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CHAPTER LXVII

OF THE RESOLUTION DON QUIXOTE FORMED TO TURN SHEPHERD AND TAKE TO
A LIFE IN THE FIELDS WHILE THE YEAR FOR WHICH HE HAD GIVEN HIS WORD
WAS RUNNING ITS COURSE; WITH OTHER EVENTS TRULY DELECTABLE AND HAPPY


If a multitude of reflections used to harass Don Quixote before he
had been overthrown, a great many more harassed him since his fall. He
was under the shade of a tree, as has been said, and there, like flies
on honey, thoughts came crowding upon him and stinging him. Some of
them turned upon the disenchantment of Dulcinea, others upon the
life he was about to lead in his enforced retirement. Sancho came up
and spoke in high praise of the generous disposition of the lacquey
Tosilos.

"Is it possible, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou dost still
think that he yonder is a real lacquey? Apparently it has escaped
thy memory that thou hast seen Dulcinea turned and transformed into
a peasant wench, and the Knight of the Mirrors into the bachelor
Carrasco; all the work of the enchanters that persecute me. But tell
me now, didst thou ask this Tosilos, as thou callest him, what has
become of Altisidora, did she weep over my absence, or has she already
consigned to oblivion the love thoughts that used to afflict her
when I was present?"

"The thoughts that I had," said Sancho, "were not such as to leave
time for asking fool's questions. Body o' me, senor! is your worship
in a condition now to inquire into other people's thoughts, above
all love thoughts?"

"Look ye, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "there is a great difference
between what is done out of love and what is done out of gratitude.
A knight may very possibly he proof against love; but it is
impossible, strictly speaking, for him to be ungrateful. Altisidora,
to all appearance, loved me truly; she gave me the three kerchiefs
thou knowest of; she wept at my departure, she cursed me, she abused
me, casting shame to the winds she bewailed herself in public; all
signs that she adored me; for the wrath of lovers always ends in
curses. I had no hopes to give her, nor treasures to offer her, for
mine are given to Dulcinea, and the treasures of knights-errant are
like those of the fairies,' illusory and deceptive; all I can give her
is the place in my memory I keep for her, without prejudice,
however, to that which I hold devoted to Dulcinea, whom thou art
wronging by thy remissness in whipping thyself and scourging that
flesh- would that I saw it eaten by wolves- which would rather keep
itself for the worms than for the relief of that poor lady."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "if the truth is to be told, I cannot
persuade myself that the whipping of my backside has anything to do
with the disenchantment of the enchanted; it is like saying, 'If
your head aches rub ointment on your knees;' at any rate I'll make
bold to swear that in all the histories dealing with knight-errantry
that your worship has read you have never come across anybody
disenchanted by whipping; but whether or no I'll whip myself when I
have a fancy for it, and the opportunity serves for scourging myself
comfortably."

"God grant it," said Don Quixote; "and heaven give thee grace to
take it to heart and own the obligation thou art under to help my
lady, who is thine also, inasmuch as thou art mine."

As they pursued their journey talking in this way they came to the
very same spot where they had been trampled on by the bulls. Don
Quixote recognised it, and said he to Sancho, "This is the meadow
where we came upon those gay shepherdesses and gallant shepherds who
were trying to revive and imitate the pastoral Arcadia there, an
idea as novel as it was happy, in emulation whereof, if so he thou
dost approve of it, Sancho, I would have ourselves turn shepherds,
at any rate for the time I have to live in retirement. I will buy some
ewes and everything else requisite for the pastoral calling; and, I
under the name of the shepherd Quixotize and thou as the shepherd
Panzino, we will roam the woods and groves and meadows singing songs
here, lamenting in elegies there, drinking of the crystal waters of
the springs or limpid brooks or flowing rivers. The oaks will yield us
their sweet fruit with bountiful hand, the trunks of the hard cork
trees a seat, the willows shade, the roses perfume, the widespread
meadows carpets tinted with a thousand dyes; the clear pure air will
give us breath, the moon and stars lighten the darkness of the night
for us, song shall be our delight, lamenting our joy, Apollo will
supply us with verses, and love with conceits whereby we shall make
ourselves famed for ever, not only in this but in ages to come."

"Egad," said Sancho, "but that sort of life squares, nay corners,
with my notions; and what is more the bachelor Samson Carrasco and
Master Nicholas the barber won't have well seen it before they'll want
to follow it and turn shepherds along with us; and God grant it may
not come into the curate's head to join the sheepfold too, he's so
jovial and fond of enjoying himself."

