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CHAPTER LIX

WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE THING, WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS AN
ADVENTURE, THAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE

A clear limpid spring which they discovered in a cool grove relieved
Don Quixote and Sancho of the dust and fatigue due to the unpolite
behaviour of the bulls, and by the side of this, having turned
Dapple and Rocinante loose without headstall or bridle, the forlorn
pair, master and man, seated themselves. Sancho had recourse to the
larder of his alforjas and took out of them what he called the prog;
Don Quixote rinsed his mouth and bathed his face, by which cooling
process his flagging energies were revived. Out of pure vexation he
remained without eating, and out of pure politeness Sancho did not
venture to touch a morsel of what was before him, but waited for his
master to act as taster. Seeing, however, that, absorbed in thought,
he was forgetting to carry the bread to his mouth, he said never a
word, and trampling every sort of good breeding under foot, began to
stow away in his paunch the bread and cheese that came to his hand.

"Eat, Sancho my friend," said Don Quixote; "support life, which is
of more consequence to thee than to me, and leave me to die under
the pain of my thoughts and pressure of my misfortunes. I was born,
Sancho, to live dying, and thou to die eating; and to prove the
truth of what I say, look at me, printed in histories, famed in
arms, courteous in behaviour, honoured by princes, courted by maidens;
and after all, when I looked forward to palms, triumphs, and crowns,
won and earned by my valiant deeds, I have this morning seen myself
trampled on, kicked, and crushed by the feet of unclean and filthy
animals. This thought blunts my teeth, paralyses my jaws, cramps my
hands, and robs me of all appetite for food; so much so that I have
a mind to let myself die of hunger, the cruelest death of all deaths."

"So then," said Sancho, munching hard all the time, "your worship
does not agree with the proverb that says, 'Let Martha die, but let
her die with a full belly.' I, at any rate, have no mind to kill
myself; so far from that, I mean to do as the cobbler does, who
stretches the leather with his teeth until he makes it reach as far as
he wants. I'll stretch out my life by eating until it reaches the
end heaven has fixed for it; and let me tell you, senor, there's no
greater folly than to think of dying of despair as your worship
does; take my advice, and after eating lie down and sleep a bit on
this green grass-mattress, and you will see that when you awake you'll
feel something better."

Don Quixote did as he recommended, for it struck him that Sancho's
reasoning was more like a philosopher's than a blockhead's, and said
he, "Sancho, if thou wilt do for me what I am going to tell thee my
ease of mind would be more assured and my heaviness of heart not so
great; and it is this; to go aside a little while I am sleeping in
accordance with thy advice, and, making bare thy carcase to the air,
to give thyself three or four hundred lashes with Rocinante's reins,
on account of the three thousand and odd thou art to give thyself
for the disenchantment of Dulcinea; for it is a great pity that the
poor lady should be left enchanted through thy carelessness and
negligence."

"There is a good deal to be said on that point," said Sancho; "let
us both go to sleep now, and after that, God has decreed what will
happen. Let me tell your worship that for a man to whip himself in
cold blood is a hard thing, especially if the stripes fall upon an
ill-nourished and worse-fed body. Let my lady Dulcinea have
patience, and when she is least expecting it, she will see me made a
riddle of with whipping, and 'until death it's all life;' I mean
that I have still life in me, and the desire to make good what I
have promised."

Don Quixote thanked him, and ate a little, and Sancho a good deal,
and then they both lay down to sleep, leaving those two inseparable
friends and comrades, Rocinante and Dapple, to their own devices and
to feed unrestrained upon the abundant grass with which the meadow was
furnished. They woke up rather late, mounted once more and resumed
their journey, pushing on to reach an inn which was in sight,
apparently a league off. I say an inn, because Don Quixote called it
so, contrary to his usual practice of calling all inns castles. They
reached it, and asked the landlord if they could put up there. He said
yes, with as much comfort and as good fare as they could find in
Saragossa. They dismounted, and Sancho stowed away his larder in a
room of which the landlord gave him the key. He took the beasts to the
stable, fed them, and came back to see what orders Don Quixote, who
was seated on a bench at the door, had for him, giving special
thanks to heaven that this inn had not been taken for a castle by
his master. Supper-time came, and they repaired to their room, and
Sancho asked the landlord what he had to give them for supper. To this
the landlord replied that his mouth should be the measure; he had only
to ask what he would; for that inn was provided with the birds of
the air and the fowls of the earth and the fish of the sea.

"There's no need of all that," said Sancho; "if they'll roast us a
couple of chickens we'll be satisfied, for my master is delicate and
eats little, and I'm not over and above gluttonous."

The landlord replied he had no chickens, for the kites had stolen
them.

"Well then," said Sancho, "let senor landlord tell them to roast a
pullet, so that it is a tender one."

"Pullet! My father!" said the landlord; "indeed and in truth it's
only yesterday I sent over fifty to the city to sell; but saving
pullets ask what you will."

