OF MATTERS RELATING AND BELONGING TO THIS ADVENTURE AND TO THIS MEMORABLE HISTORY
Verily and truly all those who find pleasure in histories like this ought show their gratitude to Cide Hamete, its original author, for the scrupulous care he has taken to set before us all its minute particulars, not leaving anything, however trifling it may be, that he does not make clear and plain. He portrays the thoughts, he reveals the fancies, he answers implied questions, clears up doubts, sets objections at rest, and, in a word, makes plain the smallest points the most inquisitive can desire to know. O renowned author! O happy Don Quixote! O famous famous droll Sancho! All and each, may ye live countless ages for the delight and amusement of the dwellers on earth!
The history goes on to say that when Sancho saw the Distressed One faint he exclaimed: "I swear by the faith of an honest man and the shades of all my ancestors the Panzas, that never I did see or hear of, nor has my master related or conceived in his mind, such an adventure as this. A thousand devils--not to curse thee--take thee, Malambruno, for an enchanter and a giant! Couldst thou find no other sort of punishment for these sinners but bearding them? Would it not have been better--it would have been better for them--to have taken off half their noses from the middle upwards, even though they'd have snuffled when they spoke, than to have put beards on them? I'll bet they have not the means of paying anybody to shave them."
"That is the truth, senor," said one of the twelve; "we have not the money to get ourselves shaved, and so we have, some of us, taken to using sticking-plasters by way of an economical remedy, for by applying them to our faces and plucking them off with a jerk we are left as bare and smooth as the bottom of a stone mortar. There are, to be sure, women in Kandy that go about from house to house to remove down, and trim eyebrows, and make cosmetics for the use of the women, but we, the duennas of my lady, would never let them in, for most of them have a flavour of agents that have ceased to be principals; and if we are not relieved by Senor Don Quixote we shall be carried to our graves with beards."
"I will pluck out my own in the land of the Moors," said Don Quixote, "if I don't cure yours."
At this instant the Trifaldi recovered from her swoon and said, "The chink of that promise, valiant knight, reached my ears in the midst of my swoon, and has been the means of reviving me and bringing back my senses; and so once more I implore you, illustrious errant, indomitable sir, to let your gracious promises be turned into deeds."
"There shall be no delay on my part," said Don Quixote. "Bethink you, senora, of what I must do, for my heart is most eager to serve you."
"The fact is," replied the Distressed One, "it is five thousand leagues, a couple more or less, from this to the kingdom of Kandy, if you go by land; but if you go through the air and in a straight line, it is three thousand two hundred and twenty-seven. You must know, too, that Malambruno told me that, whenever fate provided the knight our deliverer, he himself would send him a steed far better and with less tricks than a post-horse; for he will be that same wooden horse on which the valiant Pierres carried off the fair Magalona; which said horse is guided by a peg he has in his forehead that serves for a bridle, and flies through the air with such rapidity that you would fancy the very devils were carrying him. This horse, according to ancient tradition, was made by Merlin. He lent him to Pierres, who was a friend of his, and who made long journeys with him, and, as has been said, carried off the fair Magalona, bearing her through the air on its haunches and making all who beheld them from the earth gape with astonishment; and he never lent him save to those whom he loved or those who paid him well; and since the great Pierres we know of no one having mounted him until now. From him Malambruno stole him by his magic art, and he has him now in his possession, and makes use of him in his journeys which he constantly makes through different parts of the world; he is here to-day, to-morrow in France, and the next day in Potosi; and the best of it is the said horse neither eats nor sleeps nor wears out shoes, and goes at an ambling pace through the air without wings, so that he whom he has mounted upon him can carry a cup full of water in his hand without spilling a drop, so smoothly and easily does he go, for which reason the fair Magalona enjoyed riding him greatly."
"For going smoothly and easily," said Sancho at this, "give me my Dapple, though he can't go through the air; but on the ground I'll back him against all the amblers in the world."
They all laughed, and the Distressed One continued: "And this same horse, if so be that Malambruno is disposed to put an end to our sufferings, will be here before us ere the night shall have advanced half an hour; for he announced to me that the sign he would give me whereby I might know that I had found the knight I was in quest of, would be to send me the horse wherever he might be, speedily and promptly."
"And how many is there room for on this horse?" asked Sancho.
"Two," said the Distressed One, "one in the saddle, and the other on the croup; and generally these two are knight and squire, when there is no damsel that's being carried off."
"I'd like to know, Senora Distressed One," said Sancho, "what is the name of this horse?"
"His name," said the Distressed One, "is not the same as Bellerophon's horse that was called Pegasus, or Alexander the Great's, called Bucephalus, or Orlando Furioso's, the name of which was Brigliador, nor yet Bayard, the horse of Reinaldos of Montalvan, nor Frontino like Ruggiero's, nor Bootes or Peritoa, as they say the horses of the sun were called, nor is he called Orelia, like the horse on which the unfortunate Rodrigo, the last king of the Goths, rode to the battle where he lost his life and his kingdom."
"I'll bet," said Sancho, "that as they have given him none of these famous names of well-known horses, no more have they given him the name of my master's Rocinante, which for being apt surpasses all that have been mentioned."
"That is true," said the bearded countess, "still it fits him very well, for he is called Clavileno the Swift, which name is in accordance with his being made of wood, with the peg he has in his forehead, and with the swift pace at which he travels; and so, as far as name goes, he may compare with the famous Rocinante."
"I have nothing to say against his name," said Sancho; "but with what sort of bridle or halter is he managed?"
"I have said already," said the Trifaldi, "that it is with a peg, by turning which to one side or the other the knight who rides him makes him go as he pleases, either through the upper air, or skimming and almost sweeping the earth, or else in that middle course that is sought and followed in all well-regulated proceedings."
"I'd like to see him," said Sancho; "but to fancy I'm going to mount him, either in the saddle or on the croup, is to ask pears of the elm tree. A good joke indeed! I can hardly keep my seat upon Dapple, and on a pack-saddle softer than silk itself, and here they'd have me hold on upon haunches of plank without pad or cushion of any sort! Gad, I have no notion of bruising myself to get rid of anyone's beard; let each one shave himself as best he can; I'm not going to accompany my master on any such long journey; besides, I can't give any help to the shaving of these beards as I can to the disenchantment of my lady Dulcinea."
"Yes, you can, my friend," replied the Trifaldi; "and so much, that without you, so I understand, we shall be able to do nothing."
"In the king's name!" exclaimed Sancho, "what have squires got to do with the adventures of their masters? Are they to have the fame of such as they go through, and we the labour? Body o' me! if the historians would only say, 'Such and such a knight finished such and such an adventure, but with the help of so and so, his squire, without which it would have been impossible for him to accomplish it;' but they write curtly, "Don Paralipomenon of the Three Stars accomplished the adventure of the six monsters;' without mentioning such a person as his squire, who was there all the time, just as if there was no such being. Once more, sirs, I say my master may go alone, and much good may it do him; and I'll stay here in the company of my lady the duchess; and maybe when he comes back, he will find the lady Dulcinea's affair ever so much advanced; for I mean in leisure hours, and at idle moments, to give myself a spell of whipping without so much as a hair to cover me."
"For all that you must go if it be necessary, my good Sancho," said the duchess, "for they are worthy folk who ask you; and the faces of these ladies must not remain overgrown in this way because of your idle fears; that would be a hard case indeed."
"In the king's name, once more!" said Sancho; "If this charitable work were to be done for the sake of damsels in confinement or charity-girls, a man might expose himself to some hardships; but to bear it for the sake of stripping beards off duennas! Devil take it! I'd sooner see them all bearded, from the highest to the lowest, and from the most prudish to the most affected."
