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CHAPTER XV

WHEREIN IT IS TOLD AND KNOWN WHO THE KNIGHT OF THE MIRRORS AND HIS
SQUIRE WERE

Don Quixote went off satisfied, elated, and vain-glorious in the
highest degree at having won a victory over such a valiant knight as
he fancied him of the Mirrors to be, and one from whose knightly
word he expected to learn whether the enchantment of his lady still
continued; inasmuch as the said vanquished knight was bound, under the
penalty of ceasing to be one, to return and render him an account of
what took place between him and her. But Don Quixote was of one
mind, he of the Mirrors of another, for he just then had no thought of
anything but finding some village where he could plaster himself, as
has been said already. The history goes on to say, then, that when the
bachelor Samson Carrasco recommended Don Quixote to resume his
knight-errantry which he had laid aside, it was in consequence of
having been previously in conclave with the curate and the barber on
the means to be adopted to induce Don Quixote to stay at home in peace
and quiet without worrying himself with his ill-starred adventures; at
which consultation it was decided by the unanimous vote of all, and on
the special advice of Carrasco, that Don Quixote should be allowed
to go, as it seemed impossible to restrain him, and that Samson should
sally forth to meet him as a knight-errant, and do battle with him,
for there would be no difficulty about a cause, and vanquish him, that
being looked upon as an easy matter; and that it should be agreed
and settled that the vanquished was to be at the mercy of the
victor. Then, Don Quixote being vanquished, the bachelor knight was to
command him to return to his village and his house, and not quit it
for two years, or until he received further orders from him; all which
it was clear Don Quixote would unhesitatingly obey, rather than
contravene or fail to observe the laws of chivalry; and during the
period of his seclusion he might perhaps forget his folly, or there
might be an opportunity of discovering some ready remedy for his
madness. Carrasco undertook the task, and Tom Cecial, a gossip and
neighbour of Sancho Panza's, a lively, feather-headed fellow,
offered himself as his squire. Carrasco armed himself in the fashion
described, and Tom Cecial, that he might not be known by his gossip
when they met, fitted on over his own natural nose the false
masquerade one that has been mentioned; and so they followed the
same route Don Quixote took, and almost came up with him in time to be
present at the adventure of the cart of Death and finally
encountered them in the grove, where all that the sagacious reader has
been reading about took place; and had it not been for the
extraordinary fancies of Don Quixote, and his conviction that the
bachelor was not the bachelor, senor bachelor would have been
incapacitated for ever from taking his degree of licentiate, all
through not finding nests where he thought to find birds.

Tom Cecial, seeing how ill they had succeeded, and what a sorry
end their expedition had come to, said to the bachelor, "Sure
enough, Senor Samson Carrasco, we are served right; it is easy
enough to plan and set about an enterprise, but it is often a
difficult matter to come well out of it. Don Quixote a madman, and
we sane; he goes off laughing, safe, and sound, and you are left
sore and sorry! I'd like to know now which is the madder, he who is so
because he cannot help it, or he who is so of his own choice?"

To which Samson replied, "The difference between the two sorts of
madmen is, that he who is so will he nil he, will be one always, while
he who is so of his own accord can leave off being one whenever he
likes."

"In that case," said Tom Cecial, "I was a madman of my own accord
when I volunteered to become your squire, and, of my own accord,
I'll leave off being one and go home."

"That's your affair," returned Samson, "but to suppose that I am
going home until I have given Don Quixote a thrashing is absurd; and
it is not any wish that he may recover his senses that will make me
hunt him out now, but a wish for the sore pain I am in with my ribs
won't let me entertain more charitable thoughts."

Thus discoursing, the pair proceeded until they reached a town where
it was their good luck to find a bone-setter, with whose help the
unfortunate Samson was cured. Tom Cecial left him and went home, while
he stayed behind meditating vengeance; and the history will return
to him again at the proper time, so as not to omit making merry with
Don Quixote now.




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