Here Don Quixote called out, "Child, child, go straight on with yourstory, and
don't run into curves and slants, for to establish a factclearly there is need of
a great deal of proof and confirmation;"and said Master Pedro from within, "Boy,
stick to your text and doas the gentleman bids you; it's the best plan; keep to
your plainsong, and don't attempt harmonies, for they are apt to break down frombeing
"I will," said the boy, and he went on to say, "This figure that yousee here
on horseback, covered with a Gascon cloak, is Don Gaiferoshimself, whom his wife,
now avenged of the insult of the amorous Moor,and taking her stand on the balcony
of the tower with a calmer andmore tranquil countenance, has perceived without recognising
him;and she addresses her husband, supposing him to be some traveller, andholds
with him all that conversation and colloquy in the ballad that runs-
If you, sir knight, to France are bound,Oh! for Gaiferos ask-
which I do not repeat here because prolixity begets disgust; sufficeit to observe
how Don Gaiferos discovers himself, and that by herjoyful gestures Melisendra shows
us she has recognised him; and whatis more, we now see she lowers herself from the
balcony to placeherself on the haunches of her good husband's horse. But ah! unhappylady,
the edge of her petticoat has caught on one of the bars of thebalcony and she is
left hanging in the air, unable to reach theground. But you see how compassionate
heaven sends aid in our sorestneed; Don Gaiferos advances, and without minding whether
the richpetticoat is torn or not, he seizes her and by force brings her to theground,
and then with one jerk places her on the haunches of hishorse, astraddle like a
man, and bids her hold on tight and claspher arms round his neck, crossing them
on his breast so as not tofall, for the lady Melisendra was not used to that style
of riding.You see, too, how the neighing of the horse shows his satisfactionwith
the gallant and beautiful burden he bears in his lord and lady.You see how they
wheel round and quit the city, and in joy andgladness take the road to Paris. Go
in peace, O peerless pair oftrue lovers! May you reach your longed-for fatherland
in safety, andmay fortune interpose no impediment to your prosperous journey; maythe
eyes of your friends and kinsmen behold you enjoying in peaceand tranquillity the
remaining days of your life- and that they may beas many as those of Nestor!"
Here Master Pedro called out again and said, "Simplicity, boy!None of your high
flights; all affectation is bad."
The interpreter made no answer, but went on to say, "There was nowant of idle
eyes, that see everything, to see Melisendra come downand mount, and word was brought
to King Marsilio, who at once gaveorders to sound the alarm; and see what a stir
there is, and how thecity is drowned with the sound of the bells pealing in the
towers ofall the mosques."
"Nay, nay," said Don Quixote at this; "on that point of the bellsMaster Pedro
is very inaccurate, for bells are not in use among theMoors; only kettledrums, and
a kind of small trumpet somewhat like ourclarion; to ring bells this way in Sansuena
is unquestionably agreat absurdity."
On hearing this, Master Pedro stopped ringing, and said, "Don't lookinto trifles,
Senor Don Quixote, or want to have things up to apitch of perfection that is out
of reach. Are there not almost everyday a thousand comedies represented all round
us full of thousandsof inaccuracies and absurdities, and, for all that, they have
asuccessful run, and are listened to not only with applause, but withadmiration
and all the rest of it? Go on, boy, and don't mind; forso long as I fill my pouch,
no matter if I show as many inaccuraciesas there are motes in a sunbeam."
"True enough," said Don Quixote; and the boy went on: "See what anumerous and
glittering crowd of horsemen issues from the city inpursuit of the two faithful
lovers, what a blowing of trumpets thereis, what sounding of horns, what beating
of drums and tabors; I fearme they will overtake them and bring them back tied to
the tail oftheir own horse, which would be a dreadful sight."
