"May Our Lady be good to me!" said Sancho, lifting up his voice;"and is it possible
that your worship is so thick of skull and soshort of brains that you cannot see
that what I say is the simpletruth, and that malice has more to do with your imprisonment
andmisfortune than enchantment? But as it is so, I will prove plainlyto you that
you are not enchanted. Now tell me, so may God deliver youfrom this affliction,
and so may you find yourself when you leastexpect it in the arms of my lady Dulcinea-"
"Leave off conjuring me," said Don Quixote, "and ask what thouwouldst know; I
have already told thee I will answer with all possibleprecision."
"That is what I want," said Sancho; "and what I would know, and haveyou tell
me, without adding or leaving out anything, but telling thewhole truth as one expects
it to be told, and as it is told, by allwho profess arms, as your worship professes
them, under the title ofknights-errant-"
"I tell thee I will not lie in any particular," said Don Quixote;"finish thy
question; for in truth thou weariest me with all theseasseverations, requirements,
and precautions, Sancho."
"Well, I rely on the goodness and truth of my master," saidSancho; "and so, because
it bears upon what we are talking about, Iwould ask, speaking with all reverence,
whether since your worship hasbeen shut up and, as you think, enchanted in this
cage, you havefelt any desire or inclination to go anywhere, as the saying is?"
"I do not understand 'going anywhere,'" said Don Quixote; "explainthyself more
clearly, Sancho, if thou wouldst have me give an answerto the point."
"Is it possible," said Sancho, "that your worship does notunderstand 'going anywhere'?
Why, the schoolboys know that from thetime they were babes. Well then, you must
know I mean have you had anydesire to do what cannot be avoided?"
"Ah! now I understand thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "yes,often, and even this
minute; get me out of this strait, or all willnot go right."
WHICH TREATS OF THE SHREWD CONVERSATION WHICH SANCHO PANZA HELD WITHHIS MASTER
"Aha, I have caught you," said Sancho; "this is what in my heart andsoul I was
longing to know. Come now, senor, can you deny what iscommonly said around us, when
a person is out of humour, 'I don't knowwhat ails so-and-so, that he neither eats,
nor drinks, nor sleeps, norgives a proper answer to any question; one would think
he wasenchanted'? From which it is to be gathered that those who do not eat,or drink,
or sleep, or do any of the natural acts I am speaking of-that such persons are enchanted;
but not those that have the desireyour worship has, and drink when drink is given
them, and eat whenthere is anything to eat, and answer every question that is askedthem."
"What thou sayest is true, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "but I havealready told
thee there are many sorts of enchantments, and it maybe that in the course of time
they have been changed one foranother, and that now it may be the way with enchanted
people to doall that I do, though they did not do so before; so it is vain toargue
or draw inferences against the usage of the time. I know andfeel that I am enchanted,
and that is enough to ease my conscience;for it would weigh heavily on it if I thought
that I was notenchanted, and that in a aint-hearted and cowardly way I allowedmyself
to lie in this cage, defrauding multitudes of the succour Imight afford to those
in need and distress, who at this very momentmay be in sore want of my aid and protection."
"Still for all that," replied Sancho, "I say that, for yourgreater and fuller
satisfaction, it would be well if your worship wereto try to get out of this prison
(and I promise to do all in mypower to help, and even to take you out of it), and
see if you couldonce more mount your good Rocinante, who seems to be enchanted too,
heis so melancholy and dejected; and then we might try our chance inlooking for
adventures again; and if we have no luck there will betime enough to go back to
the cage; in which, on the faith of a goodand loyal squire, I promise to shut myself
up along with your worship,if so be you are so unfortunate, or I so stupid, as not
to be ableto carry out my plan."
"I am content to do as thou sayest, brother Sancho," said DonQuixote, "and when
thou seest an opportunity for effecting myrelease I will obey thee absolutely; but
thou wilt see, Sancho, howmistaken thou art in thy conception of my misfortune."
The knight-errant and the ill-errant squire kept up theirconversation till they
reached the place where the curate, thecanon, and the barber, who had already dismounted,
were waiting forthem. The carter at once unyoked the oxen and left them to roam
atlarge about the pleasant green spot, the freshness of which seemedto invite, not
enchanted people like Don Quixote, but wide-awake,sensible folk like his squire,
who begged the curate to allow hismaster to leave the cage for a little; for if
they did not let himout, the prison might not be as clean as the propriety of such
agentleman as his master required. The curate understood him, andsaid he would very
gladly comply with his request, only that he fearedhis master, finding himself at
liberty, would take to his oldcourses and make off where nobody could ever find
"I will answer for his not running away," said Sancho.
