OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON HIS WAY TO BARCELONA
It was a fresh morning giving promise of a cool day as Don Quixote quitted the inn, first of all taking care to ascertain the most direct road to Barcelona without touching upon Saragossa; so anxious was he to make out this new historian, who they said abused him so, to be a liar. Well, as it fell out, nothing worthy of being recorded happened him for six days, at the end of which, having turned aside out of the road, he was overtaken by night in a thicket of oak or cork trees; for on this point Cide Hamete is not as precise as he usually is on other matters.
Master and man dismounted from their beasts, and as soon as they had settled themselves at the foot of the trees, Sancho, who had had a good noontide meal that day, let himself, without more ado, pass the gates of sleep. But Don Quixote, whom his thoughts, far more than hunger, kept awake, could not close an eye, and roamed in fancy to and fro through all sorts of places. At one moment it seemed to him that he was in the cave of Montesinos and saw Dulcinea, transformed into a country wench, skipping and mounting upon her she-ass; again that the words of the sage Merlin were sounding in his ears, setting forth the conditions to be observed and the exertions to be made for the disenchantment of Dulcinea. He lost all patience when he considered the laziness and want of charity of his squire Sancho; for to the best of his belief he had only given himself five lashes, a number paltry and disproportioned to the vast number required. At this thought he felt such vexation and anger that he reasoned the matter thus: "If Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot, saying, 'To cut comes to the same thing as to untie,' and yet did not fail to become lord paramount of all Asia, neither more nor less could happen now in Dulcinea's disenchantment if I scourge Sancho against his will; for, if it is the condition of the remedy that Sancho shall receive three thousand and odd lashes, what does it matter to me whether he inflicts them himself, or some one else inflicts them, when the essential point is that he receives them, let them come from whatever quarter they may?"
With this idea he went over to Sancho, having first taken Rocinante's reins and arranged them so as to be able to flog him with them, and began to untie the points (the common belief is he had but one in front) by which his breeches were held up; but the instant he approached him Sancho woke up in his full senses and cried out, "What is this? Who is touching me and untrussing me?"
"It is I," said Don Quixote, "and I come to make good thy shortcomings and relieve my own distresses; I come to whip thee, Sancho, and wipe off some portion of the debt thou hast undertaken. Dulcinea is perishing, thou art living on regardless, I am dying of hope deferred; therefore untruss thyself with a good will, for mine it is, here, in this retired spot, to give thee at least two thousand lashes."
"Not a bit of it," said Sancho; "let your worship keep quiet, or else by the living God the deaf shall hear us; the lashes I pledged myself to must be voluntary and not forced upon me, and just now I have no fancy to whip myself; it is enough if I give you my word to flog and flap myself when I have a mind."
"It will not do to leave it to thy courtesy, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for thou art hard of heart and, though a clown, tender of flesh;" and at the same time he strove and struggled to untie him.
Seeing this Sancho got up, and grappling with his master he gripped him with all his might in his arms, giving him a trip with the heel stretched him on the ground on his back, and pressing his right knee on his chest held his hands in his own so that he could neither move nor breathe.
"How now, traitor!" exclaimed Don Quixote. "Dost thou revolt against thy master and natural lord? Dost thou rise against him who gives thee his bread?"
"I neither put down king, nor set up king," said Sancho; "I only stand up for myself who am my own lord; if your worship promises me to be quiet, and not to offer to whip me now, I'll let you go free and unhindered; if not--
Traitor and Dona Sancha's foe, Thou diest on the spot." Don Quixote gave his promise, and swore by the life of his thoughts not to touch so much as a hair of his garments, and to leave him entirely free and to his own discretion to whip himself whenever he pleased.
Sancho rose and removed some distance from the spot, but as he was about to place himself leaning against another tree he felt something touch his head, and putting up his hands encountered somebody's two feet with shoes and stockings on them. He trembled with fear and made for another tree, where the very same thing happened to him, and he fell a-shouting, calling upon Don Quixote to come and protect him. Don Quixote did so, and asked him what had happened to him, and what he was afraid of. Sancho replied that all the trees were full of men's feet and legs. Don Quixote felt them, and guessed at once what it was, and said to Sancho, "Thou hast nothing to be afraid of, for these feet and legs that thou feelest but canst not see belong no doubt to some outlaws and freebooters that have been hanged on these trees; for the authorities in these parts are wont to hang them up by twenties and thirties when they catch them; whereby I conjecture that I must be near Barcelona;" and it was, in fact, as he supposed; with the first light they looked up and saw that the fruit hanging on those trees were freebooters' bodies.
And now day dawned; and if the dead freebooters had scared them, their hearts were no less troubled by upwards of forty living ones, who all of a sudden surrounded them, and in the Catalan tongue bade them stand and wait until their captain came up. Don Quixote was on foot with his horse unbridled and his lance leaning against a tree, and in short completely defenceless; he thought it best therefore to fold his arms and bow his head and reserve himself for a more favourable occasion and opportunity. The robbers made haste to search Dapple, and did not leave him a single thing of all he carried in the alforjas and in the valise; and lucky it was for Sancho that the duke's crowns and those he brought from home were in a girdle that he wore round him; but for all that these good folk would have stripped him, and even looked to see what he had hidden between the skin and flesh, but for the arrival at that moment of their captain, who was about thirty-four years of age apparently, strongly built, above the middle height, of stern aspect and swarthy complexion. He was mounted upon a powerful horse, and had on a coat of mail, with four of the pistols they call petronels in that country at his waist. He saw that his squires (for so they call those who follow that trade) were about to rifle Sancho Panza, but he ordered them to desist and was at once obeyed, so the girdle escaped. He wondered to see the lance leaning against the tree, the shield on the ground, and Don Quixote in armour and dejected, with the saddest and most melancholy face that sadness itself could produce; and going up to him he said, "Be not so cast down, good man, for you have not fallen into the hands of any inhuman Busiris, but into Roque Guinart's, which are more merciful than cruel."
