Interestingly, he wrote “Don QuixoteLoading...” as a humorous story on the side while he tried to make a name for himself as a novelist and playwright of more serious works.
In this chapter, he starts off by clumsily creating armor.
He was urged on by the thought of all the world was losing by his delay, and seeing the wrongs he intended to right, grievances to redress, injustices to repair, abuses to remove, and duties to discharge.
So, without giving notice of his intention to anyone, and without anybody seeing him, one morning before dawn on one of the hottest days of July, he donned his suit of armor, mounted RocinanteLoading... with his patched-up helmet on, braced his shield, took his lance, left through the back door and leapt out onto the plain. And he was quite content and satisfied when he saw how easy it had been to make a beginning with his grand plan.
There, Don QuixoteLoading... fell on his knees before him, and said, “From this spot, I rise not, valiant knight, until your courtesy grants me the blessing I seek, one that will result in your praise and the benefit of the human race.”
They began to shower stones on Don QuixoteLoading....
The landlord, seeing his guest at his feet and hearing a speech of this kind, stood staring at him in bewilderment, not knowing what to do or say. He entreated him to rise, but it was all in vain until he had agreed to grant the blessing demanded of him.
He called to mind the advice the innkeeper had given him as to the essentials he ought to also carry with him, money and clean shirts in particular, and so he decided to go home and provide himself with these. He also made the decision to arrange for a squire, because he reckoned he could secure a farm-laborer, a neighbor of his, a poor man with a family, who he thought was very well qualified for the office of squire to a knight.
He charged with leveled lance against the one who had spoken.
With this goal in mind, he turned onto the road toward his village, and RocinanteLoading... — reminded of his old quarters — stepped out so briskly that his heels seemed to hardly touch the ground.
He had not gone far when out of a bush on his right there seemed to come feeble cries as of someone in distress.
His craze brought to mind the story about Baldwin and the Marquis of Mantua, when Carloto left him wounded on the mountainside, a story all children knew by heart and which was not forgotten by young men, and lauded and even believed by the older people.
The peasant went along cursing his fate.
This story seemed to him to exactly match the situation in which he found himself, and so, making a show of severe suffering, he began to roll on the ground, and with a feeble breath he repeated the very words which the wounded knight of the wood is said to have uttered:
“Where are you, lady dear
That for my woe you do not moan?
You little know what ails me here,
Or else are you to me disloyal grown!”
And so he went on with the ballad until he came to the following lines:
“Oh you, my uncle and my prince.
Marquis of mantua, noble lord!”
As chance would have it, when he had gotten to this line, a peasant from his own village, who was a neighbor of his, and who came from a mill with a sack of wheat, happened to pass him by.
The fellow, seeing the man stretched on the ground, came up to him and asked him who he was and what was the matter with him that he complained so dolefully.
She willingly gave them right away, and so in they all went, and the housekeeper joined them.
He decided that all the rest should be burned.
There, they found more than a hundred volumes of big books which were well bound and some other smaller ones.
The moment the housekeeper saw the books, she turned around and ran out of the room. She came back immediately with a saucer of holy water and a sprinkler, saying, “Here, sprinkle every crack and corner of this room, lest there lurk in here some of the many sorcerers these books are filled with, magicians who might take the opportunity to bewitch us in revenge for our plan to banish them from this world.”
Better set them on fire.
The simple-mindedness of the housekeeper made the PreacherLoading... laugh. He directed the BarberLoading... to give him the books one by one, so he could see what they were about because some of them might not deserve the penalty of fire.
The PreacherLoading... and the neighbor were called away by this noise and outcry, so they stopped scrutinizing the remaining books. And so it is thought that “The Carolea,” “The Lion of Spain,” and “The Deeds of the Emperor,” written by Don Luis de Avila, all went into the fire unseen and unheard, a fate which perhaps they might have escaped, had the PreacherLoading... been there to defend them.
On these promises SanchoLoading... Panza left wife and children.
When they reached Don QuixoteLoading..., he was already out of bed and was still shouting and raving, and slashing and cutting all round with his sword, as wide awake as if he had never slept.
They ran up to him, and by force, they got him back into bed.
“What giants?” SanchoLoading... Panza said.
“What giants?” SanchoLoading... Panza said.
“Those you see there,” his master answered, “with the long, extended arms. Some of that detested race have arms of so immense a size that sometimes they reach six miles in length.”
“Pray, look better, sir,” SanchoLoading... said, “those things over there are not giants but windmills, and the arms you fancy are their sails which, being whirled about by the wind, make the mill go.”
And at this so critical point the delightful history came to a stop and stood cut short without any intimation from the author as to where we might find the remaining part of the story.
The fiery Biscayan was the first to strike a blow.
This distressed me greatly because the pleasure derived from having read such a small portion turned to annoyance at the thought of the little chance that presented itself of finding the large part that, so it seemed to me, was missing of such an interesting tale.
It appeared to me to be a thing impossible and contrary to all precedent that so good a knight should have been without some sage to undertake the task of writing his marvelous achievements, something that was never lacking to any of those knights-errant who, they say, went after adventures.
