Chapter XVIII. Where the words that Sancho Panza said to his master don Quixote are recorded, with other adventures worthy of being told. Sancho reached his master so exhausted and faint that he could hardly drive his donkey. When don Quixote saw him in that state, he said: “I believe now, good Sancho, that that castle or inn is enchanted without any doubt, since those men so cruelly had fun at your expense. What could they have been but phantoms and people from the other world? And I can confirm this for having seen that when I was near the walls of the corral witnessing the unfolding of your sad tragedy, I couldn’t get over the walls, much less get off Rocinante, because they must have enchanted me. I swear to you, on the faith of who I am, that, if it had been possible for me to get over the walls or get off my horse, I would have avenged you so that those rogues and brigands would remember that joke forever, even if it meant that I’d have to go against the laws of chivalry, since, as I’ve already told you many times, they don’t allow a knight to raise his hand against anyone who is not one himself, except in self defense, and then only in the case of pressing and urgent need.”
“I would have avenged myself if I could have, dubbed a knight or not, but I couldn’t. But I do firmly believe that those who were having such a good time at my expense weren’t phantoms or enchanted men, as your grace says, but rather men of flesh and blood like us. And all of them had names—I heard them call each other by name. One of them was called Pedro Martínez, and the other was Tenorio Hernández, and the innkeeper was called Juan Palomeque, the Left-Handed. So, señor, not being able to climb over the fence of the corral or get off your horse had to do with something other than enchantment. And what I conclude from all this is that these adventures we go looking for, in the end will bring us nothing but misfortune, so we won’t even know which is our right foot. And what would be the best thing for us to do, in my limited understanding, is to return to our village now, since it’s harvest time, and tend to the farm, and stop going «from Ceca to Mecca»,218and «from a rock to a hard place», as they say.”
“How little you know, Sancho, about chivalry!” responded don Quixote. “Keep quiet and be patient, for the day will come when you’ll see with your own eyes what an honorable thing it is to engage in this profession. If not, tell me, what greater content can there be in the world, or what pleasure can rival that of winning a battle and of triumphing over your enemy? None, without any doubt.”
“It must be that way,” responded Sancho, “although I have no way of knowing. I only know that since we’ve been knights errant, or rather since your grace has been—there’s no reason to count me among such an honorable group—we’ve never won any battle except the one with the Basque, and even there your grace left it with only half an ear and half a helmet gone, and since then it’s been whacks and more whacks, punches and more punches; and in addition to all that, I’ve been blanketed by enchanted persons who I can’t take vengeance on, so I can’t know the pleasure you get when you conquer an enemy, as you say.”
“This bothers me, and must bother you as well, Sancho,” responded don Quixote, “but as soon as I can, I’ll try to get a sword made with such powers that whoever has it with him cannot suffer any kind of enchantment. And it may even be that good fortune will bring me Amadís’ sword, when he was called the Knight of the Burning Sword. It was one of the best swords that any knight ever had, because—aside from the powers I just mentioned—it cut like a razor, and there was no armor, no matter how sturdy and enchanted it might be, that could withstand it.”
“My luck is such,” said Sancho, “that when this came to pass, and you found such a sword, it would only be of use to knights, as with the balm, and as for squires… they’ll be out in the cold once again.”
“Don’t worry about that, Sancho,” said don Quixote, “because heaven will treat you better.”
Don Quixote and his squire were having this conversation, when don Quixote saw on the road they were on an enormous thick cloud of dust. When he saw it, he turned to Sancho and said: “This is the day, Sancho, that Fate has reserved for me. This is the day on which will be demonstrated, more than on any other day, the strength of my arm, and on which I’ll do deeds that will be written in the Book of Fame for all future ages. Do you see that cloud of dust swirling up over there, Sancho? Well, it has been churned up by a colossal marching army consisting of innumerable soldiers from many different places.”
“In that case, there must be two armies,” said Sancho, “because from the other side there’s a similar cloud of dust.”
Don Quixote turned to see it, and he saw that it was true. It gladdened him beyond measure, since he thought there were doubtless two armies that had come to attack and do battle in the middle of that spacious plain, because his imagination had him filled at all times with the combats, enchantments, incidents, follies, romances, and challenges recounted in the romances of chivalry, and everything he said, thought, or did, was along those lines. It turned out that the clouds of dust he’d seen were made by two large flocks of sheep that were coming from two different directions along that same road, and because of the dust, the sheep themselves couldn’t be seen until they drew near. Don Quixote insisted with such ardor that they were armies that Sancho came to believe him and said: “Señor, what should we do?”
“What?” said don Quixote, “why, help the needy and weak side. I want you to know, Sancho, that the army coming toward us is led by the great Emperor Alifanfarón, lord of the great island of Trapobana.219This other army marching at our backs is the one belonging to his enemy, the king of the Central African Garamantans, Pentapolén of the Rolled-up Sleeve, because he always goes into battle with his right arm bared.”
“So why do they hate each other, these two señores?” asked Sancho.
“They hate each other,” responded don Quixote, “because this Alefanfarón220 is a raging pagan, and is in love with the Pentapolín’s daughter, a very beautiful and very graceful señora. She’s a Christian, and her father doesn’t want to let the pagan king have her unless he first leaves the law of the false prophet Muhammad and adopts his own religion.”
“By my beard,” said Sancho, “Pentapolín is quite right, and I’ll help him as much as I can.”
“In this you’ll be doing what you should,” said don Quixote, “because to enter into such battles, you don’t need to be dubbed a knight.”
“I understand that,” responded Sancho. “But where can we put the donkey so that we can find him after the fray is over? I don’t think that such an animal has been used in a battle up to now.”
“That’s the truth,” said don Quixote, “but you can just let him roam free, whether he comes back or not, because we’ll have so many horses after we win the battle that even Rocinante runs the risk of being exchanged for another. But listen carefully, and look, because I want to tell you about the most important knights of both armies. And so that you can see and observe better, let’s go up to that little hill over there, from where we can see both armies.”
They went onto the hill from where they could see both flocks—which don Quixote thought were armies because the clouds of dust they caused had obscured the flocks and blinded his eyes. But in spite of all this, seeing in his imagination what he didn’t see with his eyes and wasn’t there, he began to say in a loud voice: “That knight you see over there with the yellow armor with the shield that has a lion wearing a crown subdued at a maiden’s feet, is the brave Laurcalco, Lord of the Silver Bridge;221 the other one with golden flowers on his armor, who has a shield with three silver crowns on a field of blue, is the feared Micolembo, the Grand Duke of Quirocia. The other one to Micolembo’s right, with gigantic arms and legs, is the ever-dauntless Brandabarbarán de Boliche, lord of the three Arabias, who is protected by that serpent skin, and uses a gate for a shield, which, fame has it, is one from the temple that Samson222 pulled down, when he took vengeance on his enemies through his own death.
