Home  »  Don Quixote, Part 1  »  IV. Wherein Are Rehearsed the Discourses Passed between Sancho Panza and His Lord, Don Quixote, with Other Adventures Worthy the Recital

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). Don Quixote, Part 1.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

The Third Book

IV. Wherein Are Rehearsed the Discourses Passed between Sancho Panza and His Lord, Don Quixote, with Other Adventures Worthy the Recital

SANCHO arrived to his master all man and dismayed, insomuch as he was scarce able to spur on his beast. When Don Quixote beheld him in that case, he said to him: ‘Now do I wholly persuade myself, friend Sancho, that that castle or inn is doubtless enchanted; for those which made pastime with thee in so cruel manner, what else could they be but spirits, or people of another world? which I do the rather believe, because I saw that, whilst I stood at the barrier of the yard, beholding the acts of thy sad tragedy, I was not in any wise able either to mount it, or alight from Rozinante; for, as I say, I think they held me then enchanted. For I vow to thee, by mine honour, that if I could have either mounted or alighted, I would have taken such vengeance on those lewd and treacherous caitiffs as they should remember the jest for ever, though I had therefore adventured to transgress the laws of knighthood; which, as I have ofttimes said unto thee, permitteth not any knight to lay hands on one that is not knighted, if it be not in defence of his proper life and person, and that in case of great and urgent necessity.’ ‘So would I also have revenged myself,’ quoth Sancho, ‘if I might, were they knights or no knights; but I could not: and yet I do infallibly believe that those which took their pleasure with me were neither ghosts nor enchanted men, as you say, but men of flesh and bones as we are; and all of them, as I heard them called whilst they tossed me, had proper names, for one was termed Peter Martinez, and another Tenorio Herriander, and I heard also the innkeeper called John Palameque the deaf; so that, for your inability of not leaping over the barriers of the yard, or alighting off your horse, was only enchantments in you. Whereby I do clearly collect thus much, that these adventures which we go in search of will bring us at last to so many disventures as we shall not be able to know which is our right foot. And that which we might do best, according to my little understanding, were to return us again to our village, now that it is reaping-time, and look to our goods, omitting to leap thus, as they say, out of the frying-pan into the fire.’

‘How little dost thou know, Sancho,’ replied Don Quixote, ‘what appertaineth to chivalry! Peace, and have patience, for a day will come wherein thou shalt see with thine own eyes how honourable it is to follow this exercise. If not, tell me what greater content may there be in this world, or what pleasure can equal that of winning a battle, and of triumphing over one’s enemy? None, without doubt.’ ‘I think it be so,’ quoth Sancho, ‘although I do not know it; only this I know, that, since we became knights-errant, or that you are one (for there is no reason why I should count myself in so honourable a number), we never overcame any battle, if it was not that of the Biscaine, and you came even out of the very same with half your ear and beaver less; and ever after that time we have had nothing but cudgels and more cudgels, blows and more blows; I carrying with me besides, of overplus, the tossing in the blanket; and that, by reason it was done to me by enchanted persons, I cannot be revenged, and by consequence shall not know that true gust and delight that is taken by vanquishing mine enemy, whereof you spake even now.’ ‘That is it which grieves me, as it should thee also, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote. ‘But I will procure hereafter to get a sword made with such art, that whosoever shall wear it, no kind of enchantment shall hurt him; and perhaps fortune will present me that very same which belonged to Amadis, when he called himself “the knight of the burning sword,” which was one of the best that ever knight had in this world; for besides the virtue that I told, it did also cut like a razor; and no armour, were it ever so strong or enchanted, could stand before it.’ ‘I am so fortunate.’ quoth Sancho, ‘that when this befel, and that you found such a sword, it would only serve and be beneficial, and stand in stead, such as are dubbed knights, as doth your balsam; whilst are crammed full with sorrows.’ ‘Fear not that, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘for fortune will deal with thee more liberally than so.’

