By MIGUEL CERVANTES
ADAPTED BY JOHN LANG
I. HOW DON QUIXOTE WAS KNIGHTED
Some three or four hundred years ago, there lived in sunny Spain an old gentleman named Quixada, who owned a house and a small property near a village in La Mancha.
With him lived his niece, a housekeeper, and a man who looked after Quixada's farm and his one old white horse, which, though its master imagined it to be an animal of great strength and beauty, was really as lean as Quixada himself and as broken down as any old cab horse.
Quixada had nothing in the world to do in the shape of work, and so, his whole time was taken up in reading old books about knights and giants, and ladies shut up in enchanted castles by wicked ogres. In time, so fond did he become of such tales that he passed his days, and even the best part of his nights, in reading them. His mind was so wholly taken up in this way that at last he came to believe that he himself lived in a land of giants and of ogres, and that it was his duty to ride forth on his noble steed, to the rescue of unhappy Princesses.
In the lumber-room of Quixada's house there had lain, ever since he was born, a rusty old suit of armor, which had belonged to his great-grandfather. This was now got out, and Quixada spent many days in polishing and putting it in order.
Unfortunately, there was no more than half of the helmet to be found, and a knight cannot ride forth without a helmet.
So Quixada made the other half of strong pasteboard; and to prove that it was strong enough, when finished, he drew his sword and gave the helmet a great slash. Alas! a whole week's work was ruined by that one stroke; the pasteboard flew into pieces. This troubled Quixada sadly, but he set to work at once and made another helmet of pasteboard, lining it with thin sheets of iron, and it looked so well that, this time, he put it to no test with his sword.
Now that his armor was complete, it occurred to him that he must give his horse a name—every knight's horse should have a good name—and after four days thought he decided that "Rozinante" would best suit the animal.
Then, for himself, after eight days of puzzling, he resolved that he should be called Don Quixote de la Mancha.
There was but one thing more. Every knight of olden time had a lady, whom he called the Mistress of his Heart, whose glove he wore in his helmet; and if anybody dared to deny that this lady was the most beautiful woman in the whole world, then the knight made him prove his words by fighting.
So it was necessary that Don Quixote should select some lady as the Mistress of his Heart.
Near La Mancha there lived a stout country lass, for whom some years before Don Quixote had had a kind of liking. Who, therefore, could better take the place of Mistress of his Heart? To whom could he better send the defeated knights and ogres whom he was going out to fight? It was true that her name. Aldonza Lorenzo, did not sound like that of a Princess or lady of high birth; so he determined in future to call her Dulcinea del Toboso. No Princess could have a sweeter name!
All being now ready, one morning Don Quixote got up before daylight, and without saying a word to anybody, put on his armor, took his sword, and spear, and shield, saddled "Rozinante," and started on his search for adventures.
But before he had gone very far, a dreadful thought struck him. He had not been knighted! Moreover, he had read in his books that until a knight had done some great deed, he must wear white armor, and be without any device or coat of arms on his shield. What was to be done? He was so staggered by this thought that he almost felt that he must turn back. But then he remembered that he had read how adventurers were sometimes knighted by persons whom they happened to meet on the road. And as to his armor, why, he thought he might scour and polish that till nothing could be whiter. So he rode on, letting "Rozinante" take which road he pleased, that being, he supposed, as good a way as any of looking for adventures.
All day he rode, to his sorrow without finding anything worth calling an adventure.
At last as evening began to fall, and when he and his horse were both very weary, they came in sight of an inn. Don Quixote no sooner saw the inn than he fancied it to be a great castle, and he halted at some distance from it, expecting that, as in days of old, a dwarf would certainly appear on the battlements, and, by sounding a trumpet, give notice of the arrival of a knight. But no dwarf appeared, and as "Rozinante" showed great haste to reach the stable, Don Quixote began to move towards the inn.
At this moment it happened that a swineherd in a field near at hand sounded his horn to bring his herd of pigs home to be fed. Don Quixote, imagining that this must be the dwarf at last giving notice of his coming, rode quickly up to the inn door, beside which it chanced that there stood two very impudent young women, whom the Knight imagined to be two beautiful ladies taking the air at the castle gate.
Astonished at the sight of so strange a figure, and a little frightened, the girls turned to run away. But Don Quixote stopped them.
"I beseech ye, ladies, do not fly," he said. "I will harm no one, least of all maidens of rank so high as yours."
And much more he said, whereat the young women laughed so loud and so long that Don Quixote became very angry, and there is no saying what he might not have done had not the innkeeper at that moment come out. This innkeeper was very fat and good-natured, and anxious not to offend anybody, but even he could hardly help laughing when he saw Don Quixote. However, he very civilly asked the Knight to dismount and offered him everything that the inn could provide.
Don Quixote being by this time both tired and hungry, with some difficulty got off his horse and handed it to the innkeeper (to whom he spoke as governor of the castle), asking him to take the greatest care of "Rozinante," for in the whole world there was no better steed.
When the landlord returned from the stable, he found Don Quixote in a room, where, with the help of the two young women, he was trying to get rid of his armor. His back and breastplates had been taken off, but by no means could his helmet be removed without cutting the green ribbons with which he had tied it on, and this the Knight would not allow.
There was nothing for it, therefore, but to keep his helmet on all night, and to eat and drink in it, which was more than he could do without help. However, one of the young women fed him, and the innkeeper having made a kind of funnel, through it poured the wine into his mouth, and Don Quixote ate his supper in great peace of mind.
There was but one thing that still vexed him. He had not yet been knighted.
On this subject he thought long and deeply, and at last he asked the innkeeper to come with him to the stable. Having shut the door, Don Quixote threw himself at the landlord's feet, saying, "I will never rise from this place, most valorous Knight, until you grant me a boon."
The innkeeper was amazed, but as he could not by any means make Don Quixote rise, he promised to do whatever was asked.
"Then, noble sir," said Don Quixote, "the boon which I crave is that to-morrow you will be pleased to grant me the honor of knighthood."
The landlord, when he heard such talk, thought that the wisest thing he could do was to humor his guest, and he readily promised. Thereupon Don Quixote very happily rose to his feet, and after some further talk he said to the innkeeper that this night he would "watch his armor" in the chapel of the castle, it being the duty of any one on whom the honor of knighthood was to be conferred, to stand on his feet in the chapel, praying, until the morning. The innkeeper, thinking that great sport might come of this, encouraged Don Quixote, but as his own chapel had lately—so he said—been pulled down in order that a better might be built, he advised Don Quixote to watch that night in the courtyard. This was "lawful in a case where a chapel was not at hand. And in the morning," he said, "I will knight you."
"Have you any money?" then asked the innkeeper.
"Not a penny," said Don Quixote, "for I never yet read of any knight who carried money with him."
"You are greatly mistaken," answered the innkeeper. "Most knights had squires, who carried their money and clean shirts and other things. But when a knight had no squire, he always carried his money and his shirts, and salve for his wounds, in a little bag behind his saddle. I must therefore advise you never in future to go anywhere without money."
Don Quixote promised to remember this. Then taking his armor, he went into the inn yard and laid it in a horse-trough.