"You are very hard on duennas, Sancho my friend," said the duchess; "you incline very much to the opinion of the Toledo apothecary. But indeed you are wrong; there are duennas in my house that may serve as patterns of duennas; and here is my Dona Rodriguez, who will not allow me to say otherwise."
"Your excellence may say it if you like," said the Rodriguez; "for God knows the truth of everything; and whether we duennas are good or bad, bearded or smooth, we are our mothers' daughters like other women; and as God sent us into the world, he knows why he did, and on his mercy I rely, and not on anybody's beard."
"Well, Senora Rodriguez, Senora Trifaldi, and present company," said Don Quixote, "I trust in Heaven that it will look with kindly eyes upon your troubles, for Sancho will do as I bid him. Only let Clavileno come and let me find myself face to face with Malambruno, and I am certain no razor will shave you more easily than my sword shall shave Malambruno's head off his shoulders; for 'God bears with the wicked, but not for ever."
"Ah!" exclaimed the Distressed One at this, "may all the stars of the celestial regions look down upon your greatness with benign eyes, valiant knight, and shed every prosperity and valour upon your heart, that it may be the shield and safeguard of the abused and downtrodden race of duennas, detested by apothecaries, sneered at by squires, and made game of by pages. Ill betide the jade that in the flower of her youth would not sooner become a nun than a duenna! Unfortunate beings that we are, we duennas! Though we may be descended in the direct male line from Hector of Troy himself, our mistresses never fail to address us as 'you' if they think it makes queens of them. O giant Malambruno, though thou art an enchanter, thou art true to thy promises. Send us now the peerless Clavileno, that our misfortune may be brought to an end; for if the hot weather sets in and these beards of ours are still there, alas for our lot!"
The Trifaldi said this in such a pathetic way that she drew tears from the eyes of all and even Sancho's filled up; and he resolved in his heart to accompany his master to the uttermost ends of the earth, if so be the removal of the wool from those venerable countenances depended upon it.
OF THE ARRIVAL OF CLAVILENO AND THE END OF THIS PROTRACTED ADVENTURE
And now night came, and with it the appointed time for the arrival of the famous horse Clavileno, the non-appearance of which was already beginning to make Don Quixote uneasy, for it struck him that, as Malambruno was so long about sending it, either he himself was not the knight for whom the adventure was reserved, or else Malambruno did not dare to meet him in single combat. But lo! suddenly there came into the garden four wild-men all clad in green ivy bearing on their shoulders a great wooden horse. They placed it on its feet on the ground, and one of the wild-men said, "Let the knight who has heart for it mount this machine."
Here Sancho exclaimed, "I don't mount, for neither have I the heart nor am I a knight."
"And let the squire, if he has one," continued the wild-man, "take his seat on the croup, and let him trust the valiant Malambruno; for by no sword save his, nor by the malice of any other, shall he be assailed. It is but to turn this peg the horse has in his neck, and he will bear them through the air to where Malambruno awaits them; but lest the vast elevation of their course should make them giddy, their eyes must be covered until the horse neighs, which will be the sign of their having completed their journey."
With these words, leaving Clavileno behind them, they retired with easy dignity the way they came. As soon as the Distressed One saw the horse, almost in tears she exclaimed to Don Quixote, "Valiant knight, the promise of Malambruno has proved trustworthy; the horse has come, our beards are growing, and by every hair in them all of us implore thee to shave and shear us, as it is only mounting him with thy squire and making a happy beginning with your new journey."
"That I will, Senora Countess Trifaldi," said Don Quixote, "most gladly and with right goodwill, without stopping to take a cushion or put on my spurs, so as not to lose time, such is my desire to see you and all these duennas shaved clean."
"That I won't," said Sancho, "with good-will or bad-will, or any way at all; and if this shaving can't be done without my mounting on the croup, my master had better look out for another squire to go with him, and these ladies for some other way of making their faces smooth; I'm no witch to have a taste for travelling through the air. What would my islanders say when they heard their governor was going, strolling about on the winds? And another thing, as it is three thousand and odd leagues from this to Kandy, if the horse tires, or the giant takes huff, we'll be half a dozen years getting back, and there won't be isle or island in the world that will know me: and so, as it is a common saying 'in delay there's danger,' and 'when they offer thee a heifer run with a halter,' these ladies' beards must excuse me; 'Saint Peter is very well in Rome;' I mean I am very well in this house where so much is made of me, and I hope for such a good thing from the master as to see myself a governor."
"Friend Sancho," said the duke at this, "the island that I have promised you is not a moving one, or one that will run away; it has roots so deeply buried in the bowels of the earth that it will be no easy matter to pluck it up or shift it from where it is; you know as well as I do that there is no sort of office of any importance that is not obtained by a bribe of some kind, great or small; well then, that which I look to receive for this government is that you go with your master Don Quixote, and bring this memorable adventure to a conclusion; and whether you return on Clavileno as quickly as his speed seems to promise, or adverse fortune brings you back on foot travelling as a pilgrim from hostel to hostel and from inn to inn, you will always find your island on your return where you left it, and your islanders with the same eagerness they have always had to receive you as their governor, and my good-will will remain the same; doubt not the truth of this, Senor Sancho, for that would be grievously wronging my disposition to serve you."
"Say no more, senor," said Sancho; "I am a poor squire and not equal to carrying so much courtesy; let my master mount; bandage my eyes and commit me to God's care, and tell me if I may commend myself to our Lord or call upon the angels to protect me when we go towering up there."
To this the Trifaldi made answer, "Sancho, you may freely commend yourself to God or whom you will; for Malambruno though an enchanter is a Christian, and works his enchantments with great circumspection, taking very good care not to fall out with anyone."
"Well then," said Sancho, "God and the most holy Trinity of Gaeta give me help!"
"Since the memorable adventure of the fulling mills," said Don Quixote, "I have never seen Sancho in such a fright as now; were I as superstitious as others his abject fear would cause me some little trepidation of spirit. But come here, Sancho, for with the leave of these gentles I would say a word or two to thee in private;" and drawing Sancho aside among the trees of the garden and seizing both his hands he said, "Thou seest, brother Sancho, the long journey we have before us, and God knows when we shall return, or what leisure or opportunities this business will allow us; I wish thee therefore to retire now to thy chamber, as though thou wert going to fetch something required for the road, and in a trice give thyself if it be only five hundred lashes on account of the three thousand three hundred to which thou art bound; it will be all to the good, and to make a beginning with a thing is to have it half finished."
"By God," said Sancho, "but your worship must be out of your senses! This is like the common saying, 'You see me with child, and you want me a virgin.' Just as I'm about to go sitting on a bare board, your worship would have me score my backside! Indeed, your worship is not reasonable. Let us be off to shave these duennas; and on our return I promise on my word to make such haste to wipe off all that's due as will satisfy your worship; I can't say more."
"Well, I will comfort myself with that promise, my good Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "and I believe thou wilt keep it; for indeed though stupid thou art veracious."
"I'm not voracious," said Sancho, "only peckish; but even if I was a little, still I'd keep my word."
With this they went back to mount Clavileno, and as they were about to do so Don Quixote said, "Cover thine eyes, Sancho, and mount; for one who sends for us from lands so far distant cannot mean to deceive us for the sake of the paltry glory to be derived from deceiving persons who trust in him; though all should turn out the contrary of what I hope, no malice will be able to dim the glory of having undertaken this exploit."