“But look at the other side now and you’ll see facing the other army the always-conquering and never-conquered Timonel of Carcajona, Prince of New Biscay, who wears armor divided into four colors: blue, green, white, and yellow, and holds a shield with a golden cat on an orangish background with a caption that says Miau, which is almost like the beginning of the name of the lady who, so they say, is the peerless Miulina, daughter of Duke Alefeñiquén de Algarve. The other one, who sits on and squeezes the loins of that powerful horse and wears armor white as snow and wields a white shield without any motto, is a novice knight from France, called Pierres Papín, Lord of the Baronies of Utrique. The other one, who is spurring the flanks of a striped and light-footed zebra, and has a shield with alternating bars of blue and white, is the powerful Duke of Nerbia, Espartifilardo of the Forest, who has an asparagus plant on his shield with a caption in Spanish that says My luck drags behind.”
And in this way he went along naming many knights from both squadrons that he imagined, and he improvised the armor, colors, devices, and mottos of them all, and without stopping, he continued: “This squadron in front is made up of people from different nations. Here are those that drink the waters of the famous Xanthus River;223 the woodsmen who tread the Massilian Plains;224 those who sift the fine gold dust of Felix Arabia;225 those who enjoy the famous and cool shores of the clear Thermodon River;226 those who drink from the golden Pactolus River;227 the Numidians,228 who hesitate in their promises; Persians, famous for their bows and arrows; Parthians and Medes who fight as they flee;229 Arabs, of movable houses; Scythians, as cruel as they are fair of skin;230 Ethiopians with bored lips; and an infinite number of other peoples, whose faces I know but I don’t remember their names.
“In this other squadron there are those who drink the crystalline running water of the olive-bearing Bætis River; those who wash their faces with the liquid from the always rich and golden Tajo River; those who enjoy the health-restoring waters of the Genil River;231 those who tread upon the Tartessian fields232 with their abundant pasture; those who delight in the Elysian Fields near Jérez;233 Manchegans, whose rich fields are covered with golden wheat; those dressed in iron, ancient remnants of Gothic blood; those who bathe in the Pisuerga River,234 famous for the gentleness of its current; those who graze their cattle on the extensive pastures of the twisting Guadiana River,235 celebrated for its underground flows; those who shiver in the cold of the sylvan Pyrenees Mountains236 and in the white snowflakes of the Apennine Mountains.237 In short, you’ll find represented every nation that Europe’s borders hold.”
Goodness, gracious! How many provinces he mentioned, how many nations he named, ascribing to each one, with marvelous speed, its attributes, based entirely on what he’d read in his lying books.
Sancho Panza was hanging on every word, not saying a single one himself, and once in a while he turned his head to see if he could make out the knights and giants his master was describing, and since he didn’t see any, he said to him: “Señor, I don’t see any man or giant or knight of the many that you’ve mentioned. Maybe it’s just enchantment, like the phantoms of last night.”
“How can you say that?” responded don Quixote. “Don’t you hear the neighing of horses, the sounding of bugles, the rolling of drums?”
“I don’t hear anything,” responded Sancho Panza, “except the bleating of sheep.”
And it was the truth, because the flocks were drawing near.
“It’s your fear,” said don Quixote, “that makes you unable to see or hear things the way they are. One of the effects of fear is to confuse one’s senses and make things not seem like what they are. And if you’re so afraid, step aside and leave me alone, for I alone can give victory to the side I favor.”
And saying this, he spurred Rocinante, braced his lance, and went down the slope like a bolt of lightning.
Sancho shouted after him, saying: “Come back, your grace don Quixote! I swear to God that it’s rams and ewes that you’re about to attack! Come back! Woe to the unfortunate father that bore me! What kind of lunacy is this? Look, there are no giants or knights, nor cats or armor, nor divided, nor shields, nor blue or bedeviled bars! What are you doing, sinner that I am!?”
These words had no effect on don Quixote. Instead, he went forward shouting: “Ho, knights who follow and do battle under the standards of the valorous Emperor Pentapolín of the Rolled-up Sleeve, follow me, all of you. You’ll see how easily I take vengeance on his enemy Alefanfarón of Trapobana!”
Saying this, he dashed into the middle of the squadron of sheep and began to attack them with his lance with as much ire and daring as if he were really fighting his mortal enemies. The shepherds with the flock shouted at him to stop, but since it was doing no good, they took out their slingshots and began to greet his ears with stones as big as your fist. Don Quixote paid no attention to the stones, but scurried in all directions saying: “Where are you, arrogant Alifanfarón? Come to me! One knight alone wants to test your strength in singular combat and take your life to punish you for the misery you’ve caused the brave Pentapolín the Garamantan.”
At that moment a stone from a stream bed hit him in the side, caving in two ribs. Seeing himself so abused, he thought he was dead or badly wounded, and remembering his potion, he took out the cruet and put it to his mouth, and began to drink the liquid. But before he could take what he thought was enough, another smooth stone struck both his hand and the cruet squarely, breaking it to pieces, taking along with it three or four teeth from his mouth, and smashing two fingers of his hand badly.
The first blow was such, and the blow from the second was such, that the poor knight couldn’t help but fall from his horse to the ground. At this point the shepherds arrived and thought they had killed him, so they herded their livestock with great haste, picked up more than seven dead sheep, and fled without further ado.
Sancho was on the hill, all the while watching his master’s mad acts, pulling his beard and cursing the moment when Fate had brought them together. Seeing him fall to the ground, and that the shepherds had departed, he went down the hill and found his master in very bad shape, but still conscious, and said to him: “Didn’t I tell you señor don Quixote, to come back, and you were not attacking armies but flocks of sheep?”
“That thieving necromancer, my enemy, can falsify and make such things as these vanish. Sancho, I want you to know that it’s very easy for those sorcerors to make us believe whatever they want, and this wicked one who persecutes me, envious of the glory that he foresaw I’d garner from this battle, changed those squadrons of enemies into flocks of sheep. If you want to find out for yourself, Sancho, do this: get on your donkey and follow them stealthily, without their noticing, and you’ll see that, when they get some distance away, they’ll change back from sheep into the men they originally were, exactly as I described to you… But don’t go just now—I need your help. Come over here and see how many teeth are missing, because it seems to me I don’t have any left in my mouth.”