Backwards and forwards, spear in hand, he marched in the moonlight, very solemnly keeping his eyes on his armor, while the innkeeper's other guests, laughing, looked on from a distance.
Now it happened that a carrier who lodged at the inn came into the yard to water his mules, and this he could not do while the armor lay in the horse-trough. As Don Quixote saw the man come up, "Take heed, rash Knight," he cried. "Defile not by a touch the armor of the most brave knight-errant that ever wore a sword."
But the mule-driver took no notice of Don Quixote. He picked up the armor and threw it away.
Don Quixote no sooner saw this than, raising his eyes to heaven, and calling on his Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, he lifted up his spear with both hands and gave the mule-driver such a whack over the head that the man fell down senseless. Then, picking up his armor and putting it back in the horse-trough, he went on with his march, taking no further notice of the poor mule-driver.
Soon up came another carrier who also wanted to water his mules.
Not a word did Don Quixote say this time, but he lifted up his spear and smote so heavily that he broke the man's head in three or four places. The poor wretch made such an outcry that all the people in the inn came running, and the friends of the two carriers began to pelt Don Quixote with stones. But drawing his sword, and holding his shield in front of him, he defied them all, crying, "Come on, base knaves! Draw nearer if you dare!"
The landlord now came hurrying up and stopped the stone-throwing; then, having calmed Don Quixote, he said that there was no need for him to watch his armor any longer; to finish the ceremony it would now be enough if he were touched on the neck and shoulders with a sword. Don Quixote was quite satisfied, and prayed the innkeeper to get the business over as quickly as possible, "for," said he, "if I were but knighted, and should see myself attacked, I believe that I should not leave a man alive in this castle."
The innkeeper, a good deal alarmed at this, and anxious to get rid of him, hurried off and got the book in which he kept his accounts, which he pretended was a kind of book of prayer. Having also brought the two young women, and a boy to hold a candle, he ordered Don Quixote to kneel. Then muttering from his book, as if he were reading, he finished by giving Don Quixote a good blow on the neck, and a slap on the back, with the flat of a sword. After this, one of the young women belted the sword round the newly made knight's waist, while the other buckled on his spurs, and having at once saddled "Rozinante." Don Quixote was ready to set out.
The innkeeper was only too glad to see him go, even without paying for his supper.
"pay at once, you scoundrel"
II. HOW DON QUIXOTE RESCUED ANDRES; AND HOW HE RETURNED HOME
As he rode along in the early morning light, Don Quixote began to think that it would be well that he should return home for a little, there to lay in a stock of money and of clean shirts, and he turned his willing horse's head in the direction of his village.
But ere he had gone far on his way, coming from a thicket he fancied that he heard cries of distress.
"Certainly these are the moans of some poor creature in want of help," thought Don Quixote. "I thank Heaven for so soon giving me the chance to perform my duty as a knight."
And he rode quickly towards the sounds. No sooner had he reached the wood than he saw a horse tied to a tree, and bound to another was a lad of fifteen, all naked above the waist. By his side stood a countryman beating him with a strap, and with every blow calling out, "I'll teach you to keep your eyes open, you young scamp. I'll teach you to keep your mouth shut."
The boy howled with pain. Quickly Don Quixote rode up to the man.
"Sir Knight," said he angrily, "I would have thee to know that it is an unworthy act to strike one who cannot defend himself. Mount thy steed, therefore, take thy spear, and I will teach thee that thou art a coward."
The countryman gave himself up for lost, and he gasped out very humbly that the boy was his servant, through whose carelessness many of the sheep that he should have watched had been lost, and that therefore he was giving him a sound beating. "And," said he, "because I beat him for his carelessness, he says I do it to cheat him out of his wages."
"What!" shouted Don Quixote, "do you dare to lie to me? By the sun above us, I have a mind to run you through with my spear. Pay the boy this instant, and let him go free. What does he owe you, boy?"
The boy said that the man owed him nine months' wages.
"Pay at once, you scoundrel, unless you want to be killed," roared Don Quixote.
The poor man, trembling with fear, said that there was a mistake; he did not owe nearly so much, and besides, he had no money with him. But if Andres would go home with him he would pay every penny.
"Go home with him!" cried the boy. "I know a trick worth two of that. No sooner will he have me home than he'll take the skin off me. No, no, not I!"
"He will not dare to touch you," said the Knight. "I command him, and that is enough. If he swears by his order of knighthood to do this thing, I will let him go, and he will pay you your wages."
"Of course I will," said the man. "Come along with me. Andres, and I swear I'll give you all I owe."
"Remember, then, what you have promised, for I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, the righter of wrongs, and it is at your peril to disobey me."
So saying, Don Quixote clapped spurs to his horse, and galloped off through the trees.
The countryman watched till the Knight was out of sight. Then, turning, he said "Come, my lad, and I'll pay thee what I owe, and more."
"Ay," answered the boy, "see that you do, for if you do not, that brave man will come back and make you."
"I dare swear that," said the man. "And just to show how much I love you, I am going to increase the debt, so that I may pay you more. Come here!"
And with that he caught the boy by the arm, tied him again to the tree, and belted him till his arm was tired.
"Now go," he said, "and tell your righter of wrongs. I wish I had flayed you alive, you young whelp."
And so ended Don Quixote's first attempt to right wrongs.
As the Knight cantered along, very well pleased with himself, about two miles from where he had freed the boy he saw riding towards him six men, each shading himself under a large umbrella. With them were four mounted servants, and three on foot.
No sooner did Don Quixote see this party than it struck him that here was the chance for which, above all others, he had been longing.
Posting himself in the middle of the road, he waited till the men were at no great distance. Then, "Halt!" shouted he. "Let all know that no man shall pass further till he owns that in the whole world there is no damsel more beautiful than the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso."
"But," said the men (who were merchants of Toledo, on their way to buy silks), "we do not know the lady. We have never seen her. How then can we say that she is beautiful?"
"What!" roared Don Quixote in a terrible rage, "not know the beauteous Lady Dulcinea del Toboso! That only makes matters worse. Do you dare to argue?"
And with that he couched his spear, drove his spurs into "Rozinante," and rode furiously at the nearest merchant.
What he would have done it is not possible to say. But as he galloped, it chanced that "Rozinante" stumbled and fell heavily, rolling Don Quixote over and over. There the Knight lay helpless, the weight of his armor preventing him from rising to his feet. But as he lay, he continued to cry out at the top of his voice, "Stop, you rascals! Do not fly. It is my horse's fault that I lie here, you cowards!"
One of the grooms, hearing his master called a rascal and a coward, thereupon ran up and snatched away Don Quixote's spear, which he broke in pieces. Then with each piece he belabored the poor Knight till the broken lance flew into splinters. The merchants then rode away, leaving Don Quixote lying where he fell, still shouting threats, but quite unable to rise.
There he was found by a man who knew him well, and who with great difficulty mounted him on his donkey and took him home. When at last they reached Don Quixote's house, the poor Knight was put to bed, where he lay for many days, raving, and very ill.
During this time the Curate of the village and the Barber came and burned nearly all the books which Don Quixote had so loved.