"Let us be off, senor," said Sancho, "for I have taken the beards and tears of these ladies deeply to heart, and I shan't eat a bit to relish it until I have seen them restored to their former smoothness. Mount, your worship, and blindfold yourself, for if I am to go on the croup, it is plain the rider in the saddle must mount first."
"That is true," said Don Quixote, and, taking a handkerchief out of his pocket, he begged the Distressed One to bandage his eyes very carefully; but after having them bandaged he uncovered them again, saying, "If my memory does not deceive me, I have read in Virgil of the Palladium of Troy, a wooden horse the Greeks offered to the goddess Pallas, which was big with armed knights, who were afterwards the destruction of Troy; so it would be as well to see, first of all, what Clavileno has in his stomach."
"There is no occasion," said the Distressed One; "I will be bail for him, and I know that Malambruno has nothing tricky or treacherous about him; you may mount without any fear, Senor Don Quixote; on my head be it if any harm befalls you."
Don Quixote thought that to say anything further with regard to his safety would be putting his courage in an unfavourable light; and so, without more words, he mounted Clavileno, and tried the peg, which turned easily; and as he had no stirrups and his legs hung down, he looked like nothing so much as a figure in some Roman triumph painted or embroidered on a Flemish tapestry.
Much against the grain, and very slowly, Sancho proceeded to mount, and, after settling himself as well as he could on the croup, found it rather hard, and not at all soft, and asked the duke if it would be possible to oblige him with a pad of some kind, or a cushion; even if it were off the couch of his lady the duchess, or the bed of one of the pages; as the haunches of that horse were more like marble than wood. On this the Trifaldi observed that Clavileno would not bear any kind of harness or trappings, and that his best plan would be to sit sideways like a woman, as in that way he would not feel the hardness so much.
Sancho did so, and, bidding them farewell, allowed his eyes to be bandaged, but immediately afterwards uncovered them again, and looking tenderly and tearfully on those in the garden, bade them help him in his present strait with plenty of Paternosters and Ave Marias, that God might provide some one to say as many for them, whenever they found themselves in a similar emergency.
At this Don Quixote exclaimed, "Art thou on the gallows, thief, or at thy last moment, to use pitiful entreaties of that sort? Cowardly, spiritless creature, art thou not in the very place the fair Magalona occupied, and from which she descended, not into the grave, but to become Queen of France; unless the histories lie? And I who am here beside thee, may I not put myself on a par with the valiant Pierres, who pressed this very spot that I now press? Cover thine eyes, cover thine eyes, abject animal, and let not thy fear escape thy lips, at least in my presence."
"Blindfold me," said Sancho; "as you won't let me commend myself or be commended to God, is it any wonder if I am afraid there is a region of devils about here that will carry us off to Peralvillo?"
They were then blindfolded, and Don Quixote, finding himself settled to his satisfaction, felt for the peg, and the instant he placed his fingers on it, all the duennas and all who stood by lifted up their voices exclaiming, "God guide thee, valiant knight! God be with thee, intrepid squire! Now, now ye go cleaving the air more swiftly than an arrow! Now ye begin to amaze and astonish all who are gazing at you from the earth! Take care not to wobble about, valiant Sancho! Mind thou fall not, for thy fall will be worse than that rash youth's who tried to steer the chariot of his father the Sun!"
As Sancho heard the voices, clinging tightly to his master and winding his arms round him, he said, "Senor, how do they make out we are going up so high, if their voices reach us here and they seem to be speaking quite close to us?"
"Don't mind that, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for as affairs of this sort, and flights like this are out of the common course of things, you can see and hear as much as you like a thousand leagues off; but don't squeeze me so tight or thou wilt upset me; and really I know not what thou hast to be uneasy or frightened at, for I can safely swear I never mounted a smoother-going steed all the days of my life; one would fancy we never stirred from one place. Banish fear, my friend, for indeed everything is going as it ought, and we have the wind astern."
"That's true," said Sancho, "for such a strong wind comes against me on this side, that it seems as if people were blowing on me with a thousand pair of bellows;" which was the case; they were puffing at him with a great pair of bellows; for the whole adventure was so well planned by the duke, the duchess, and their majordomo, that nothing was omitted to make it perfectly successful.
Don Quixote now, feeling the blast, said, "Beyond a doubt, Sancho, we must have already reached the second region of the air, where the hail and snow are generated; the thunder, the lightning, and the thunderbolts are engendered in the third region, and if we go on ascending at this rate, we shall shortly plunge into the region of fire, and I know not how to regulate this peg, so as not to mount up where we shall be burned."
And now they began to warm their faces, from a distance, with tow that could be easily set on fire and extinguished again, fixed on the end of a cane. On feeling the heat Sancho said, "May I die if we are not already in that fire place, or very near it, for a good part of my beard has been singed, and I have a mind, senor, to uncover and see whereabouts we are."
"Do nothing of the kind," said Don Quixote; "remember the true story of the licentiate Torralva that the devils carried flying through the air riding on a stick with his eyes shut; who in twelve hours reached Rome and dismounted at Torre di Nona, which is a street of the city, and saw the whole sack and storming and the death of Bourbon, and was back in Madrid the next morning, where he gave an account of all he had seen; and he said moreover that as he was going through the air, the devil bade him open his eyes, and he did so, and saw himself so near the body of the moon, so it seemed to him, that he could have laid hold of it with his hand, and that he did not dare to look at the earth lest he should be seized with giddiness. So that, Sancho, it will not do for us to uncover ourselves, for he who has us in charge will be responsible for us; and perhaps we are gaining an altitude and mounting up to enable us to descend at one swoop on the kingdom of Kandy, as the saker or falcon does on the heron, so as to seize it however high it may soar; and though it seems to us not half an hour since we left the garden, believe me we must have travelled a great distance."
"I don't know how that may be," said Sancho; "all I know is that if the Senora Magallanes or Magalona was satisfied with this croup, she could not have been very tender of flesh."
The duke, the duchess, and all in the garden were listening to the conversation of the two heroes, and were beyond measure amused by it; and now, desirous of putting a finishing touch to this rare and well-contrived adventure, they applied a light to Clavileno's tail with some tow, and the horse, being full of squibs and crackers, immediately blew up with a prodigious noise, and brought Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to the ground half singed. By this time the bearded band of duennas, the Trifaldi and all, had vanished from the garden, and those that remained lay stretched on the ground as if in a swoon. Don Quixote and Sancho got up rather shaken, and, looking about them, were filled with amazement at finding themselves in the same garden from which they had started, and seeing such a number of people stretched on the ground; and their astonishment was increased when at one side of the garden they perceived a tall lance planted in the ground, and hanging from it by two cords of green silk a smooth white parchment on which there was the following inscription in large gold letters: "The illustrious knight Don Quixote of La Mancha has, by merely attempting it, finished and concluded the adventure of the Countess Trifaldi, otherwise called the Distressed Duenna; Malambruno is now satisfied on every point, the chins of the duennas are now smooth and clean, and King Don Clavijo and Queen Antonomasia in their original form; and when the squirely flagellation shall have been completed, the white dove shall find herself delivered from the pestiferous gerfalcons that persecute her, and in the arms of her beloved mate; for such is the decree of the sage Merlin, arch-enchanter of enchanters."
As soon as Don Quixote had read the inscription on the parchment he perceived clearly that it referred to the disenchantment of Dulcinea, and returning hearty thanks to heaven that he had with so little danger achieved so grand an exploit as to restore to their former complexion the countenances of those venerable duennas, he advanced towards the duke and duchess, who had not yet come to themselves, and taking the duke by the hand he said, "Be of good cheer, worthy sir, be of good cheer; it's nothing at all; the adventure is now over and without any harm done, as the inscription fixed on this post shows plainly."