Don Quixote, however, seeing such a swarm of Moors and hearingsuch a din, thought
it would be right to aid the fugitives, andstanding up he exclaimed in a loud voice,
"Never, while I live, will Ipermit foul play to be practised in my presence on such
a famousknight and fearless lover as Don Gaiferos. Halt! ill-born rabble,follow
him not nor pursue him, or ye will have to reckon with me inbattle!" and suiting
the action to the word, he drew his sword, andwith one bound placed himself close
to the show, and with unexampledrapidity and fury began to shower down blows on
the puppet troop ofMoors, knocking over some, decapitating others, maiming this
one anddemolishing that; and among many more he delivered one down strokewhich,
if Master Pedro had not ducked, made himself small, and got outof the way, would
have sliced off his head as easily as if it had beenmade of almond-paste. Master
Pedro kept shouting, "Hold hard! SenorDon Quixote! can't you see they're not real
Moors you're knocking downand killing and destroying, but only little pasteboard
figures!Look- sinner that I am!- how you're wrecking and ruining all thatI'm worth!"
But in spite of this, Don Quixote did not leave offdischarging a continuous rain
of cuts, slashes, downstrokes, andbackstrokes, and at length, in less than the space
of two credos, hebrought the whole show to the ground, with all its fittings andfigures
shivered and knocked to pieces, King Marsilio badly wounded,and the Emperor Charlemagne
with his crown and head split in two.The whole audience was thrown into confusion,
the ape fled to the roofof the inn, the cousin was frightened, and even Sancho Panza
himselfwas in mighty fear, for, as he swore after the storm was over, hehad never
seen his master in such a furious passion.
The complete destruction of the show being thus accomplished, DonQuixote became
a little calmer, said, "I wish I had here before me nowall those who do not or will
not believe how useful knights-errant arein the world; just think, if I had not
been here present, what wouldhave become of the brave Don Gaiferos and the fair
Melisendra!Depend upon it, by this time those dogs would have overtaken themand
inflicted some outrage upon them. So, then, long liveknight-errantry beyond everything
living on earth this day!"
"Let it live, and welcome," said Master Pedro at this in a feeblevoice, "and
let me die, for I am so unfortunate that I can say withKing Don Rodrigo-
Yesterday was I lord of SpainTo-day I've not a turret leftThat I may call mine
Not half an hour, nay, barely a minute ago, I saw myself lord of kingsand emperors,
with my stables filled with countless horses, and mytrunks and bags with gay dresses
unnumbered; and now I find myselfruined and laid low, destitute and a beggar, and
above all withoutmy ape, for, by my faith, my teeth will have to sweat for it beforeI
have him caught; and all through the reckless fury of sir knighthere, who, they
say, protects the fatherless, and rights wrongs, anddoes other charitable deeds;
but whose generous intentions have beenfound wanting in my case only, blessed and
praised be the highestheavens! Verily, knight of the rueful figure he must be to
Sancho Panza was touched by Master Pedro's words, and said to him,"Don't weep
and lament, Master Pedro; you break my heart; let metell you my master, Don Quixote,
is so catholic and scrupulous aChristian that, if he can make out that he has done
you any wrong,he will own it, and be willing to pay for it and make it good, andsomething
over and above."
"Only let Senor Don Quixote pay me for some part of the work hehas destroyed,"
said Master Pedro, "and I would be content, and hisworship would ease his conscience,
for he cannot be saved who keepswhat is another's against the owner's will, and
makes no restitution."
"That is true," said Don Quixote; "but at present I am not awarethat I have got
anything of yours, Master Pedro."
"What!" returned Master Pedro; "and these relics lying here on thebare hard ground-
what scattered and shattered them but the invinciblestrength of that mighty arm?
And whose were the bodies they belongedto but mine? And what did I get my living
by but by them?"