"For," said they, "it is by reading these books that the poor gentleman has lost his mind, and if he reads them again he will never get better."
So a bonfire was made of the books, and the door of Don Quixote's study was bricked up.
When the Knight was again able to go about, he made at once for his study and his beloved books. Up and down the house he searched without saying a word, and often he would stand where the door of the study used to be, feeling with his hands and gazing about. At last he asked his housekeeper to show him the study.
"Study!" cried the woman, "what study? There is no study in this house now, nor any books."
"No," said his niece. "When you were away, a famous enchanter came along, mounted on a dragon, and he went into your study. What he did there we know not. But after a time he flew out of the roof, leaving the house full of smoke, and ever since then we have not been able to find either books or study."
"Ha!" said Don Quixote. "That must have been Freston. He is a famous enchanter, and my bitter enemy. But when I am again well I shall get the better of him."
III. HOW DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO PANZA STARTED ON THEIR SEARCH FOR ADVENTURES; AND HOW DON QUIXOTE FOUGHT WITH THE WINDMILLS
For some weeks the poor Knight stayed very quietly at home. But he had not forgotten the things for which he had come back to his village.
There was a farm laborer who lived near by, a fat, good-natured, simple man. To him Don Quixote talked long and often, and made many promises; among others that if he would but come with him as squire, he should be made governor of any island which the Knight might happen to conquer during his search after adventures.
This seemed so grand a thing to the man (whose name was Sancho Panza), that he willingly promised to come.
Having got together some money, and having made other preparations, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza one dark night stole out of the village without a word to any one, and began their adventures.
Don Quixote rode "Rozinante;" Sancho Panza was mounted on an ass. That his squire should ride an ass at first troubled the Knight not a little, for in none of his books could he remember to have read of any squire being so mounted. However, he gave Sancho leave to bring the ass, thinking that in no great time a better mount would surely be found for him.
As they rode along in the cool of the morning, Sancho Panza spoke to his master about their journey, and asked him to be sure not to forget his promise about the governorship of the island.
"It may even happen," answered Don Quixote, "that I may by some strange chance conquer a kingdom. And then presently, I may be able to crown thee King."
"Why," said Sancho, "if by some such miracle as your worship speaks of, I am made a King, then would my wife be Queen?"
"Certainly," answered Don Quixote, "who can doubt it?"
"I doubt it," replied Sancho, "for I think if it should rain kingdoms upon the face of the earth, not one of them would sit well on my wife's head. For I must tell you, sir, she's not worth two brass jacks to make a Queen of. No, no! countess will be quite good enough; that's as much as she could well manage."
"Nay," said Don Quixote, "leave the matter in the hands of Providence, and be not tempted by anything less than the title of Viceroy."
Thus talking, they came over the brow of a hill, and looking down on the plain below, Don Quixote saw there thirty or forty windmills.
"Ha!" cried he. "Fortune directs our affairs better than we ourselves could do. Look yonder, friend Sancho, there are at at least thirty outrageous giants whom I must now fight."
"Giants!" gasped Sancho Panza, "what giants?"
"Those whom you see over there with their long arms," answered Don Quixote. "Some of that horrible race, I have heard, have arms near two leagues in length."
"But, sir," said Sancho, "these are no giants. They are only windmills, and the things you think are arms are but their sails, whereby the wind drives them."
"That is but a sign," answered Don Quixote, "whereby one may see how little you know of adventures. I tell you they are giants: and I shall fight against them all. If you are afraid, go aside and say your prayers."
So saying, and without paying any heed to the bawlings of Sancho Panza, he put spurs to his horse and galloped furiously at the windmills, shouting aloud, "Stand, cowards! stand your ground, and fly not from a single Knight."
Just at this moment the wind happened to rise, causing the arms of the windmills to move.
"Base scoundrels!" roared the Knight, "though you wave as many arms as the giant Briareus, you shall pay for your pride."
And with couched lance, and covering himself with his shield, he rushed "Rozinante" at top speed on the nearest windmill. Round whirled the sails, and as Don Quixote's lance pierced one of them, horse and man were sent rolling on the ground. There Sancho Panza came to help his sorely bruised master.
horse and man were sent rolling on the ground
"Mercy o' me!" cried Sancho, "did not I tell you they were windmills?"
"Peace, friend Sancho," answered Don Quixote. "It is the fortune of war. I know very well it is that accursed wizard Freston, the enemy who took from me my study and my books, who has changed these giants into windmills to take from me the honor of the victory. But in the end I shall yet surely get the better of him."
"Amen! say I" quoth Sancho: and heaving the poor Knight on to his legs, once more he got him seated on "Rozinante."
As they now rode along, it was a great sorrow to Don Quixote that his spear had been broken to pieces in this battle with the windmill.
"I have read," said he to Sancho, "that a certain Spanish knight, having broken his sword in a fight, pulled up by the roots a huge oak-tree, or at least tore down a great branch, and with it did such wonderful deeds that he was ever after called 'The Bruiser.' I tell you this because I intend to tear up the next oak-tree we meet, and you may think yourself fortunate that you will see the deeds I shall perform with it."
"Heaven grant you may!" said Sancho. "But, an' it please you, sit a little more upright in your saddle; you are all to one side. But that, mayhap, comes from your hurts?"
"It does so," answered Don Quixote, "and if I do not complain of the pain, it is because a knight-errant must never complain of his wounds, though they be killing him."
"I have no more to say," replied Sancho. "Yet Heaven knows I should be glad to hear your honor complain a bit, now and then, when something ails you. For my part, I always cry out when I'm hurt, and I am glad the rule about not complaining doesn't extend to squires."
That night they spent under the trees, from one of which Don Quixote tore down a branch, to which he fixed the point of his spear, and in some sort that served him for a lance. Don Quixote neither ate nor slept all the night, but passed his time, as he had learned from his books that a knight should do, in thoughts of the Lady Dulcinea. As for Sancho Panza, he had brought with him a big bottle of wine, and some food in his wallet, and he stuffed himself as full as he could hold, and slept like a top.
As they rode along next day, they came to the Pass of Lapice.
"Here, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "is the spot where adventures should begin. Now may we hope to thrust our hands, as it were, up to the very elbows in adventures. But remember this! However sore pressed and in danger I may be when fighting with another knight, you must not offer to draw your sword to help me. It is against the laws of chivalry for a squire to attack a knight."
"Never fear me, master," said Sancho. "I'll be sure to obey you; I have ever loved peace. But if a knight offers to set upon me first, there is no rule forbidding me to hit him back, is there?"
"None," answered Don Quixote, "only do not help me."
"I will not," said Sancho. "Never trust me if I don't keep that commandment as well as I do the Sabbath."
IV. HOW DON QUIXOTE WON A HELMET; HOW HE FOUGHT WITH TWO ARMIES; AND HOW SANCHO'S ASS WAS STOLEN
Many were the adventures that now befell Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. In the very first, wherein he fought with a man from Biscay, whom he left lying in a pool of blood, Don Quixote lost part of his helmet, and had the half of one of his ears sliced off by the Biscayan's sword. The accident to the helmet was a great grief to him, and he swore an oath that until he had taken from some other knight as good a helmet as that which was now made useless to him, he would never again eat his food on a table-cloth.
