Don Quixote

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Don QuixoteLoading... read one book too many about chivalry. One day, he decides to apply what he learned from the books. With his steed, which he names RocinanteLoading..., he leaves his home wearing his grandfather's armor, delusionally believing that he is a knight who is on a knight-errant. The purpose is to impress a woman he calls Dulcinea and whom he is in love with — something she does not know.

His loyal companion Sancho had joined him after Don Quixote had promised that their adventures would eventually lead to Sancho becoming a governor of his island.

In the previous episode, after having been beaten up with stakes by a large group of men, Don QuixoteLoading... and SanchoLoading... make it to an inn. The innkeeper sees that they are bruised. The wife of the innkeeper takes Don QuixoteLoading... and SanchoLoading... inside. They are put up in makeshift beds in the attic, along with a carrier. Don QuixoteLoading... and SanchoLoading... are taken care of by the pretty daughter of the owners of the inn, and MaritornesLoading..., a less beautiful servant young woman. The women place bandages on the bruises.

MaritornesLoading... secretly promises the carrier she will visit him at night to meet all his wishes while everyone else is asleep. When the night has fallen, Don QuixoteLoading... is still wide awake and fantasizing about having reached a famous castle, He imagines the daughter of the innkeeper to be the daughter of the lord of that castle. Don QuixoteLoading... fantasizes about her having fallen in love with him and having promised him that she will visit him that night. Then when MaritornesLoading... enters the attic in search of the carrier, Don QuixoteLoading..., believing her to be the daughter, grabs her and pulls her to him. At first, the carrier is angry that MaritornesLoading... had gone to Don QuixoteLoading...'s bed, but on noticing she is struggling to get free, he punches Don QuixoteLoading... in the face and then tramples on his chest. The simple bed can't carry the weight of the two men, and they fall through it. The racket causes the innkeeper to awaken. Suspecting MaritornesLoading... is involved and determined to punish her, he hastens to see what has happened. MaritornesLoading... sees her master coming and quickly jumps into SanchoLoading...'s bed. SanchoLoading..., still sleeping, believes he is being attacked, and he hits MaritornesLoading..., who punched him back. As SanchoLoading... and MaritornesLoading... engage in a fight, the carrier and the innkeeper rush to SanchoLoading...'s bed, the carrier to rescue her and the innkeeper to punish her, when a member of The Brotherhood, who was sleeping in the inn also, comes into the attic. The member finds Don QuixoteLoading... lying still on the floor, and cries murder. Everyone stops fighting. The innkeeper quickly extinguishes his lantern and leaves. The carrier goes back to his bed, and MaritornesLoading... retreats to her crib. The Brotherhood member returns to his own room and lights another lamp.

Don QuixoteLoading... and SanchoLoading... run into more trouble at the inn Don QuixoteLoading... believes to be a castle

t that point, Don QuixoteLoading... had recovered from his loss of consciousness. He began to call SanchoLoading... with the same sorrowful voice in which he had called to his squire after they had been beaten up with stakes the day before.

SanchoLoading..., my friend, are you asleep? are you sleeping, friend SanchoLoading...?”

He truly believed his last hour had come.

“How can I sleep!” SanchoLoading... retorted discontentedly and bitterly, “when it is obvious that all the devils in the world have been attacking me this night?”

“Then you have been thrashed too?” Don QuixoteLoading... said.

“You better believe it,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “because one thing I know for sure, and that is that this castle is bewitched. But you must now swear to tell no one what I am about to tell you, until after my death.”

“I swear,” SanchoLoading... said solemnly.

“I say this,” Don QuixoteLoading... continued, “because I hate taking away anyone's good name.”

“I promise,” SanchoLoading... replied, “to hold my tongue until the end of your days, and God grant me the right to be able to tell it to someone tomorrow.”

The Brotherhood member found himself so disrespectfully treated by such a sorry-looking individual and lost his temper.

“Did I hurt you so badly, SanchoLoading...,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “that you would see me dead so soon?”

“It is not that,” SanchoLoading... said, “but I hate keeping things to myself for so long.”

“At any rate,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “I have more confidence in your care and good nature, and so I would have you know that this last night, there befell me one of the strangest adventures that I could describe.

“To relate it to you briefly, you must know that a little while ago the daughter of the lord of this castle came to me and that she is the most elegant and beautiful damsel that could be found in the wide world. What I could tell you of the charms of her person! Of her lively wit! Of other secret matters which, to preserve the fidelity I owe to my lady DulcineaLoading... from El TobosoLoading..., I shall pass over unnoticed and in silence!

“I will only tell you that either fate is envious of so great a blessing placed in my hands by good fortune, or — and this is more likely — this castle is, as I already said, bewitched.

