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Miqeul de Cervantes >> Don Quixote (page 14)


"He must have said Friston," said Don Quixote.

"I don't know whether he called himself Friston or Friton," said thehousekeeper, "I only know that his name ended with 'ton.'"

"So it does," said Don Quixote, "and he is a sage magician, agreat enemy of mine, who has a spite against me because he knows byhis arts and lore that in process of time I am to engage in singlecombat with a knight whom he befriends and that I am to conquer, andhe will be unable to prevent it; and for this reason he endeavoursto do me all the ill turns that he can; but I promise him it will behard for him to oppose or avoid what is decreed by Heaven."

"Who doubts that?" said the niece; "but, uncle, who mixes you upin these quarrels? Would it not be better to remain at peace in yourown house instead of roaming the world looking for better bread thanever came of wheat, never reflecting that many go for wool and comeback shorn?"

"Oh, niece of mine," replied Don Quixote, "how much astray artthou in thy reckoning: ere they shear me I shall have plucked away andstripped off the beards of all who dare to touch only the tip of ahair of mine."

The two were unwilling to make any further answer, as they sawthat his anger was kindling.

In short, then, he remained at home fifteen days very quietlywithout showing any signs of a desire to take up with his formerdelusions, and during this time he held lively discussions with histwo gossips, the curate and the barber, on the point he maintained,that knights-errant were what the world stood most in need of, andthat in him was to be accomplished the revival of knight-errantry. Thecurate sometimes contradicted him, sometimes agreed with him, for ifhe had not observed this precaution he would have been unable to bringhim to reason.

Meanwhile Don Quixote worked upon a farm labourer, a neighbour ofhis, an honest man (if indeed that title can be given to him who ispoor), but with very little wit in his pate. In a word, he so talkedhim over, and with such persuasions and promises, that the poorclown made up his mind to sally forth with him and serve him asesquire. Don Quixote, among other things, told him he ought to beready to go with him gladly, because any moment an adventure mightoccur that might win an island in the twinkling of an eye and leavehim governor of it. On these and the like promises Sancho Panza (forso the labourer was called) left wife and children, and engagedhimself as esquire to his neighbour. Don Quixote next set aboutgetting some money; and selling one thing and pawning another, andmaking a bad bargain in every case, he got together a fair sum. Heprovided himself with a buckler, which he begged as a loan from afriend, and, restoring his battered helmet as best he could, he warnedhis squire Sancho of the day and hour he meant to set out, that hemight provide himself with what he thought most needful. Above all, hecharged him to take alforjas with him. The other said he would, andthat he meant to take also a very good ass he had, as he was notmuch given to going on foot. About the ass, Don Quixote hesitated alittle, trying whether he could call to mind any knight-erranttaking with him an esquire mounted on ass-back, but no instanceoccurred to his memory. For all that, however, he determined to takehim, intending to furnish him with a more honourable mount when achance of it presented itself, by appropriating the horse of the firstdiscourteous knight he encountered. Himself he provided with shirtsand such other things as he could, according to the advice the hosthad given him; all which being done, without taking leave, SanchoPanza of his wife and children, or Don Quixote of his housekeeperand niece, they sallied forth unseen by anybody from the village onenight, and made such good way in the course of it that by daylightthey held themselves safe from discovery, even should search be madefor them.

Sancho rode on his ass like a patriarch, with his alforjas and bota,and longing to see himself soon governor of the island his masterhad promised him. Don Quixote decided upon taking the same route androad he had taken on his first journey, that over the Campo deMontiel, which he travelled with less discomfort than on the lastoccasion, for, as it was early morning and the rays of the sun fell onthem obliquely, the heat did not distress them.

And now said Sancho Panza to his master, "Your worship will takecare, Senor Knight-errant, not to forget about the island you havepromised me, for be it ever so big I'll be equal to governing it."

To which Don Quixote replied, "Thou must know, friend SanchoPanza, that it was a practice very much in vogue with theknights-errant of old to make their squires governors of the islandsor kingdoms they won, and I am determined that there shall be nofailure on my part in so liberal a custom; on the contrary, I meanto improve upon it, for they sometimes, and perhaps most frequently,waited until their squires were old, and then when they had had enoughof service and hard days and worse nights, they gave them some titleor other, of count, or at the most marquis, of some valley or provincemore or less; but if thou livest and I live, it may well be thatbefore six days are over, I may have won some kingdom that hasothers dependent upon it, which will be just the thing to enablethee to be crowned king of one of them. Nor needst thou count thiswonderful, for things and chances fall to the lot of such knights inways so unexampled and unexpected that I might easily give thee evenmore than I promise thee."

"In that case," said Sancho Panza, "if I should become a king by oneof those miracles your worship speaks of, even Juana Gutierrez, my oldwoman, would come to be queen and my children infantes."

"Well, who doubts it?" said Don Quixote.

"I doubt it," replied Sancho Panza, "because for my part I ampersuaded that though God should shower down kingdoms upon earth,not one of them would fit the head of Mari Gutierrez. Let me tell you,senor, she is not worth two maravedis for a queen; countess will fither better, and that only with God's help."

"Leave it to God, Sancho," returned Don Quixote, "for he will giveher what suits her best; but do not undervalue thyself so much as tocome to be content with anything less than being governor of aprovince."

"I will not, senor," answered Sancho, "specially as I have a manof such quality for a master in your worship, who will know how togive me all that will be suitable for me and that I can bear."

