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Miqeul de Cervantes >> Don Quixote (page 92)


"And the nose?" said Sancho, seeing him without the hideousfeature he had before; to which he replied, "I have it here in mypocket," and putting his hand into his right pocket, he pulled out amasquerade nose of varnished pasteboard of the make already described;and Sancho, examining him more and more closely, exclaimed aloud ina voice of amazement, "Holy Mary be good to me! Isn't it Tom Cecial,my neighbour and gossip?"

"Why, to be sure I am!" returned the now unnosed squire; "Tom CecialI am, gossip and friend Sancho Panza; and I'll tell you presentlythe means and tricks and falsehoods by which I have been brought here;but in the meantime, beg and entreat of your master not to touch,maltreat, wound, or slay the Knight of the Mirrors whom he has athis feet; because, beyond all dispute, it is the rash andill-advised bachelor Samson Carrasco, our fellow townsman."

At this moment he of the Mirrors came to himself, and Don Quixoteperceiving it, held the naked point of his sword over his face, andsaid to him, "You are a dead man, knight, unless you confess thatthe peerless Dulcinea del Toboso excels your Casildea de Vandalia inbeauty; and in addition to this you must promise, if you shouldsurvive this encounter and fall, to go to the city of El Toboso andpresent yourself before her on my behalf, that she deal with youaccording to her good pleasure; and if she leaves you free to doyours, you are in like manner to return and seek me out (for the trailof my mighty deeds will serve you as a guide to lead you to where Imay be), and tell me what may have passed between you and her-conditions which, in accordance with what we stipulated before ourcombat, do not transgress the just limits of knight-errantry."

"I confess," said the fallen knight, "that the dirty tattered shoeof the lady Dulcinea del Toboso is better than the ill-combed thoughclean beard of Casildea; and I promise to go and to return from herpresence to yours, and to give you a full and particular account ofall you demand of me."

"You must also confess and believe," added Don Quixote, "that theknight you vanquished was not and could not be Don Quixote of LaMancha, but some one else in his likeness, just as I confess andbelieve that you, though you seem to be the bachelor SamsonCarrasco, are not so, but some other resembling him, whom my enemieshave here put before me in his shape, in order that I may restrain andmoderate the vehemence of my wrath, and make a gentle use of the gloryof my victory."

"I confess, hold, and think everything to be as you believe, hold,and think it," the crippled knight; "let me rise, I entreat you; if,indeed, the shock of my fall will allow me, for it has left me in asorry plight enough."

Don Quixote helped him to rise, with the assistance of his squireTom Cecial; from whom Sancho never took his eyes, and to whom he putquestions, the replies to which furnished clear proof that he wasreally and truly the Tom Cecial he said; but the impression made onSancho's mind by what his master said about the enchanters havingchanged the face of the Knight of the Mirrors into that of thebachelor Samson Carrasco, would not permit him to believe what hesaw with his eyes. In fine, both master and man remained under thedelusion; and, down in the mouth, and out of luck, he of the Mirrorsand his squire parted from Don Quixote and Sancho, he meaning to golook for some village where he could plaster and strap his ribs. DonQuixote and Sancho resumed their journey to Saragossa, and on it thehistory leaves them in order that it may tell who the Knight of theMirrors and his long-nosed squire were.

CHAPTER XV

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

Don Quixote went off satisfied, elated, and vain-glorious in thehighest degree at having won a victory over such a valiant knight ashe fancied him of the Mirrors to be, and one from whose knightlyword he expected to learn whether the enchantment of his lady stillcontinued; inasmuch as the said vanquished knight was bound, under thepenalty of ceasing to be one, to return and render him an account ofwhat took place between him and her. But Don Quixote was of onemind, he of the Mirrors of another, for he just then had no thought ofanything but finding some village where he could plaster himself, ashas been said already. The history goes on to say, then, that when thebachelor Samson Carrasco recommended Don Quixote to resume hisknight-errantry which he had laid aside, it was in consequence ofhaving been previously in conclave with the curate and the barber onthe means to be adopted to induce Don Quixote to stay at home in peaceand quiet without worrying himself with his ill-starred adventures; atwhich consultation it was decided by the unanimous vote of all, and onthe special advice of Carrasco, that Don Quixote should be allowedto go, as it seemed impossible to restrain him, and that Samson shouldsally 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, thatbeing looked upon as an easy matter; and that it should be agreedand settled that the vanquished was to be at the mercy of thevictor. Then, Don Quixote being vanquished, the bachelor knight was tocommand him to return to his village and his house, and not quit itfor two years, or until he received further orders from him; all whichit was clear Don Quixote would unhesitatingly obey, rather thancontravene or fail to observe the laws of chivalry; and during theperiod of his seclusion he might perhaps forget his folly, or theremight be an opportunity of discovering some ready remedy for hismadness. Carrasco undertook the task, and Tom Cecial, a gossip andneighbour of Sancho Panza's, a lively, feather-headed fellow,offered himself as his squire. Carrasco armed himself in the fashiondescribed, and Tom Cecial, that he might not be known by his gossipwhen they met, fitted on over his own natural nose the falsemasquerade one that has been mentioned; and so they followed thesame route Don Quixote took, and almost came up with him in time to bepresent at the adventure of the cart of Death and finallyencountered them in the grove, where all that the sagacious reader hasbeen reading about took place; and had it not been for theextraordinary fancies of Don Quixote, and his conviction that thebachelor was not the bachelor, senor bachelor would have beenincapacitated for ever from taking his degree of licentiate, allthrough not finding nests where he thought to find birds.