Sancho got so close to him that his eyes were almost inside his mouth, and it happened that it was at that very instant that the balm in don Quixote’s stomach began to have its effect; and just when Sancho was about to look inside his mouth, don Quixote—like a bullet from a rifle—discharged everything from his stomach onto the beard of his compassionate squire.
“Holy Mary!” said Sancho. “What has happened to me? This sinner is doubtless mortally wounded since he’s vomiting blood through his mouth.” But when he examined it a bit more, he discovered through its color, taste and smell, that it wasn’t blood, but rather the balm from the cruet that he’d seen him drink, and the nausea that it brought him was so great that his stomach began to churn, and he vomited out his whole insides onto his master, and both of them were a sight to see. Sancho went to his donkey to get something from his saddlebags to clean himself with and to treat his master’s wounds, and when he didn’t find the saddlebags, he was on the verge of losing his mind. He cursed himself again and resolved in his heart to leave his master and return home, even though he’d lose the salary for the time he’d served, and all hopes of governing the promised ínsula.
Don Quixote managed to get up, his left hand on his mouth so that the rest of his teeth wouldn’t fall out, and with the other hand, he took the reins of Rocinante (who never had moved an inch from the side of his master, so loyal and well trained was he), and went over to his squire. He found him leaning against his donkey with his hand on his cheek, like a very pensive man. Seeing him in that posture, looking so unhappy, don Quixote said to him: “Sancho, no man is more than another unless he does more than another. All these little storms that overtake us are signs that very soon the weather will clear up and good things will start happening to us, because neither good nor bad can last forever. Thus it follows that, since the adversity has lasted such a long time, good luck must be around the corner. So don’t take my humiliations to heart since none of them befalls you.”
“How do you figure that,” responded Sancho. “By chance, yesterday was it someone other than the son of my father who was blanketed? And the saddlebags missing today with all my stuff, did they belong to another other than myself?”
“You mean the saddlebags are missing?” said don Quixote.
“Yes, they are,” responded Sancho.
“That means we won’t eat today,” responded don Quixote.
“That would be true,” responded Sancho, “only if there were no herbs in these fields that your grace knows about, which unfortunate knights errant, such as yourself, eat when there’s nothing else around.”
“Even so,” responded don Quixote, “I’d prefer a loaf of bread, or even half a loaf, and the heads of two herrings to all the herbs that Discorides describes, even from the commentated edition by Dr. Laguna.238But anyway, get on your donkey, good Sancho, and follow me. God, who provides everything, won’t fail us, and more so since we’re so much in His service. Since He doesn’t fail the gnats in the air, nor the worms in the earth, nor the tadpoles in the water, and is so merciful that He makes the sun shine on the good and the bad, and rains on the unjust and the just.”
“Your grace might be,” said Sancho, “a better preacher than a knight errant.”
“Knights errant knew, and have to know everything, Sancho,” said don Quixote, “because there were knights errant in past centuries who would stop to give a sermon or a discourse in the middle of a military camp, as if they were graduates of the University of Paris, and from this we learn that the lance never dulled the pen, nor the pen the lance.”
“All right, let it be just as your grace says,” responded Sancho. “Let’s get on our way and try to find a place to stay tonight, and may it please God that it not be where there are blankets or blanketers or phantoms or enchanted Moors, because if there are, may the devil take it all away.”
“Ask it of God, son,” said don Quixote, “and you can lead us wherever you like. I’ll let you find a place for us to stay. But first give me your hand, and feel inside my mouth with your finger, and see how many teeth are missing from this upper right side of my jaw since that’s where it hurts.”
Sancho put his fingers in and felt around and said: “How many back teeth did your grace use to have on this side?”
“Four,” responded don Quixote, “except for the wisdom tooth, all of them were whole and healthy.”
“Consider carefully what you’re saying, señor,” responded Sancho.
“There were four, if not five,” responded don Quixote, “because no molar was ever extracted in my whole life, nor has any fallen out, nor been damaged by cavities or abscesses.”
“Well, on the bottom,” said Sancho, “your grace has only two and a half, and in the upper part, neither half a molar nor any at all. It’s as smooth as the palm of my hand.”
“Woe is me,” said don Quixote when he heard the sad news that his squire gave him, “I’d have preferred that they rip off an arm, as long it wasn’t the one I use for my sword, because I’ll have you know, Sancho, that a mouth without molars is like a mill without a millstone; and a tooth should be more treasured than a diamond. But all of us who profess the rigorous order of knighthood are susceptible to all this. Mount your donkey, my friend, and lead on, and I’ll follow at whatever pace you want.”
Sancho did exactly that, and went toward where he thought they could find a place, never leaving the highway, which was very straight at that point. Going slowly, since the pain in don Quixote’s jaws kept him in discomfort and didn’t allow him to go very fast, Sancho wanted to entertain and amuse him by telling him something, and among the things he said, was what will be recounted in the next chapter.
Chapter XIX. About the tactful conversation that Sancho Panza had with his master, and of the adventure of what happened with a dead body, with other famous occurrences. “It seems to me, señor mío, that all of these misadventures that have been happening to us doubtless have been to punish your grace for sinning against the order of chivalry—since you didn’t comply with your oath not to eat bread on a tablecloth nor sport with the queen, and all the rest of that stuff you swore to fulfill until you took Malandrino’s helmet from him, or whatever his name is—I don’t remember too well.”
“You’re very right, Sancho,” said don Quixote. “But to tell you the truth, it had slipped my mind, and you can bet that your not having reminded me of it in time is what caused your blanketing. But I’ll make it up to you, for there are ways to fix everything in the order of chivalry.”
“Well, did I swear anything, by chance?” responded Sancho.
“It’s not important for you to have sworn anything,” said don Quixote. “It’s enough for me to understand that you’re not entirely free from blame. Just in case, it would be a good idea to provide ourselves with a remedy.”
“Well, if that’s the way things are,” said Sancho, “be careful not to forget this as you did the oath, since it may cause the phantoms to come back and have more fun at my expense, and maybe even yours, too, if they see you’re so stubborn.”
In these and other conversations, night overtook them while on the road, without being able to find a place to lodge that night. And what was worse was that they were dying of hunger, because when they lost the saddlebags, they lost their larder and all their provisions. And the icing on the cake was that an adventure—at least it seemed to be a real adventure and not one that involved make-believe—befell them. That night turned out to be very dark, but they still moved along, Sancho believing that, since it was a main highway, they could reasonably expect to find an inn within a league or two.
