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CHAPTER LXV

WHEREIN IS MADE KNOWN WHO THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON WAS; LIKEWISE
DON GREGORIO'S RELEASE, AND OTHER EVENTS


Don Antonia Moreno followed the Knight of the White Moon, and a
number of boys followed him too, nay pursued him, until they had him
fairly housed in a hostel in the heart of the city. Don Antonio, eager
to make his acquaintance, entered also; a squire came out to meet
him and remove his armour, and he shut himself into a lower room,
still attended by Don Antonio, whose bread would not bake until he had
found out who he was. He of the White Moon, seeing then that the
gentleman would not leave him, said, "I know very well, senor, what
you have come for; it is to find out who I am; and as there is no
reason why I should conceal it from you, while my servant here is
taking off my armour I will tell you the true state of the case,
without leaving out anything. You must know, senor, that I am called
the bachelor Samson Carrasco. I am of the same village as Don
Quixote of La Mancha, whose craze and folly make all of us who know
him feel pity for him, and I am one of those who have felt it most;
and persuaded that his chance of recovery lay in quiet and keeping
at home and in his own house, I hit upon a device for keeping him
there. Three months ago, therefore, I went out to meet him as a
knight-errant, under the assumed name of the Knight of the Mirrors,
intending to engage him in combat and overcome him without hurting
him, making it the condition of our combat that the vanquished
should be at the disposal of the victor. What I meant to demand of him
(for I regarded him as vanquished already) was that he should return
to his own village, and not leave it for a whole year, by which time
he might he cured. But fate ordered it otherwise, for he vanquished me
and unhorsed me, and so my plan failed. He went his way, and I came
back conquered, covered with shame, and sorely bruised by my fall,
which was a particularly dangerous one. But this did not quench my
desire to meet him again and overcome him, as you have seen to-day.
And as he is so scrupulous in his observance of the laws of
knight-errantry, he will, no doubt, in order to keep his word, obey
the injunction I have laid upon him. This, senor, is how the matter
stands, and I have nothing more to tell you. I implore of you not to
betray me, or tell Don Quixote who I am; so that my honest
endeavours may be successful, and that a man of excellent wits- were
he only rid of the fooleries of chivalry- may get them back again."

"O senor," said Don Antonio, "may God forgive you the wrong you have
done the whole world in trying to bring the most amusing madman in
it back to his senses. Do you not see, senor, that the gain by Don
Quixote's sanity can never equal the enjoyment his crazes give? But my
belief is that all the senor bachelor's pains will be of no avail to
bring a man so hopelessly cracked to his senses again; and if it
were not uncharitable, I would say may Don Quixote never be cured, for
by his recovery we lose not only his own drolleries, but his squire
Sancho Panza's too, any one of which is enough to turn melancholy
itself into merriment. However, I'll hold my peace and say nothing
to him, and we'll see whether I am right in my suspicion that Senor
Carrasco's efforts will be fruitless."

The bachelor replied that at all events the affair promised well,
and he hoped for a happy result from it; and putting his services at
Don Antonio's commands he took his leave of him; and having had his
armour packed at once upon a mule, he rode away from the city the same
day on the horse he rode to battle, and returned to his own country
without meeting any adventure calling for record in this veracious
history.

Don Antonio reported to the viceroy what Carrasco told him, and
the viceroy was not very well pleased to hear it, for with Don
Quixote's retirement there was an end to the amusement of all who knew
anything of his mad doings.

Six days did Don Quixote keep his bed, dejected, melancholy, moody
and out of sorts, brooding over the unhappy event of his defeat.
Sancho strove to comfort him, and among other things he said to him,
"Hold up your head, senor, and be of good cheer if you can, and give
thanks to heaven that if you have had a tumble to the ground you
have not come off with a broken rib; and, as you know that 'where they
give they take,' and that 'there are not always fletches where there
are pegs,' a fig for the doctor, for there's no need of him to cure
this ailment. Let us go home, and give over going about in search of
adventures in strange lands and places; rightly looked at, it is I
that am the greater loser, though it is your worship that has had
the worse usage. With the government I gave up all wish to be a
governor again, but I did not give up all longing to be a count; and
that will never come to pass if your worship gives up becoming a
king by renouncing the calling of chivalry; and so my hopes are
going to turn into smoke."

"Peace, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "thou seest my suspension and
retirement is not to exceed a year; I shall soon return to my honoured
calling, and I shall not be at a loss for a kingdom to win and a
county to bestow on thee."

"May God hear it and sin be deaf," said Sancho; "I have always heard
say that 'a good hope is better than a bad holding."

As they were talking Don Antonio came in looking extremely pleased
and exclaiming, "Reward me for my good news, Senor Don Quixote! Don
Gregorio and the renegade who went for him have come ashore- ashore do
I say? They are by this time in the viceroy's house, and will be
here immediately."