The duke came to himself slowly and like one recovering consciousness after a heavy sleep, and the duchess and all who had fallen prostrate about the garden did the same, with such demonstrations of wonder and amazement that they would have almost persuaded one that what they pretended so adroitly in jest had happened to them in reality. The duke read the placard with half-shut eyes, and then ran to embrace Don Quixote with-open arms, declaring him to be the best knight that had ever been seen in any age. Sancho kept looking about for the Distressed One, to see what her face was like without the beard, and if she was as fair as her elegant person promised; but they told him that, the instant Clavileno descended flaming through the air and came to the ground, the whole band of duennas with the Trifaldi vanished, and that they were already shaved and without a stump left.
The duchess asked Sancho how he had fared on that long journey, to which Sancho replied, "I felt, senora, that we were flying through the region of fire, as my master told me, and I wanted to uncover my eyes for a bit; but my master, when I asked leave to uncover myself, would not let me; but as I have a little bit of curiosity about me, and a desire to know what is forbidden and kept from me, quietly and without anyone seeing me I drew aside the handkerchief covering my eyes ever so little, close to my nose, and from underneath looked towards the earth, and it seemed to me that it was altogether no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, and that the men walking on it were little bigger than hazel nuts; so you may see how high we must have got to then."
To this the duchess said, "Sancho, my friend, mind what you are saying; it seems you could not have seen the earth, but only the men walking on it; for if the earth looked to you like a grain of mustard seed, and each man like a hazel nut, one man alone would have covered the whole earth."
"That is true," said Sancho, "but for all that I got a glimpse of a bit of one side of it, and saw it all."
"Take care, Sancho," said the duchess, "with a bit of one side one does not see the whole of what one looks at."
"I don't understand that way of looking at things," said Sancho; "I only know that your ladyship will do well to bear in mind that as we were flying by enchantment so I might have seen the whole earth and all the men by enchantment whatever way I looked; and if you won't believe this, no more will you believe that, uncovering myself nearly to the eyebrows, I saw myself so close to the sky that there was not a palm and a half between me and it; and by everything that I can swear by, senora, it is mighty great! And it so happened we came by where the seven goats are, and by God and upon my soul, as in my youth I was a goatherd in my own country, as soon as I saw them I felt a longing to be among them for a little, and if I had not given way to it I think I'd have burst. So I come and take, and what do I do? without saying anything to anybody, not even to my master, softly and quietly I got down from Clavileno and amused myself with the goats--which are like violets, like flowers--for nigh three-quarters of an hour; and Clavileno never stirred or moved from one spot."
"And while the good Sancho was amusing himself with the goats," said the duke, "how did Senor Don Quixote amuse himself?"
To which Don Quixote replied, "As all these things and such like occurrences are out of the ordinary course of nature, it is no wonder that Sancho says what he does; for my own part I can only say that I did not uncover my eyes either above or below, nor did I see sky or earth or sea or shore. It is true I felt that I was passing through the region of the air, and even that I touched that of fire; but that we passed farther I cannot believe; for the region of fire being between the heaven of the moon and the last region of the air, we could not have reached that heaven where the seven goats Sancho speaks of are without being burned; and as we were not burned, either Sancho is lying or Sancho is dreaming."
"I am neither lying nor dreaming," said Sancho; "only ask me the tokens of those same goats, and you'll see by that whether I'm telling the truth or not."
"Tell us them then, Sancho," said the duchess.
"Two of them," said Sancho, "are green, two blood-red, two blue, and one a mixture of all colours."
"An odd sort of goat, that," said the duke; "in this earthly region of ours we have no such colours; I mean goats of such colours."
"That's very plain," said Sancho; "of course there must be a difference between the goats of heaven and the goats of the earth."
"Tell me, Sancho," said the duke, "did you see any he-goat among those goats?"
"No, senor," said Sancho; "but I have heard say that none ever passed the horns of the moon."
They did not care to ask him anything more about his journey, for they saw he was in the vein to go rambling all over the heavens giving an account of everything that went on there, without having ever stirred from the garden. Such, in short, was the end of the adventure of the Distressed Duenna, which gave the duke and duchess laughing matter not only for the time being, but for all their lives, and Sancho something to talk about for ages, if he lived so long; but Don Quixote, coming close to his ear, said to him, "Sancho, as you would have us believe what you saw in heaven, I require you to believe me as to what I saw in the cave of Montesinos; I say no more."
OF THE COUNSELS WHICH DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA BEFORE HE SET OUT TO GOVERN THE ISLAND, TOGETHER WITH OTHER WELL-CONSIDERED MATTERS
The duke and duchess were so well pleased with the successful and droll result of the adventure of the Distressed One, that they resolved to carry on the joke, seeing what a fit subject they had to deal with for making it all pass for reality. So having laid their plans and given instructions to their servants and vassals how to behave to Sancho in his government of the promised island, the next day, that following Clavileno's flight, the duke told Sancho to prepare and get ready to go and be governor, for his islanders were already looking 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 great desire I had to be a governor has been partly cooled in me; for what is there grand in being ruler on a grain of mustard seed, or what dignity or authority in governing half a dozen men about as big as hazel nuts; for, so far as I could see, there were no more on the whole earth? If your lordship would be so good as to give me ever so small a bit of heaven, were it no more than half a league, 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 so much as the breadth of my nail, to anyone; rewards and favours of that sort are reserved for God alone. What I can give I give you, and that is a real, genuine island, compact, well proportioned, and uncommonly fertile and fruitful, where, if you know how to use your opportunities, you may, with the help of the world's riches, gain those of heaven."
"Well then," said Sancho, "let the island come; and I'll try and be such a governor, that in spite of scoundrels I'll go to heaven; and it's not from any craving to quit my own humble condition or better myself, but from the desire I 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 your fingers off after the government, so sweet a thing is it to command and be obeyed. Depend upon it when your master comes to be emperor (as he will beyond a doubt from the course his affairs are taking), it will be no easy matter to wrest the dignity from him, and he will be sore and sorry at heart to have been so long without becoming one."
"Senor," said Sancho, "it is my belief it's a good thing to be in command, if it's only over a drove of cattle."
"May I be buried with you, Sancho," said the duke, "but you know everything; I hope you will make as good a governor as your sagacity promises; and that is all I have to say; and now remember to-morrow is the day you must set out for the government of the island, and this evening they will provide you with the proper 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 be Sancho Panza."
"That's true," said the duke; "but one's dress must be suited to the office or rank one holds; for it would not do for a jurist to dress like a soldier, or a soldier like a priest. You, Sancho, shall go partly as a lawyer, partly as a captain, for, in the island I am giving you, arms are needed as much as letters, 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 good governor. 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 Sancho was to go to his government, he with the duke's permission took him by the hand, and retired to his room with him for the purpose of giving him advice as to how he was to demean himself in his office. As soon as they had entered the chamber he closed the door after him, and almost by force made Sancho sit down beside him, and in a quiet tone thus addressed him: "I give infinite thanks to heaven, friend Sancho, that, before I have met with any good luck, fortune has come forward to meet thee. I who counted upon my good fortune to discharge the recompense of thy services, find myself still waiting for advancement, while thou, before the time, and contrary to all reasonable expectation, seest thyself blessed in the fulfillment of thy desires. Some will bribe, beg, solicit, rise early, entreat, persist, without attaining the object of their suit; while another comes, and without knowing why or wherefore, finds himself invested with the place or office so many have sued for; and here it is that the 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 early rising or night watching or taking any trouble, with the mere breath of knight-errantry that has breathed upon thee, seest thyself without more ado governor 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 own merits, but give thanks to heaven that disposes matters beneficently, and secondly thanks to the great power the profession of knight-errantry contains in 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 polestar and guide to direct and pilot thee to a safe haven out of this stormy sea wherein thou art about to ingulf thyself; for offices and great trusts are nothing 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, the most difficult thing to know that the mind can imagine. If thou knowest thyself, it will follow thou wilt not puff thyself up like the frog that strove to make himself as large as the ox; if thou dost, the recollection of having kept pigs in thine own country will serve as the ugly feet for the wheel of thy folly."