As they went along—the night being dark, the squire hungry, and the master feeling like a bit to eat—they saw that along the road, coming toward them, was a great number of torches, which looked like roving stars. Sancho was petrified when he saw them and his master was uneasy. The one pulled on the halter of his donkey and the other on the reins of his nag and they stayed quite still, trying to figure out what it could all mean, and they saw that these torches were approaching them, and the more they drew near, the bigger they appeared. When Sancho saw this, he began to shake like a leaf, and don Quixote’s hair stood on end, but he plucked up some courage and said: “This, Sancho, doubtless has to be an enormous and very dangerous adventure in which I’ll have to show all my courage and strength.”
“Woe is me,” responded Sancho, “if this adventure is one with phantoms—and it looks to me as if it might be—how will my ribs be able to stand it?”
“No matter how many phantoms there might be,” said don Quixote, “I won’t allow any one of them to touch a single thread of your clothing. The last time they played tricks on you was because I couldn’t get over the walls of the corral. Now that we’re in the countryside, I can wield my sword however I like.”
“And if they enchant and paralyze you, as happened the other time,” said Sancho, “what good will it be to be in the countryside?”
“Nevertheless,” replied don Quixote, “be of good courage, because this experience will prove to you what kind of bravery I have.”
“I’ll try to, if it pleases God,” responded Sancho.
The two of them went to the side of the road to see what those roving torches could be. And soon after, they made out many men dressed in white. This frightening vision took away all of Sancho Panza’s courage, and his teeth began to chatter as if he had the chills. His heart beat faster and the chattering became worse when they saw what the whole scene was—they beheld up to twenty men dressed in white surplices, all of them on horseback, and with burning torches in their hands. Behind them came a litter draped in mourning, followed by six other men on mules, mantled in black down to their hooves—you could tell they weren’t horses because of their lazy pace. The surplice-wearers were murmuring softly among themselves, in doleful tones. This strange vision, at such a late hour, and in such a desolate place was enough to instill fear in Sancho’s heart, and even in his master’s. But his master instantly saw in his imagination one of the adventures from his books coming to life. He imagined that a badly-wounded or a dead knight must be lying on the litter, and whom he alone was destined to avenge.
And so, without further ado, he couched his lance, sat up firmly in his saddle, and with a gentle mien and disposition planted himself in the middle of the road where the surplice-wearers had to pass, and when he saw that they were near, he raised his voice and said: “Stop, you knights, or whoever you may be, and tell me who you are, where you’re coming from, and what you’re bearing on that litter—because it looks to me like either you’ve done some outrage to someone, or someone has done some outrage to you, and I need to know what happened so that I can either punish you for the bad things you’ve done or avenge the injury done to you.”
“We’re in a hurry,” responded one of the surplice wearers, “and the inn is still far away, and we can’t stop to tell you everything you want to know.”
And spurring his mule, he continued on. Don Quixote was quite offended by this answer, and grabbing the mule by its bridle, said: “Stop, and be more courteous, and tell me what I want to know. If not, you all have a fight on your hands.”
The mule was skittish, and when it was seized by the bridle, it got scared and rose onto its hind legs and threw its rider to the ground. A lad who was on foot, when he saw the surplice-wearer fall, began to revile don Quixote, who was now so angry that—without waiting a moment—he assailed one of the men in black, and knocked him to the ground, badly hurt. He then turned around and moved swiftly among those remaining, and the speed with which he attacked and made them flee was marvelous to behold. It looked like Rocinante had sprouted wings at that moment, he was so light on his feet and so majestic. All the surplice wearers were fainthearted and unarmed, so they left the fray immediately and began running through the countryside with their torches still lit, much in the way masqueraders run about on nights of merriment and festival. The ones dressed in mourning, encumbered and wrapped up as they were in their skirts and cassocks, found it hard to move, so don Quixote, with no danger at all to himself, could maul them all, and made them all flee, much against their will. They all thought that he wasn’t a man, but a devil from hell, who had come to snatch away the dead body they were transporting on the litter.
Sancho was watching it all, surprised at the undaunted courage of his master, and said to himself: “Without a doubt this master of mine is as brave and valiant as he says.”
There was a burning torch on the ground next to the man that the mule had thrown, and in its light don Quixote could see him. He approached him and aimed the point of his lance at the man’s face, telling him to surrender or he’d put him to death.
The fallen man responded: “I’ve already surrendered since I can’t move because my leg is broken. I beg you, if you’re a Christian knight, not to kill me since you’d be committing a great sacrilege—I’m a licenciado, and I’ve already taken the first orders of the church.”
“Well, who the devil has brought you here,” said don Quixote, “since you’re a man of the church?”
“Who, señor?” replied the fallen man. “My misfortune.”
“A greater misfortune awaits you,” said don Quixote, “if you don’t tell me everything I want to know.”
“I can easily satisfy your grace,” responded the licenciado. “I should tell you that although I said I’m a licenciado, I only hold a bachelor’s degree, and my name is Alonso López. I’m from Alcobendas and I’m coming from Baeza with eleven other priests, who are those who fled with their torches. We’re going to the city of Segovia239 with a dead body on that litter, a knight who died in Baeza where he’d been entombed, and now, as I say, we’re taking his bones to his sepulcher in Segovia, where he was born.”
“And who killed him?” asked don Quixote.
“God did, by means of a pestilential fever.”
“In that case,” said don Quixote, “Our Lord has spared me the trouble of avenging his death if he’d been killed by anyone else. But since he was killed by the One who killed him, I’ll just have to keep quiet and shrug my shoulders, and I’d do the same if He killed me. I want you to know that I’m a knight from La Mancha named don Quixote, and my profession is to wander about the world righting wrongs and redressing injuries.”
“I don’t see how you can call this «righting wrongs»,” said the bachelor, “because you’ve wronged me, leaving me with a broken leg that will never be right in all the days of my life. And in trying to redress an injury, you’ve left me injured forever. You seek adventures, but my running into you has been a great misadventure for me.”
“Not everything,” responded don Quixote, “happens the same way. The trouble was, señor bachelor Alonso López, that you were coming the way you did, at night, dressed in those surplices, with lighted torches, praying, dressed in mourning, and you really looked like something evil from the other world. I had to fulfill my obligation by attacking you, and I would have attacked you even if I had known that you were devils from hell themselves, and that’s exactly what I took you to be.”
“Since my fate has willed it,” said the bachelor, “please, señor knight errant—who have erred so much toward me—help me to get out from under this mule, because he’s pinned my leg between the stirrup and the saddle.”
“I could have kept talking until tomorrow,” said don Quixote. “How long were you going to wait to tell me of your distress?”