One day as they rode along a highway between two villages Don Quixote halted and looked eagerly at something.
"Sancho," said he, "dost thou not see yonder knight that comes riding this way on a dapple-gray steed, with a helmet of gold on his head?"
"Not a thing can I see," answered Sancho, "but a fellow on just such another ass as mine, with something that glitters on top of his head."
"Can you not see," asked Don Quixote, "that it is a helmet? Do you stand back, and let me deal with him. Soon now shall I possess myself of the helmet that I need."
Now, in those far-away days, when doctors were few, if anybody needed to be bled for a fever or any other illness (for it was then thought that "letting blood" was the cure for most illnesses), it was the custom for the barber to bleed the sick person. For the purpose of catching the blood that ran from a vein when it had been cut, a brass dish was carried, a dish with part of it cut away from one side, so that it might the more easily be held close to the patient's arm or body. A small dish like this you may sometimes still see hanging as a sign at the end of a pole outside barbers' shops. Barbers in those days of old were called barber-surgeons, for the reason that they bled people, as well as shaved them or cut their hair.
And the truth of the matter was this, that the man whom Don Quixote now believed to be a knight, wearing a golden helmet, was a barber riding on his ass to bleed a sick man. And because it was raining, he had put his brass dish on his head, in order to keep his new hat from being spoiled.
Don Quixote did not wait to speak to the man, but, couching his lance, galloped at him as hard as "Rozinante" could go, shouting as he rode, "Defend thyself, base wretch!"
The barber no sooner saw this terrible figure charging down on him, than, to save himself from being run through, he flung himself on to the ground, and then jumping to his feet, ran for his life, leaving his ass and the brass basin behind him. Then Don Quixote ordered Sancho to pick up the helmet.
"O' my word," said Sancho, as he gave it to his master, "it is a fine basin."
Don Quixote at once put it on his head, saying, "It is a famous helmet, but the head for which it was made must have been of great size. The worst of it is that at least one-half of it is gone. What is the fool grinning at now?" he cried, as Sancho laughed.
"Why, master," answered Sancho, "it is a barber's basin."
"It has indeed some likeness to a basin," said Don Quixote, "but I tell you it is an enchanted helmet of pure gold, and for the sake of a little wretched money some one has melted down the half of it. When we come to a town where there is an armorer, I will have it altered to fit my head. Meantime I shall wear it as it is."
As they rode along one day talking of many things, Don Quixote beheld a cloud of dust rising right before them.
"Seest thou that cloud of dust, Sancho?" he asked. "It is raised by a great army marching this way."
"Why, master," said Sancho, "there must be two armies there, for yonder is just such another cloud of dust."
The knight looked, and was overjoyed, believing that two armies were about to meet and fight in the plain.
"What are we to do, master?" asked Sancho.
"Do!" said Don Quixote, "why, what can we do but help the weaker side? Look yonder, Sancho, that knight whom thou seest in the gilded armory with a lion crouching at the feet of a lady painted on his shield, that is the valiant Laurcalco. That other, the giant on his right, Brandabarbaran." And he ran over a long list of names of knights whom he believed that he saw.
Sancho listened, as dumb as a fish; but at last he gasped. "Why, master, you might as well tell me that it snows. Never a knight, nor a giant, nor a man can I see."
"How!" answered Don Quixote, "canst thou not hear their horses neigh, and their drums beating?"
"Drums!" said Sancho. "Not I! I hear only the bleating of sheep."
"Since you are afraid," said the Knight, "stand aside, and I will go by myself to fight."
With that, he galloped down on to the plain, shouting, leaving Sancho bawling to him, "Hold, sir! Stop! For Heaven's sake come back. As sure as I'm a sinner, they are only harmless sheep. Come back, I say."
But Don Quixote, paying not the least heed, galloped on furiously and charged into the middle of the sheep, spearing them right and left, trampling the living and the dead under "Rozinante's" feet. The shepherds, finding that he took no notice of their shouts, now hurled stones at him from their slings, and one big stone presently hit the Knight fair in his ribs and doubled him up in the saddle.
Gasping for breath, with all speed Don Quixote got from his wallet a bottle filled with a mixture he had made, a mixture which he firmly believed to be a certain cure for all wounds. Of this he took a long gulp, but just at that moment another big stone hit him such a rap on the mouth that the bottle was smashed into a thousand pieces, and half of his teeth were knocked out.
Down dropped the Knight on the ground, and the shepherds thinking that he was killed, ran away, taking with them seven dead sheep which he had slain.
Sancho Panza found his master in a very bad way, with nearly all the teeth gone from one side of his mouth, and with a terrible pain under his ribs.
"Ah! master," he said, "I told you they were sheep. Why would not you listen to me?"
"Sheep! Sancho. No, no! There is nothing so easy for a wizard like Freston as to change things from one shape to the other. I will wager if you now mount your ass and ride over the hill after them, you will find no sheep there, but the knights and squires come back to their own shape, and the armies marching as when we first saw them."
Now, after this and many other adventures (about which, perhaps, you may some day read for yourself), Don Quixote and Sancho Panza rode away into the mountains, for the Knight was sorely in need of a quiet place in which to rest.
So weary were he and his squire, that one night, when they had ridden into a wood, and it chanced that the horse and the ass stood still, both Don Quixote and Sancho Panza fell sound asleep without even getting out of their saddles. There sat the Knight, leaning on his lance; and Sancho, doubled over the pommel, snored as loud as if he had been in a four-post feather bed.
It happened that a wandering thief saw them as he passed.
"Now," thought he, "I want something to ride upon, for I'm tired of walking in these abominable mountains. Here's a chance of a good ass. But how am I to get it, without waking its master?"
Very quietly he cut four long sticks. One after the other he placed these under each side of Sancho's saddle; then loosening the girths, he gradually raised the sticks till the saddle was clear of the animal's back.
Gently, in the moonlight, he led the tired ass away, and Sancho, undisturbed, snored on.
When it was broad daylight, the squire awoke, and without opening his eyes, stretched himself. Down fell the sticks; down with a terrible bump fell Sancho.
"Body o' me!" he yelled, "where is my ass?" And with many tears he searched high and low, but no ass was then to be found, nor for many months afterwards. And how at last Sancho got back the ass you must read for yourself in the History of Don Quixote. For yourself, too, you must read of Don Quixote's adventures in the mountains; how he there did penance; and of many other things, till at last the Curate and the Barber of La Mancha took him home in a cart which the Knight believed to be an enchanted chariot.
V. HOW DON QUIXOTE SAW DULCINEA
Now a third time did Don Quixote set off on his search for adventures, and as he and Sancho Panza rode again away from their village, it seemed to Don Quixote that certainly it was his duty as a knight-errant to visit the Mistress of his Heart, the beautiful Dulcinea.
It was midnight when they reached Toboso, and the whole town was still, everybody in bed and asleep.
"Lead me to her palace, Sancho," said Don Quixote.