"That's the truth," said Sancho; "but that was when I was a boy; afterwards when I was something more of a man it was geese I kept, not pigs. But to my thinking that has nothing to do with it; for all who are governors don't come of a kingly stock."
"True," said Don Quixote, "and for that reason those who are not of noble origin should take care that the dignity of the office they hold he accompanied by a gentle suavity, which wisely managed will save them from the sneers of malice that no station escapes.
"Glory in thy humble birth, Sancho, and be not ashamed of saying thou art peasant-born; for when it is seen thou art not ashamed no one will set himself to put thee to the blush; and pride thyself rather upon being one of lowly virtue than a lofty sinner. Countless are they who, born of mean parentage, have risen to the highest dignities, pontifical and imperial, and of the truth of this I could give thee instances enough to weary thee.
"Remember, Sancho, if thou make virtue thy aim, and take a pride in doing virtuous actions, thou wilt have no cause to envy those who have princely and lordly ones, for blood is an inheritance, but virtue an acquisition, and virtue has in itself alone a worth that blood does not possess.
"This being so, if perchance anyone of thy kinsfolk should come to see thee when thou art in thine island, thou art not to repel or slight him, but on the contrary to welcome him, entertain him, and make much of him; for in so doing thou wilt be approved of heaven (which is not pleased that any should despise what 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 that administer governments to be long without their wives), teach and instruct her, and strive to smooth down her natural roughness; for all that may be gained 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 virtue of thy office seekest a consort of higher degree, choose not one to serve thee for a hook, or for a fishing-rod, or for the hood of thy 'won't have it;' for verily, I tell thee, for all the judge's wife receives, the husband will be held accountable at the general calling to account; where he will have repay in death fourfold, items that in life he regarded as naught.
"Never go by arbitrary law, which is so much favoured by ignorant men who plume themselves on cleverness.
"Let the tears of the poor man find with thee more compassion, but not more justice, than the pleadings of the rich.
"Strive to lay bare the truth, as well amid the promises and presents of the rich man, as amid the sobs and entreaties of the poor.
"When equity may and should be brought into play, press not the utmost rigour of the law against the guilty; for the reputation of the stern judge stands not higher than that of the compassionate.
"If perchance thou permittest the staff of justice to swerve, let it be not by the weight of a gift, but by that of mercy.
"If it should happen thee to give judgment in the cause of one who is thine enemy, turn thy thoughts away from thy injury and fix them on the justice of the case.
"Let not thine own passion blind thee in another man's cause; for the errors thou wilt thus commit will be most frequently irremediable; or if not, only to be 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 from her tears and thine ears from her lamentations, and consider deliberately the merits of her demand, if thou wouldst not have thy reason swept away by her weeping, and thy rectitude by her sighs.
"Abuse not by word him whom thou hast to punish in deed, for the pain of punishment is enough for the unfortunate without the addition of thine objurgations.
"Bear in mind that the culprit who comes under thy jurisdiction is but a miserable man subject to all the propensities of our depraved nature, and so far as may be in thy power show thyself lenient and forbearing; for though the attributes of God are all equal, to our eyes that of mercy is brighter and loftier 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 wilt marry thy children as thou wouldst; they and thy grandchildren will bear titles; thou wilt live in peace and concord with all men; and, when life draws to a close, death will come to thee in calm and ripe old age, and the light and loving hands of thy great-grandchildren will close thine eyes.
"What I have thus far addressed to thee are instructions for the adornment of thy mind; listen now to those which tend to that of the body."
OF THE SECOND SET OF COUNSELS DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA
Who, hearing the foregoing discourse of Don Quixote, would not have set him down for a person of great good sense and greater rectitude of purpose? But, as has been frequently observed in the course of this great history, he only talked nonsense when he touched on chivalry, and in discussing all other subjects showed that he had a clear and unbiassed understanding; so that at every turn his acts gave the lie to his intellect, and his intellect to his acts; but in the case of these second counsels that he gave Sancho he showed himself to have a lively turn of humour, and displayed conspicuously his wisdom, and also his folly.
Sancho listened to him with the deepest attention, and endeavoured to fix his counsels in his memory, like one who meant to follow them and by their means bring the full promise of his government to a happy issue. Don Quixote, then, went on to say:
"With regard to the mode in which thou shouldst govern thy person and thy house, Sancho, the first charge I have to give thee is to be clean, and to cut thy nails, not letting them grow as some do, whose ignorance makes them fancy that long nails are an ornament to their hands, as if those excrescences they neglect to cut were nails, and not the talons of a lizard-catching kestrel--a filthy and unnatural abuse.
"Go not ungirt and loose, Sancho; for disordered attire is a sign of an unstable mind, unless indeed the slovenliness and slackness is to be set down to craft, as was the common opinion in the case of Julius Caesar.
"Ascertain cautiously what thy office may be worth; and if it will allow thee to give liveries to thy servants, give them respectable and serviceable, rather than showy and gay ones, and divide them between thy servants and the poor; that is to say, if thou canst clothe six pages, clothe three and three poor men, and thus thou wilt have pages for heaven and pages for earth; the vainglorious never think of this new mode of giving liveries.
"Eat not garlic nor onions, lest they find out thy boorish origin by the smell; walk slowly and speak deliberately, but not in such a way as to make it seem thou art listening to thyself, for all affectation is bad.
"Dine sparingly and sup more sparingly still; for the health of the whole body is forged in the workshop of the stomach.
"Be temperate in drinking, bearing in mind that wine in excess keeps neither secrets nor promises.
"Take care, Sancho, not to chew on both sides, and not to eruct in anybody's presence."
"Eruct!" said Sancho; "I don't know what that means."
"To eruct, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "means to belch, and that is one of the filthiest words in the Spanish language, though a very expressive one; and therefore nice folk have had recourse to the Latin, and instead of belch say eruct, and instead of belches say eructations; and if some do not understand these terms it matters little, for custom will bring them into use in the course of time, so that they will be readily understood; this is the way a language is enriched; custom and the public are all-powerful there."
"In truth, senor," said Sancho, "one of the counsels and cautions I mean to bear in mind shall be this, not to belch, for I'm constantly doing it."
"Eruct, Sancho, not belch," said Don Quixote.
"Eruct, I shall say henceforth, and I swear not to forget it," said Sancho.
"Likewise, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou must not mingle such a quantity of proverbs in thy discourse as thou dost; for though proverbs are short maxims, thou dost drag them in so often by the head and shoulders that they savour more of nonsense than of maxims."
"God alone can cure that," said Sancho; "for I have more proverbs in me than a book, and when I speak they come so thick together into my mouth that they fall to fighting among themselves to get out; that's why my tongue lets fly the first that come, though they may not be pat to the purpose. But I'll take care henceforward to use such as befit the dignity of my office; for 'in a house where there's plenty, supper is soon cooked,' and 'he who binds does not wrangle,' and 'the bell-ringer's in a safe berth,' and 'giving and keeping require brains.'"