He then called to Sancho Panza to come. But Sancho couldn’t go right then, because he was quite busy plundering a pack mule those good men had with them, and was well stocked with things to eat. Sancho made an impromptu sack from his overcoat and filled it with everything he could, loaded his donkey, and only then attended to his master’s shouting, helping to extricate the señor bachelor from the weight of his mule, putting him back onto his mount, and handing him his torch. Don Quixote told him to follow the same route his companions had taken, and to beg their pardon for him for any damage, but he was powerless to do anything other than what he’d done.
Sancho also said: “If by chance those señores want to know who the brave man was who put you in such a state, tell them that it was the famous don Quixote de La Mancha, otherwise called The Woebegone Knight.”
With this the bachelor went away and don Quixote asked Sancho just what had moved him to call him the Woebegone Knight at that precise moment.
“I’ll tell you,” responded Sancho, “because I’ve been looking at you for a while by the light of the torch that poor fellow was carrying, and truly you’ve recently taken on the most woebegone face I’ve ever seen. It must have been caused either by the exhaustion brought about by this battle or maybe the loss of so many teeth.”
“It’s not that,” responded don Quixote, “but rather it must have seemed to the wizard who is charged with writing the history of my deeds that it would be a good idea for me to have a nickname, as all the knights of yore had; one was called of the Burning Sword, another of the Unicorn, that one, of the Maidens, this one, of the Phœnix, the other one, of the Griffin, that other one, of Death,240 and by these names and designations they were known all over the world. So, I say that the wizard just mentioned must have made you think of and say right now that I’d call myself the Woebegone Knight, as I plan to from now on. And so this name will be very clear, I’ll have a very woebegone face painted on my shield as soon as I can.”
“Your grace need not waste any time or money having that done,” said Sancho, “for all you have to do is show your face for everyone to see, and without any picture or shield, they’ll all call you the Woebegone One. And believe me, I’m telling the truth, because I promise you, señor—and this is said as a jest—that your hunger and missing teeth, as I’ve already said, give you such a lamentable look, you don’t need a painting to show it.”
Don Quixote laughed at Sancho’s joke. But, even so, he proposed to call himself by that name as soon as he could have his shield painted, as he’d planned.
“I forgot to say that you should be advised that your grace is now excommunicated for having laid hands violently on something holy: Juxta illud, si quis suadente diabolo, &c.”241
“I don’t understand that Latin,” responded don Quixote, “but I know very well that I didn’t use my hands, but rather this lance; and in any case I didn’t realize I was attacking priests or things of the Church—which I respect and adore, as the Catholic and faithful Christian that I am—but rather phantoms and monsters from the other world. And even so, I remember what happened to the Cid Ruy Díaz, when he broke the chair of the ambassador of that king in the presence of His Holiness the Pope,242 and was excommunicated for it, and yet he acted like a very honorable and fine knight that day.”
When the bachelor heard this, he left, as has been said, without uttering another word.
Don Quixote wanted to see if the body on the litter was bones or not, but Sancho wouldn’t allow it, saying to him: “Señor, your grace has come out of this adventure more safely than from any that I’ve seen. These people that you routed may just realize that it was only one person who defeated them. They’ll be embarrassed and ashamed because of it, and might rally and come back looking for us, and give us all kinds of trouble. The donkey is loaded with food, the foothills are near, our hunger is great, so all we have to do is leave at our leisure, and, as they say: «let the dead go to the grave and the living to the loaves».”
Leading his donkey, he begged his master to follow, and it seemed to his master that he was right, and without saying a word he followed him. In a little while they were between two hills, and found themselves in a spacious hidden valley, where they dismounted, and Sancho took the donkey’s load off. They lay down on the green grass, and seasoned by the sauce of hunger, they ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at the same time with provisions the señores clerics of the dead man had with them on the pack mule—for it’s only rarely that they fail to provide themselves with lots of things to eat.
But another misfortune befell them that Sancho held for the worst one of all, and that was that they had no wine, or even water to drink. They were parched with thirst, but seeing that the field where they were was liberally endowed with fine green grass, Sancho said what will be told in the next chapter.
Chapter XX. About the never-before-seen and unheard-of adventure accomplished by the brave don Quixote de La Mancha, with less danger than any ever accomplished by any other famous knight in the world. “The presence of this grass, señor mío, indicates there has to be some spring or brook nearby that nourishes it, so it would be good for us to go on a bit, and we’ll soon come to where we can quench this terrible thirst tormenting us, because without a doubt, thirst is worse than hunger.”
Don Quixote considered this to be good advice, so he took Rocinante’s reins, and Sancho—after he loaded his donkey with the leftovers from dinner—took its halter, and they began to go up the meadow, feeling their way, because the blackness of the night prevented them from seeing anything. But they hadn’t gone two hundred paces when the roar of falling water—as if it were rushing over immense lofty cliffs—came to their ears. This sound made them extraordinarily happy, and when they stopped to try to distinguish exactly where it was coming from, they heard a most unexpected noise that diluted their joy at having discovered water, especially Sancho, who was by nature a coward and quite fainthearted. I mean, they heard what sounded like rhythmic clanking of iron and chains, which, when accompanied by the furious din of the water, would instill fear in any heart, other than that of don Quixote.
As has been said, the night was dark, and they happened to have penetrated into a forest of tall trees, whose leaves, stirred by the mild wind, made a frightening, but gentle noise, so that the solitude, the site, the darkness, the noise of the water, coupled with the rustling of the leaves, caused them dread and fright, and more so when they realized that the clanking wasn’t diminishing, nor the wind subsiding, nor was it getting light, and added to this, they didn’t know where they were.
But don Quixote, spurred on by his dauntless heart, leapt onto Rocinante, took his shield, leveled his lance, and said: “Sancho, my friend, I want you to know that I was born by the will of heaven in our Age of Iron to revive in it the Age of Gold, or the Golden Age, as it’s commonly known. I’m the one for whom dangers, great exploits, and valiant deeds are reserved. I am, I say again, the one who will revive the Knights of the Round Table, the Twelve Peers of France, the Nine Worthies; the one who will cast into oblivion all the Platires, the Tablantes, the Olivantes, and Tirantes, the Febos, and Belianises, along with the whole throng of famous knights errant of bygone days, accomplishing in this age in which I find myself such great deeds, unusual things, and feats of arms that will outshine the brightest ones that they all performed. You observe, my faithful squire, the darkness of this night, its odd silence, the quiet and indistinct rustling from these trees, the fearful noise of that water we came looking for, which seems to be falling headlong from the Mountains of the Moon,243and that unceasing hammering that deafens our ears. All these things together, and each one on its own, are sufficient to instill fear in the heart of Mars himself, not to mention in him who is not accustomed to such events and adventures. Everything I’ve said incites me and awakens my soul, and makes my heart burst inside my chest with the desire it has to undertake this adventure, no matter how difficult it might be. So, tighten Rocinante’s cinches a bit, may God be with you, and wait for me no more than three days. If I don’t return by then, you can go back to our village, and from there, as a favor to me, and as a good deed, go to El Toboso where you’ll tell the incomparable lady of mine, Dulcinea, that her captive knight died doing a deed that would make him worthy to be called hers.”