"And I also," said the canon, "especially if he gives me his word asa knight
not to leave us without our consent."
Don Quixote, who was listening to all this, said, "I give it;-moreover one who
is enchanted as I am cannot do as he likes withhimself; for he who had enchanted
him could prevent his moving fromone place for three ages, and if he attempted to
escape would bringhim back flying."- And that being so, they might as well releasehim,
particularly as it would be to the advantage of all; for, if theydid not let him
out, he protested he would be unable to avoidoffending their nostrils unless they
kept their distance.
The canon took his hand, tied together as they both were, and on hisword and
promise they unbound him, and rejoiced beyond measure hewas to find himself out
of the cage. The first thing he did was tostretch himself all over, and then he
went to where Rocinante wasstanding and giving him a couple of slaps on the haunches
said, "Istill trust in God and in his blessed mother, O flower and mirror ofsteeds,
that we shall soon see ourselves, both of us, as we wish tobe, thou with thy master
on thy back, and I mounted upon thee,following the calling for which God sent me
into the world." And sosaying, accompanied by Sancho, he withdrew to a retired spot,
fromwhich he came back much relieved and more eager than ever to put hissquire's
scheme into execution.
The canon gazed at him, wondering at the extraordinary nature of hismadness,
and that in all his remarks and replies he should show suchexcellent sense, and
only lose his stirrups, as has been already said,when the subject of chivalry was
broached. And so, moved bycompassion, he said to him, as they all sat on the green
grassawaiting the arrival of the provisions:
"Is it possible, gentle sir, that the nauseous and idle reading ofbooks of chivalry
can have had such an effect on your worship as toupset your reason so that you fancy
yourself enchanted, and thelike, all as far from the truth as falsehood itself is?
How canthere be any human understanding that can persuade itself there everwas all
that infinity of Amadises in the world, or all thatmultitude of famous knights,
all those emperors of Trebizond, allthose Felixmartes of Hircania, all those palfreys,
and damsels-errant,and serpents, and monsters, and giants, and marvellous adventures,
andenchantments of every kind, and battles, and prodigious encounters,splendid costumes,
love-sick princesses, squires made counts, drolldwarfs, love letters, billings and
cooings, swashbuckler women, and,in a word, all that nonsense the books of chivalry
contain? Formyself, I can only say that when I read them, so long as I do not stopto
think that they are all lies and frivolity, they give me acertain amount of pleasure;
but when I come to consider what they are,I fling the very best of them at the wall,
and would fling it into thefire if there were one at hand, as richly deserving such
punishment ascheats and impostors out of the range of ordinary toleration, and asfounders
of new sects and modes of life, and teachers that lead theignorant public to believe
and accept as truth all the folly theycontain. And such is their audacity, they
even dare to unsettle thewits of gentlemen of birth and intelligence, as is shown
plainly bythe way they have served your worship, when they have brought you tosuch
a pass that you have to be shut up in a cage and carried on anox-cart as one would
carry a lion or a tiger from place to place tomake money by showing it. Come, Senor
Don Quixote, have somecompassion for yourself, return to the bosom of common sense,
and makeuse of the liberal share of it that heaven has been pleased tobestow upon
you, employing your abundant gifts of mind in some otherreading that may serve to
benefit your conscience and add to yourhonour. And if, still led away by your natural
bent, you desire toread books of achievements and of chivalry, read the Book of
Judges inthe Holy Scriptures, for there you will find grand reality, anddeeds as
true as they are heroic. Lusitania had a Viriatus, Rome aCaesar, Carthage a Hannibal,
Greece an Alexander, Castile a CountFernan Gonzalez, Valencia a Cid, Andalusia a
Gonzalo Fernandez,Estremadura a Diego Garcia de Paredes, Jerez a Garci Perez deVargas,
Toledo a Garcilaso, Seville a Don Manuel de Leon, to read ofwhose valiant deeds
will entertain and instruct the loftiest minds andfill them with delight and wonder.
