a man, and a woman _oman; and as I am a man anyhow, which I can't deny, I will be one in my ow_ouse too, let who will take it amiss; and so there's nothing more to do bu_or your worship to make your will with its codicil in such a way that i_an't be provoked, and let us set out at once, to save Senor Samson's sou_rom suffering, as he says his conscience obliges him to persuade your worshi_o sally out upon the world a third time; so I offer again to serve you_orship faithfully and loyally, as well and better than all the squires tha_erved knights-errant in times past or present."
  • The bachelor was filled with amazement when he heard Sancho's phraseology an_tyle of talk, for though he had read the first part of his master's histor_e never thought that he could be so droll as he was there described; but now, hearing him talk of a "will and codicil that could not be provoked," instea_f "will and codicil that could not be revoked," he believed all he had rea_f him, and set him down as one of the greatest simpletons of modern times; and he said to himself that two such lunatics as master and man the world ha_ever seen. In fine, Don Quixote and Sancho embraced one another and mad_riends, and by the advice and with the approval of the great Carrasco, wh_as now their oracle, it was arranged that their departure should take plac_hree days thence, by which time they could have all that was requisite fo_he journey ready, and procure a closed helmet, which Don Quixote said he mus_y all means take. Samson offered him one, as he knew a friend of his who ha_t would not refuse it to him, though it was more dingy with rust and milde_han bright and clean like burnished steel.
  • The curses which both housekeeper and niece poured out on the bachelor wer_ast counting; they tore their hair, they clawed their faces, and in the styl_f the hired mourners that were once in fashion, they raised a lamentatio_ver the departure of their master and uncle, as if it had been his death.
  • Samson's intention in persuading him to sally forth once more was to do wha_he history relates farther on; all by the advice of the curate and barber, with whom he had previously discussed the subject. Finally, then, during thos_hree days, Don Quixote and Sancho provided themselves with what the_onsidered necessary, and Sancho having pacified his wife, and Don Quixote hi_iece and housekeeper, at nightfall, unseen by anyone except the bachelor, wh_hought fit to accompany them half a league out of the village, they set ou_or El Toboso, Don Quixote on his good Rocinante and Sancho on his old Dapple, his alforjas furnished with certain matters in the way of victuals, and hi_urse with money that Don Quixote gave him to meet emergencies. Samso_mbraced him, and entreated him to let him hear of his good or evil fortunes, so that he might rejoice over the former or condole with him over the latter, as the laws of friendship required. Don Quixote promised him he would do so, and Samson returned to the village, and the other two took the road for th_reat city of El Toboso.