"That's it, Sancho!" said Don Quixote; "pack, tack, string proverbs together; nobody is hindering thee! 'My mother beats me, and I go on with my tricks.' I am bidding thee avoid proverbs, and here in a second thou hast shot out a whole litany of them, which have as much to do with what we are talking about as 'over the hills of Ubeda.' Mind, Sancho, I do not say that a proverb aptly brought in is objectionable; but to pile up and string together proverbs at random makes conversation dull and vulgar.
"When thou ridest on horseback, do not go lolling with thy body on the back of the saddle, nor carry thy legs stiff or sticking out from the horse's belly, nor yet sit so loosely that one would suppose thou wert on Dapple; for the seat on a horse makes gentlemen of some and grooms of others.
"Be moderate in thy sleep; for he who does not rise early does not get the benefit of the day; and remember, Sancho, diligence is the mother of good fortune, and indolence, its opposite, never yet attained the object of an honest ambition.
"The last counsel I will give thee now, though it does not tend to bodily improvement, I would have thee carry carefully in thy memory, for I believe it will be no less useful to thee than those I have given thee already, and it is this--never engage in a dispute about families, at least in the way of comparing them one with another; for necessarily one of those compared will be better than the other, and thou wilt be hated by the one thou hast disparaged, and get nothing in any shape from the one thou hast exalted.
"Thy attire shall be hose of full length, a long jerkin, and a cloak a trifle longer; loose breeches by no means, for they are becoming neither for gentlemen nor for governors.
"For the present, Sancho, this is all that has occurred to me to advise thee; as time goes by and occasions arise my instructions shall follow, if thou take care to let me know how thou art circumstanced."
"Senor," said Sancho, "I see well enough that all these things your worship has said to me are good, holy, and profitable; but what use will they be to me if I don't remember one of them? To be sure that about not letting my nails grow, and marrying again if I have the chance, will not slip out of my head; but all that other hash, muddle, and jumble--I don't and can't recollect any more of it than of last year's clouds; so it must be given me in writing; for though I can't either read or write, I'll give it to my confessor, to drive it into me and remind me of it whenever it is necessary."
"Ah, sinner that I am!" said Don Quixote, "how bad it looks in governors not to know how to read or write; for let me tell thee, Sancho, when a man knows not how to read, or is left-handed, it argues one of two things; either that he was the son of exceedingly mean and lowly parents, or that he himself was so incorrigible and ill-conditioned that neither good company nor good teaching could make any impression on him. It is a great defect that thou labourest under, and therefore I would have thee learn at any rate to sign thy name." "I can sign my name well enough," said Sancho, "for when I was steward of the brotherhood in my village I learned to make certain letters, like the marks on bales of goods, which they told me made out my name. Besides I can pretend my right hand is disabled and make some one else sign for me, for 'there's a remedy for everything except death;' and as I shall be in command and hold the staff, I can do as I like; moreover, 'he who has the alcalde for his father-,' and I'll be governor, and that's higher than alcalde. Only come and see! Let them make light of me and abuse me; 'they'll come for wool and go back shorn;' 'whom God loves, his house is known to Him;' 'the silly sayings of the rich pass for saws in the world;' and as I'll be rich, being a governor, and at the same time generous, as I mean to be, no fault will be seen in me. 'Only make yourself honey and the flies will suck you;' 'as much as thou hast so much art thou worth,' as my grandmother used to say; and 'thou canst have no revenge of a man of substance.'"
"Oh, God's curse upon thee, Sancho!" here exclaimed Don Quixote; "sixty thousand devils fly away with thee and thy proverbs! For the last hour thou hast been stringing them together and inflicting the pangs of torture on me with every one of them. Those proverbs will bring thee to the gallows one day, I promise thee; thy subjects will take the government from thee, or there will be revolts among them. Tell me, where dost thou pick them up, thou booby? How dost thou apply them, thou blockhead? For with me, to utter one and make it apply properly, I have to sweat and labour as if I were digging."
"By God, master mine," said Sancho, "your worship is making a fuss about very little. Why the devil should you be vexed if I make use of what is my own? And I have got nothing else, nor any other stock in trade except proverbs and more proverbs; and here are three just this instant come into my head, pat to the purpose and like pears in a basket; but I won't repeat them, for 'sage silence is called Sancho.'"
"That, Sancho, thou art not," said Don Quixote; "for not only art thou not sage silence, but thou art pestilent prate and perversity; still I would like to know what three proverbs have just now come into thy memory, for I have been turning over mine own--and it is a good one--and none occurs to me."
"What can be better," said Sancho, "than 'never put thy thumbs between two back teeth;' and 'to "get out of my house" and "what do you want with my wife?" there is no answer;' and 'whether the pitcher hits the stove, or the stove the pitcher, it's a bad business for the pitcher;' all which fit to a hair? For no one should quarrel with his governor, or him in authority over him, because he will come off the worst, as he does who puts his finger between two back and if they are not back teeth it makes no difference, so long as they are teeth; and to whatever the governor may say there's no answer, any more than to 'get out of my house' and 'what do you want with my wife?' and then, as for that about the stone and the pitcher, a blind man could see that. So that he 'who sees the mote in another's eye had need to see the beam in his own,' that it be not said of himself, 'the dead woman was frightened at the one with her throat cut;' and your worship knows well that 'the fool knows more in his own house than the wise man in another's.'"
"Nay, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "the fool knows nothing, either in his own house or in anybody else's, for no wise structure of any sort can stand on a foundation of folly; but let us say no more about it, Sancho, for if thou governest badly, thine will be the fault and mine the shame; but I comfort myself with having done my duty in advising thee as earnestly and as wisely as I could; and thus I am released from my obligations and my promise. God guide thee, Sancho, and govern thee in thy government, and deliver me from the misgiving I have that thou wilt turn the whole island upside down, a thing I might easily prevent by explaining to the duke what thou art and telling him that all that fat little person of thine is nothing else but a sack full of proverbs and sauciness."
"Senor," said Sancho, "if your worship thinks I'm not fit for this government, I give it up on the spot; for the mere black of the nail of my soul is dearer to me than my whole body; and I can live just as well, simple Sancho, on bread and onions, as governor, on partridges and capons; and what's more, while we're asleep we're all equal, great and small, rich and poor. But if your worship looks into it, you will see it was your worship alone that put me on to this business of governing; for I know no more about the government of islands than a buzzard; and if there's any reason to think that because of my being a governor the devil will get hold of me, I'd rather go Sancho to heaven than governor to hell."
"By God, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for those last words thou hast uttered alone, I consider thou deservest to be governor of a thousand islands. Thou hast good natural instincts, without which no knowledge is worth anything; commend thyself to God, and try not to swerve in the pursuit of thy main object; I mean, always make it thy aim and fixed purpose to do right in all matters that come before thee, for heaven always helps good intentions; and now let us go to dinner, for I think my lord and lady are waiting for us."