"Thou art in the right of it, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "and the
bachelor Samson Carrasco, if he enters the pastoral fraternity, as
no doubt he will, may call himself the shepherd Samsonino, or
perhaps the shepherd Carrascon; Nicholas the barber may call himself
Niculoso, as old Boscan formerly was called Nemoroso; as for the
curate I don't know what name we can fit to him unless it be something
derived from his title, and we call him the shepherd Curiambro. For
the shepherdesses whose lovers we shall be, we can pick names as we
would pears; and as my lady's name does just as well for a
shepherdess's as for a princess's, I need not trouble myself to look
for one that will suit her better; to thine, Sancho, thou canst give
what name thou wilt."

"I don't mean to give her any but Teresona," said Sancho, "which
will go well with her stoutness and with her own right name, as she is
called Teresa; and then when I sing her praises in my verses I'll show
how chaste my passion is, for I'm not going to look 'for better
bread than ever came from wheat' in other men's houses. It won't do
for the curate to have a shepherdess, for the sake of good example;
and if the bachelor chooses to have one, that is his look-out."

"God bless me, Sancho my friend!" said Don Quixote, "what a life
we shall lead! What hautboys and Zamora bagpipes we shall hear, what
tabors, timbrels, and rebecks! And then if among all these different
sorts of music that of the albogues is heard, almost all the
pastoral instruments will be there."

"What are albogues?" asked Sancho, "for I never in my life heard
tell of them or saw them."

"Albogues," said Don Quixote, "are brass plates like candlesticks
that struck against one another on the hollow side make a noise which,
if not very pleasing or harmonious, is not disagreeable and accords
very well with the rude notes of the bagpipe and tabor. The word
albogue is Morisco, as are all those in our Spanish tongue that
begin with al; for example, almohaza, almorzar, alhombra, alguacil,
alhucema, almacen, alcancia, and others of the same sort, of which
there are not many more; our language has only three that are
Morisco and end in i, which are borcegui, zaquizami, and maravedi.
Alheli and alfaqui are seen to be Arabic, as well by the al at the
beginning as by the they end with. I mention this incidentally, the
chance allusion to albogues having reminded me of it; and it will be
of great assistance to us in the perfect practice of this calling that
I am something of a poet, as thou knowest, and that besides the
bachelor Samson Carrasco is an accomplished one. Of the curate I say
nothing; but I will wager he has some spice of the poet in him, and no
doubt Master Nicholas too, for all barbers, or most of them, are
guitar players and stringers of verses. I will bewail my separation;
thou shalt glorify thyself as a constant lover; the shepherd Carrascon
will figure as a rejected one, and the curate Curiambro as whatever
may please him best; and so all will go as gaily as heart could wish."

To this Sancho made answer, "I am so unlucky, senor, that I'm afraid
the day will never come when I'll see myself at such a calling. O what
neat spoons I'll make when I'm a shepherd! What messes, creams,
garlands, pastoral odds and ends! And if they don't get me a name
for wisdom, they'll not fail to get me one for ingenuity. My
daughter Sanchica will bring us our dinner to the pasture. But stay-
she's good-looking, and shepherds there are with more mischief than
simplicity in them; I would not have her 'come for wool and go back
shorn;' love-making and lawless desires are just as common in the
fields as in the cities, and in shepherds' shanties as in royal
palaces; 'do away with the cause, you do away with the sin;' 'if
eyes don't see hearts don't break' and 'better a clear escape than
good men's prayers.'"

"A truce to thy proverbs, Sancho," exclaimed Don Quixote; "any one
of those thou hast uttered would suffice to explain thy meaning;
many a time have I recommended thee not to be so lavish with
proverbs and to exercise some moderation in delivering them; but it
seems to me it is only 'preaching in the desert;' 'my mother beats
me and I go on with my tricks."

"It seems to me," said Sancho, "that your worship is like the common
saying, 'Said the frying-pan to the kettle, Get away, blackbreech.'
You chide me for uttering proverbs, and you string them in couples
yourself."

"Observe, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "I bring in proverbs to
the purpose, and when I quote them they fit like a ring to the finger;
thou bringest them in by the head and shoulders, in such a way that
thou dost drag them in, rather than introduce them; if I am not
mistaken, I have told thee already that proverbs are short maxims
drawn from the experience and observation of our wise men of old;
but the proverb that is not to the purpose is a piece of nonsense
and not a maxim. But enough of this; as nightfall is drawing on let us
retire some little distance from the high road to pass the night; what
is in store for us to-morrow God knoweth."

They turned aside, and supped late and poorly, very much against
Sancho's will, who turned over in his mind the hardships attendant
upon knight-errantry in woods and forests, even though at times plenty
presented itself in castles and houses, as at Don Diego de
Miranda's, at the wedding of Camacho the Rich, and at Don Antonio
Moreno's; he reflected, however, that it could not be always day,
nor always night; and so that night he passed in sleeping, and his
master in waking.




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