"In that case," said Sancho, "you will not be without veal or kid."

"Just now," said the landlord, "there's none in the house, for
it's all finished; but next week there will he enough and to spare."

"Much good that does us," said Sancho; "I'll lay a bet that all
these short-comings are going to wind up in plenty of bacon and eggs."

"By God," said the landlord, "my guest's wits must he precious dull;
I tell him I have neither pullets nor hens, and he wants me to have
eggs! Talk of other dainties, if you please, and don't ask for hens
again."

"Body o' me!" said Sancho, "let's settle the matter; say at once
what you have got, and let us have no more words about it."

"In truth and earnest, senor guest," said the landlord, "all I
have is a couple of cow-heels like calves' feet, or a couple of
calves' feet like cowheels; they are boiled with chick-peas, onions,
and bacon, and at this moment they are crying 'Come eat me, come eat
me."

"I mark them for mine on the spot," said Sancho; "let nobody touch
them; I'll pay better for them than anyone else, for I could not
wish for anything more to my taste; and I don't care a pin whether
they are feet or heels."

"Nobody shall touch them," said the landlord; "for the other
guests I have, being persons of high quality, bring their own cook and
caterer and larder with them."

"If you come to people of quality," said Sancho, "there's nobody
more so than my master; but the calling he follows does not allow of
larders or store-rooms; we lay ourselves down in the middle of a
meadow, and fill ourselves with acorns or medlars."

Here ended Sancho's conversation with the landlord, Sancho not
caring to carry it any farther by answering him; for he had already
asked him what calling or what profession it was his master was of.

Supper-time having come, then, Don Quixote betook himself to his
room, the landlord brought in the stew-pan just as it was, and he
sat himself down to sup very resolutely. It seems that in another
room, which was next to Don Quixote's, with nothing but a thin
partition to separate it, he overheard these words, "As you live,
Senor Don Jeronimo, while they are bringing supper, let us read
another chapter of the Second Part of 'Don Quixote of La Mancha.'"

The instant Don Quixote heard his own name be started to his feet
and listened with open ears to catch what they said about him, and
heard the Don Jeronimo who had been addressed say in reply, "Why would
you have us read that absurd stuff, Don Juan, when it is impossible
for anyone who has read the First Part of the history of 'Don
Quixote of La Mancha' to take any pleasure in reading this Second
Part?"

"For all that," said he who was addressed as Don Juan, "we shall
do well to read it, for there is no book so bad but it has something
good in it. What displeases me most in it is that it represents Don
Quixote as now cured of his love for Dulcinea del Toboso."

On hearing this Don Quixote, full of wrath and indignation, lifted
up his voice and said, "Whoever he may be who says that Don Quixote of
La Mancha has forgotten or can forget Dulcinea del Toboso, I will
teach him with equal arms that what he says is very far from the
truth; for neither can the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso be
forgotten, nor can forgetfulness have a place in Don Quixote; his
motto is constancy, and his profession to maintain the same with his
life and never wrong it."

"Who is this that answers us?" said they in the next room.

"Who should it be," said Sancho, "but Don Quixote of La Mancha
himself, who will make good all he has said and all he will say; for
pledges don't trouble a good payer."

Sancho had hardly uttered these words when two gentlemen, for such
they seemed to be, entered the room, and one of them, throwing his
arms round Don Quixote's neck, said to him, "Your appearance cannot
leave any question as to your name, nor can your name fail to identify
your appearance; unquestionably, senor, you are the real Don Quixote
of La Mancha, cynosure and morning star of knight-errantry, despite
and in defiance of him who has sought to usurp your name and bring
to naught your achievements, as the author of this book which I here
present to you has done;" and with this he put a book which his
companion carried into the hands of Don Quixote, who took it, and
without replying began to run his eye over it; but he presently
returned it saying, "In the little I have seen I have discovered three
things in this author that deserve to be censured. The first is some
words that I have read in the preface; the next that the language is
Aragonese, for sometimes he writes without articles; and the third,
which above all stamps him as ignorant, is that he goes wrong and
departs from the truth in the most important part of the history,
for here he says that my squire Sancho Panza's wife is called Mari
Gutierrez, when she is called nothing of the sort, but Teresa Panza;
and when a man errs on such an important point as this there is good
reason to fear that he is in error on every other point in the
history."

"A nice sort of historian, indeed!" exclaimed Sancho at this; "he
must know a deal about our affairs when he calls my wife Teresa Panza,
Mari Gutierrez; take the book again, senor, and see if I am in it
and if he has changed my name."

"From your talk, friend," said Don Jeronimo, "no doubt you are
Sancho Panza, Senor Don Quixote's squire."

"Yes, I am," said Sancho; "and I'm proud of it."

"Faith, then," said the gentleman, "this new author does not
handle you with the decency that displays itself in your person; he
makes you out a heavy feeder and a fool, and not in the least droll,
and a very different being from the Sancho described in the First Part
of your master's history."

