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CHAPTER IV

IN WHICH SANCHO PANZA GIVES A SATISFACTORY REPLY TO THE DOUBTS AND
QUESTIONS OF THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS
WORTH KNOWING AND TELLING

Sancho came back to Don Quixote's house, and returning to the late
subject of conversation, he said, "As to what Senor Samson said,
that he would like to know by whom, or how, or when my ass was stolen,
I say in reply that the same night we went into the Sierra Morena,
flying from the Holy Brotherhood after that unlucky adventure of the
galley slaves, and the other of the corpse that was going to
Segovia, my master and I ensconced ourselves in a thicket, and
there, my master leaning on his lance, and I seated on my Dapple,
battered and weary with the late frays we fell asleep as if it had
been on four feather mattresses; and I in particular slept so sound,
that, whoever he was, he was able to come and prop me up on four
stakes, which he put under the four corners of the pack-saddle in such
a way that he left me mounted on it, and took away Dapple from under
me without my feeling it."

"That is an easy matter," said Don Quixote, "and it is no new
occurrence, for the same thing happened to Sacripante at the siege
of Albracca; the famous thief, Brunello, by the same contrivance, took
his horse from between his legs."

"Day came," continued Sancho, "and the moment I stirred the stakes
gave way and I fell to the ground with a mighty come down; I looked
about for the ass, but could not see him; the tears rushed to my
eyes and I raised such a lamentation that, if the author of our
history has not put it in, he may depend upon it he has left out a
good thing. Some days after, I know not how many, travelling with
her ladyship the Princess Micomicona, I saw my ass, and mounted upon
him, in the dress of a gipsy, was that Gines de Pasamonte, the great
rogue and rascal that my master and I freed from the chain."

"That is not where the mistake is," replied Samson; "it is, that
before the ass has turned up, the author speaks of Sancho as being
mounted on it."

"I don't know what to say to that," said Sancho, "unless that the
historian made a mistake, or perhaps it might be a blunder of the
printer's."

"No doubt that's it," said Samson; "but what became of the hundred
crowns? Did they vanish?"

To which Sancho answered, "I spent them for my own good, and my
wife's, and my children's, and it is they that have made my wife
bear so patiently all my wanderings on highways and byways, in the
service of my master, Don Quixote; for if after all this time I had
come back to the house without a rap and without the ass, it would
have been a poor look-out for me; and if anyone wants to know anything
more about me, here I am, ready to answer the king himself in
person; and it is no affair of anyone's whether I took or did not
take, whether I spent or did not spend; for the whacks that were given
me in these journeys were to be paid for in money, even if they were
valued at no more than four maravedis apiece, another hundred crowns
would not pay me for half of them. Let each look to himself and not
try to make out white black, and black white; for each of us is as God
made him, aye, and often worse."

"I will take care," said Carrasco, "to impress upon the author of
the history that, if he prints it again, he must not forget what
worthy Sancho has said, for it will raise it a good span higher."

"Is there anything else to correct in the history, senor
bachelor?" asked Don Quixote.

"No doubt there is," replied he; "but not anything that will be of
the same importance as those I have mentioned."

"Does the author promise a second part at all?" said Don Quixote.

"He does promise one," replied Samson; "but he says he has not found
it, nor does he know who has got it; and we cannot say whether it will
appear or not; and so, on that head, as some say that no second part
has ever been good, and others that enough has been already written
about Don Quixote, it is thought there will be no second part;
though some, who are jovial rather than saturnine, say, 'Let us have
more Quixotades, let Don Quixote charge and Sancho chatter, and no
matter what it may turn out, we shall be satisfied with that.'"

"And what does the author mean to do?" said Don Quixote.

"What?" replied Samson; "why, as soon as he has found the history
which he is now searching for with extraordinary diligence, he will at
once give it to the press, moved more by the profit that may accrue to
him from doing so than by any thought of praise."

Whereat Sancho observed, "The author looks for money and profit,
does he? It will he a wonder if he succeeds, for it will be only
hurry, hurry, with him, like the tailor on Easter Eve; and works
done in a hurry are never finished as perfectly as they ought to be.
Let master Moor, or whatever he is, pay attention to what he is doing,
and I and my master will give him as much grouting ready to his
hand, in the way of adventures and accidents of all sorts, as would
make up not only one second part, but a hundred. The good man fancies,
no doubt, that we are fast asleep in the straw here, but let him
hold up our feet to be shod and he will see which foot it is we go
lame on. All I say is, that if my master would take my advice, we
would be now afield, redressing outrages and righting wrongs, as is
the use and custom of good knights-errant."