Don Quixote cheered up a little and said, "Of a truth I am almost
ready to say I should have been glad had it turned out just the
other way, for it would have obliged me to cross over to Barbary,
where by the might of my arm I should have restored to liberty, not
only Don Gregorio, but all the Christian captives there are in
Barbary. But what am I saying, miserable being that I am? Am I not
he that has been conquered? Am I not he that has been overthrown? Am I
not he who must not take up arms for a year? Then what am I making
professions for; what am I bragging about; when it is fitter for me to
handle the distaff than the sword?"

"No more of that, senor," said Sancho; "'let the hen live, even
though it be with her pip; 'today for thee and to-morrow for me;' in
these affairs of encounters and whacks one must not mind them, for
he that falls to-day may get up to-morrow; unless indeed he chooses to
lie in bed, I mean gives way to weakness and does not pluck up fresh
spirit for fresh battles; let your worship get up now to receive Don
Gregorio; for the household seems to be in a bustle, and no doubt he
has come by this time;" and so it proved, for as soon as Don
Gregorio and the renegade had given the viceroy an account of the
voyage out and home, Don Gregorio, eager to see Ana Felix, came with
the renegade to Don Antonio's house. When they carried him away from
Algiers he was in woman's dress; on board the vessel, however, he
exchanged it for that of a captive who escaped with him; but in
whatever dress he might be he looked like one to be loved and served
and esteemed, for he was surpassingly well-favoured, and to judge by
appearances some seventeen or eighteen years of age. Ricote and his
daughter came out to welcome him, the father with tears, the
daughter with bashfulness. They did not embrace each other, for
where there is deep love there will never be overmuch boldness. Seen
side by side, the comeliness of Don Gregorio and the beauty of Ana
Felix were the admiration of all who were present. It was silence that
spoke for the lovers at that moment, and their eyes were the tongues
that declared their pure and happy feelings. The renegade explained
the measures and means he had adopted to rescue Don Gregorio, and
Don Gregorio at no great length, but in a few words, in which he
showed that his intelligence was in advance of his years, described
the peril and embarrassment he found himself in among the women with
whom he had sojourned. To conclude, Ricote liberally recompensed and
rewarded as well the renegade as the men who had rowed; and the
renegade effected his readmission into the body of the Church and
was reconciled with it, and from a rotten limb became by penance and
repentance a clean and sound one.

Two days later the viceroy discussed with Don Antonio the steps they
should take to enable Ana Felix and her father to stay in Spain, for
it seemed to them there could be no objection to a daughter who was so
good a Christian and a father to all appearance so well disposed
remaining there. Don Antonio offered to arrange the matter at the
capital, whither he was compelled to go on some other business,
hinting that many a difficult affair was settled there with the help
of favour and bribes.

"Nay," said Ricote, who was present during the conversation, "it
will not do to rely upon favour or bribes, because with the great
Don Bernardino de Velasco, Conde de Salazar, to whom his Majesty has
entrusted our expulsion, neither entreaties nor promises, bribes nor
appeals to compassion, are of any use; for though it is true he
mingles mercy with justice, still, seeing that the whole body of our
nation is tainted and corrupt, he applies to it the cautery that burns
rather than the salve that soothes; and thus, by prudence, sagacity,
care and the fear he inspires, he has borne on his mighty shoulders
the weight of this great policy and carried it into effect, all our
schemes and plots, importunities and wiles, being ineffectual to blind
his Argus eyes, ever on the watch lest one of us should remain
behind in concealment, and like a hidden root come in course of time
to sprout and bear poisonous fruit in Spain, now cleansed, and
relieved of the fear in which our vast numbers kept it. Heroic resolve
of the great Philip the Third, and unparalleled wisdom to have
entrusted it to the said Don Bernardino de Velasco!"

"At any rate," said Don Antonio, "when I am there I will make all
possible efforts, and let heaven do as pleases it best; Don Gregorio
will come with me to relieve the anxiety which his parents must be
suffering on account of his absence; Ana Felix will remain in my house
with my wife, or in a monastery; and I know the viceroy will be glad
that the worthy Ricote should stay with him until we see what terms
I can make."

The viceroy agreed to all that was proposed; but Don Gregorio on
learning what had passed declared he could not and would not on any
account leave Ana Felix; however, as it was his purpose to go and
see his parents and devise some way of returning for her, he fell in
with the proposed arrangement. Ana Felix remained with Don Antonio's
wife, and Ricote in the viceroy's house.

The day for Don Antonio's departure came; and two days later that
for Don Quixote's and Sancho's, for Don Quixote's fall did not
suffer him to take the road sooner. There were tears and sighs,
swoonings and sobs, at the parting between Don Gregorio and Ana Felix.
Ricote offered Don Gregorio a thousand crowns if he would have them,
but he would not take any save five which Don Antonio lent him and
he promised to repay at the capital. So the two of them took their
departure, and Don Quixote and Sancho afterwards, as has been
already said, Don Quixote without his armour and in travelling gear,
and Sancho on foot, Dapple being loaded with the armour.




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