"The cause of my dejection," returned Don Quixote, "is not that I have fallen into thy hands, O valiant Roque, whose fame is bounded by no limits on earth, but that my carelessness should have been so great that thy soldiers should have caught me unbridled, when it is my duty, according to the rule of knight-errantry which I profess, to be always on the alert and at all times my own sentinel; for let me tell thee, great Roque, had they found me on my horse, with my lance and shield, it would not have been very easy for them to reduce me to submission, for I am Don Quixote of La Mancha, he who hath filled the whole world with his achievements."
Roque Guinart at once perceived that Don Quixote's weakness was more akin to madness than to swagger; and though he had sometimes heard him spoken of, he never regarded the things attributed to him as true, nor could he persuade himself that such a humour could become dominant in the heart of man; he was extremely glad, therefore, to meet him and test at close quarters what he had heard of him at a distance; so he said to him, "Despair not, valiant knight, nor regard as an untoward fate the position in which thou findest thyself; it may be that by these slips thy crooked fortune will make itself straight; for heaven by strange circuitous ways, mysterious and incomprehensible to man, raises up the fallen and makes rich the poor."
Don Quixote was about to thank him, when they heard behind them a noise as of a troop of horses; there was, however, but one, riding on which at a furious pace came a youth, apparently about twenty years of age, clad in green damask edged with gold and breeches and a loose frock, with a hat looped up in the Walloon fashion, tight-fitting polished boots, gilt spurs, dagger and sword, and in his hand a musketoon, and a pair of pistols at his waist.
Roque turned round at the noise and perceived this comely figure, which drawing near thus addressed him, "I came in quest of thee, valiant Roque, to find in thee if not a remedy at least relief in my misfortune; and not to keep thee in suspense, for I see thou dost not recognise me, I will tell thee who I am; I am Claudia Jeronima, the daughter of Simon Forte, thy good friend, and special enemy of Clauquel Torrellas, who is thine also as being of the faction opposed to thee. Thou knowest that this Torrellas has a son who is called, or at least was not two hours since, Don Vicente Torrellas. Well, to cut short the tale of my misfortune, I will tell thee in a few words what this youth has brought upon me. He saw me, he paid court to me, I listened to him, and, unknown to my father, I loved him; for there is no woman, however secluded she may live or close she may be kept, who will not have opportunities and to spare for following her headlong impulses. In a word, he pledged himself to be mine, and I promised to be his, without carrying matters any further. Yesterday I learned that, forgetful of his pledge to me, he was about to marry another, and that he was to go this morning to plight his troth, intelligence which overwhelmed and exasperated me; my father not being at home I was able to adopt this costume you see, and urging my horse to speed I overtook Don Vicente about a league from this, and without waiting to utter reproaches or hear excuses I fired this musket at him, and these two pistols besides, and to the best of my belief I must have lodged more than two bullets in his body, opening doors to let my honour go free, enveloped in his blood. I left him there in the hands of his servants, who did not dare and were not able to interfere in his defence, and I come to seek from thee a safe-conduct into France, where I have relatives with whom I can live; and also to implore thee to protect my father, so that Don Vicente's numerous kinsmen may not venture to wreak their lawless vengeance upon him."
Roque, filled with admiration at the gallant bearing, high spirit, comely figure, and adventure of the fair Claudia, said to her, "Come, senora, let us go and see if thy enemy is dead; and then we will consider what will be best for thee." Don Quixote, who had been listening to what Claudia said and Roque Guinart said in reply to her, exclaimed, "Nobody need trouble himself with the defence of this lady, for I take it upon myself. Give me my horse and arms, and wait for me here; I will go in quest of this knight, and dead or alive I will make him keep his word plighted to so great beauty."
"Nobody need have any doubt about that," said Sancho, "for my master has a very happy knack of matchmaking; it's not many days since he forced another man to marry, who in the same way backed out of his promise to another maiden; and if it had not been for his persecutors the enchanters changing the man's proper shape into a lacquey's the said maiden would not be one this minute."
Roque, who was paying more attention to the fair Claudia's adventure than to the words of master or man, did not hear them; and ordering his squires to restore to Sancho everything they had stripped Dapple of, he directed them to return to the place where they had been quartered during the night, and then set off with Claudia at full speed in search of the wounded or slain Don Vicente. They reached the spot where Claudia met him, but found nothing there save freshly spilt blood; looking all round, however, they descried some people on the slope of a hill above them, and concluded, as indeed it proved to be, that it was Don Vicente, whom either dead or alive his servants were removing to attend to his wounds or to bury him. They made haste to overtake them, which, as the party moved slowly, they were able to do with ease. They found Don Vicente in the arms of his servants, whom he was entreating in a broken feeble voice to leave him there to die, as the pain of his wounds would not suffer him to go any farther. Claudia and Roque threw themselves off their horses and advanced towards him; the servants were overawed by the appearance of Roque, and Claudia was moved by the sight of Don Vicente, and going up to him half tenderly half sternly, she seized his hand and said to him, "Hadst thou given me this according to our compact thou hadst never come to this pass."
The wounded gentleman opened his all but closed eyes, and recognising Claudia said, "I see clearly, fair and mistaken lady, that it is thou that hast slain me, a punishment not merited or deserved by my feelings towards thee, for never did I mean to, nor could I, wrong thee in thought or deed."
"It is not true, then," said Claudia, "that thou wert going this morning to marry Leonora the daughter of the rich Balvastro?"
"Assuredly not," replied Don Vicente; "my cruel fortune must have carried those tidings to thee to drive thee in thy jealousy to take my life; and to assure thyself of this, press my hands and take me for thy husband if thou wilt; I have no better satisfaction to offer thee for the wrong thou fanciest thou hast received from me."