“When I was engaged in the sweetest and most amorous discourse with her, there came, without my seeing or knowing from where it came, a hand attached to some arm of some huge giant, that planted such a cuff on my jaws that I have them all bathed in blood, and then pummelled me in such a way that I am in a worse plight than yesterday when the carriers, on account of RocinanteLoading...'s misbehavior, inflicted on us the injury you know of.

“From this, I speculate that there must be some bewitched Moor guarding the treasure of this damsel's beauty and that it is not for me.”

Don QuixoteLoading..., with his hand to his head, was bewailing the pain.

“She is obviously not for me either,” SanchoLoading... said, “because it seems that more than four hundred Moors have so thrashed me that the beating with the stakes was a piece of cake in comparison.

“But tell me, sir, what do you call this excellent and rare adventure that has left us in the state we are in now? You were not so badly off, having in your arms that incomparable beauty you mentioned. But I, what did I have, except the heaviest whacks I think I had in all my life?

“Unlucky me and the mother that bore me! for I am not a knight-errant and never expect to be one, and of all the mishaps, the greater part falls to my share.”

He began to vomit in such a way that nothing was left in his stomach.

“Then you have been thrashed too?” Don QuixoteLoading... said.

“Didn't I tell you? It was terrible!” SanchoLoading... said.

“Don't be distressed, my friend,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “because I will now make the precious balsam I spoke of before, with which we shall cure ourselves in the twinkling of an eye.”

At that point, the Brotherhood member had succeeded in lighting the lamp, and he came in to see the man that he thought had been killed.

SanchoLoading... caught sight of him at the door and saw him coming in his shirt, with a cloth on his head, and a lamp in his hand, and with a very forbidding expression on his face.

SanchoLoading... said to his master, “Sir, can it be that this is the bewitched Moor coming back to give us more punishment?”

“Then this is an inn?” Don QuixoteLoading... said.

“It cannot be the Moor,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “because those who are under a spell do not let themselves be seen by anyone else.”

“They may not let themselves be seen, but they do let themselves be felt,” SanchoLoading... said. “If you don't believe me, let my shoulders make that point.”

“My shoulder could speak too,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “but that is not sufficient reason to believe that what we see is the bewitched Moor.”

The officer came up, and finding them engaged in such a peaceful conversation, he stood amazed, even though Don QuixoteLoading... was still laying on his back and unable to move from the beating and plasters. The officer turned to him and said, “Well, how goes it, good man?”

“You are a stupid, scurvy innkeeper,” Don QuixoteLoading... said.

“I would speak more politely if I were you,” Don QuixoteLoading... replied. “or is this how people from this country address knights-errant, you pinhead?”

The Brotherhood member, finding himself so disrespectfully treated by such a sorry-looking individual, lost his temper and, raising the lamp full of oil, struck Don QuixoteLoading... so hard on the head with it that he gave him a badly broken skull.

Now that is was dark, he snuck out, and SanchoLoading... Panza said, “That is certainly the bewitched Moor, Sir, and he keeps the treasure for others and leaves us only the punches and lamp-whacks.”

They dismounted SanchoLoading... from his ass.

“That is true,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, “and there is no reason why we should trouble ourselves with these matters of magic and witchcraft, or being angry or annoyed at them, because they are invisible and imaginary and so we shall find no one on whom to avenge ourselves, no matter what we do.

Rise, SanchoLoading..., if you can, and call the commander of this fortress, and get him to give me a little oil, wine, salt, and rosemary to make the healing balsam, because indeed I believe I have great need for it now, because I am losing much blood from the wound that ghost gave me.”

He was so bruised and battered that he could not even dismount.

SanchoLoading... got up with a lot of pain in his bones and went to look for the innkeeper in the dark. Instead, he met the officer, who was looking to see what had become of his enemy.

SanchoLoading... he said to him, “Sir, whoever you are, could you please give us a little rosemary, oil, salt, and wine, because we need it to cure one of the best knights-errant on earth, who lies on that bed over there wounded by the hands of the bewitched Moor that is in this inn.”

When the officer heard him talk like that, he took him for a man who was out of his mind, and because a new day was now beginning to break, he opened the inn gate, and called the host and told him what this good man wanted.

The host furnished him with what he required, and SanchoLoading... brought it to Don QuixoteLoading..., who, with his hand to his head, was bewailing the pain of the blow of the lamp, which had done him no more harm than a couple of rather large lumps, and what he fancied blood was only the sweat that flowed from him in his sufferings during the late storm.

To be brief, he took the materials, of which he made a compound, mixing them all and boiling them a good while until it seemed to him they had come to perfection. He then asked for some vial to pour it into, and as there was not one in the inn, he decided to put it into a tin oil-bottle or flask which the host gave him for free.