CHAPTER VIII

OF THE GOOD FORTUNE WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE HAD IN THETERRIBLE AND UNDREAMT-OF ADVENTURE OF THE WINDMILLS, WITH OTHEROCCURRENCES WORTHY TO BE FITLY RECORDED

At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills thatthere are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to hissquire, "Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could haveshaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza,where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all ofwhom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils weshall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, andit is God's good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face ofthe earth."

"What giants?" said Sancho Panza.

"Those thou seest there," answered his master, "with the longarms, and some have them nearly two leagues long."

"Look, your worship," said Sancho; "what we see there are not giantsbut windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails thatturned by the wind make the millstone go."

"It is easy to see," replied Don Quixote, "that thou art not used tothis business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid,away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engagethem in fierce and unequal combat."

So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless ofthe cries his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that mostcertainly they were windmills and not giants he was going to attack.He, however, was so positive they were giants that he neither heardthe cries of Sancho, nor perceived, near as he was, what they were,but made at them shouting, "Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for asingle knight attacks you."

A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sailsbegan to move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, "Though ye flourishmore arms than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me."

So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his ladyDulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lancein rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante'sfullest gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in front ofhim; but as he drove his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled itround with such force that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweepingwith it horse and rider, who went rolling over on the plain, in asorry condition. Sancho hastened to his assistance as fast as hisass could go, and when he came up found him unable to move, withsuch a shock had Rocinante fallen with him.

"God bless me!" said Sancho, "did I not tell your worship to mindwhat you were about, for they were only windmills? and no one couldhave made any mistake about it but one who had something of the samekind in his head."

"Hush, friend Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "the fortunes of warmore than any other are liable to frequent fluctuations; andmoreover I think, and it is the truth, that that same sage Friston whocarried off my study and books, has turned these giants into millsin order to rob me of the glory of vanquishing them, such is theenmity he bears me; but in the end his wicked arts will avail butlittle against my good sword."

"God order it as he may," said Sancho Panza, and helping him to risegot him up again on Rocinante, whose shoulder was half out; andthen, discussing the late adventure, they followed the road toPuerto Lapice, for there, said Don Quixote, they could not fail tofind adventures in abundance and variety, as it was a greatthoroughfare. For all that, he was much grieved at the loss of hislance, and saying so to his squire, he added, "I remember havingread how a Spanish knight, Diego Perez de Vargas by name, havingbroken his sword in battle, tore from an oak a ponderous bough orbranch, and with it did such things that day, and pounded so manyMoors, that he got the surname of Machuca, and he and hisdescendants from that day forth were called Vargas y Machuca. Imention this because from the first oak I see I mean to rend suchanother branch, large and stout like that, with which I amdetermined and resolved to do such deeds that thou mayest deem thyselfvery fortunate in being found worthy to come and see them, and be aneyewitness of things that will with difficulty be believed."

"Be that as God will," said Sancho, "I believe it all as yourworship says it; but straighten yourself a little, for you seem all onone side, may be from the shaking of the fall."

"That is the truth," said Don Quixote, "and if I make no complaintof the pain it is because knights-errant are not permitted to complainof any wound, even though their bowels be coming out through it."

"If so," said Sancho, "I have nothing to say; but God knows Iwould rather your worship complained when anything ailed you. For mypart, I confess I must complain however small the ache may be;unless this rule about not complaining extends to the squires ofknights-errant also."

Don Quixote could not help laughing at his squire's simplicity,and he assured him he might complain whenever and however he chose,just as he liked, for, so far, he had never read of anything to thecontrary in the order of knighthood.

Sancho bade him remember it was dinner-time, to which his masteranswered that he wanted nothing himself just then, but that he mighteat when he had a mind. With this permission Sancho settled himself ascomfortably as he could on his beast, and taking out of the alforjaswhat he had stowed away in them, he jogged along behind his mastermunching deliberately, and from time to time taking a pull at the botawith a relish that the thirstiest tapster in Malaga might have envied;and while he went on in this way, gulping down draught afterdraught, he never gave a thought to any of the promises his master hadmade him, nor did he rate it as hardship but rather as recreationgoing in quest of adventures, however dangerous they might be. Finallythey passed the night among some trees, from one of which DonQuixote plucked a dry branch to serve him after a fashion as alance, and fixed on it the head he had removed from the broken one.All that night Don Quixote lay awake thinking of his lady Dulcinea, inorder to conform to what he had read in his books, how many a night inthe forests and deserts knights used to lie sleepless supported by thememory of their mistresses. Not so did Sancho Panza spend it, forhaving his stomach full of something stronger than chicory water hemade but one sleep of it, and, if his master had not called him,neither the rays of the sun beating on his face nor all the cheerynotes of the birds welcoming the approach of day would have hadpower to waken him. On getting up he tried the bota and found itsomewhat less full than the night before, which grieved his heartbecause they did not seem to be on the way to remedy the deficiencyreadily. Don Quixote did not care to break his fast, for, as hasbeen already said, he confined himself to savoury recollections fornourishment.

They returned to the road they had set out with, leading to PuertoLapice, and at three in the afternoon they came in sight of it. "Here,brother Sancho Panza," said Don Quixote when he saw it, "we may plungeour hands up to the elbows in what they call adventures; butobserve, even shouldst thou see me in the greatest danger in theworld, thou must not put a hand to thy sword in my defence, unlessindeed thou perceivest that those who assail me are rabble or basefolk; for in that case thou mayest very properly aid me; but if theybe knights it is on no account permitted or allowed thee by the lawsof knighthood to help me until thou hast been dubbed a knight."

Title: Don Quixote
Author: Miqeul de Cervantes
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