Claudia wrung his hands, and her own heart was so wrung that she lay fainting on the bleeding breast of Don Vicente, whom a death spasm seized the same instant. Roque was in perplexity and knew not what to do; the servants ran to fetch water to sprinkle their faces, and brought some and bathed them with it. Claudia recovered from her fainting fit, but not so Don Vicente from the paroxysm that had overtaken him, for his life had come to an end. On perceiving this, Claudia, when she had convinced herself that her beloved husband was no more, rent the air with her sighs and made the heavens ring with her lamentations; she tore her hair and scattered it to the winds, she beat her face with her hands and showed all the signs of grief and sorrow that could be conceived to come from an afflicted heart. "Cruel, reckless woman!" she cried, "how easily wert thou moved to carry out a thought so wicked! O furious force of jealousy, to what desperate lengths dost thou lead those that give thee lodging in their bosoms! O husband, whose unhappy fate in being mine hath borne thee from the marriage bed to the grave!"
So vehement and so piteous were the lamentations of Claudia that they drew tears from Roque's eyes, unused as they were to shed them on any occasion. The servants wept, Claudia swooned away again and again, and the whole place seemed a field of sorrow and an abode of misfortune. In the end Roque Guinart directed Don Vicente's servants to carry his body to his father's village, which was close by, for burial. Claudia told him she meant to go to a monastery of which an aunt of hers was abbess, where she intended to pass her life with a better and everlasting spouse. He applauded her pious resolution, and offered to accompany her whithersoever she wished, and to protect her father against the kinsmen of Don Vicente and all the world, should they seek to injure him. Claudia would not on any account allow him to accompany her; and thanking him for his offers as well as she could, took leave of him in tears. The servants of Don Vicente carried away his body, and Roque returned to his comrades, and so ended the love of Claudia Jeronima; but what wonder, when it was the insuperable and cruel might of jealousy that wove the web of her sad story?
Roque Guinart found his squires at the place to which he had ordered them, and Don Quixote on Rocinante in the midst of them delivering a harangue to them in which he urged them to give up a mode of life so full of peril, as well to the soul as to the body; but as most of them were Gascons, rough lawless fellows, his speech did not make much impression on them. Roque on coming up asked Sancho if his men had returned and restored to him the treasures and jewels they had stripped off Dapple. Sancho said they had, but that three kerchiefs that were worth three cities were missing.
"What are you talking about, man?" said one of the bystanders; "I have got them, and they are not worth three reals."
"That is true," said Don Quixote; "but my squire values them at the rate he says, as having been given me by the person who gave them."
Roque Guinart ordered them to be restored at once; and making his men fall in in line he directed all the clothing, jewellery, and money that they had taken since the last distribution to be produced; and making a hasty valuation, and reducing what could not be divided into money, he made shares for the whole band so equitably and carefully, that in no case did he exceed or fall short of strict distributive justice.
When this had been done, and all left satisfied, Roque observed to Don Quixote, "If this scrupulous exactness were not observed with these fellows there would be no living with them."
Upon this Sancho remarked, "From what I have seen here, justice is such a good thing that there is no doing without it, even among the thieves themselves."
One of the squires heard this, and raising the butt-end of his harquebuss would no doubt have broken Sancho's head with it had not Roque Guinart called out to him to hold his hand. Sancho was frightened out of his wits, and vowed not to open his lips so long as he was in the company of these people.
At this instant one or two of those squires who were posted as sentinels on the roads, to watch who came along them and report what passed to their chief, came up and said, "Senor, there is a great troop of people not far off coming along the road to Barcelona."
To which Roque replied, "Hast thou made out whether they are of the sort that are after us, or of the sort we are after?"
"The sort we are after," said the squire.
"Well then, away with you all," said Roque, "and bring them here to me at once without letting one of them escape."
They obeyed, and Don Quixote, Sancho, and Roque, left by themselves, waited to see what the squires brought, and while they were waiting Roque said to Don Quixote, "It must seem a strange sort of life to Senor Don Quixote, this of ours, strange adventures, strange incidents, and all full of danger; and I do not wonder that it should seem so, for in truth I must own there is no mode of life more restless or anxious than ours. What led me into it was a certain thirst for vengeance, which is strong enough to disturb the quietest hearts. I am by nature tender-hearted and kindly, but, as I said, the desire to revenge myself for a wrong that was done me so overturns all my better impulses that I keep on in this way of life in spite of what conscience tells me; and as one depth calls to another, and one sin to another sin, revenges have linked themselves together, and I have taken upon myself not only my own but those of others: it pleases God, however, that, though I see myself in this maze of entanglements, I do not lose all hope of escaping from it and reaching a safe port."
Don Quixote was amazed to hear Roque utter such excellent and just sentiments, for he did not think that among those who followed such trades as robbing, murdering, and waylaying, there could be anyone capable of a virtuous thought, and he said in reply, "Senor Roque, the beginning of health lies in knowing the disease and in the sick man's willingness to take the medicines which the physician prescribes; you are sick, you know what ails you, and heaven, or more properly speaking God, who is our physician, will administer medicines that will cure you, and cure gradually, and not of a sudden or by a miracle; besides, sinners of discernment are nearer amendment than those who are fools; and as your worship has shown good sense in your remarks, all you have to do is to keep up a good heart and trust that the weakness of your conscience will be strengthened. And if you have any desire to shorten the journey and put yourself easily in the way of salvation, come with me, and I will show you how to become a knight-errant, a calling wherein so many hardships and mishaps are encountered that if they be taken as penances they will lodge you in heaven in a trice."
Roque laughed at Don Quixote's exhortation, and changing the conversation he related the tragic affair of Claudia Jeronima, at which Sancho was extremely grieved; for he had not found the young woman's beauty, boldness, and spirit at all amiss.