When Sancho heard his master’s words, he began to weep tenderly and said: “I don’t know why your grace would want to take on this fearful adventure. It’s night now, no one can see us here, and we can easily turn away and avoid this danger, even though we may not drink for three days; and since no one can see us, no one will call us cowards. What’s more, I’ve heard the priest in our village—and your grace knows him very well—preach that he who seeks danger perishes in it.244So, it’s not a good idea to tempt God by taking on such a foolhardy undertaking from which one cannot escape unless it’s by a miracle; and heaven has already given you plenty of miracles in sparing your grace from being blanketed (as I was), and in making you come out victorious and without a bruise from among so many enemies such as those who accompanied the dead body. And if all this won’t serve to soften your resolve, consider that as soon as you’ve left, I, out of pure fear, will yield my soul to whoever would take it. I left my village and my wife to come to serve you, thinking I’d be worth more and not less. But just as «greed bursts the sack», it has torn up my hopes, because just when I thought I was on the verge of getting that cursed and ill-fated ínsula that your grace has promised me many times, I see that instead, you want to leave me now in this place, so far from contact with mankind. In the name of the one true God, señor mío, don’t let such a detestable thing be done to me! If you’re determined not to give up this undertaking, put it off, at least until tomorrow, because—according to what I learned while I was a shepherd—sunrise must only be three hours away, since the Little Dipper is overhead, and it’s midnight when the handle stretches to the left.”245
“How can you, Sancho,” said don Quixote, “see where that handle or where that dipper is since the night is so dark and you can’t see any stars at all?”
“That’s true,” said Sancho, “but fear has many eyes, and sees things buried in the earth—not to mention what’s in the sky—but if you think about it, it’s reasonable that dawn isn’t far off.”
“No matter how much time there may be before dawn,” responded don Quixote, “let it not be said of me, now, or at any time, that neither tears nor supplications dissuaded me from doing what I am compelled to do as a knight. So I beg you, Sancho, to keep still, for God, who has put the notion in my heart to take on this unheard-of and frightening adventure, will watch out for my well-being and will console your sadness. What you must do is tighten the cinches on Rocinante and stay here, for I’ll return soon, dead or alive.”
When Sancho saw the final resolve of his master and how little his tears, advice, and pleas were being heeded, he determined to use his ingenuity to make him wait until daybreak, if he could. So, while he was tightening the cinches on the horse, he neatly, and without being heard, hobbled Rocinante’s rear hooves, so when don Quixote wanted to ride away, he couldn’t, because the horse could move only by hops.
When Sancho Panza saw how well his trick had worked, he said: “You see, señor, heaven, having been moved by my tears and supplications, has made it so Rocinante can’t budge, and if you insist on spurring and whipping him, it will only enrage Fortune, and you’ll be «kicking against the pricks», as they say.”
Don Quixote despaired, and the more he spurred his horse, the less he would move. And without catching on to the hobbling, he thought it prudent to calm down and wait, either for the sun to rise, or for Rocinante to be able to move, believing that the impediment derived from something other than Sancho’s inventiveness, and so he said to him: “Well, since that’s the way it is, and Rocinante can’t stir, I’m happy to wait until the dawn smiles upon us, although I may cry about its delay in coming.”
“No reason to cry,” responded Sancho, “for I’ll entertain you, telling stories from now until daylight, unless you want to dismount and stretch out to sleep a bit on the green grass, as knights errant do, so you’ll be more rested when day comes, and be ready to take on this incomparable adventure that awaits you.”
“What do you mean ‘dismount and sleep’?” said don Quixote. “Am I by chance one of those knights who takes a rest when there’s danger ahead? You should sleep since you were born to sleep, or do whatever you want, and I’ll do what I see best fits my character.”
“Don’t get angry, señor mío,” responded Sancho. “I didn’t mean it that way.”
He approached his master and put one hand on the front pommel of his saddle, and the other on the other, so that he was tight against the left thigh of his master, and didn’t dare move back an inch, such was the fear he had of the unceasing rhythmic clanging.
Don Quixote told him to relate a story to pass the time, as he’d promised, and Sancho said that he would, if the fear caused by what he was hearing would allow him to.
“Even so, I’ll try to tell a story which, if I can, and no one interferes, is the best one ever. Pay attention, your grace, for I’m beginning now: Once upon a time—and may the good that’s coming be for everyone, and misfortune for those who go looking for it. And let me tell you, señor mío, that the way the ancients began their tales wasn’t just any old thing, but rather a maxim of Cato Zonzorino,246 the Roman, who says: ‘Misfortune for those who go looking for it,’ which «fits us like a ring on your finger», meaning that your grace should stay quiet and not go looking for trouble anywhere, but that we should slip away down another road, since no one is forcing us to stay on this one, where so many fears assault us.”
“Go on with your story, Sancho,” said don Quixote, “and leave the road we should take to my care.”
“So I say,” Sancho continued, “that in a village in Extremadura247 there was a goatherd, and this goatherd, as I say in my story, was called Lope Ruiz, and this Lope Ruiz was mad about a shepherdess who was called Torralba, and this shepherdess named Torralba was the daughter of a rich cattleman, and this rich cattleman…”
“If you tell stories that way, Sancho,” said don Quixote, “repeating everything you say, you won’t finish in two days. Tell it in a straightforward way like an intelligent man, or else don’t say anything.”
“Where I’m from,” responded Sancho, “everybody tells these tales the same way. I can’t tell them any other way, and it’s not right for you to ask me to do things in a different way.”
“Tell it however you like, then,” responded don Quixote, “since Fate insists that I have to listen to you. Go on.”
“So, señor mío,” Sancho continued, “as I’ve already said, this goatherd was in love with La Torralba, the shepherdess, who was a plump, wild girl who was a bit mannish because she had a little teeny mustache. I can almost see her now.”
“You knew her, then, did you?” said don Quixote.
“I didn’t know her,” responded Sancho, “but the person who told me this story said it was so factual and true that when I told it to someone else, I could affirm and even swear that I’d seen it all take place. So, as days came and went, the devil—who never sleeps and who confounds everything—arranged it so that the love that the goatherd had for the shepherdess turned into hatred and ill-will, and this was caused—as gossip has it—by a bit of jealousy that she stirred in him that was such that it overstepped the bounds of reason, and encroached on what is forbidden. And it was such that the goatherd came to hate her so much that from then on, so as not to see her, he was determined to leave that place and go where he would never set eyes on her again. La Torralba realized that Lope had scorned her, so immediately came to love him, although she never had before.”