In these discourses Don Quixote and his squire rode; when Don Quixote, perceiving a great and thick dust to arise in the way wherein he travelled, turning to Sancho, said, ‘This is, Sancho, the day wherein shall be manifest the good which fortune hath reserved for me. This is the day wherein the force of mine arm must be shown as much as in any other whatsoever; and in it I will do such feats as shall for ever remain recorded in the books of fame. Dost thou see, Sancho the dust which ariseth there? Know that it is caused by a mighty army, and sundry and innumerable nations, which come marching there.’ ‘If that be so,’ quoth Sancho, ‘then must there be two armies; for on this other side is raised as great a dust.’ Don Quixote turned back to behold it, and seeing it was so indeed, he was marvellous glad, thinking that they were doubtlessly two armies, which came to fight one with another in the midst of that spacious plain; for he had his fantasy ever replenished with these battles, enchantments, successes, ravings, loves, and challenges which are rehearsed in books of knighthood, and all that ever he spoke, thought, or did, was addressed and applied to the like things. And the dust which he had seen was raised by two great flocks of sheep, that came through the same field by two different ways, and could not be discerned, by reason of the dust, until they were very near. Don Quixote did affirm that they were two armies with so very good earnest as Sancho believed it, and demanded of him, ‘Sir, what then shall we two do? ‘What shall we do.’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘but assist the needful and weaker side? For thou shalt know, Sancho, that he who comes towards us is the great emperor Alifamfaron, lord of the great island of Trapobana; the other, who marcheth at our back, is his enemy, the king of the Garamantes, Pentapolin of the naked arm, so called because he still entereth in battle with his right arm naked.’ ‘I pray you, good sir,’ quoth Sancho, ‘to tell me why these two princes hate one another so much?’ ‘They are enemies,’ replied Don Quixote, ‘because that this Alifamfarois a furious pagan, and is enamoured of Pentapolin’s daughter, who is a very beautiful and gracious princess, and, moreover, a Christian; and her father refuseth to give her to the pagan king, until first he abandon Mahomet’s false sect, and become one of his religion.’ ‘By my beard,’ quoth Sancho, ‘Pentapolin hath reason, and I will help him all that I may.’ ‘By doing so,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘thou performest thy duty; for it is not requisite that one be a knight to the end he may enter into such battle.’ ‘I do apprehend that myself,’ quoth Sancho, ‘very well; but where shall we leave this ass in the meantime, that we may be sure to find him again after the conflict?—for I think it is not the custom to enter into battle mounted on such a beast.’ ‘It is true,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘that which thou mayst do is to leave him to his adventures, and care not whether he be lost or found; for we shall have so many horses, after coming out of this battle victors, that very Rozinante himself is in danger to be changed for another. But be attentive; for I mean to describe unto thee the principal knights of both the armies; and to the end thou mayst the better see and note all things, let us retire ourselves there to that little hillock, from whence both armies may easily be descried.’

They did so; and, standing on the top of a hill, from whence they might have seen both the flocks, which Don Quixote called an army, very well, if the clouds of dust had not hindered it and blinded their sight; yet, notwithstanding, our knight seeing in conceit that which he really did not see at all, began to say, with a loud voice,—

‘That knight which thou seest there with the yellow armour, who bears in his shield a lion, crowned, crouching at a damsel’s feet, is the valorous Laurcalio, lord of the silver bridge. The other, whose arms are powdered with flowers of gold, and bears in an azure field three crowns of silver, is the dreaded Micocolembo, great duke of Quirocia. The other, limbed like a giant, that standeth at his right hand, is the undaunted Brandabarbaray of Boliche, lord of the three Arabias, and comes armed with a serpent’s skin, bearing for his shield, as is reported, one of the gates of the temple which Samson at his death overthrew to be revenged of his enemies. But turn thine eyes to this other side, and thou shalt see first of all, and in the front of this other army, the ever victor and never vanquished Timonel of Carcajona, prince of New Biscay, who comes armed with arms parted into blue, green, white, and yellow quarters, and bears in his shield, in a field of tawny, a cat of gold, with a letter that says Miau, which is the beginning of his lady’s name, which is, as the report runs, the peerless Miaulina, daughter to Duke Alfeniquen of Algarve. The other, that burdens and oppresseth the back of that mighty courser, whose armour is as white as snow, and also his shield without any device, is a new knight of France, called Pierres Papin, lord of the barony of Utrique. The other, that beats his horse’s sides with his armed heels, and bears the arms of pure azure, is the mighty Duke of Nerbia Espartafilardo of the wood, who bears for his device a harrow, with a motto that says, “So trails my fortune.”’