And now the squires despatched to make the prize came up, bringing with them two gentlemen on horseback, two pilgrims on foot, and a coach full of women with some six servants on foot and on horseback in attendance on them, and a couple of muleteers whom the gentlemen had with them. The squires made a ring round them, both victors and vanquished maintaining profound silence, waiting for the great Roque Guinart to speak. He asked the gentlemen who they were, whither they were going, and what money they carried with them; "Senor," replied one of them, "we are two captains of Spanish infantry; our companies are at Naples, and we are on our way to embark in four galleys which they say are at Barcelona under orders for Sicily; and we have about two or three hundred crowns, with which we are, according to our notions, rich and contented, for a soldier's poverty does not allow a more extensive hoard."
Roque asked the pilgrims the same questions he had put to the captains, and was answered that they were going to take ship for Rome, and that between them they might have about sixty reals. He asked also who was in the coach, whither they were bound and what money they had, and one of the men on horseback replied, "The persons in the coach are my lady Dona Guiomar de Quinones, wife of the regent of the Vicaria at Naples, her little daughter, a handmaid and a duenna; we six servants are in attendance upon her, and the money amounts to six hundred crowns."
"So then," said Roque Guinart, "we have got here nine hundred crowns and sixty reals; my soldiers must number some sixty; see how much there falls to each, for I am a bad arithmetician." As soon as the robbers heard this they raised a shout of "Long life to Roque Guinart, in spite of the lladres that seek his ruin!"
The captains showed plainly the concern they felt, the regent's lady was downcast, and the pilgrims did not at all enjoy seeing their property confiscated. Roque kept them in suspense in this way for a while; but he had no desire to prolong their distress, which might be seen a bowshot off, and turning to the captains he said, "Sirs, will your worships be pleased of your courtesy to lend me sixty crowns, and her ladyship the regent's wife eighty, to satisfy this band that follows me, for 'it is by his singing the abbot gets his dinner;' and then you may at once proceed on your journey, free and unhindered, with a safe-conduct which I shall give you, so that if you come across any other bands of mine that I have scattered in these parts, they may do you no harm; for I have no intention of doing injury to soldiers, or to any woman, especially one of quality."
Profuse and hearty were the expressions of gratitude with which the captains thanked Roque for his courtesy and generosity; for such they regarded his leaving them their own money. Senora Dona Guiomar de Quinones wanted to throw herself out of the coach to kiss the feet and hands of the great Roque, but he would not suffer it on any account; so far from that, he begged her pardon for the wrong he had done her under pressure of the inexorable necessities of his unfortunate calling. The regent's lady ordered one of her servants to give the eighty crowns that had been assessed as her share at once, for the captains had already paid down their sixty. The pilgrims were about to give up the whole of their little hoard, but Roque bade them keep quiet, and turning to his men he said, "Of these crowns two fall to each man and twenty remain over; let ten be given to these pilgrims, and the other ten to this worthy squire that he may be able to speak favourably of this adventure;" and then having writing materials, with which he always went provided, brought to him, he gave them in writing a safe-conduct to the leaders of his bands; and bidding them farewell let them go free and filled with admiration at his magnanimity, his generous disposition, and his unusual conduct, and inclined to regard him as an Alexander the Great rather than a notorious robber.
One of the squires observed in his mixture of Gascon and Catalan, "This captain of ours would make a better friar than highwayman; if he wants to be so generous another time, let it be with his own property and not ours."
The unlucky wight did not speak so low but that Roque overheard him, and drawing his sword almost split his head in two, saying, "That is the way I punish impudent saucy fellows." They were all taken aback, and not one of them dared to utter a word, such deference did they pay him. Roque then withdrew to one side and wrote a letter to a friend of his at Barcelona, telling him that the famous Don Quixote of La Mancha, the knight-errant of whom there was so much talk, was with him, and was, he assured him, the drollest and wisest man in the world; and that in four days from that date, that is to say, on Saint John the Baptist's Day, he was going to deposit him in full armour mounted on his horse Rocinante, together with his squire Sancho on an ass, in the middle of the strand of the city; and bidding him give notice of this to his friends the Niarros, that they might divert themselves with him. He wished, he said, his enemies the Cadells could be deprived of this pleasure; but that was impossible, because the crazes and shrewd sayings of Don Quixote and the humours of his squire Sancho Panza could not help giving general pleasure to all the world. He despatched the letter by one of his squires, who, exchanging the costume of a highwayman for that of a peasant, made his way into Barcelona and gave it to the person to whom it was directed.
OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON ENTERING BARCELONA, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS THAT PARTAKE OF THE TRUE RATHER THAN OF THE INGENIOUS
Don Quixote passed three days and three nights with Roque, and had he passed three hundred years he would have found enough to observe and wonder at in his mode of life. At daybreak they were in one spot, at dinner-time in another; sometimes they fled without knowing from whom, at other times they lay in wait, not knowing for what. They slept standing, breaking their slumbers to shift from place to place. There was nothing but sending out spies and scouts, posting sentinels and blowing the matches of harquebusses, though they carried but few, for almost all used flintlocks. Roque passed his nights in some place or other apart from his men, that they might not know where he was, for the many proclamations the viceroy of Barcelona had issued against his life kept him in fear and uneasiness, and he did not venture to trust anyone, afraid that even his own men would kill him or deliver him up to the authorities; of a truth, a weary miserable life! At length, by unfrequented roads, short cuts, and secret paths, Roque, Don Quixote, and Sancho, together with six squires, set out for Barcelona. They reached the strand on Saint John's Eve during the night; and Roque, after embracing Don Quixote and Sancho (to whom he presented the ten crowns he had promised but had not until then given), left them with many expressions of good-will on both sides.
Roque went back, while Don Quixote remained on horseback, just as he was, waiting for day, and it was not long before the countenance of the fair Aurora began to show itself at the balconies of the east, gladdening the grass and flowers, if not the ear, though to gladden that too there came at the same moment a sound of clarions and drums, and a din of bells, and a tramp, tramp, and cries of "Clear the way there!" of some runners, that seemed to issue from the city.