“That’s the natural condition of women—” said don Quixote, “to scorn whoever loves them and to love whoever hates them. Continue along, Sancho.”
“It happened,” said Sancho, “that the goatherd put his decision into effect, and gathering his goats, he started off through the fields of Extremadura to go into the Kingdom of Portugal. La Torralba found out about it and followed him from a distance on foot and shoeless, with a staff in her hand and a knapsack hanging from her neck, and in it she had—at least this is what they say—a broken piece of a mirror and part of a comb, and some kind of canister of face makeup; but whatever it was she carried, I couldn’t care less for the moment. I’ll just say that they say that the goatherd arrived with his flock to cross the Guadiana River,248and at that time the river was almost overflowing, and there was no boat to take him and his flock across. This distressed him to no end because he saw La Torralba was going to arrive soon and would give him a lot of trouble, what with her pleas and tears. But he looked around until he found a fisherman who had a small boat that could only hold one person and a single goat. He talked with the fisherman, who agreed to transport him and the three-hundred goats he had with him. The fisherman went into the boat and took one goat; he came back and took another; he came back again and took another. Now, your grace should keep a careful tally of the goats that the fisherman is taking across, because if you miss one, the story will end and it won’t be possible to say another word about it. I’ll continue, saying that the landing place on the other side of the river was full of mud and was slippery, and it took a long time to go and come back. Nevertheless, he came back for another goat, and another, and another…”
“Let’s just say that he finally got them all across,” said don Quixote, “and don’t keep coming and going like that, otherwise you won’t finish in a year.”
“How many have been taken across so far?” said Sancho.
“How the devil should I know?” responded don Quixote.
“Well, there you are! I told you to keep a tally, and you didn’t. So, by God, that’s the end of the story, and there’s no way to go on.”
“How can that be?” responded don Quixote. “Is it so important to the story to keep track of the goats that have been taken over, so that if one of them is not counted you can’t go on with the story?”
“That’s right, senor,” responded Sancho, “because as soon as I asked you to tell me how many goats had gone over and you said you didn’t know—at that very second, I instantly forgot what remained to be told of the story, and I swear there were worthwhile and amusing things in it.”
“So,” said don Quixote, “the story is finished?”
“It’s as finished as my mother is,” said Sancho.
“To tell you the truth,” responded don Quixote, “you’ve told one of the most original tales or stories that anyone in the world has ever contrived, and your way of telling it and cutting it short, has never been seen nor will ever be seen in a lifetime, although I expected no less from you. But I’m not surprised, since this eternal pounding must have confused your judgment.”
“Anything is possible,” responded Sancho, “but I know that there’s nothing of my story left since it ends where the error in the tally of the goats begins.”
“Let it end where you will,” said don Quixote, “and let’s see if Rocinante can stir.” He tried his luck with the spurs again, and Rocinante gave a few hops and then stopped, so well was he hobbled.
At this point it seems—whether it was the coolness of the morning, or that Sancho had eaten something that acted like a laxative, or that it was just something natural (and this is the most believable thing)—he suddenly felt like he needed to do what no one else could do for him. But there was so much fear in his heart he didn’t dare separate himself one millimeter from his master. To consider not doing what he needed to was also not possible. So what he did was to release his right hand from the rear pommel and with it he neatly and noiselessly untied the bowknot that held up his pants, without using his other hand, and when he untied it, his pants fell down and were like fetters. After this he raised his shirt as well as he could, and stuck out his rear end—which was far from small. This having been done, which was all he thought he needed to do in order to get out of that terrible bind and anguish, another thought came to him, greater than the first one, and that was that it seemed to him that he couldn’t relieve himself without making some kind of noise, and he clenched his teeth and squeezed his shoulders together, holding his breath as well as he could. But even with all these precautions, he was so unlucky that he made a bit of noise, very different from the one that had made him so afraid.
Don Quixote heard it and said: “What noise is that, Sancho?”
“I don’t know, señor,” he responded, “it must be something new. Adventures and misfortunes never begin for no reason.”
Again he tried his luck, and he had such success that, without any further noise or turmoil that had troubled him the previous time, he found himself free of the burden that had caused him so much discomfort. But since don Quixote had a sense of smell as keen as his sense of hearing, and Sancho was so close to him, the fumes rose practically straight up and it was impossible for them not reach his nose; and just after they arrived, he alleviated the problem by pinching his nose between two fingers and said with something of a twang: “It seems to me, Sancho, that you’re quite afraid.”
“Yes, I am,” responded Sancho, “but why would your grace say that at this particular moment?”
“Because you smell worse than ever, and not of perfume,” responded don Quixote.
“That may easily be,” said Sancho, “but I’m not to blame—you are, rather, since you bring me to these strange places at such odd hours.”
“Go back three or four paces, friend,” said don Quixote—still holding his nose—“and from now on be more careful with your person and show me more respect. I fear that all my dealings with you have bred contempt.”
“I’ll bet,” replied Sancho, “that your grace thinks that I’ve done something I shouldn’t have.”
“The less said, the better,” responded don Quixote.
In this and other similar conversations, master and servant spent the night. But when Sancho saw how soon morning was going to arrive, he quickly unhobbled Rocinante and fastened his pants. As soon as Rocinante felt he was free, even though he was not normally very spirited, it seems he felt better, and began to paw the ground since bucking (begging his pardon) he couldn’t do. Seeing that Rocinante was moving about, don Quixote took it as a good omen and thought it was a sign that he should take on that fearful adventure. Just then daybreak arrived and things suddenly looked different. Don Quixote saw that he was among some tall trees, and that they were chestnuts that gave a very dark shade. He also was aware that the pounding hadn’t stopped, but couldn’t see what was causing it. And without further delay he made Rocinante feel his spurs, and bidding farewell to Sancho once again, he told him to wait three days at the longest, as he’d already told him, and at the end of that time, if he didn’t return, Sancho could be sure that it had pleased God that his days should end in that dangerous adventure. He mentioned the message that he was to take to his lady Dulcinea; and insofar as getting paid for his services, he shouldn’t worry because he’d made his will before he left their village, where his salary was set down, to be prorated for his length of service. But if God would guide him through that peril unscathed he could be more than certain that the promised ínsula would be his.
Once again Sancho shed tears, hearing the doleful words of his good master, and he resolved not to leave his side until the very end of the event at hand.