HOW SANCHO PANZA WAS CONDUCTED TO HIS GOVERNMENT, AND OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE IN THE CASTLE
It is stated, they say, in the true original of this history, that when Cide Hamete came to write this chapter, his interpreter did not translate it as he wrote it--that is, as a kind of complaint the Moor made against himself for having taken in hand a story so dry and of so little variety as this of Don Quixote, for he found himself forced to speak perpetually of him and Sancho, without venturing to indulge in digressions and episodes more serious and more interesting. He said, too, that to go on, mind, hand, pen always restricted to writing upon one single subject, and speaking through the mouths of a few characters, was intolerable drudgery, the result of which was never equal to the author's labour, and that to avoid this he had in the First Part availed himself of the device of novels, like "The Ill-advised Curiosity," and "The Captive Captain," which stand, as it were, apart from the story; the others are given there being incidents which occurred to Don Quixote himself and could not be omitted. He also thought, he says, that many, engrossed by the interest attaching to the exploits of Don Quixote, would take none in the novels, and pass them over hastily or impatiently without noticing the elegance and art of their composition, which would be very manifest were they published by themselves and not as mere adjuncts to the crazes of Don Quixote or the simplicities of Sancho. Therefore in this Second Part he thought it best not to insert novels, either separate or interwoven, but only episodes, something like them, arising out of the circumstances the facts present; and even these sparingly, and with no more words than suffice to make them plain; and as he confines and restricts himself to the narrow limits of the narrative, though he has ability; capacity, and brains enough to deal with the whole universe, he requests that his labours may not be despised, and that credit be given him, not alone for what he writes, but for what he has refrained from writing.
And so he goes on with his story, saying that the day Don Quixote gave the counsels to Sancho, the same afternoon after dinner he handed them to him in writing so that he might get some one to read them to him. They had scarcely, however, been given to him when he let them drop, and they fell into the hands of the duke, who showed them to the duchess and they were both amazed afresh at the madness and wit of Don Quixote. To carry on the joke, then, the same evening they despatched Sancho with a large following to the village that was to serve him for an island. It happened that the person who had him in charge was a majordomo of the duke's, a man of great discretion and humour--and there can be no humour without discretion--and the same who played the part of the Countess Trifaldi in the comical way that has been already described; and thus qualified, and instructed by his master and mistress as to how to deal with Sancho, he carried out their scheme admirably. Now it came to pass that as soon as Sancho saw this majordomo he seemed in his features to recognise those of the Trifaldi, and turning to his master, he said to him, "Senor, either the devil will carry me off, here on this spot, righteous and believing, or your worship will own to me that the face of this majordomo of the duke's here is the very face of the Distressed One."
Don Quixote regarded the majordomo attentively, and having done so, said to Sancho, "There is no reason why the devil should carry thee off, Sancho, either righteous or believing--and what thou meanest by that I know not; the face of the Distressed One is that of the majordomo, but for all that the majordomo is not the Distressed One; for his being so would involve a mighty contradiction; but this is not the time for going into questions of the sort, which would be involving ourselves in an inextricable labyrinth. Believe me, my friend, we must pray earnestly to our Lord that he deliver us both from wicked wizards and enchanters."
"It is no joke, senor," said Sancho, "for before this I heard him speak, and it seemed exactly as if the voice of the Trifaldi was sounding in my ears. Well, I'll hold my peace; but I'll take care to be on the look-out henceforth for any sign that may be seen to confirm or do away with this suspicion."
"Thou wilt do well, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and thou wilt let me know all thou discoverest, and all that befalls thee in thy government."
Sancho at last set out attended by a great number of people. He was dressed in the garb of a lawyer, with a gaban of tawny watered camlet over all and a montera cap of the same material, and mounted a la gineta upon a mule. Behind him, in accordance with the duke's orders, followed Dapple with brand new ass-trappings and ornaments of silk, and from time to time Sancho turned round to look at his ass, so well pleased to have him with him that he would not have changed places with the emperor of Germany. On taking leave he kissed the hands of the duke and duchess and got his master's blessing, which Don Quixote gave him with tears, and he received blubbering.
Let worthy Sancho go in peace, and good luck to him, Gentle Reader; and look out for two bushels of laughter, which the account of how he behaved himself in office will give thee. In the meantime turn thy attention to what happened his master the same night, and if thou dost not laugh thereat, at any rate thou wilt stretch thy mouth with a grin; for Don Quixote's adventures must be honoured either with wonder or with laughter.
It is recorded, then, that as soon as Sancho had gone, Don Quixote felt his loneliness, and had it been possible for him to revoke the mandate and take away the government from him he would have done so. The duchess observed his dejection and asked him why he was melancholy; because, she said, if it was for the loss of Sancho, there were squires, duennas, and damsels in her house who would wait upon him to his full satisfaction.
"The truth is, senora," replied Don Quixote, "that I do feel the loss of Sancho; but that is not the main cause of my looking sad; and of all the offers your excellence makes me, I accept only the good-will with which they are made, and as to the remainder I entreat of your excellence to permit and allow me alone to wait upon myself in my chamber."
"Indeed, Senor Don Quixote," said the duchess, "that must not be; four of my damsels, as beautiful as flowers, shall wait upon you."
"To me," said Don Quixote, "they will not be flowers, but thorns to pierce my heart. They, or anything like them, shall as soon enter my chamber as fly. If your highness wishes to gratify me still further, though I deserve it not, permit me to please myself, and wait upon myself in my own room; for I place a barrier between my inclinations and my virtue, and I do not wish to break this rule through the generosity your highness is disposed to display towards me; and, in short, I will sleep in my clothes, sooner than allow anyone to undress me."
"Say no more, Senor Don Quixote, say no more," said the duchess; "I assure you I will give orders that not even a fly, not to say a damsel, shall enter your room. I am not the one to undermine the propriety of Senor Don Quixote, for it strikes me that among his many virtues the one that is pre-eminent is that of modesty. Your worship may undress and dress in private and in your own way, as you please and when you please, for there will be no one to hinder you; and in your chamber you will find all the utensils requisite to supply the wants of one who sleeps with his door locked, to the end that no natural needs compel you to open it. May the great Dulcinea del Toboso live a thousand years, and may her fame extend all over the surface of the globe, for she deserves to be loved by a knight so valiant and so virtuous; and may kind heaven infuse zeal into the heart of our governor Sancho Panza to finish off his discipline speedily, so that the world may once more enjoy the beauty of so grand a lady."
To which Don Quixote replied, "Your highness has spoken like what you are; from the mouth of a noble lady nothing bad can come; and Dulcinea will be more fortunate, and better known to the world by the praise of your highness than by all the eulogies the greatest orators on earth could bestow upon her."
"Well, well, Senor Don Quixote," said the duchess, is nearly supper-time, and the duke is is probably waiting; come let us go to supper, and retire to rest early, for the journey you made yesterday from Kandy was not such a short one but that it must have caused you some fatigue."
"I feel none, senora," said Don Quixote, "for I would go so far as to swear to your excellence that in all my life I never mounted a quieter beast, or a pleasanter paced one, than Clavileno; and I don't know what could have induced Malambruno to discard a steed so swift and so gentle, and burn it so recklessly as he did."
"Probably," said the duchess, "repenting of the evil he had done to the Trifaldi and company, and others, and the crimes he must have committed as a wizard and enchanter, he resolved to make away with all the instruments of his craft; and so burned Clavileno as the chief one, and that which mainly kept him restless, wandering from land to land; and by its ashes and the trophy of the placard the valour of the great Don Quixote of La Mancha is established for ever."
Don Quixote renewed his thanks to the duchess; and having supped, retired to his chamber alone, refusing to allow anyone to enter with him to wait on him, such was his fear of encountering temptations that might lead or drive him to forget his chaste fidelity to his lady Dulcinea; for he had always present to his mind the virtue of Amadis, that flower and mirror of knights-errant. He locked the door behind him, and by the light of two wax candles undressed himself, but as he was taking off his stockings--O disaster unworthy of such a personage!--there came a burst, not of sighs, or anything belying his delicacy or good breeding, but of some two dozen stitches in one of his stockings, that made it look like a window-lattice. The worthy gentleman was beyond measure distressed, and at that moment he would have given an ounce of silver to have had half a drachm of green silk there; I say green silk, because the stockings were green.