The dawn made way for the sun that with a face broader than a buckler began to rise slowly above the low line of the horizon; Don Quixote and Sancho gazed all round them; they beheld the sea, a sight until then unseen by them; it struck them as exceedingly spacious and broad, much more so than the lakes of Ruidera which they had seen in La Mancha. They saw the galleys along the beach, which, lowering their awnings, displayed themselves decked with streamers and pennons that trembled in the breeze and kissed and swept the water, while on board the bugles, trumpets, and clarions were sounding and filling the air far and near with melodious warlike notes. Then they began to move and execute a kind of skirmish upon the calm water, while a vast number of horsemen on fine horses and in showy liveries, issuing from the city, engaged on their side in a somewhat similar movement. The soldiers on board the galleys kept up a ceaseless fire, which they on the walls and forts of the city returned, and the heavy cannon rent the air with the tremendous noise they made, to which the gangway guns of the galleys replied. The bright sea, the smiling earth, the clear air--though at times darkened by the smoke of the guns--all seemed to fill the whole multitude with unexpected delight. Sancho could not make out how it was that those great masses that moved over the sea had so many feet.
And now the horsemen in livery came galloping up with shouts and outlandish cries and cheers to where Don Quixote stood amazed and wondering; and one of them, he to whom Roque had sent word, addressing him exclaimed, "Welcome to our city, mirror, beacon, star and cynosure of all knight-errantry in its widest extent! Welcome, I say, valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha; not the false, the fictitious, the apocryphal, that these latter days have offered us in lying histories, but the true, the legitimate, the real one that Cide Hamete Benengeli, flower of historians, has described to us!"
Don Quixote made no answer, nor did the horsemen wait for one, but wheeling again with all their followers, they began curvetting round Don Quixote, who, turning to Sancho, said, "These gentlemen have plainly recognised us; I will wager they have read our history, and even that newly printed one by the Aragonese."
The cavalier who had addressed Don Quixote again approached him and said, "Come with us, Senor Don Quixote, for we are all of us your servants and great friends of Roque Guinart's;" to which Don Quixote returned, "If courtesy breeds courtesy, yours, sir knight, is daughter or very nearly akin to the great Roque's; carry me where you please; I will have no will but yours, especially if you deign to employ it in your service."
The cavalier replied with words no less polite, and then, all closing in around him, they set out with him for the city, to the music of the clarions and the drums. As they were entering it, the wicked one, who is the author of all mischief, and the boys who are wickeder than the wicked one, contrived that a couple of these audacious irrepressible urchins should force their way through the crowd, and lifting up, one of them Dapple's tail and the other Rocinante's, insert a bunch of furze under each. The poor beasts felt the strange spurs and added to their anguish by pressing their tails tight, so much so that, cutting a multitude of capers, they flung their masters to the ground. Don Quixote, covered with shame and out of countenance, ran to pluck the plume from his poor jade's tail, while Sancho did the same for Dapple. His conductors tried to punish the audacity of the boys, but there was no possibility of doing so, for they hid themselves among the hundreds of others that were following them. Don Quixote and Sancho mounted once more, and with the same music and acclamations reached their conductor's house, which was large and stately, that of a rich gentleman, in short; and there for the present we will leave them, for such is Cide Hamete's pleasure.
WHICH DEALS WITH THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENCHANTED HEAD, TOGETHER WITH OTHER TRIVIAL MATTERS WHICH CANNOT BE LEFT UNTOLD
Don Quixote's host was one Don Antonio Moreno by name, a gentleman of wealth and intelligence, and very fond of diverting himself in any fair and good-natured way; and having Don Quixote in his house he set about devising modes of making him exhibit his mad points in some harmless fashion; for jests that give pain are no jests, and no sport is worth anything if it hurts another. The first thing he did was to make Don Quixote take off his armour, and lead him, in that tight chamois suit we have already described and depicted more than once, out on a balcony overhanging one of the chief streets of the city, in full view of the crowd and of the boys, who gazed at him as they would at a monkey. The cavaliers in livery careered before him again as though it were for him alone, and not to enliven the festival of the day, that they wore it, and Sancho was in high delight, for it seemed to him that, how he knew not, he had fallen upon another Camacho's wedding, another house like Don Diego de Miranda's, another castle like the duke's. Some of Don Antonio's friends dined with him that day, and all showed honour to Don Quixote and treated him as a knight-errant, and he becoming puffed up and exalted in consequence could not contain himself for satisfaction. Such were the drolleries of Sancho that all the servants of the house, and all who heard him, were kept hanging upon his lips. While at table Don Antonio said to him, "We hear, worthy Sancho, that you are so fond of manjar blanco and forced-meat balls, that if you have any left, you keep them in your bosom for the next day."
"No, senor, that's not true," said Sancho, "for I am more cleanly than greedy, and my master Don Quixote here knows well that we two are used to live for a week on a handful of acorns or nuts. To be sure, if it so happens that they offer me a heifer, I run with a halter; I mean, I eat what I'm given, and make use of opportunities as I find them; but whoever says that I'm an out-of-the-way eater or not cleanly, let me tell him that he is wrong; and I'd put it in a different way if I did not respect the honourable beards that are at the table."
"Indeed," said Don Quixote, "Sancho's moderation and cleanliness in eating might be inscribed and graved on plates of brass, to be kept in eternal remembrance in ages to come. It is true that when he is hungry there is a certain appearance of voracity about him, for he eats at a great pace and chews with both jaws; but cleanliness he is always mindful of; and when he was governor he learned how to eat daintily, so much so that he eats grapes, and even pomegranate pips, with a fork."
"What!" said Don Antonio, "has Sancho been a governor?"
"Ay," said Sancho, "and of an island called Barataria. I governed it to perfection for ten days; and lost my rest all the time; and learned to look down upon all the governments in the world; I got out of it by taking to flight, and fell into a pit where I gave myself up for dead, and out of which I escaped alive by a miracle."
Don Quixote then gave them a minute account of the whole affair of Sancho's government, with which he greatly amused his hearers.