From Sancho’s such honorable tears and determination, the author of this history concludes that he must have been well born, or at least an Old Christian,249and his feelings moved his master somewhat, but not enough so he might show any weakness. On the contrary, hiding his feelings as well as he could, he began to ride toward where it seemed to him the noise of the water and the pounding were coming from. Sancho followed on foot, holding, as was his custom, the halter of his donkey, his constant companion in his good and bad times. And having gone a good distance among those chestnuts and other shady trees, they came upon a meadow that was at the foot of a towering cliff from where a mighty torrent of water plunged. At the foot of the cliff were some shacks that seemed to be more ruins than edifices, from where the noise and clatter of that pounding—which still was not letting up—was clearly coming.
Rocinante became very excited with the noise of the water and the pounding. Don Quixote calmed him down and slowly approached the shacks, commending himself with all his heart to his lady, begging her favor in that fearful expedition and undertaking, and along the way he also commended himself to God, asking not to be forgotten by Him. Sancho never left his side, and with an outstretched neck peered between Rocinante’s legs to see if he could find out what held him so much in suspense and made him so fearful.
They went another hundred paces and rounded a promontory where they saw right in front of them the unmistakable cause (it couldn’t have been anything else) of that terrifying, and for them frightful noise that had them so much in suspense and frightened all night. And it was—if you won’t consider it, dear reader, too irritating or maddening—six fulling mills,250 that caused all that clatter with their rhythmic pounding.
When don Quixote saw what it was, he became silent and was utterly abashed. Sancho saw that his head was bowed over his chest, showing that he was quite mortified. Don Quixote also looked at Sancho, and he saw that his cheeks were puffed out and his mouth was full of laughter, almost to the point of bursting. His melancholy was not so great that at the sight of his squire he couldn’t help but laugh himself. And since Sancho saw that his master had begun to laugh, he released the dam of his laughter in such a way that he had to hold his sides so he wouldn’t split. Four times he was able to compose himself, and another four times his fit of laughter returned with the same intensity as the first, and all of this made don Quixote angry, and more so when he heard Sancho say in jest: “I want you to know, Sancho, my friend, that I was born by the will of heaven in our Age of Iron to resuscitate in it the Age of Gold, or Golden Age. I’m the one for whom are reserved the dangers, the great deeds, the brave acts…” and he continued repeating all or most of the words that don Quixote had said when they first heard that terrible pounding.
Don Quixote, seeing that Sancho was making fun of him, was quite offended, and he became so angry that he raised his lance and whacked him twice, and if those blows had been on his head instead of his back, he would have been freed from paying his salary, unless it was to his heirs. When Sancho saw what little benefit there was in his joke, and fearing his master might take it further, he said with great humility: “Calm down, your grace, because, as God is my witness, I was just joking.”
“Well, if you were joking, I am not,” responded don Quixote. “Come here, my merry friend. Do you think that if these fulling mills had been some other dangerous adventure, I wouldn’t have shown the same courage necessary to take it on and see it to its end? I’m a knight, and am I by chance supposed to be able to distinguish sounds and know which are from a fulling mill and which aren’t? What’s more it might be—and it is true—that I haven’t seen any such mills in my whole life, unlike you—like the vile rustic you are—who must have seen them, since you were raised and born among them. Why, just change these six fulling mills into six giants, and toss them into my beard singly or all at once, and if I don’t kill them all, you can make as much fun as you want to of me.”
“No more, señor mío,” replied Sancho. “I confess I’ve been smiling a bit too much. But tell me your grace, now that we’ve made peace—and may God see you through all future adventures as safe and sound as he’s seen you through this one—wasn’t it really something laughable? And isn’t the great fear that we had something that should be told about? At least I was afraid—I know that your grace doesn’t have any notion of what fear or dread is.”
“I don’t deny that what happened to us is something worthy of laughter; but it’s not worthy of telling others about, since not everyone is astute enough to put these points in perspective.”
“At least,” responded Sancho, “your grace put the point of your lance in perspective, aiming it at my head and thwacking me on my back, and I thank God I was able to veer away. But, come on, «everything will come out in the wash», for I’ve heard it told that «the one who loves you the most will make you cry», and what’s more, I know that great men, after saying a harsh word to a servant, give him a pair of pants, but I don’t know what they give them after they whack them a couple of times; unless it is that knights errant give their squires ínsulas or kingdoms on terra firma after they whack them.”
“That’s the way the dice may fall,” said don Quixote. “Everything you said may come true, and pardon me for what happened. Since you’re a sharp fellow, I hope you realize that first impulses are not controllable. And let me tell you—from now on you should abstain and refrain from talking too much with me because in all the romances of chivalry that I’ve read—and they’re infinite—I’ve never read that any squire spoke so much with his master as you do with yours. And in truth, I consider it a great defect—both yours and mine: yours, in that you have so little respect for me; and mine, because I don’t command greater respect. In fact, Gandalín, Amadís de Gaula’s squire, was Count of Ínsula Firme. You read about him that he always spoke to his master with his cap in his hand, his head bowed, and his body bent double more turquesco.251 And what can we say of Gasabal, squire of don Galaor, who was so reserved, that to show you the excellence of his wonderful silence, he’s mentioned only one time in that so great and true history? From all of this, you can infer, Sancho, that it’s necessary to show a difference between master and servant, and between knight and squire. So, from now on we should treat each other with more respect, with no joking around, because if I should get angry with you, «it’ll be bad for the pitcher».252 The favors and benefits I’ve promised you will come in due time. And if they don’t come, your salary at least won’t be lost, as I’ve told you.”
“Everything your grace has said is all right,” said Sancho, “but I’d like to know, in case these favors don’t come in due time and it becomes necessary to resort to a salary, just how much did a squire of a knight errant earn in those days, and if they were paid by the month, or on a daily basis, like hod-carriers.”
“I don’t believe,” responded don Quixote, “that such squires were ever salaried, rather they worked for favors. And if I’ve named you in my sealed will that I left at home, it was because of what may happen, since I don’t know yet how chivalry will fare in these such calamitous times of ours, and I don’t want my soul to agonize in the other world because of trifles. I want you to know, Sancho, that there is in the world no more dangerous a profession than that of knights.”
“That’s the truth,” said Sancho, “since all it takes is the noise of fulling mills to upset and disturb the heart of such a brave knight adventurer as your grace is. But you can be sure, from now on, I’ll not open my mouth to make a joke about anything dealing with you, but rather to honor you as my natural lord.”
“In that way,” replied don Quixote, “you’ll live in peace on the face of the earth; because after one’s own parents, one should respect one’s master as if he were a parent.”