"Palace?" cried Sancho, "What palace do you mean? Body o' me! When last I saw her, she lived in a little cottage in a blind alley. And even if it were a palace, we can't go and thunder at the door at this time o' night."
"When we find it, I will tell thee what to do. But, here! What is this?" said the Knight, riding up to a huge building, and knocking at the door. "This indeed, without doubt, must be her palace."
But it was only the great Church of Toboso. Hunt as he would, he found no Dulcinea's palace, and as morning began to break, Sancho persuaded him to come and rest in a grove of trees two miles outside the town. From there Sancho was again sent to look for Dulcinea, bearing many messages from his sorrowful master.
"Cheer up, sir," said Sancho. "I'll be back in a trice. Don't be cast down. Faint heart never won fair lady."
And Sancho rode away, leaving the Knight sitting on his horse, very full of melancholy. But he had not ridden far, when, turning round and finding that his master was no longer in sight, the squire dismounted, and lying down under a shady tree, began to think the matter over.
"Friend Sancho," said he to himself, "what's this you are doing?"
"Why, hunting for a Princess, who, my master says, is the Sun of Beauty, and all sorts of other fine things, and who lives in a King's palace, or great castle, somewhere or other."
"And how are you going to find her?"
"Why, it's like looking for a needle in a bundle of hay, to look for Dulcinea all over Toboso. My master's mad, there's no doubt of that; and perhaps I'm not very much better, for they say birds of a feather flock together. But if he's so mad as to mistake windmills for giants, and flocks of sheep for armies, why, it shouldn't be so very hard to make him believe that the first country lass I meet is the Lady Dulcinea. If he won't believe, I'll swear it, and stand to it, so that he'll think some of those wicked wizards of his have played another trick on him, and have changed her into some other shape just to spite him."
Having thus settled his plans, Sancho lay there till the evening, so that his master might think that all the day had been spent in going to and from Toboso, and in looking for Dulcinea.
As luck would have it, just as he mounted his ass to ride back to Don Quixote, he spied coming that way three country lasses mounted on asses. As soon as Sancho saw the girls, he made haste to get to his master.
"What news, Sancho?" asked the Knight. "Has your fortune been good?"
"Ay, marry has it, sir," answered Sancho, "you have no more to do but to clap spurs to 'Rozinante' and get into the open fields, and you'll meet my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso with two of her damsels coming to see you."
"Blessed Heaven!" cried the Knight. "What do you say, my dear Sancho? Is it possible?"
"Possible!" said Sancho. "Why should I play a trick on you? Come, sir, and you will see her presently, all dressed up and decked with jewels. Her damsels and she are all covered with diamonds, and rubies, and cloth of gold. And what is more, they are riding three flea-bitten gambling hags, the like of which won't be seen again."
"Ambling nags, thou meanest, Sancho," said Don Quixote.
"Well, well, master, gambling hags or ambling nags, it's all one and the same thing. Any way, I'm sure I never set eyes on more beautiful ladies than those that sit upon them."
"Let us be moving then, Sancho. And as a reward for your good news, I promise you the very best things I get in our next adventure. And if that is not enough, then I will give you the three colts that I have at home in La Mancha."
"Thank you for the colts," said Sancho. "As for the other things, I'm not sure that they will be worth so very much."
They were now out of the wood, and could see the three country lasses at a little distance.
Don Quixote looked long towards Toboso, but seeing no one anywhere but these girls, he was much troubled in his mind, and asked Sancho if he were sure that the Princess had left the city.
"Left the city!" cried Sancho. "Why where are your eyes, sir? In the name of wonder, do you not see her and her maidens coming towards us now, as bright as the sun at midday?"
"I see nothing, Sancho, but three country wenches riding on asses."
"Now Heaven help me," cried Sancho, "is it possible that you can mistake three what do you call 'ems—ambling nags as white as snow, for three asses! Pull my beard out by the roots if it is not so."
"Believe me, Sancho, they are asses."
"Come, sir," answered Sancho, "do but clear your eyes, and go and speak to the Mistress of your Heart, for she is near you now."
So saying, Sancho hurried up to one of the girls, and, jumping off his ass, fell on his knees before her, gabbling a lot of nonsense.
Don Quixote followed, and also knelt down, gazing with doubting and sorrowful eyes on the creature that Sancho had told him was the beautiful Dulcinea. He was lost in wonder, for she was a flat-nosed, blubber-cheeked, bouncing country girl, and Don Quixote could not utter a word.
"Come! get out of the way," screamed the girl, "and let us go about our business. We're in a hurry."
"Rise, Sancho," said Don Quixote when he heard the girl's voice. "I am now convinced that misfortune has not yet finished with me. O most beautiful lady! a spiteful enchanter puts mists before my eyes, and hides from me your loveliness."
"My grandmother take him!" cried the girl. "Listen to his gibberish! Get out of the way, and let us alone." And kicking her donkey in the ribs, she galloped away with her friends. Don Quixote followed them long with his eyes.
"O the spite of those wicked enchanters!" he sighed, "to turn my beautiful Dulcinea into so vile a shape as that: to take from her the sweet and delicate scent of fragrant flowers, and give to her what she has. For, to tell the truth, Sancho, she gave me such a whiff of raw onions that it was like to upset me altogether."
"O the vile and evil-minded enchanters!" cried Sancho. "Oh that I might see the lot of you threaded on one string, and hung up in the smoke like so many herrings." And Sancho turned away to hide his laughter.
Don Quixote rode on, very sad, and letting "Rozinante" go where he pleased.
VI. HOW DON QUIXOTE FOUGHT WITH A LION; AND HOW HE DEFEATED THE MOORS
As Don Quixote and Sancho Panza went along, they were overtaken by a gentleman in a fine green coat, who rode a very good mare. This gentleman stared very hard at Don Quixote, and the two began to speak together about knight-errantry, and were so interested in what they were saying, that Sancho took the opportunity of riding over to ask for a little milk from some shepherds, who were milking their ewes near at hand.
While he was thus away from his master, a wagon, on top of which fluttered little yellow and red flags, came along the road towards them. Don Quixote at once imagined this to be some new adventure, and he called to Sancho for his helmet. At the moment, Sancho was bargaining with the shepherds for some curds. Hearing his master call, he had not time to wait till the shepherds could give him a bowl in which to carry them, and not wishing to lose his bargain (for he had paid the shepherds), he poured the curds into the Knight's helmet, and galloped off to see what his master wanted.
"Give me my helmet," said Don Quixote, "for if I know anything of my business, here is an adventure for which I must be ready."
The gentleman in green, hearing what Don Quixote said, looked everywhere, but he could see nothing except the wagon coming towards them, and as that had on it the King of Spain's colors, he thought that no doubt it was one of his Majesty's treasure-vans. He said as much to Don Quixote, but the Knight answered: "Sir, I cannot tell when, or where, or in what shape, my enemies will attack me. It is always wise to be ready. Fore-warned is fore-armed. Give me my helmet, Sancho!"
Snatching it out of Sancho's unwilling hands, he clapped it on his head without looking into it.