And thus he proceeded forward, naming many knights of the one and the other squadron, even as he had imagined them, and attributed to each one his arms, his colours, imprese, and mottoes, suddenly borne away by the imagination of his wonderful distraction; and, without stammering, he proceeded, saying,—

‘This first squadron containeth folk of many nations: in it are those which taste the sweet waters of famous Xante; the mountainous men that tread the Masilical fields; those that do sift the most pure and rare gold of Arabia Felix; those that possessed the famous and delightful banks of clear Termodonte; those that let blood, many and sundry way as the golden Pactolus; the Numides, unstedfast in their promise; the Persians, famous for archers; the Parthes and Medes, that fight flying; the Arabs, inconstant in their dwellings; the Scvythians, as cruel as white; the Ethiopians, of bored lips; and other infinite nations, whose faces I know and behold, although I have forgotten their denominations. In that other army come those that taste the crystalline streams of the olive-bearing Betis; those that dip and polish their faces with the liquor of the ever-rich and golden Tagus; those that possess the profitable fluent of divine Genil; those that trample the Tartesian fields, so abundant in pasture; those that recreate themselves in the Elysian fields of Xerez; the rich Manchegans, crowned with ruddy ears of corn; those apparelled with iron, the ancient relics of the Gothish blood; those that bathe themselves in Pesverga, renowned for the smoothness of his current; those that feed their flocks in the vast fields of the wreathing Guadiana, so celebrated for his hidden course; those that tremble through the cold of the bushy Pirens, and the lofty Apennines; finally, all those that Europe in itself containeth.’

Good God! how many provinces repeated he at that time! and how many nations did he name, giving to every one of them, with marvellous celerity and briefness, their proper attributes, being swallowed up and engulfed in those things which he had read in his lying books! Sancho Panza stood suspended at his speech, and spoke not a word, but only would now and then turn his head, to see whether he could mark those knights and giants which his lord had named; and, by reason he could not discover any, he said, ‘Sir, I give to the devil any man, giant, or knight, of all those you said, that appeareth; at least, I cannot discern them. Perhaps all is but enchantment, like that of the ghosts of yesternight.’ ‘How sayst thou so?’ quoth Don Quixote. ‘Dost not thou hear the horses neigh, the trumpets sound, and the noise of the drums?’ ‘I hear nothing else,’ said Sancho, ‘but the great bleating of many sheep.’ And so it was, indeed; for by this time the two flocks did approach them very near. ‘The fear that thou conceivest, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘maketh thee that thou canst neither hear nor see aright; for one of the effects of fear is to trouble the senses, and make things appear otherwise than they are; and, seeing thou fearest so much, retire thyself out of the way; for I alone am sufficient to give the victory to that part which I shall assist.’ And, having ended his speech, he set spurs to Rozinante, and, setting his lance in the rest, he flung down from the hillock like a thunderbolt. Sancho cried to him as loud as he could, saying, ‘Return, good sir Don Quixote! for I vow unto God, that all those which you go to charge are but sheep and muttons; return, I say. Alas that ever I was born! what madness is this? Look; for there is neither giant not knight, nor cats, nor arms, nor shields parted nor whole, nor pure azures nor devilish. What is it you do? wretch that A am!’ For all this Don Quixote did not return, but rather rode, saying with a loud voice, ‘On, on, knights! all you that serve and march under the banners of the valorous emperor Pentapolin of the naked arm; follow me, all of you, and you shall see how easily I will revenge him on his enemy, Alifamfaron of Trapobana.’ And, saying so, he entered into the midst of the flock of sheep, and began to lance them with such courage and fury as if he did in good earnest encounter his mortal enemies.

