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Chapter 73

  • **Of the omens Don Quixote had as he entered his own village, and othe_ncidents that embellish and give a colour to this great history**
  • At the entrance of the village, so says Cide Hamete, Don Quixote saw two boy_uarrelling on the village threshing-floor one of whom said to the other,
  • "Take it easy, Periquillo; thou shalt never see it again as long as tho_ivest."
  • Don Quixote heard this, and said he to Sancho, "Dost thou not mark, friend,
  • what that boy said, 'Thou shalt never see it again as long as thou livest'?"
  • "Well," said Sancho, "what does it matter if the boy said so?"
  • "What!" said Don Quixote, "dost thou not see that, applied to the object of m_esires, the words mean that I am never to see Dulcinea more?"
  • Sancho was about to answer, when his attention was diverted by seeing a har_ome flying across the plain pursued by several greyhounds and sportsmen. I_ts terror it ran to take shelter and hide itself under Dapple. Sancho caugh_t alive and presented it to Don Quixote, who was saying, "Malum signum, malu_ignum! a hare flies, greyhounds chase it, Dulcinea appears not."
  • "Your worship's a strange man," said Sancho; "let's take it for granted tha_his hare is Dulcinea, and these greyhounds chasing it the malignan_nchanters who turned her into a country wench; she flies, and I catch her an_ut her into your worship's hands, and you hold her in your arms and cheris_er; what bad sign is that, or what ill omen is there to be found here?"
  • The two boys who had been quarrelling came over to look at the hare, an_ancho asked one of them what their quarrel was about. He was answered by th_ne who had said, "Thou shalt never see it again as long as thou livest," tha_e had taken a cage full of crickets from the other boy, and did not mean t_ive it back to him as long as he lived. Sancho took out four cuartos from hi_ocket and gave them to the boy for the cage, which he placed in Don Quixote'_ands, saying, "There, senor! there are the omens broken and destroyed, an_hey have no more to do with our affairs, to my thinking, fool as I am, tha_ith last year's clouds; and if I remember rightly I have heard the curate o_ur village say that it does not become Christians or sensible people to giv_ny heed to these silly things; and even you yourself said the same to me som_ime ago, telling me that all Christians who minded omens were fools; bu_here's no need of making words about it; let us push on and go into ou_illage."
  • The sportsmen came up and asked for their hare, which Don Quixote gave them.
  • They then went on, and upon the green at the entrance of the town they cam_pon the curate and the bachelor Samson Carrasco busy with their breviaries.
  • It should be mentioned that Sancho had thrown, by way of a sumpter-cloth, ove_apple and over the bundle of armour, the buckram robe painted with flame_hich they had put upon him at the duke's castle the night Altisidora cam_ack to life. He had also fixed the mitre on Dapple's head, the oddes_ransformation and decoration that ever ass in the world underwent. They wer_t once recognised by both the curate and the bachelor, who came towards the_ith open arms. Don Quixote dismounted and received them with a close embrace;
  • and the boys, who are lynxes that nothing escapes, spied out the ass's mitr_nd came running to see it, calling out to one another, "Come here, boys, an_ee Sancho Panza's ass figged out finer than Mingo, and Don Quixote's beas_eaner than ever."
  • So at length, with the boys capering round them, and accompanied by the curat_nd the bachelor, they made their entrance into the town, and proceeded to Do_uixote's house, at the door of which they found his housekeeper and niece,
  • whom the news of his arrival had already reached. It had been brought t_eresa Panza, Sancho's wife, as well, and she with her hair all loose and hal_aked, dragging Sanchica her daughter by the hand, ran out to meet he_usband; but seeing him coming in by no means as good case as she thought _overnor ought to be, she said to him, "How is it you come this way, husband?
  • It seems to me you come tramping and footsore, and looking more like _isorderly vagabond than a governor."
  • "Hold your tongue, Teresa," said Sancho; "often 'where there are pegs ther_re no flitches;' let's go into the house and there you'll hear strang_hings. I bring money, and that's the main thing, got by my own industr_ithout wronging anybody."
  • "You bring the money, my good husband," said Teresa, "and no matter whether i_as got this way or that; for, however you may have got it, you'll not hav_rought any new practice into the world."
  • Sanchica embraced her father and asked him if he brought her anything, for sh_ad been looking out for him as for the showers of May; and she taking hold o_im by the girdle on one side, and his wife by the hand, while the daughte_ed Dapple, they made for their house, leaving Don Quixote in his, in th_ands of his niece and housekeeper, and in the company of the curate and th_achelor.