Here, Senor Don Quixote, will bereading worthy of your sound understanding; from
which you will riselearned in history, in love with virtue, strengthened in goodness,improved
in manners, brave without rashness, prudent withoutcowardice; and all to the honour
of God, your own advantage and theglory of La Mancha, whence, I am informed, your
worship derives yourbirth."
Don Quixote listened with the greatest attention to the canon'swords, and when
he found he had finished, after regarding him for sometime, he replied to him:
"It appears to me, gentle sir, that your worship's discourse isintended to persuade
me that there never were any knights-errant inthe world, and that all the books
of chivalry are false, lying,mischievous and useless to the State, and that I have
done wrong inreading them, and worse in believing them, and still worse inimitating
them, when I undertook to follow the arduous calling ofknight-errantry which they
set forth; for you deny that there everwere Amadises of Gaul or of Greece, or any
other of the knights ofwhom the books are full."
"It is all exactly as you state it," said the canon; to which DonQuixote returned,
"You also went on to say that books of this kind haddone me much harm, inasmuch
as they had upset my senses, and shut meup in a cage, and that it would be better
for me to reform andchange my studies, and read other truer books which would affordmore
pleasure and instruction."
"Just so," said the canon.
"Well then," returned Don Quixote, "to my mind it is you who are theone that
is out of his wits and enchanted, as you have ventured toutter such blasphemies
against a thing so universally acknowledged andaccepted as true that whoever denies
it, as you do, deserves thesame punishment which you say you inflict on the books
that irritateyou when you read them. For to try to persuade anybody that Amadis,and
all the other knights-adventurers with whom the books arefilled, never existed,
would be like trying to persuade him that thesun does not yield light, or ice cold,
or earth nourishment. Whatwit in the world can persuade another that the story of
the PrincessFloripes and Guy of Burgundy is not true, or that of Fierabras and thebridge
of Mantible, which happened in the time of Charlemagne? Forby all that is good it
is as true as that it is daylight now; and ifit be a lie, it must be a lie too that
there was a Hector, orAchilles, or Trojan war, or Twelve Peers of France, or Arthur
ofEngland, who still lives changed into a raven, and is unceasinglylooked for in
his kingdom. One might just as well try to make out thatthe history of Guarino Mezquino,
or of the quest of the Holy Grail, isfalse, or that the loves of Tristram and the
Queen Yseult areapocryphal, as well as those of Guinevere and Lancelot, when there
arepersons who can almost remember having seen the Dame Quintanona, whowas the best
cupbearer in Great Britain. And so true is this, that Irecollect a grandmother of
mine on the father's side, whenever she sawany dame in a venerable hood, used to
say to me, 'Grandson, that oneis like Dame Quintanona,' from which I conclude that
she must haveknown her, or at least had managed to see some portrait of her. Thenwho
can deny that the story of Pierres and the fair Magalona istrue, when even to this
day may be seen in the king's armoury thepin with which the valiant Pierres guided
the wooden horse he rodethrough the air, and it is a trifle bigger than the pole
of a cart?And alongside of the pin is Babieca's saddle, and at Roncesvallesthere
is Roland's horn, as large as a large beam; whence we mayinfer that there were Twelve
Peers, and a Pierres, and a Cid, andother knights like them, of the sort people
commonly call adventurers.Or perhaps I shall be told, too, that there was no suchknight-errant
as the valiant Lusitanian Juan de Merlo, who went toBurgundy and in the city of
Arras fought with the famous lord ofCharny, Mosen Pierres by name, and afterwards
in the city of Baslewith Mosen Enrique de Remesten, coming out of both encounterscovered
with fame and honour; or adventures and challenges achievedand delivered, also in
Burgundy, by the valiant Spaniards PedroBarba and Gutierre Quixada (of whose family
I come in the directmale line), when they vanquished the sons of the Count of San
Polo.I shall be told, too, that Don Fernando de Guevara did not go in questof adventures
to Germany, where he engaged in combat with MicerGeorge, a knight of the house of
the Duke of Austria. I shall betold that the jousts of Suero de Quinones, him of
the 'Paso,' andthe emprise of Mosen Luis de Falces against the Castilian knight,Don
Gonzalo de Guzman, were mere mockeries; as well as many otherachievements of Christian
knights of these and foreign realms, whichare so authentic and true, that, I repeat,
he who denies them mustbe totally wanting in reason and good sense."