The shepherds that came with the flock, cried to him to leave off; but, seeing their words took no effect, they unloosed their slings, and began to salute his pate with stones as great as one’s fist. But Don Quixote made no account of their stones, and did fling up and down among the sheep, saying, ‘Where art thou, proud Alifamfaron? where art thou? Cometto me; for I am but one knight alone, who desire to prove my force with thee man to man, and deprive thee of thy life, in pain of the wrong thou dost to the valiant Pentapolin, the Garamante.’ At that instant a stone gave him such a blow on one of his sides, as did bury two of his ribs in his body. He beholding himself so ill dight, did presently believe that he was either slain or sorely wounded; and, remembering himself of his liquor, he took out his oil-pot, and set it to his mouth to drink; but ere he could take as much as he thought requisite to cure his hurts, there cometh another almond, which struck him so full upon the hand and oil-pot, as it broke it into pieces, and carried away with it besides three or four of his cheek teeth, and did moreover bruise very sorely two of his fingers. Such was the first and the second blow, as the poor knight was constrained to fall down off his horse. And the shepherds arriving, did verily believe they had slain him; and therefore, gathering their flock together with all speed, and carrying away their dead muttons, which were more than seven, they went away without verifying the matter any further.

Sancho remained all this while on the height, beholding his master’s follies, pulling the hairs of his beard for very despair, and cursed the hour and the moment wherein he first knew him; but, seeing him overthrown to the earth, and the shepherds fled away, he came down to him, and found him in very bad taking, yet had he not quite lost the use of his senses; to whom he said, ‘Did not I bid you, sir knight, return, and told you that you went not to invade an army of men, but a flock of sheep?’ ‘That thief, the wise man who is mine adversary,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘can counterfeit and make men to seem such, or vanish away, as he pleaseth; for, Sancho, thou oughtest to know that it is a very easy thing for those kind of men to make us seem what they please, and this malign that persecuteth me, envying the glory which he saw I was like to acquire in this battle, hath converted the enemy’s squadrons into sheep. And if thou wilt not believe me, Sancho, yet do one thing for my sake, that thou mayst remove thine error, and perceive the truth which I affirm: get up on thine ass, and follow them fair and softly aloof, and, thou shalt see that, as soon as they are parted any distance from hence, they will turn to their first form, and, leaving to be sheep, will become men, as right and straight as I painted them to thee at the first. But go not now, for I have need of thy help and assistance; draw nearer to me, and see how many cheek teeth and others I want, for methinks there is not one left in my mouth.’ With that, Sancho approached so near that he laid almost his eyes on his master’s mouth; and it was just at the time that the balsam had now wrought his effect in Don Quixote his stomach, and at the very season that Sancho went about to look into his mouth, he disgorged all that he had in his stomach, with as great violence as it had been shot out of a musket, just in his compassive squire’s beard. ‘O holy Mother Mary!’ quoth Sancho, ‘what is this that hath befallen me? The poor man is mortally wounded without doubt; for he vomiteth up blood at his mouth.’ But, looking a little nearer to it, he perceived in the colour and smell that it was not blood, but the balsam of his master’s oil-bottle; whereat he instantly took such a loathing, that his stomach likewise turned, and he vomited out his very bowels almost, all in his master’s face. And so they both remained like pearls. Soon after, Sancho ran to his ass to take somewhat to clear himself, and to cure his lord, out of his wallet, which when he found wanting, he was ready to run out of his wits. There he began anew to curse himself, and made a firm resolution in mind that he would leave his master and turn to his country again, although he were sure both to lose his wages and the hope of government of the promised island.