"Now am I fully convinced," said Don Quixote, "of what I had manya time before
believed; that the enchanters who persecute me donothing more than put figures like
these before my eyes, and thenchange and turn them into what they please. In truth
and earnest, Iassure you gentlemen who now hear me, that to me everything that hastaken
place here seemed to take place literally, that Melisendra wasMelisendra, Don Gaiferos
Don Gaiferos, Marsilio Marsilio, andCharlemagne Charlemagne. That was why my anger
was roused; and to befaithful to my calling as a knight-errant I sought to give
aid andprotection to those who fled, and with this good intention I didwhat you
have seen. If the result has been the opposite of what Iintended, it is no fault
of mine, but of those wicked beings thatpersecute me; but, for all that, I am willing
to condemn myself incosts for this error of mine, though it did not proceed from
malice;let Master Pedro see what he wants for the spoiled figures, for Iagree to
pay it at once in good and current money of Castile."
Master Pedro made him a bow, saying, "I expected no less of the rareChristianity
of the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha, true helperand protector of all destitute
and needy vagabonds; master landlordhere and the great Sancho Panza shall be the
arbitrators andappraisers between your worship and me of what these dilapidatedfigures
are worth or may be worth."
The landlord and Sancho consented, and then Master Pedro picked upfrom the ground
King Marsilio of Saragossa with his head off, andsaid, "Here you see how impossible
it is to restore this king to hisformer state, so I think, saving your better judgments,
that for hisdeath, decease, and demise, four reals and a half may be given me."
"Proceed," said Don Quixote.
"Well then, for this cleavage from top to bottom," continuedMaster Pedro, taking
up the split Emperor Charlemagne, "it would notbe much if I were to ask five reals
and a quarter."
"It's not little," said Sancho.
"Nor is it much," said the landlord; "make it even, and say fivereals."
"Let him have the whole five and a quarter," said Don Quixote;"for the sum total
of this notable disaster does not stand on aquarter more or less; and make an end
of it quickly, Master Pedro, forit's getting on to supper-time, and I have some
hints of hunger."
"For this figure," said Master Pedro, "that is without a nose, andwants an eye,
and is the fair Melisendra, I ask, and I am reasonablein my charge, two reals and
"The very devil must be in it," said Don Quixote, "if Melisendra andher husband
are not by this time at least on the French border, forthe horse they rode on seemed
to me to fly rather than gallop; soyou needn't try to sell me the cat for the hare,
showing me here anoseless Melisendra when she is now, may be, enjoying herself at
herease with her husband in France. God help every one to his own, MasterPedro,
and let us all proceed fairly and honestly; and now go on."
Master Pedro, perceiving that Don Quixote was beginning to wander,and return
to his original fancy, was not disposed to let himescape, so he said to him, "This
cannot be Melisendra, but must be oneof the damsels that waited on her; so if I'm
given sixty maravedis forher, I'll be content and sufficiently paid."
And so he went on, putting values on ever so many more smashedfigures, which,
after the two arbitrators had adjusted them to thesatisfaction of both parties,
came to forty reals andthree-quarters; and over and above this sum, which Sancho
at oncedisbursed, Master Pedro asked for two reals for his trouble incatching the
"Let him have them, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "not to catch theape, but to get
drunk; and two hundred would I give this minute forthe good news, to anyone who
could tell me positively, that the ladyDona Melisandra and Senor Don Gaiferos were
now in France and withtheir own people."
"No one could tell us that better than my ape," said Master Pedro;"but there's
no devil that could catch him now; I suspect, however,that affection and hunger
will drive him to come looking for meto-night; but to-morrow will soon be here and
we shall see."
In short, the puppet-show storm passed off, and all supped inpeace and good fellowship
at Don Quixote's expense, for he was theheight of generosity. Before it was daylight
the man with the lancesand halberds took his departure, and soon after daybreak
the cousinand the page came to bid Don Quixote farewell, the former returninghome,
the latter resuming his journey, towards which, to help him, DonQuixote gave him
twelve reals. Master Pedro did not care to engagein any more palaver with Don Quixote,
whom he knew right well; so herose before the sun, and having got together the remains
of his showand caught his ape, he too went off to seek his adventures. Thelandlord,
who did not know Don Quixote, was as much astonished athis mad freaks as at his
generosity. To conclude, Sancho, by hismaster's orders, paid him very liberally,
and taking leave of him theyquitted the inn at about eight in the morning and took
to the road,where we will leave them to pursue their journey, for this isnecessary
in order to allow certain other matters to be set forth,which are required to clear
up this famous history.