"What is this, Sancho?" he cried, as the whey ran down his face. "What is the matter with me? Is my brain melting, or am I breaking out in a cold sweat? If I am, it is not from fear. This must be a dreadful adventure that is coming. Quick. Sancho! give me something to wipe away the torrent of sweat, for I am almost blinded."
Without a word, Sancho handed to his master a cloth. Don Quixote dried himself, and then took off his helmet to see what it was that felt so cold on his head.
"What is this white stuff?" said he, putting some of the curds to his nose. "Sancho, you vile traitor, you have been putting curds in my helmet!"
"Curds!—I?" cried Sancho. "Nay, the devil must have put them there. Would I dare to make such a mess in your helmet, sir? It must have been one of those vile enchanters. Where could I get curds? I would sooner put them in my stomach than in your helmet."
"Well, that's true, I dare say," said Don Quixote. "There's something in that."
Then again he put on the helmet, and made ready for the adventure.
"Now come what may, I dare meet it," he cried.
The wagon had now come near to them. On top was seated a man, and the driver rode one of the mules that drew it. Don Quixote rode up.
"Whither go ye, my friends?" said he. "What wagon is this, and what have you in it? What is the meaning of the flags?"
"The wagon is mine," said the driver, "and I have in it a lion that is being sent to the King, and the flags are flying to let the people know that it is the King's property."
"A lion!" cried Don Quixote, "Is it a large one?"
"The biggest I ever saw," said the man on top of the wagon. "I am the keeper, and I have had charge of many lions, but I never saw one so large as this. Pray get out of the way, sir, for we must hurry on to our stopping-place. It is already past his feeding-time; he is beginning to get hungry, and they are always savage when they are hungry."
"What!" cried Don Quixote, "lion whelps against me! I'll let those gentlemen know who send lions this way, that I am not to be scared by any of their lions. So, Mr. Keeper, just jump down and open his cage, and let him out. In spite of all the enchanters in the world that have sent him to try me, I'll let the animal see who Don Quixote de la Mancha is."
Up ran Sancho to the gentleman in green.
"O good, dear sir," he cried, "don't let my master get at the lion, or we shall all be torn to pieces."
"Why," said the gentleman, "is your master so mad that you fear he'll set upon such a dangerous brute."
"Oh no, sir, he's not mad; he's only rash, very, very rash," cried Sancho.
"Well," said the gentleman, "I'll see to it," and up he went to Don Quixote, who was trying to get the keeper to open the cage.
"Sir," said he, "knight-errants ought not to engage in adventures from which there is no hope of coming off in safety. That is more like madness than courage. Besides, this is the King's wagon; it will never do to stop that. And after all, the lion has not been sent against you; it is a present to the King."
"Pray, sir," cried Don Quixote, "will you attend to your own business? This is mine, and I know best whether this lion has been sent against me or not. Now you, sir," he cried to the keeper, "either open that cage at once, or I'll pin you to your wagon with my spear."
"For mercy's sake, sir," cried the driver, "do but let me take my mules out of harm's way before the lion gets out. My cart and my mules are all I have in the world, and I shall be ruined if harm comes to them."
"Take them out quickly, then," said Don Quixote, "and take them where you please."
On this the driver made all the haste he could to unharness his mules, while the keeper called aloud, "Take notice, everybody, that it is against my will that I am forced to let loose the lion, and that this gentleman here is to blame for all the damage that will be done. Get out of the way, everybody: look out for yourselves."
Once more the gentleman in green tried to persuade Don Quixote not to be so foolish, but the Knight only said, "I know very well what I am doing. If you are afraid, and do not care to see the fight, just put spurs to your mare and take yourself where you think you will be safe."
Sancho now hurried up, and with tears in his eyes begged his master not to put himself in so great danger, but Don Quixote only said, "Take yourself away, Sancho, and leave me alone. If I am killed, go, as I have so often told you, to the beautiful Dulcinea, and tell her—you know what to tell her."
The gentleman in green, finding that words were thrown away on Don Quixote, now quickly followed the driver, who had hastily taken his mules as far away as he could beyond the brow of the hill. Sancho hurried after them at the top speed of his ass, kicking him in the ribs all the while to make him go even faster, and loudly bewailing his master's coming death. The keeper made one more attempt to turn Don Quixote from his folly, but again finding it useless, very unwillingly opened the cage door.
Meantime the Knight had been thinking whether it would be best to fight the lion on foot or on horseback, and he had made up his mind to fight on foot, for the reason that "Rozinante" would probably be too much afraid to face the lion. So he got off his horse, drew his sword, and holding his shield in front of him, marched slowly up to the cage. The keeper, having thrown the door wide open, now quickly got himself out of harm's way.
The lion, seeing the cage open, and Don Quixote standing in front, turned round and stretched out his great paws. Then he opened his enormous mouth, and, letting out a tongue as long as a man's arm, licked the dust off his face. Now rising to his feet, he thrust his head out of the door and glared around with eyes like burning coals.
It was a sight to make any man afraid; but Don Quixote calmly waited for the animal to jump out and come within reach of his sword.
The lion looked at him for a moment with its great yellow eyes—then, slowly turning, it strolled to the back of the cage, gave a long, weary yawn, and lay quietly down.
"Force him to come out," cried Don Quixote to the keeper, "beat him."
"Not I," said the man. "I dare not for my life. He would tear me to pieces. And let me advise you, sir, to be content with your day's work. I beseech you, go no further. You have shown how brave you are. No man can be expected to do more than challenge his enemy and wait ready for him. If he does not come, the fault and the disgrace are his."
"'Tis true," said the Knight. "Shut the door, my friend, and give me the best certificate you can of what you have seen me do; how you opened the door, and how I waited for the lion to come out, and how he turned tail and lay down. I am obliged to do no more."
So saying, Don Quixote put on the end of his spear the cloth with which he had wiped the curds from his face, and began to wave to the others to come back.
"I'll be hanged," cried Sancho when he saw this signal, "if my master has not killed the lion." And they all hurried up to the wagon where the keeper gave them a long account of what had happened, adding, that when he got to court he would tell the King of Don Quixote's bravery.
"If his Majesty should happen to ask who did this thing, tell him," said Don Quixote, "that it was the Knight of the Lions, for that is the name by which I shall now call myself."
Sancho and his master now rode with the gentleman in green to his house, where they stopped some days, to the great contentment of Sancho. And of the wedding at which they were present, of the feast where Sancho so greatly enjoyed himself, as well as of other matters, you must read for yourself.
When the Knight and his squire again began their travels, it chanced that they stopped one night at an inn. To this inn, while Don Quixote was outside, waiting for supper, there came a man, all dressed in chamois leather, and wearing over his left eye, and part of his face, a green patch.
"Have you any lodgings, landlord?" he cried in a loud voice; "for here comes the fortune-telling ape, and the great puppet-show of Melisendra's Deliverance."
"Why, bless me!" cried the innkeeper, "if here isn't Master Peter. Now we shall have a merry night of it. You are welcome, with all my heart. Where is the ape, Peter?"
"Coming presently," said Master Peter. "I only came on before to see if lodgings were to be had."
"Lodgings!" cried the landlord. "Why, I'd turn out the Duke of Alva himself rather than you should want room. Bring on the monkey and the show, for I have guests in the inn to-night who will pay well to see the performance."