On the cloth being removed Don Antonio, taking Don Quixote by the hand, passed with him into a distant room in which there was nothing in the way of furniture except a table, apparently of jasper, resting on a pedestal of the same, upon which was set up, after the fashion of the busts of the Roman emperors, a head which seemed to be of bronze. Don Antonio traversed the whole apartment with Don Quixote and walked round the table several times, and then said, "Now, Senor Don Quixote, that I am satisfied that no one is listening to us, and that the door is shut, I will tell you of one of the rarest adventures, or more properly speaking strange things, that can be imagined, on condition that you will keep what I say to you in the remotest recesses of secrecy."
"I swear it," said Don Quixote, "and for greater security I will put a flag-stone over it; for I would have you know, Senor Don Antonio" (he had by this time learned his name), "that you are addressing one who, though he has ears to hear, has no tongue to speak; so that you may safely transfer whatever you have in your bosom into mine, and rely upon it that you have consigned it to the depths of silence."
"In reliance upon that promise," said Don Antonio, "I will astonish you with what you shall see and hear, and relieve myself of some of the vexation it gives me to have no one to whom I can confide my secrets, for they are not of a sort to be entrusted to everybody."
Don Quixote was puzzled, wondering what could be the object of such precautions; whereupon Don Antonio taking his hand passed it over the bronze head and the whole table and the pedestal of jasper on which it stood, and then said, "This head, Senor Don Quixote, has been made and fabricated by one of the greatest magicians and wizards the world ever saw, a Pole, I believe, by birth, and a pupil of the famous Escotillo of whom such marvellous stories are told. He was here in my house, and for a consideration of a thousand crowns that I gave him he constructed this head, which has the property and virtue of answering whatever questions are put to its ear. He observed the points of the compass, he traced figures, he studied the stars, he watched favourable moments, and at length brought it to the perfection we shall see to-morrow, for on Fridays it is mute, and this being Friday we must wait till the next day. In the interval your worship may consider what you would like to ask it; and I know by experience that in all its answers it tells the truth."
Don Quixote was amazed at the virtue and property of the head, and was inclined to disbelieve Don Antonio; but seeing what a short time he had to wait to test the matter, he did not choose to say anything except that he thanked him for having revealed to him so mighty a secret. They then quitted the room, Don Antonio locked the door, and they repaired to the chamber where the rest of the gentlemen were assembled. In the meantime Sancho had recounted to them several of the adventures and accidents that had happened his master.
That afternoon they took Don Quixote out for a stroll, not in his armour but in street costume, with a surcoat of tawny cloth upon him, that at that season would have made ice itself sweat. Orders were left with the servants to entertain Sancho so as not to let him leave the house. Don Quixote was mounted, not on Rocinante, but upon a tall mule of easy pace and handsomely caparisoned. They put the surcoat on him, and on the back, without his perceiving it, they stitched a parchment on which they wrote in large letters, "This is Don Quixote of La Mancha." As they set out upon their excursion the placard attracted the eyes of all who chanced to see him, and as they read out, "This is Don Quixote of La Mancha," Don Quixote was amazed to see how many people gazed at him, called him by his name, and recognised him, and turning to Don Antonio, who rode at his side, he observed to him, "Great are the privileges knight-errantry involves, for it makes him who professes it known and famous in every region of the earth; see, Don Antonio, even the very boys of this city know me without ever having seen me."
"True, Senor Don Quixote," returned Don Antonio; "for as fire cannot be hidden or kept secret, virtue cannot escape being recognised; and that which is attained by the profession of arms shines distinguished above all others."
It came to pass, however, that as Don Quixote was proceeding amid the acclamations that have been described, a Castilian, reading the inscription on his back, cried out in a loud voice, "The devil take thee for a Don Quixote of La Mancha! What! art thou here, and not dead of the countless drubbings that have fallen on thy ribs? Thou art mad; and if thou wert so by thyself, and kept thyself within thy madness, it would not be so bad; but thou hast the gift of making fools and blockheads of all who have anything to do with thee or say to thee. Why, look at these gentlemen bearing thee company! Get thee home, blockhead, and see after thy affairs, and thy wife and children, and give over these fooleries that are sapping thy brains and skimming away thy wits."
"Go your own way, brother," said Don Antonio, "and don't offer advice to those who don't ask you for it. Senor Don Quixote is in his full senses, and we who bear him company are not fools; virtue is to be honoured wherever it may be found; go, and bad luck to you, and don't meddle where you are not wanted."
"By God, your worship is right," replied the Castilian; "for to advise this good man is to kick against the pricks; still for all that it fills me with pity that the sound wit they say the blockhead has in everything should dribble away by the channel of his knight-errantry; but may the bad luck your worship talks of follow me and all my descendants, if, from this day forth, though I should live longer than Methuselah, I ever give advice to anybody even if he asks me for it."
The advice-giver took himself off, and they continued their stroll; but so great was the press of the boys and people to read the placard, that Don Antonio was forced to remove it as if he were taking off something else.
Night came and they went home, and there was a ladies' dancing party, for Don Antonio's wife, a lady of rank and gaiety, beauty and wit, had invited some friends of hers to come and do honour to her guest and amuse themselves with his strange delusions. Several of them came, they supped sumptuously, the dance began at about ten o'clock. Among the ladies were two of a mischievous and frolicsome turn, and, though perfectly modest, somewhat free in playing tricks for harmless diversion sake. These two were so indefatigable in taking Don Quixote out to dance that they tired him down, not only in body but in spirit. It was a sight to see the figure Don Quixote made, long, lank, lean, and yellow, his garments clinging tight to him, ungainly, and above all anything but agile.
The gay ladies made secret love to him, and he on his part secretly repelled them, but finding himself hard pressed by their blandishments he lifted up his voice and exclaimed, "Fugite, partes adversae! Leave me in peace, unwelcome overtures; avaunt, with your desires, ladies, for she who is queen of mine, the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, suffers none but hers to lead me captive and subdue me;" and so saying he sat down on the floor in the middle of the room, tired out and broken down by all this exertion in the dance.