And over the flask he repeated more than eighty paternosters and as many more ave-Marias, salves, and credos, accompanying each word with a cross by way of benediction. The only ones who were present were SanchoLoading..., the innkeeper, and the Brotherhood member because the carrier was now peacefully engaged in attending to the comfort of his mules.

After he had done all of this, he could not wait to test the virtue of this precious balsam himself right then and there. He poured the potion from the pigskin in which it had been boiled into the flask, and then drank nearly a quarter of what remained in the pigskin.

But he was barely finished drinking when he began to vomit so heavily that he emptied his stomach. And with the pangs and spasms of vomiting he broke into a profuse sweat, and because of that, he asked them to cover him up and leave him alone.

They did so, and he slept for more than three hours.

After that, he woke up and felt such great bodily relief and so much ease from his bruises that he thought himself entirely cured, and he really believed that he had hit upon the balsam of Fierabras, and that with this remedy he might from that moment on, without any fear, face any kind of destruction, battle, or combat, however perilous it might be.

SanchoLoading... Panza, who regarded the improvement of his master's health as miraculous, begged him to give him some of what was left in the pigskin, which was quite a lot. Don QuixoteLoading... agreed, and SanchoLoading... took the pigskin with both hands and gulped down almost as much as his master.

But the fact is, that the stomach of poor SanchoLoading... was of necessity not so delicate as that of his master, and so, before vomiting, he gagged, and his bowels spasmed, and sweating, he almost passed out. He believed his last hour had come, and finding himself so racked and tormented he cursed the balsam and the thief that had given it to him.

“Friend,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, seeing him in that condition, “I am beginning to think that all that pain is happening to you because you have not received the order of knighthood, because it is my firm belief that anyone who isn't a knight cannot use this liquor.”

“If you knew that,” SanchoLoading... replied — “woe is me! — then why did you let me taste it?”

At that moment, the liquid took effect and, the poor squire began to discharge from both sides at such a rate that the straw mat on which he had thrown himself and the canvas blanketLoading... that covered him could not be used for anything else after that.

He sweated and perspired with such uncontrollable outbursts and convulsions that not only he but everyone who was present thought his end had come.

This storm and distress lasted for two hours, and, unlike his master, in the end, he was left so weak and exhausted that he could not even stand on his feet anymore.

Don QuixoteLoading..., however, felt himself relieved and well, and was eager to depart immediately in quest of adventures, as it seemed to him that all the time he loitered there was a fraud upon the world and those in it who stood in need of his help and protection, all the more when he had the security and confidence his balsam afforded him.

And so, urged by this impulse, he saddled RocinanteLoading... himself and put the pack-saddle on his squire's beast, and then he helped SanchoLoading... mount the ass. After this, he mounted his horse and turned to a corner of the inn. There, he took hold of a lance that stood there and which could serve as a lance.

Everyone who was in the inn — and there were more than twenty people — stood there as they watched him.

The innkeeper's daughter was observing him, and Don QuixoteLoading... too also never took his eyes off her, and from time to time he sighed a deep sigh. Everyone around thought the sighs must be from the pain he felt in his ribs, or at least the ones who had seen him plastered the night before thought so.

As soon as they were both mounted and at the gate of the inn, he called to the host and said in a very grave and measured voice, “Many and great are the favors, Sir Commander, that I have received in this castle of yours, and I remain under the deepest obligation to be grateful to you for them for the rest of my life. If I can repay them in avenging you of any arrogant foe who may have wronged you, know that my calling is no other than to aid the weak, to avenge those who suffer wrong, and to chastise betrayal. Search your memory, and if you find anything of this kind you need only tell me of it, and I promise you by the order of the knighthood which I have received to procure you satisfaction and reparation to the utmost of your desire.”

The innkeeper replied to him with equal calmness, “Sir Knight, I do not want you to avenge me of any wrong, because when any is done to me, I can take what vengeance seems good to me. The only thing I want is that you pay me the tab that you have run up in the inn last night, as well for the straw and barley for your two beasts, as for supper and beds.”

“Then this is an inn?” Don QuixoteLoading... said.

“And a very respectable one,” the innkeeper said.

“I have been mistaken all this time,” Don QuixoteLoading... answered, “because in truth I thought it was a castle and not a bad one. But since it appears that it is not a castle, but an inn, all that can be done now is that you should excuse the payment, because I cannot contravene the rule of knights-errant, of whom I know for a fact — and up to the present I have read nothing to the contrary — that they never paid for lodging or anything else in the inn where they stayed, because any hospitality that might be offered them is theirs by law and right in return for the insufferable toil they endure in seeking adventures by night and by day, in summer and winter, on foot and horseback, in hunger and thirst, cold and heat, exposed to all the unmerciful hardships of heaven and earth.”