"That's good news," said Peter, going off to hurry up his cart.
"Who is this Peter?" asked Don Quixote.
"Why, sir," answered the landlord, "he has been going about the country this long time with his play of Melisendra and Don Gayferos, one of the very best shows that ever was seen. Then he has the cleverest ape in the world. You have only to ask it a question and it will jump on its master's shoulder and whisper the answer in his ear, and then Master Peter will tell you what it says. It's true, he isn't always right, but he so often hits the nail on the head that we sometimes think Satan is in him."
Don Quixote no sooner saw the ape, than he marched up to it, and asked a question.
"Ah!" said Master Peter, "the animal can't tell what is going to happen; only what has already happened."
"I wouldn't give a brass centesimo," cried Sancho, "to know what is past. Who can tell that better than myself? Tell me what my wife Teresa is doing at home just now."
Master Peter tapped his shoulder: the ape at once sprang on to it, and putting its head at his ear, began to chatter—as apes do—for a minute. Then it skipped down again, and immediately Master Peter ran to Don Quixote and fell on his knees before him.
"O glorious restorer of knight-errantry!" he cried, "who can say enough in praise of the great Don Quixote de la Mancha, the righter of wrongs, the comfort of the afflicted and unhappy?"
Don Quixote was amazed at these words, for he was certain that he was unknown to any one at the inn. He did not guess that Master Peter was a clever rogue, who, before giving a performance, always made it his business to find out about those who were likely to be looking on.
As for Sancho, he quaked with fear.
"And thou, honest Sancho," went on Master Peter, "the best squire to the best knight in the world, be not unhappy about your wife. She is well, and at this moment is dressing flax. By the same token, she has at her left hand, to cheer her, a broken-mouthed jug of wine."
"That's like enough," said Sancho.
"Well," cried Don Quixote, "if I had not seen it with my own eyes, nothing should have made me believe that apes have the gift of second sight. I am in very truth the Don Quixote de la Mancha that this wonderful animal has told you about."
But he was not quite pleased at the idea of the ape having such powers, and taking Sancho aside he spoke to him seriously on the subject.
While they spoke, the showman came to tell them that the puppet-show was now ready to begin, and Don Quixote and Sancho went into the room where it stood, with candles burning all round it. Master Peter got inside in order to move the puppets, and a boy standing in front explained what was going on.
The story that was acted by the puppets was that of a certain Don Gayferos, who rescued his wife Melisendra from captivity by the Moors in the city of Saragossa. Melisendra was imprisoned in the castle, and the story goes that Don Gayferos, when riding past, in his search, spied her on the balcony. Melisendra, with the help of a rope, lets herself down to her husband, mounts behind him, and the two gallop away from the city. But Melisendra's flight has been noticed, and the city bells ring an alarm. The Moors rush out like angry wasps, start in pursuit, and the capture and death of Don Gayferos and Melisendra seem certain.
Don Quixote listened and looked with growing excitement and anger, but when he saw the Moors gallop in pursuit and about to close on Don Gayferos and Melisendra, he could keep quiet no longer. Starting up, "It shall never be said," cried he, "that in my presence I suffered such a wrong to be done to so famous a knight as Don Gayferos. Stop your unjust pursuit, ye base rascals! Stop! or prepare to meet me in battle."
Then, drawing his sword, with one spring he fell with fury on the Moors, hacking some in pieces, beheading others, and sending the rest flying into every corner. And had not Master Peter ducked and squatted down on the ground behind part of the show, Don Quixote would certainly have chopped off his head also.
"Hold! hold, sir!" cried Master Peter, "for mercy's sake, hold! These are not real Moors. You will ruin me if you destroy my show."
But Don Quixote paid not the slightest heed. He went on slashing and hacking till the whole show was a wreck. Everybody ran to get out of harm's way, and the ape scampered, chattering, on to the roof of the house. Sancho himself quaked with fear, for he had never before seen his master in such a fury.
All the puppet Moors being now cut to pieces, Don Quixote became calmer, saying aloud, "How miserable had been the fate of poor Don Gayferos and Melisendra his wife if I had not been in time to save them from those infidel Moors! Long live knight-errantry!"
"Ay, ay," moaned Master Peter in a doleful voice, "it may live long enough. As for me, I may as well die, for I am a ruined man and a beggar now."
Sancho Panza took pity on the showman.
"Come, come! Master Peter," said he, "don't cry. Don't be cast down. My master will pay you when he comes to know that he has done you an injury."
"Truly," said Peter, "if his honor will pay for my puppets.'ll ask no more."
"How!" cried Don Quixote. "I do not see that I have injured you, good Master Peter."
"Not injured me!" cried Master Peter. "Do but look at those figures lying there, all hacked to bits."
"Well," said Don Quixote, "now I know for certain a truth I have suspected before, that those accursed enchanters do nothing but put before my eyes things as they are, and then presently after change them as they please. Really and truly gentlemen, I vow and protest that all that was acted here seemed to me to be real. I could not contain my fury, and I acted as I thought was my duty. But if Master Peter will tell me the value of the figures, I will pay for them all."
"Heaven bless your worship!" whined Master Peter. But had Don Quixote known that this same Master Peter was the very man who stole Sancho Panza's ass, perhaps he might have paid him in another way.
VII. THE BATTLE WITH THE BULLS; THE FIGHT WITH THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON; AND HOW DON QUIXOTE DIED
Soon after this, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza rode forth in search of other adventures.
They had ridden no great way when they happened upon some young people who had gaily dressed themselves as shepherds and shepherdesses, and were having a picnic in the woods. These people invited Don Quixote and Sancho to join their feast.
When they had eaten and drunk, the Knight rose, and said that there was no sin worse than that of ingratitude, and that to show how grateful he was for the kindness that had been shown to him and to Sancho, he had only one means in his power.
"Therefore," said he, "I will maintain for two whole days, in the middle of this high road leading to Saragossa, that these ladies here, disguised as shepherdesses, are the most beautiful damsels in the world, except only the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, the mistress of my heart."
So, mounting "Rozinante" he rode into the middle of the highway and there took his stand, ready to challenge all comers. He had sat there no long time when there appeared on the road coming towards him a number of riders, some with spears in their hands, all riding very fast and close together. In front of them thundered a drove of wild bulls, bellowing and tossing their horns. At once all the shepherds and the shepherdesses ran behind trees, but Don Quixote sat bravely where he was.
When the horsemen came near, "Get out of the way!" bawled one of them. "Stand clear, or these bulls will have you in pieces in no time."
"Halt, scoundrels!" roared the Knight. "What are bulls to Don Quixote de la Mancha, if they were the fiercest that ever lived? Stop, hangdogs!"
But the herdsmen had no time to answer, nor Don Quixote to get out of the way had he wanted to do so, for before any one knew what was happening, the bulls had run right over him and "Rozinante," leaving them and Sancho and "Dapple," his ass, stunned and bruised, rolling in the dust.
the bulls had run right over him and rozinante
As soon as Don Quixote came to his senses he got up in great haste, stumbling here and falling there, and began to run after the herd.