Sancho had hardly uttered these words when the neighing of Rocinante
fell upon their ears, which neighing Don Quixote accepted as a happy
omen, and he resolved to make another sally in three or four days from
that time. Announcing his intention to the bachelor, he asked his
advice as to the quarter in which he ought to commence his expedition,
and the bachelor replied that in his opinion he ought to go to the
kingdom of Aragon, and the city of Saragossa, where there were to be
certain solemn joustings at the festival of St. George, at which he
might win renown above all the knights of Aragon, which would be
winning it above all the knights of the world. He commended his very
praiseworthy and gallant resolution, but admonished him to proceed
with greater caution in encountering dangers, because his life did not
belong to him, but to all those who had need of him to protect and aid
them in their misfortunes.

"There's where it is, what I abominate, Senor Samson," said Sancho
here; "my master will attack a hundred armed men as a greedy boy would
half a dozen melons. Body of the world, senor bachelor! there is a
time to attack and a time to retreat, and it is not to be always
'Santiago, and close Spain!' Moreover, I have heard it said (and I
think by my master himself, if I remember rightly) that the mean of
valour lies between the extremes of cowardice and rashness; and if
that be so, I don't want him to fly without having good reason, or
to attack when the odds make it better not. But, above all things, I
warn my master that if he is to take me with him it must be on the
condition that he is to do all the fighting, and that I am not to be
called upon to do anything except what concerns keeping him clean
and comfortable; in this I will dance attendance on him readily; but
to expect me to draw sword, even against rascally churls of the
hatchet and hood, is idle. I don't set up to be a fighting man,
Senor Samson, but only the best and most loyal squire that ever served
knight-errant; and if my master Don Quixote, in consideration of my
many faithful services, is pleased to give me some island of the
many his worship says one may stumble on in these parts, I will take
it as a great favour; and if he does not give it to me, I was born
like everyone else, and a man must not live in dependence on anyone
except God; and what is more, my bread will taste as well, and perhaps
even better, without a government than if I were a governor; and how
do I know but that in these governments the devil may have prepared
some trip for me, to make me lose my footing and fall and knock my
grinders out? Sancho I was born and Sancho I mean to die. But for
all that, if heaven were to make me a fair offer of an island or
something else of the kind, without much trouble and without much
risk, I am not such a fool as to refuse it; for they say, too, 'when
they offer thee a heifer, run with a halter; and 'when good luck comes
to thee, take it in.'"

"Brother Sancho," said Carrasco, "you have spoken like a
professor; but, for all that, put your trust in God and in Senor Don
Quixote, for he will give you a kingdom, not to say an island."

"It is all the same, be it more or be it less," replied Sancho;
"though I can tell Senor Carrasco that my master would not throw the
kingdom he might give me into a sack all in holes; for I have felt
my own pulse and I find myself sound enough to rule kingdoms and
govern islands; and I have before now told my master as much."

"Take care, Sancho," said Samson; "honours change manners, and
perhaps when you find yourself a governor you won't know the mother
that bore you."

"That may hold good of those that are born in the ditches," said
Sancho, "not of those who have the fat of an old Christian four
fingers deep on their souls, as I have. Nay, only look at my
disposition, is that likely to show ingratitude to anyone?"

"God grant it," said Don Quixote; "we shall see when the
government comes; and I seem to see it already."

He then begged the bachelor, if he were a poet, to do him the favour
of composing some verses for him conveying the farewell he meant to
take of his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and to see that a letter of
her name was placed at the beginning of each line, so that, at the end
of the verses, "Dulcinea del Toboso" might be read by putting together
the first letters. The bachelor replied that although he was not one
of the famous poets of Spain, who were, they said, only three and a
half, he would not fail to compose the required verses; though he
saw a great difficulty in the task, as the letters which made up the
name were seventeen; so, if he made four ballad stanzas of four
lines each, there would be a letter over, and if he made them of five,
what they called decimas or redondillas, there were three letters
short; nevertheless he would try to drop a letter as well as he could,
so that the name "Dulcinea del Toboso" might be got into four ballad
stanzas.

"It must be, by some means or other," said Don Quixote, "for
unless the name stands there plain and manifest, no woman would
believe the verses were made for her."

They agreed upon this, and that the departure should take place in
three days from that time. Don Quixote charged the bachelor to keep it
a secret, especially from the curate and Master Nicholas, and from his
niece and the housekeeper, lest they should prevent the execution of
his praiseworthy and valiant purpose. Carrasco promised all, and
then took his leave, charging Don Quixote to inform him of his good or
evil fortunes whenever he had an opportunity; and thus they bade
each other farewell, and Sancho went away to make the necessary
preparations for their expedition.




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