He stood watching the battle of his master, Don QuixoteLoading..., praying to God that it might be his will to grant him a victory and that he might thereby win some island to make him governor of, as his master had promised.
Seeing, therefore, that the struggle was now over, and that his master was returning to mount his horse RocinanteLoading..., he approached him to hold the stirrup for him, and, before Don QuixoteLoading... could mount his steed, SanchoLoading... went on his knees before him, and took his hand and kissed it, saying, “May it please you, Sir Don QuixoteLoading..., to give me the government of that island which has been won in this hard fight, because be it ever so big I feel myself in sufficient force to be able to govern it as much and as well as anyone in the world who has ever governed islands.”
“My ear pains me more than I could wish.”
“Brother SanchoLoading...,” Don QuixoteLoading... replied, “You must take note, that this adventure and those like it are not adventures of islands, but of crossroads, in which nothing is gotten except for a broken head or the loss of an ear. Have patience, because adventures will present themselves from which I may make you, not only a governor but something even more.”
And even though he would have liked to have tried if they were ready to be transferred from the pot to his stomach, he refrained from doing so, because the goatherds took them off the fire and spread some sheepskins on the ground.
The goatherds did not understand this jargon about squires and knights-errant.
They soon got their rural feast ready and heartily invited Don QuixoteLoading... and SanchoLoading... to share what they had.
“What news?” one of the goatherds replied.
The girl grew up with such beauty, that the greater number were in love with her past redemption.
“Well,” the young man continued, “that fine shepherd and student ChrysostomLoading... died this morning, and it is rumored that he died of love for that terrible village girl who is the daughter of Guillermo the Rich. You know, that girl who wanders up and down the country dressed as a shepherdess.”
Don QuixoteLoading..., who wanted nothing more, rose and ordered SanchoLoading... to get RocinanteLoading... and the ass ready immediately.
SanchoLoading... did so quickly, and they all left together.
Here it was, he told me, that he saw for the first time that mortal enemy of the human race.
They had not traveled for more than a mile when, at the point where two paths met, they saw six shepherds coming toward them. The shepherds wore black sheepskins, and their heads were crowned with garlands of cypress and colorful flowers. Each of them carried a stout oak staff in his hand, and they were joined by two distinguished men on horseback and in handsome traveling attire, with three servants on foot accompanying them.
These verses were well-received by the listeners, even though the one who read it out loud said it did not seem to agree with what he had heard of MarcelaLoading...'s modesty and decent conduct, because ChrysostomLoading... in it, complained of jealousy, suspicion, and playing hard to get, all to the detriment of the good name and fame of MarcelaLoading....
On the summit of the rock there appeared the shepherdess MarcelaLoading..., so beautiful that her beauty exceeded its reputation.
As if he could read the most secret thoughts on his friend's mind, Ambrosio replied, “Sir, to remove your doubt, I should tell you that when the unhappy man wrote this page, he was away from MarcelaLoading..., from whom he had voluntarily separated himself, to try if absence would relieve him.
My sufferings drown the memory of you.
“And as everything distresses — and every fear haunts — the banished lover, so imaginary jealousies and suspicions, dreaded as if they were true, tormented ChrysostomLoading.... And so the truth of what has been reported about the virtue of MarcelaLoading... remains unshaken, and with her, envy itself should not and cannot find any fault save that of being cruel, somewhat arrogant, and very scornful.”
They brought SanchoLoading... to the ground.
Don QuixoteLoading... and SanchoLoading... dismounted and turning RocinanteLoading... and the ass loose to feed off the grass which could be found there in abundance.
They ransacked the saddlebags, and without any ceremony, very peacefully and sociably, master and man feasted themselves on what they found in them.
The Yanguesans came running up armed with stakes.
Now, SanchoLoading... had not taken care to tie up RocinanteLoading..., as he knew him to be a sedate steed. However, chance would have it that there was also a drove of Galician ponies feeding in this valley.
The innkeeper had a wife who was very different from what you would typically expect of such a hostess because she was by nature kind-hearted and felt for the sufferings of her neighbors.
She immediately set about nurturing Don QuixoteLoading... and made her young daughter — a stunningly beautiful girl — help her take care of her guest.
In the inn, there was also a servant, an Asturian girl: broad-faced, flat-headed, and saddle-nosed, blind in one eye and not seeing much with the other. The elegance of her shape, to be sure, made up for all her defects. She did not measure seven palms from head to toe, and her shoulders were weighed down by some mass, made her look at the ground more often than she would have liked.
This graceful girl, then, helped the young daughter, and the two made up a very rudimentary bed for Don QuixoteLoading... in an attic which showed signs of having served as a hayloft for many years in the past.
A carrier was also staying in this loft. His bed was placed slightly behind Don QuixoteLoading...'s, and, though only made of the pack-saddles and cloths of his mules, it was much better than that of Don QuixoteLoading..., as Don QuixoteLoading...'s bed consisted of only four rough boards on two uneven supports, a mattress that might have passed for a quilt because of its thinness and which was full of thick knots which — even though it was made of wool — felt like hard pebbles, two sheets which seemed to have been made from leather rather than linen, and a threadbare bedspread.