"Stop, you scoundrels!" he bawled. "Stop! It is a single knight that defies you."
But no one took the least notice of him, and he sat sadly down on the road, waiting till Sancho brought "Rozinante" to him. Then master and man went on their way, Don Quixote sore ashamed of his defeat, hurt as much in mind as in body.
That evening they dismounted at the door of an inn, and put up "Rozinante" and "Dapple" in the stable. Sancho asked the landlord what he could give them for supper.
"Why," said the man, "you may have anything you choose to call for. The inn can provide fowls of the air, birds of the earth, and fishes of the sea."
"There's no need for all that," said Sancho. "If you roast a couple of chickens it will be enough, for my master eats but little, and for myself, I have no great appetite."
"Chickens?" said the host. "I am sorry I have no chickens just now. The hawks have killed them all."
"Well, then, roast us a pullet, if it be tender."
"A pullet? Well, now, that is unlucky. I sent away fifty to the market only yesterday. But, putting pullets aside, ask for anything you like."
"Why, then," said Sancho, pondering, "let us have some veal, or a bit of kid."
"Sorry sir, we are just out of veal and kid also. Next week we shall have enough and to spare."
"That helps us nicely," said Sancho. "But at any rate, let us have some eggs and bacon."
"Eggs!" cried the landlord. "Now didn't I tell him I had no hens or pullets, and how then can I have eggs? No, no! Ask for anything you please in the way of dainties, but don't ask for hens."
"Body o' me!" said Sancho, "let us have something. Tell me what you have, and have done."
"Well, what I really and truly have is a pair of cow-heels that look like calves'-feet, or a pair of calves'-feet that look like cow-heels. You can have that and some bacon."
"They are mine," cried Sancho. "I don't care whether they are feet or heels."
And as Don Quixote had supper with some other guests who carried with them their own cook and their own larder, Sancho and the landlord supped well on the cow-heels.
Some days after this, the Knight and his squire reached Barcelona. Neither of them had ever before been near the sea, and the galleys that they saw in the distance being rowed about in the bay sorely puzzled Sancho, who thought that the oars were their legs, and that they must be some strange kind of beast.
Now, one morning, when Don Quixote rode out, fully armed as usual, to take the air on the seashore, he saw a knight riding towards him, armed like himself, and having a bright moon painted on his shield. As soon as this knight came within hearing he halted, and in a loud voice called out:
"Illustrious Don Quixote de la Mancha, I am the Knight of the White Moon, of whose doings you may have heard. I am come to fight with you and to make you own that the Lady of my Heart, whoever she may be, is more beautiful by far than the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso. Which truth, if you will confess, I will not slay you. And if we fight, and I should conquer you, then I ask no more than that you shall go to your own home, and for the space of one year give up carrying arms or searching for adventures. But if you should conquer me, then my head shall be at your disposal, my horse and arms shall be your spoils, and the fame of my deeds shall be yours. Consider what I say, and let your answer be quick."
Don Quixote was amazed at hearing these words.
"Knight of the White Moon," said he very solemnly, "the fame of whose doings has not yet come to my ears, I dare swear that thou hast never seen the beautiful Dulcinea, for hadst thou ever viewed her, thou wouldst have been careful not to make this challenge. The sight of her would have made thee know that there never has been, nor can be, beauty to match hers. And therefore, without giving thee the lie, I only tell thee thou art mistaken. I accept your challenge, on your conditions, and at once, except that I am content with the fame of my own deeds, and want not yours. Choose then whichever side of the field you please, and let us set to."
The two knights then turned their horses to take ground for their charge, but at this moment up rode, with some friends, the Governor of the city of Barcelona, who knew Don Quixote, and who fancied that perhaps this was some new trick being played on him. The Governor, seeing both knights ready to turn for their charge, asked the Knight of the White Moon what was the cause of the combat, and having heard his answer, could not believe that the affair was not a joke, and so stood aside.
Instantly the two knights charged at top speed. But the horse of the Knight of the White Moon was by far the bigger and heavier and faster, and he came with such a shock into poor old "Rozinante" that Don Quixote and his horse were hurled to the ground with terrible force, and lay stunned and helpless. In a moment the Knight of the White Moon was off his horse and holding his spear at Don Quixote's throat.
"Yield, Sir Knight!" he cried, "or you are a dead man."
Don Quixote, sorely hurt, but with steadfast look, gasped in a faint voice:
"I do not yield. Dulcinea del Toboso is the most beautiful woman in the whole world. Press on with your spear, Sir Knight, and kill me."
"Nay," said the Knight of the White Moon. "That will I not do. I am content if the great Don Quixote return to his home for a year, as we agreed before we fought."
And Don Quixote answered very faintly that as nothing was asked of him to the hurt of Dulcinea, he would carry out all the rest faithfully and truly. The Knight of the White Moon then galloped away toward the city, where one of the Governor's friends followed him, in order to find out who he was. The victorious knight was Samson Carrasco, who, some months before, had fought with and had been beaten by Don Quixote. And he explained to the Governor's friend that all he wanted in fighting was, not to harm Don Quixote, but to make him promise to go home, and stop there for a year, by which time he hoped that his madness about knight-errantry might be cured.
They raised Don Quixote and took off his helmet. His face was very pale, and he was covered with a cold sweat. "Rozinante" was in as bad plight as his master, and lay where he had fallen. Sancho, in great grief, could speak no word, and knew not what to do; to him it was all as a bad dream.
Don Quixote was carried on a stretcher to the town, where for a week he lay in bed without ever raising his head, stricken to the soul by the disgrace of his defeat.
Sancho tried to comfort him.
"Pluck up your heart and be of good cheer, sir," he cried, "and thank Heaven you have broken no bones. They that give must take. Let us go home and give up looking for adventures."
"After all, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "it is only for a year. After that I can begin again, and perhaps then I may be able to make thee an Earl."
"Heaven grant it" said Sancho.
So when the Knight was once more able to move they set out for home, Don Quixote riding "Rozinante" Sancho walking, for "Dapple" carried the armor.
But all the way Don Quixote did not recover from his melancholy, and when at last they reached his village:
"Help me to bed," he said, "for I think that I am not very well."
He was put to bed, and carefully nursed. But a fever had taken hold of him, and for many days Sancho Panza never left his master's bedside. On the sixth day, the doctor told him he was in great danger. Don Quixote listened very calmly, and then asked that he might be left by himself for a little—he had a mind to sleep. His niece and Sancho left the room weeping bitterly, and Don Quixote fell into a deep sleep.
When he awoke, with a firm voice he cried:
"Blessed be God! My mind is is now clear, and the clouds have rolled away which those detestable books of knight-errantry cast over me. Now can I see their nonsense and deceit. I am at the point of death, and I would meet it so that I may not leave behind me the character of a madman. Send for the lawyer, that I may make my will."
Excepting only a small sum of money which he gave to Sancho Panza, he left all to his niece.
Thereafter he fell back in bed, and lay unconscious and without movement till the third day, when death very gently took him.
So died Don Quixote de la Mancha, a good man and a brave gentleman to the end.