"God forgive him," said Sancho; "he might have left me in my
corner without troubling his head about me; 'let him who knows how
ring the bells; 'Saint Peter is very well in Rome.'"

The two gentlemen pressed Don Quixote to come into their room and
have supper with them, as they knew very well there was nothing in
that inn fit for one of his sort. Don Quixote, who was always
polite, yielded to their request and supped with them. Sancho stayed
behind with the stew. and invested with plenary delegated authority
seated himself at the head of the table, and the landlord sat down
with him, for he was no less fond of cow-heel and calves' feet than
Sancho was.

While at supper Don Juan asked Don Quixote what news he had of the
lady Dulcinea del Toboso, was she married, had she been brought to
bed, or was she with child, or did she in maidenhood, still preserving
her modesty and delicacy, cherish the remembrance of the tender
passion of Senor Don Quixote?

To this he replied, "Dulcinea is a maiden still, and my passion more
firmly rooted than ever, our intercourse unsatisfactory as before, and
her beauty transformed into that of a foul country wench;" and then he
proceeded to give them a full and particular account of the
enchantment of Dulcinea, and of what had happened him in the cave of
Montesinos, together with what the sage Merlin had prescribed for
her disenchantment, namely the scourging of Sancho.

Exceedingly great was the amusement the two gentlemen derived from
hearing Don Quixote recount the strange incidents of his history;
and if they were amazed by his absurdities they were equally amazed by
the elegant style in which he delivered them. On the one hand they
regarded him as a man of wit and sense, and on the other he seemed
to them a maundering blockhead, and they could not make up their minds
whereabouts between wisdom and folly they ought to place him.

Sancho having finished his supper, and left the landlord in the X
condition, repaired to the room where his master was, and as he came
in said, "May I die, sirs, if the author of this book your worships
have got has any mind that we should agree; as he calls me glutton
(according to what your worships say) I wish he may not call me
drunkard too."

"But he does," said Don Jeronimo; "I cannot remember, however, in
what way, though I know his words are offensive, and what is more,
lying, as I can see plainly by the physiognomy of the worthy Sancho
before me."

"Believe me," said Sancho, "the Sancho and the Don Quixote of this
history must be different persons from those that appear in the one
Cide Hamete Benengeli wrote, who are ourselves; my master valiant,
wise, and true in love, and I simple, droll, and neither glutton nor
drunkard."

"I believe it," said Don Juan; "and were it possible, an order
should be issued that no one should have the presumption to deal
with anything relating to Don Quixote, save his original author Cide
Hamete; just as Alexander commanded that no one should presume to
paint his portrait save Apelles."

"Let him who will paint me," said Don Quixote; "but let him not
abuse me; for patience will often break down when they heap insults
upon it."

"None can be offered to Senor Don Quixote," said Don Juan, "that
he himself will not be able to avenge, if he does not ward it off with
the shield of his patience, which, I take it, is great and strong."

A considerable portion of the night passed in conversation of this
sort, and though Don Juan wished Don Quixote to read more of the
book to see what it was all about, he was not to be prevailed upon,
saying that he treated it as read and pronounced it utterly silly;
and, if by any chance it should come to its author's ears that he
had it in his hand, he did not want him to flatter himself with the
idea that he had read it; for our thoughts, and still more our eyes,
should keep themselves aloof from what is obscene and filthy.

They asked him whither he meant to direct his steps. He replied,
to Saragossa, to take part in the harness jousts which were held in
that city every year. Don Juan told him that the new history described
how Don Quixote, let him be who he might, took part there in a tilting
at the ring, utterly devoid of invention, poor in mottoes, very poor
in costume, though rich in sillinesses.

"For that very reason," said Don Quixote, "I will not set foot in
Saragossa; and by that means I shall expose to the world the lie of
this new history writer, and people will see that I am not the Don
Quixote he speaks of."

"You will do quite right," said Don Jeronimo; "and there are other
jousts at Barcelona in which Senor Don Quixote may display his
prowess."

"That is what I mean to do," said Don Quixote; "and as it is now
time, I pray your worships to give me leave to retire to bed, and to
place and retain me among the number of your greatest friends and
servants."

"And me too," said Sancho; "maybe I'll be good for something."

With this they exchanged farewells, and Don Quixote and Sancho
retired to their room, leaving Don Juan and Don Jeronimo amazed to see
the medley he made of his good sense and his craziness; and they
felt thoroughly convinced that these, and not those their Aragonese
author described, were the genuine Don Quixote and Sancho. Don Quixote
rose betimes, and bade adieu to his hosts by knocking at the partition
of the other room. Sancho paid the landlord magnificently, and
recommended him either to say less about the providing of his inn or
to keep it better provided.




Don Quixote by Migeul de Cervantes
Category:
Romance Literature - Spanish
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