By this Don Quixote arose, and, setting his left hand to his mouth, that the rest of his teeth might not fall out, he caught hold on the reins of Rozinante’s bridle with the other, who had never stirred from his master (such was his loyalty and good nature), he went towards his squire, that leaned upon his ass, with his hand under his cheek, like one pensative and malcontent. And Don Quixote, seeing of him in that guise, with such signs of sadness, said unto him: ‘Know Sancho, that one man is not more than another, if he do not more than another. All these storms that fall on us are arguments that the time will wax calm very soon, and that things will have better success hereafter; for it is not possible that either good or ill be durable. And hence we may collect that, our misfortunes having lasted so long, our fortune and weal must be likewise near; and therefore thou oughtest not thus to afflict thyself for the disgraces that befal me, seeing no part of them fall to thy lot.’ ‘How not.’ quoth Sancho. ‘Was he whom they tossed yesterday in the coverlet by fortune, any other man’s son than my father’s? and the wallet that I want to-day, with all my provision, was it any other’s than mine own?’ ‘What! dost thou want thy wallet, Sancho?’ quoth Don Quixote. ‘Ay, that I do,’ quoth he. ‘In that manner,’ replied Don Quixote, ‘we have nothing left us to eat today.’ ‘That would be so,’ quoth Sancho, ‘if we could not find among these fields the herbs which I have heard you say you know, wherewithal such unlucky knights-errant as you are wont to supply like needs.’ ‘For all that,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘I would rather have now a quarter of a loaf, or a cake, and two pilchard’s heads, than all the herbs that Dioscorides describeth, although they came glossed by Doctor Laguna himself. But yet, for all that, get upon thy beast, Sancho the good, and follow me; for God, who is the provider for all creatures, will not fail us; and principally, seeing we do a work so greatly to His service as we do, seeing He doth not abandon the little flies of the air, nor the wormlings of the earth, nor the spawnlings of the water; and He is so merciful that He maketh His sun shine on the good and the evil, and rains on sinners and just men.’ ‘You were much fitter,’ quoth Sancho, ‘to be a preacher than a knight-errant.’ ‘Knights-errant knew, and ought to know, somewhat of all things,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘for there hath been a knight-errant, in times past, who would make a sermon or discourse in the midst of a camp royal with as good grace as if he were graduated in the university of Paris; by which we may gather that the lance never dulled the pen, nor the pen the lance.’ ‘Well, then,’ quoth Sancho, ‘let it be as you have said, and let us depart hence, and procure to find a lodging for this night, where, I pray God, may be no coverlets, and tossers, nor spirits, nor enchanted Moors; for if there be, I’ll bestow the lock and the hook on the devil.’ ‘Demand that of God, son Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘and lead me where thou pleasest; for I will leave the election of our lodging to thy choice for this time. Yet, I pray thee, give me thy hand, and feel how many cheek teeth, or others, I want in this right side of the upper jaw; for there I feel most pain.’ Sancho put in his finger, and whilst he felt him, demanded, ‘How many cheek teeth were you accustomed to have on this side?’ ‘Four,’ quoth he, ‘besides the hindermost; all of them very whole and sound.’ ‘See well what you say, sir,’ quoth Sancho. ‘I say four,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘if they were not five; for I never in my life drew or lost any tooth, nor hath any fallen or been worm-eaten or marred by any rheum.’ ‘Well, then,’ quoth Sancho, ‘you have in this nether part but two cheek teeth and a half; and in the upper neither a half, nor any; for all there is as plain as the palm of my hand.’ ‘Unfortunate I!’ quoth Don Quixote, hearing the sorrowful news that his squire told unto him, ‘for I had rather lose one of my arms, so it were not that of my sword; for, Sancho, thou must wit, that a mouth without cheek teeth is like a mill without a millstone; and a tooth is much more to be esteemed than a diamond. But we which profess the rigorous laws of arms are subject to all these disasters; wherefore mount, gentle friend, and give the way; for I will follow thee what pace thou pleasest.’ Sancho obeyed, and rode the way where he thought he might find lodging, without leaving the highway, which was there very much beaten. And, going thus by little and little (for Don Quixote his pain of his jaws did not suffer him rest, or make overmuch haste), Sancho, to entertain him and divert his thought by saying some things, began to aboard him in the form we mean to rehearse in the chapter ensuing.