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CHAPTER LXI

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.




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