Here Cide Hamete exclaimed as he was writing, "O poverty, poverty! I know not what could have possessed the great Cordovan poet to call thee 'holy gift ungratefully received.' Although a Moor, I know well enough from the intercourse I have had with Christians that holiness consists in charity, humility, faith, obedience, and poverty; but for all that, I say he must have a great deal of godliness who can find any satisfaction in being poor; unless, indeed, it be the kind of poverty one of their greatest saints refers to, saying, 'possess all things as though ye possessed them not;' which is what they call poverty in spirit. But thou, that other poverty--for it is of thee I am speaking now--why dost thou love to fall out with gentlemen and men of good birth more than with other people? Why dost thou compel them to smear the cracks in their shoes, and to have the buttons of their coats, one silk, another hair, and another glass? Why must their ruffs be always crinkled like endive leaves, and not crimped with a crimping iron?" (From this we may perceive the antiquity of starch and crimped ruffs.) Then he goes on: "Poor gentleman of good family! always cockering up his honour, dining miserably and in secret, and making a hypocrite of the toothpick with which he sallies out into the street after eating nothing to oblige him to use it! Poor fellow, I say, with his nervous honour, fancying they perceive a league off the patch on his shoe, the sweat-stains on his hat, the shabbiness of his cloak, and the hunger of his stomach!"
All this was brought home to Don Quixote by the bursting of his stitches; however, he comforted himself on perceiving that Sancho had left behind a pair of travelling boots, which he resolved to wear the next day. At last he went to bed, out of spirits and heavy at heart, as much because he missed Sancho as because of the irreparable disaster to his stockings, the stitches of which he would have even taken up with silk of another colour, which is one of the greatest signs of poverty a gentleman can show in the course of his never-failing embarrassments. He put out the candles; but the night was warm and he could not sleep; he rose from his bed and opened slightly a grated window that looked out on a beautiful garden, and as he did so he perceived and heard people walking and talking in the garden. He set himself to listen attentively, and those below raised their voices so that he could hear these words:
"Urge me not to sing, Emerencia, for thou knowest that ever since this stranger entered the castle and my eyes beheld him, I cannot sing but only weep; besides my lady is a light rather than a heavy sleeper, and I would not for all the wealth of the world that she found us here; and even if she were asleep and did not waken, my singing would be in vain, if this strange AEneas, who has come into my neighbourhood to flout me, sleeps on and wakens not to hear it."
"Heed not that, dear Altisidora," replied a voice; "the duchess is no doubt asleep, and everybody in the house save the lord of thy heart and disturber of thy soul; for just now I perceived him open the grated window of his chamber, so he must be awake; sing, my poor sufferer, in a low sweet tone to the accompaniment of thy harp; and even if the duchess hears us we can lay the blame on the heat of the night."
"That is not the point, Emerencia," replied Altisidora, "it is that I would not that my singing should lay bare my heart, and that I should be thought a light and wanton maiden by those who know not the mighty power of love; but come what may; better a blush on the cheeks than a sore in the heart;" and here a harp softly touched made itself heard. As he listened to all this Don Quixote was in a state of breathless amazement, for immediately the countless adventures like this, with windows, gratings, gardens, serenades, lovemakings, and languishings, that he had read of in his trashy books of chivalry, came to his mind. He at once concluded that some damsel of the duchess's was in love with him, and that her modesty forced her to keep her passion secret. He trembled lest he should fall, and made an inward resolution not to yield; and commending himself with all his might and soul to his lady Dulcinea he made up his mind to listen to the music; and to let them know he was there he gave a pretended sneeze, at which the damsels were not a little delighted, for all they wanted was that Don Quixote should hear them. So having tuned the harp, Altisidora, running her hand across the strings, began this ballad:
O thou that art above in bed,
Between the holland sheets, A-lying there from night till morn,
With outstretched legs asleep;
O thou, most valiant knight of all
The famed Manchegan breed, Of purity and virtue more
Than gold of Araby;
Give ear unto a suffering maid,
Well-grown but evil-starr'd, For those two suns of thine have lit
A fire within her heart.
Adventures seeking thou dost rove,
To others bringing woe; Thou scatterest wounds, but, ah, the balm
To heal them dost withhold!
Say, valiant youth, and so may God
Thy enterprises speed, Didst thou the light mid Libya's sands
Or Jaca's rocks first see?
Did scaly serpents give thee suck?
Who nursed thee when a babe? Wert cradled in the forest rude,
Or gloomy mountain cave?
O Dulcinea may be proud,
That plump and lusty maid; For she alone hath had the power
A tiger fierce to tame.
And she for this shall famous be
From Tagus to Jarama, From Manzanares to Genil,
From Duero to Arlanza.
Fain would I change with her, and give
A petticoat to boot, The best and bravest that I have,
All trimmed with gold galloon.
O for to be the happy fair
Thy mighty arms enfold, Or even sit beside thy bed
And scratch thy dusty poll!
I rave,--to favours such as these
Unworthy to aspire; Thy feet to tickle were enough
For one so mean as I.
What caps, what slippers silver-laced,
Would I on thee bestow! What damask breeches make for thee;
What fine long holland cloaks!
And I would give thee pearls that should
As big as oak-galls show; So matchless big that each might well
Be called the great "Alone."
Manchegan Nero, look not down
From thy Tarpeian Rock Upon this burning heart, nor add
The fuel of thy wrath.
A virgin soft and young am I,
Not yet fifteen years old; (I'm only three months past fourteen,
I swear upon my soul).
I hobble not nor do I limp,
All blemish I'm without, And as I walk my lily locks
Are trailing on the ground.
And though my nose be rather flat,
And though my mouth be wide, My teeth like topazes exalt
My beauty to the sky.
Thou knowest that my voice is sweet,
That is if thou dost hear; And I am moulded in a form
Somewhat below the mean.
These charms, and many more, are thine,
Spoils to thy spear and bow all; A damsel of this house am I,
By name Altisidora.
Here the lay of the heart-stricken Altisidora came to an end, while the warmly wooed Don Quixote began to feel alarm; and with a deep sigh he said to himself, "O that I should be such an unlucky knight that no damsel can set eyes on me but falls in love with me! O that the peerless Dulcinea should be so unfortunate that they cannot let her enjoy my incomparable constancy in peace! What would ye with her, ye queens? Why do ye persecute her, ye empresses? Why ye pursue her, ye virgins of from fourteen to fifteen? Leave the unhappy being to triumph, rejoice and glory in the lot love has been pleased to bestow upon her in surrendering my heart and yielding up my soul to her. Ye love-smitten host, know that to Dulcinea only I am dough and sugar-paste, flint to all others; for her I am honey, for you aloes. For me Dulcinea alone is beautiful, wise, virtuous, graceful, and high-bred, and all others are ill-favoured, foolish, light, and low-born. Nature sent me into the world to be hers and no other's; Altisidora may weep or sing, the lady for whose sake they belaboured me in the castle of the enchanted Moor may give way to despair, but I must be Dulcinea's, boiled or roast, pure, courteous, and chaste, in spite of all the magic-working powers on earth." And with that he shut the window with a bang, and, as much out of temper and out of sorts as if some great misfortune had befallen him, stretched himself on his bed, where we will leave him for the present, as the great Sancho Panza, who is about to set up his famous government, now demands our attention.