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

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

"In that case," said Tom Cecial, "I was a madman of my own accordwhen 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 amgoing home until I have given Don Quixote a thrashing is absurd; andit is not any wish that he may recover his senses that will make mehunt him out now, but a wish for the sore pain I am in with my ribswon't let me entertain more charitable thoughts."

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

CHAPTER XVI

OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE WITH A DISCREET GENTLEMAN OF LA MANCHA

Don Quixote pursued his journey in the high spirits, satisfaction,and self-complacency already described, fancying himself the mostvalorous knight-errant of the age in the world because of his latevictory. All the adventures that could befall him from that time forthhe regarded as already done and brought to a happy issue; he madelight of enchantments and enchanters; he thought no more of thecountless drubbings that had been administered to him in the course ofhis knight-errantry, nor of the volley of stones that had levelledhalf his teeth, nor of the ingratitude of the galley slaves, nor ofthe audacity of the Yanguesans and the shower of stakes that fell uponhim; in short, he said to himself that could he discover any means,mode, or way of disenchanting his lady Dulcinea, he would not envy thehighest fortune that the most fortunate knight-errant of yore everreached or could reach.

He was going along entirely absorbed in these fancies, when Sanchosaid to him, "Isn't it odd, senor, that I have still before my eyesthat monstrous enormous nose of my gossip, Tom Cecial?"

"And dost thou, then, believe, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thatthe Knight of the Mirrors was the bachelor Carrasco, and his squireTom Cecial thy gossip?"

"I don't know what to say to that," replied Sancho; "all I know isthat the tokens he gave me about my own house, wife and children,nobody else but himself could have given me; and the face, once thenose was off, was the very face of Tom Cecial, as I have seen itmany a time in my town and next door to my own house; and the sound ofthe voice was just the same."

"Let us reason the matter, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "Come now,by what process of thinking can it be supposed that the bachelorSamson Carrasco would come as a knight-errant, in arms offensive anddefensive, to fight with me? Have I ever been by any chance his enemy?Have I ever given him any occasion to owe me a grudge? Am I his rival,or does he profess arms, that he should envy the fame I haveacquired in them?"

"Well, but what are we to say, senor," returned Sancho, "aboutthat knight, whoever he is, being so like the bachelor Carrasco, andhis squire so like my gossip, Tom Cecial? And if that beenchantment, as your worship says, was there no other pair in theworld for them to take the likeness of?"

"It is all," said Don Quixote, "a scheme and plot of the malignantmagicians that persecute me, who, foreseeing that I was to bevictorious in the conflict, arranged that the vanquished knight shoulddisplay the countenance of my friend the bachelor, in order that thefriendship I bear him should interpose to stay the edge of my swordand might of my arm, and temper the just wrath of my heart; so that hewho sought to take my life by fraud and falsehood should save his own.And to prove it, thou knowest already, Sancho, by experience whichcannot lie or deceive, how easy it is for enchanters to change onecountenance into another, turning fair into foul, and foul intofair; for it is not two days since thou sawest with thine own eyes thebeauty and elegance of the peerless Dulcinea in all its perfection andnatural harmony, while I saw her in the repulsive and mean form of acoarse country wench, with cataracts in her eyes and a foul smell inher mouth; and when the perverse enchanter ventured to effect sowicked a transformation, it is no wonder if he effected that of SamsonCarrasco and thy gossip in order to snatch the glory of victory out ofmy grasp. For all that, however, I console myself, because, after all,in whatever shape he may have been, I have victorious over my enemy."

"God knows what's the truth of it all," said Sancho; and knowingas he did that the transformation of Dulcinea had been a device andimposition of his own, his master's illusions were not satisfactory tohim; but he did not like to reply lest he should say something thatmight disclose his trickery.

As they were engaged in this conversation they were overtaken by aman who was following the same road behind them, mounted on a veryhandsome flea-bitten mare, and dressed in a gaban of fine green cloth,with tawny velvet facings, and a montera of the same velvet. Thetrappings of the mare were of the field and jineta fashion, and ofmulberry colour and green. He carried a Moorish cutlass hanging from abroad green and gold baldric; the buskins were of the same make as thebaldric; the spurs were not gilt, but lacquered green, and so brightlypolished that, matching as they did the rest of his apparel, theylooked better than if they had been of pure gold.

When the traveller came up with them he saluted them courteously,and spurring his mare was passing them without stopping, but DonQuixote called out to him, "Gallant sir, if so be your worship isgoing our road, and has no occasion for speed, it would be apleasure to me if we were to join company."

"In truth," replied he on the mare, "I would not pass you so hastilybut for fear that horse might turn restive in the company of my mare."

"You may safely hold in your mare, senor," said Sancho in reply tothis, "for our horse is the most virtuous and well-behaved horse inthe world; he never does anything wrong on such occasions, and theonly time he misbehaved, my master and I suffered for it sevenfold;I say again your worship may pull up if you like; for if she wasoffered to him between two plates the horse would not hanker afterher."

The traveller drew rein, amazed at the trim and features of DonQuixote, who rode without his helmet, which Sancho carried like avalise in front of Dapple's pack-saddle; and if the man in greenexamined Don Quixote closely, still more closely did Don Quixoteexamine the man in green, who struck him as being a man ofintelligence. In appearance he was about fifty years of age, withbut few grey hairs, an aquiline cast of features, and an expressionbetween grave and gay; and his dress and accoutrements showed him tobe a man of good condition. What he in green thought of Don Quixote ofLa Mancha was that a man of that sort and shape he had never yet seen;he marvelled at the length of his hair, his lofty stature, thelankness and sallowness of his countenance, his armour, his bearingand his gravity- a figure and picture such as had not been seen inthose regions for many a long day.

Title: Don Quixote
Author: Miqeul de Cervantes
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