Don Antonio directed him to be taken up bodily and carried to bed, and the first that laid hold of him was Sancho, saying as he did so, "In an evil hour you took to dancing, master mine; do you fancy all mighty men of valour are dancers, and all knights-errant given to capering? If you do, I can tell you you are mistaken; there's many a man would rather undertake to kill a giant than cut a caper. If it had been the shoe-fling you were at I could take your place, for I can do the shoe-fling like a gerfalcon; but I'm no good at dancing."
With these and other observations Sancho set the whole ball-room laughing, and then put his master to bed, covering him up well so that he might sweat out any chill caught after his dancing.
The next day Don Antonio thought he might as well make trial of the enchanted head, and with Don Quixote, Sancho, and two others, friends of his, besides the two ladies that had tired out Don Quixote at the ball, who had remained for the night with Don Antonio's wife, he locked himself up in the chamber where the head was. He explained to them the property it possessed and entrusted the secret to them, telling them that now for the first time he was going to try the virtue of the enchanted head; but except Don Antonio's two friends no one else was privy to the mystery of the enchantment, and if Don Antonio had not first revealed it to them they would have been inevitably reduced to the same state of amazement as the rest, so artfully and skilfully was it contrived.
The first to approach the ear of the head was Don Antonio himself, and in a low voice but not so low as not to be audible to all, he said to it, "Head, tell me by the virtue that lies in thee what am I at this moment thinking of?"
The head, without any movement of the lips, answered in a clear and distinct voice, so as to be heard by all, "I cannot judge of thoughts."
All were thunderstruck at this, and all the more so as they saw that there was nobody anywhere near the table or in the whole room that could have answered. "How many of us are here?" asked Don Antonio once more; and it was answered him in the same way softly, "Thou and thy wife, with two friends of thine and two of hers, and a famous knight called Don Quixote of La Mancha, and a squire of his, Sancho Panza by name."
Now there was fresh astonishment; now everyone's hair was standing on end with awe; and Don Antonio retiring from the head exclaimed, "This suffices to show me that I have not been deceived by him who sold thee to me, O sage head, talking head, answering head, wonderful head! Let some one else go and put what question he likes to it."
And as women are commonly impulsive and inquisitive, the first to come forward was one of the two friends of Don Antonio's wife, and her question was, "Tell me, Head, what shall I do to be very beautiful?" and the answer she got was, "Be very modest."
"I question thee no further," said the fair querist.
Her companion then came up and said, "I should like to know, Head, whether my husband loves me or not;" the answer given to her was, "Think how he uses thee, and thou mayest guess;" and the married lady went off saying, "That answer did not need a question; for of course the treatment one receives shows the disposition of him from whom it is received."
Then one of Don Antonio's two friends advanced and asked it, "Who am I?" "Thou knowest," was the answer. "That is not what I ask thee," said the gentleman, "but to tell me if thou knowest me." "Yes, I know thee, thou art Don Pedro Noriz," was the reply.
"I do not seek to know more," said the gentleman, "for this is enough to convince me, O Head, that thou knowest everything;" and as he retired the other friend came forward and asked it, "Tell me, Head, what are the wishes of my eldest son?"
"I have said already," was the answer, "that I cannot judge of wishes; however, I can tell thee the wish of thy son is to bury thee."
"That's 'what I see with my eyes I point out with my finger,'" said the gentleman, "so I ask no more."
Don Antonio's wife came up and said, "I know not what to ask thee, Head; I would only seek to know of thee if I shall have many years of enjoyment of my good husband;" and the answer she received was, "Thou shalt, for his vigour and his temperate habits promise many years of life, which by their intemperance others so often cut short."
Then Don Quixote came forward and said, "Tell me, thou that answerest, was that which I describe as having happened to me in the cave of Montesinos the truth or a dream? Will Sancho's whipping be accomplished without fail? Will the disenchantment of Dulcinea be brought about?"
"As to the question of the cave," was the reply, "there is much to be said; there is something of both in it. Sancho's whipping will proceed leisurely. The disenchantment of Dulcinea will attain its due consummation."
"I seek to know no more," said Don Quixote; "let me but see Dulcinea disenchanted, and I will consider that all the good fortune I could wish for has come upon me all at once."
The last questioner was Sancho, and his questions were, "Head, shall I by any chance have another government? Shall I ever escape from the hard life of a squire? Shall I get back to see my wife and children?" To which the answer came, "Thou shalt govern in thy house; and if thou returnest to it thou shalt see thy wife and children; and on ceasing to serve thou shalt cease to be a squire."
"Good, by God!" said Sancho Panza; "I could have told myself that; the prophet Perogrullo could have said no more."
"What answer wouldst thou have, beast?" said Don Quixote; "is it not enough that the replies this head has given suit the questions put to it?"
"Yes, it is enough," said Sancho; "but I should have liked it to have made itself plainer and told me more."
The questions and answers came to an end here, but not the wonder with which all were filled, except Don Antonio's two friends who were in the secret. This Cide Hamete Benengeli thought fit to reveal at once, not to keep the world in suspense, fancying that the head had some strange magical mystery in it. He says, therefore, that on the model of another head, the work of an image maker, which he had seen at Madrid, Don Antonio made this one at home for his own amusement and to astonish ignorant people; and its mechanism was as follows. The table was of wood painted and varnished to imitate jasper, and the pedestal on which it stood was of the same material, with four eagles' claws projecting from it to support the weight more steadily. The head, which resembled a bust or figure of a Roman emperor, and was coloured like bronze, was hollow throughout, as was the table, into which it was fitted so exactly that no trace of the joining was visible. The pedestal of the table was also hollow and communicated with the throat and neck of the head, and the whole was in communication with another room underneath the chamber in which the head stood. Through the entire cavity in the pedestal, table, throat and neck of the bust or figure, there passed a tube of tin carefully adjusted and concealed from sight. In the room below corresponding to the one above was placed the person who was to answer, with his mouth to the tube, and the voice, as in an ear-trumpet, passed from above downwards, and from below upwards, the words coming clearly and distinctly; it was impossible, thus, to detect the trick. A nephew of Don Antonio's, a smart sharp-witted student, was the answerer, and as he had been told beforehand by his uncle who the persons were that would come with him that day into the chamber where the head was, it was an easy matter for him to answer the first question at once and correctly; the others he answered by guess-work, and, being clever, cleverly. Cide Hamete adds that this marvellous contrivance stood for some ten or twelve days; but that, as it became noised abroad through the city that he had in his house an enchanted head that answered all who asked questions of it, Don Antonio, fearing it might come to the ears of the watchful sentinels of our faith, explained the matter to the inquisitors, who commanded him to break it up and have done with it, lest the ignorant vulgar should be scandalised. By Don Quixote, however, and by Sancho the head was still held to be an enchanted one, and capable of answering questions, though more to Don Quixote's satisfaction than Sancho's.