WHEREIN IT IS SHOWN WHO MASTER PEDRO AND HIS APE WERE, TOGETHER WITHTHE MISHAP
DON QUIXOTE HAD IN THE BRAYING ADVENTURE, WHICH HE DIDNOT CONCLUDE AS HE WOULD HAVE
LIKED OR AS HE HAD EXPECTED
Cide Hamete, the chronicler of this great history, begins thischapter with these
words, "I swear as a Catholic Christian;" withregard to which his translator says
that Cide Hamete's swearing as aCatholic Christian, he being- as no doubt he was-
a Moor, only meantthat, just as a Catholic Christian taking an oath swears, or oughtto
swear, what is true, and tell the truth in what he avers, so he wastelling the truth,
as much as if he swore as a Catholic Christian,in all he chose to write about Quixote,
especially in declaring whoMaster Pedro was and what was the divining ape that astonished
all thevillages with his divinations. He says, then, that he who has read theFirst
Part of this history will remember well enough the Gines dePasamonte whom, with
other galley slaves, Don Quixote set free inthe Sierra Morena: a kindness for which
he afterwards got poorthanks and worse payment from that evil-minded, ill-conditioned
set.This Gines de Pasamonte- Don Ginesillo de Parapilla, Don Quixotecalled him-
it was that stole Dapple from Sancho Panza; which, becauseby the fault of the printers
neither the how nor the when was statedin the First Part, has been a puzzle to a
good many people, whoattribute to the bad memory of the author what was the error
of thepress. In fact, however, Gines stole him while Sancho Panza was asleepon his
back, adopting the plan and device that Brunello had recourseto when he stole Sacripante's
horse from between his legs at the siegeof Albracca; and, as has been told, Sancho
afterwards recovered him.This Gines, then, afraid of being caught by the officers
of justice,who were looking for him to punish him for his numberlessrascalities
and offences (which were so many and so great that hehimself wrote a big book giving
an account of them), resolved to shifthis quarters into the kingdom of Aragon, and
cover up his left eye,and take up the trade of a puppet-showman; for this, as well
asjuggling, he knew how to practise to perfection. From some releasedChristians
returning from Barbary, it so happened, he bought theape, which he taught to mount
upon his shoulder on his making acertain sign, and to whisper, or seem to do so,
in his ear. Thusprepared, before entering any village whither he was bound with
hisshow and his ape, he used to inform himself at the nearest village, orfrom the
most likely person he could find, as to what particularthings had happened there,
and to whom; and bearing them well in mind,the first thing be did was to exhibit
his show, sometimes one story,sometimes another, but all lively, amusing, and familiar.
As soon asthe exhibition was over he brought forward the accomplishments ofhis ape,
assuring the public that he divined all the past and thepresent, but as to the future
he had no skill. For each questionanswered he asked two reals, and for some he made
a reduction, just ashe happened to feel the pulse of the questioners; and when now
andthen he came to houses where things that he knew of had happened tothe people
living there, even if they did not ask him a question,not caring to pay for it,
he would make the sign to the ape and thendeclare that it had said so and so, which
fitted the case exactly.In this way he acquired a prodigious name and all ran after
him; onother occasions, being very crafty, he would answer in such a way thatthe
answers suited the questions; and as no one cross-questioned himor pressed him to
tell how his ape divined, he made fools of themall and filled his pouch. The instant
he entered the inn he knew DonQuixote and Sancho, and with that knowledge it was
easy for him toastonish them and all who were there; but it would have cost himdear
had Don Quixote brought down his hand a little lower when hecut off King Marsilio's
head and destroyed all his horsemen, asrelated in the preceeding chapter.