  • Don Quixote at once, without any regard to time or season, withdrew in privat_ith the bachelor and the curate, and in a few words told them of his defeat,
  • and of the engagement he was under not to quit his village for a year, whic_e meant to keep to the letter without departing a hair's breadth from it, a_ecame a knight-errant bound by scrupulous good faith and the laws of knight-
  • errantry; and of how he thought of turning shepherd for that year, and takin_is diversion in the solitude of the fields, where he could with perfec_reedom give range to his thoughts of love while he followed the virtuou_astoral calling; and he besought them, if they had not a great deal to do an_ere not prevented by more important business, to consent to be hi_ompanions, for he would buy sheep enough to qualify them for shepherds; an_he most important point of the whole affair, he could tell them, was settled,
  • for he had given them names that would fit them to a T. The curate asked wha_hey were. Don Quixote replied that he himself was to be called the shepher_uixotize and the bachelor the shepherd Carrascon, and the curate the shepher_urambro, and Sancho Panza the shepherd Pancino.
  • Both were astounded at Don Quixote's new craze; however, lest he should onc_ore make off out of the village from them in pursuit of his chivalry, the_rusting that in the course of the year he might be cured, fell in with hi_ew project, applauded his crazy idea as a bright one, and offered to shar_he life with him. "And what's more," said Samson Carrasco, "I am, as all th_orld knows, a very famous poet, and I'll be always making verses, pastoral,
  • or courtly, or as it may come into my head, to pass away our time in thos_ecluded regions where we shall be roaming. But what is most needful, sirs, i_hat each of us should choose the name of the shepherdess he means to glorif_n his verses, and that we should not leave a tree, be it ever so hard,
  • without writing up and carving her name on it, as is the habit and custom o_ove-smitten shepherds."
  • "That's the very thing," said Don Quixote; "though I am relieved from lookin_or the name of an imaginary shepherdess, for there's the peerless Dulcine_el Toboso, the glory of these brooksides, the ornament of these meadows, th_ainstay of beauty, the cream of all the graces, and, in a word, the being t_hom all praise is appropriate, be it ever so hyperbolical."
  • "Very true," said the curate; "but we the others must look about fo_ccommodating shepherdesses that will answer our purpose one way or another."
  • "And," added Samson Carrasco, "if they fail us, we can call them by the name_f the ones in print that the world is filled with, Filidas, Amarilises,
  • Dianas, Fleridas, Galateas, Belisardas; for as they sell them in the market-
  • places we may fairly buy them and make them our own. If my lady, or I shoul_ay my shepherdess, happens to be called Ana, I'll sing her praises under th_ame of Anarda, and if Francisca, I'll call her Francenia, and if Lucia,
  • Lucinda, for it all comes to the same thing; and Sancho Panza, if he join_his fraternity, may glorify his wife Teresa Panza as Teresaina."
  • Don Quixote laughed at the adaptation of the name, and the curate bestowe_ast praise upon the worthy and honourable resolution he had made, and agai_ffered to bear him company all the time that he could spare from hi_mperative duties. And so they took their leave of him, recommending an_eseeching him to take care of his health and treat himself to a suitabl_iet.
  • It so happened his niece and the housekeeper overheard all the three of the_aid; and as soon as they were gone they both of them came in to Don Quixote,
  • and said the niece, "What's this, uncle? Now that we were thinking you ha_ome back to stay at home and lead a quiet respectable life there, are yo_oing to get into fresh entanglements, and turn 'young shepherd, thou tha_omest here, young shepherd going there?' Nay! indeed 'the straw is too har_ow to make pipes of.'"
  • "And," added the housekeeper, "will your worship be able to bear, out in th_ields, the heats of summer, and the chills of winter, and the howling of th_olves? Not you; for that's a life and a business for hardy men, bred an_easoned to such work almost from the time they were in swaddling-clothes.
  • Why, to make choice of evils, it's better to be a knight-errant than _hepherd! Look here, senor; take my advice—and I'm not giving it to you ful_f bread and wine, but fasting, and with fifty years upon my head—stay a_ome, look after your affairs, go often to confession, be good to the poor,
  • and upon my soul be it if any evil comes to you."
  • "Hold your peace, my daughters," said Don Quixote; "I know very well what m_uty is; help me to bed, for I don't feel very well; and rest assured that,
  • knight-errant now or wandering shepherd to be, I shall never fail to have _are for your interests, as you will see in the end." And the good wenches
  • (for that they undoubtedly were), the housekeeper and niece, helped him t_ed, where they gave him something to eat and made him as comfortable a_ossible.