The gentlemen of the city, to gratify Don Antonio and also to do the honours to Don Quixote, and give him an opportunity of displaying his folly, made arrangements for a tilting at the ring in six days from that time, which, however, for reason that will be mentioned hereafter, did not take place.
Don Quixote took a fancy to stroll about the city quietly and on foot, for he feared that if he went on horseback the boys would follow him; so he and Sancho and two servants that Don Antonio gave him set out for a walk. Thus it came to pass that going along one of the streets Don Quixote lifted up his eyes and saw written in very large letters over a door, "Books printed here," at which he was vastly pleased, for until then he had never seen a printing office, and he was curious to know what it was like. He entered with all his following, and saw them drawing sheets in one place, correcting in another, setting up type here, revising there; in short all the work that is to be seen in great printing offices. He went up to one case and asked what they were about there; the workmen told him, he watched them with wonder, and passed on. He approached one man, among others, and asked him what he was doing. The workman replied, "Senor, this gentleman here" (pointing to a man of prepossessing appearance and a certain gravity of look) "has translated an Italian book into our Spanish tongue, and I am setting it up in type for the press."
"What is the title of the book?" asked Don Quixote; to which the author replied, "Senor, in Italian the book is called Le Bagatelle."
"And what does Le Bagatelle import in our Spanish?" asked Don Quixote.
"Le Bagatelle," said the author, "is as though we should say in Spanish Los Juguetes; but though the book is humble in name it has good solid matter in it."
"I," said Don Quixote, "have some little smattering of Italian, and I plume myself on singing some of Ariosto's stanzas; but tell me, senor--I do not say this to test your ability, but merely out of curiosity--have you ever met with the word pignatta in your book?"
"Yes, often," said the author.
"And how do you render that in Spanish?"
"How should I render it," returned the author, "but by olla?"
"Body o' me," exclaimed Don Quixote, "what a proficient you are in the Italian language! I would lay a good wager that where they say in Italian piace you say in Spanish place, and where they say piu you say mas, and you translate su by arriba and giu by abajo."
"I translate them so of course," said the author, "for those are their proper equivalents."
"I would venture to swear," said Don Quixote, "that your worship is not known in the world, which always begrudges their reward to rare wits and praiseworthy labours. What talents lie wasted there! What genius thrust away into corners! What worth left neglected! Still it seems to me that translation from one language into another, if it be not from the queens of languages, the Greek and the Latin, is like looking at Flemish tapestries on the wrong side; for though the figures are visible, they are full of threads that make them indistinct, and they do not show with the smoothness and brightness of the right side; and translation from easy languages argues neither ingenuity nor command of words, any more than transcribing or copying out one document from another. But I do not mean by this to draw the inference that no credit is to be allowed for the work of translating, for a man may employ himself in ways worse and less profitable to himself. This estimate does not include two famous translators, Doctor Cristobal de Figueroa, in his Pastor Fido, and Don Juan de Jauregui, in his Aminta, wherein by their felicity they leave it in doubt which is the translation and which the original. But tell me, are you printing this book at your own risk, or have you sold the copyright to some bookseller?"
"I print at my own risk," said the author, "and I expect to make a thousand ducats at least by this first edition, which is to be of two thousand copies that will go off in a twinkling at six reals apiece."
"A fine calculation you are making!" said Don Quixote; "it is plain you don't know the ins and outs of the printers, and how they play into one another's hands. I promise you when you find yourself saddled with two thousand copies you will feel so sore that it will astonish you, particularly if the book is a little out of the common and not in any way highly spiced."
"What!" said the author, "would your worship, then, have me give it to a bookseller who will give three maravedis for the copyright and think he is doing me a favour? I do not print my books to win fame in the world, for I am known in it already by my works; I want to make money, without which reputation is not worth a rap."
"God send your worship good luck," said Don Quixote; and he moved on to another case, where he saw them correcting a sheet of a book with the title of "Light of the Soul;" noticing it he observed, "Books like this, though there are many of the kind, are the ones that deserve to be printed, for many are the sinners in these days, and lights unnumbered are needed for all that are in darkness."
He passed on, and saw they were also correcting another book, and when he asked its title they told him it was called, "The Second Part of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha," by one of Tordesillas.
"I have heard of this book already," said Don Quixote, "and verily and on my conscience I thought it had been by this time burned to ashes as a meddlesome intruder; but its Martinmas will come to it as it does to every pig; for fictions have the more merit and charm about them the more nearly they approach the truth or what looks like it; and true stories, the truer they are the better they are;" and so saying he walked out of the printing office with a certain amount of displeasure in his looks. That same day Don Antonio arranged to take him to see the galleys that lay at the beach, whereat Sancho was in high delight, as he had never seen any all his life. Don Antonio sent word to the commandant of the galleys that he intended to bring his guest, the famous Don Quixote of La Mancha, of whom the commandant and all the citizens had already heard, that afternoon to see them; and what happened on board of them will be told in the next chapter.