“I have little to do with that,” the innkeeper replied, “pay me what you owe me, and let us have no more talk of chivalry because all I care about is to get my money.”

“You are a stupid, miserable innkeeper,” Don QuixoteLoading... said, and putting spurs to RocinanteLoading... and pointing his lance at the host he rode out of the inn before anyone could stop him, and got a good distance away from it without looking to see if his squire was following him.

When the innkeeper saw Don QuixoteLoading... go without paying him, he ran to SanchoLoading... to get payment from him. SanchoLoading... said that if his master would not pay, then neither would he, because, being as he was squire to a knight-errant, the same rule and reason held good for him as well for his master when it came to not paying anything in inns and hostelries.

This filled the innkeeper with anger and rage, and he made a threat to SanchoLoading... that if SanchoLoading... did not pay, he would compel him to do so in a way that he would not like.

To this, SanchoLoading... answered that by the law of chivalry his master had received, SanchoLoading... would sooner part with his life than his money, because he was not about to violate the excellent and ancient rights of knights-errant. Nor should the squires who were yet to come into the world ever complain about him setting a precedent by breaking so just a privilege.

Unfortunately for SanchoLoading..., as bad luck would have it, there happened to be among the company in the inn four clothes merchants from Segovia, three needle-makers from the Colt of Cordova, and two lodgers from the Fair of Seville, all lively fellows, tender-hearted and fond of a joke, and playful, who, almost as if instigated and moved by a common impulse, came up to SanchoLoading... and dismounted him from his ass, while one of them went inside for the blanketLoading... of the host's bed.

Then they flung SanchoLoading... into the blanketLoading.... When they looked up, they saw that the ceiling was somewhat lower than what they required for their work, and so they decided to go out into the yard, which was only bounded by the sky, and there, putting SanchoLoading... in the middle of the blanketLoading..., they began to throw him into the air, playing with him as they would with a dog at Shrovetide.

The cries of the poor blanketLoading...ed SanchoLoading... were so loud that they reached the ears of his master, who, halting to listen attentively, was convinced that some new adventure was coming until he saw that it was his squire who uttered them.

He turned around and came up to the inn with a lumbering gallop. Finding it shut, he went around it to see if he could find some way of getting in.

But as soon as he came to the wall of the yard, which was not very high, he discovered the game that was being played with his squire.

He saw him rising and falling in the air with such grace and skill that, had his rage allowed him, it is my belief he would have laughed.

He tried to climb from his horse and onto the top of the wall, but he was so bruised and battered that he could not even dismount. And so from the back of his horse, he began to fume and rage against those who were throwing SanchoLoading... into the air with a blanketLoading..., venting his passion in a thousand threats so strange and various that it is impossible to repeat them. But the more he raged, the more the men tossed and laughed as SanchoLoading... was begging and howling and threatening, all to no effect until the men became tired and left.

Then they charitably brought him his ass, mounted him on top of it and put his jacket around his shoulders.

And the compassionate MaritornesLoading..., seeing him so exhausted, thought fit to refresh him with a jug of water, and she fetched it from the well so that it might be all the cooler. SanchoLoading... took it and was raising it to his mouth when he was stopped by the cries of his master, who exclaimed, “SanchoLoading..., my son, do not drink water. Drink it not, my son, because it will kill you. See, here I have the blessed balsam — and he held up the flask of liquor — and with drinking two drops of it, you will certainly be restored.”

At these words, SanchoLoading... squinted his eyes, and in an even louder voice, he said, “Can it be that you have forgotten that I am not a knight, or do you want me to end with vomiting up what is left in my bowels after last night? Keep your liquor to yourself, and leave me to myself!” and he immediately began drinking. But at the first sip, he saw that it was water he did not care to go on with it and begged MaritornesLoading... to fetch him some wine, which she did with kindness, and she even paid for it with her own money. Because they do indeed say about her that, though she was in that line of life, there was some faint and distant resemblance to a Christian about her. When SanchoLoading... was finished drinking, he dug his heels into his ass, and the gate of the inn was thrown open as he passed out very well pleased at having paid nothing and stuck to his word, even though it had been at the expense of his shoulders.

It is true that the innkeeper detained his saddlebags in payment for what was owed to him, but SanchoLoading... took his departure in such a hurry that he never missed them.

The innkeeper, as soon as he saw him off, feared Don QuixoteLoading... wanted to return, and so he tried to close the gate. But the blanketLoading...ers would not agree to it, because they were fellows who would not have cared two coins for Don QuixoteLoading..., even if he had been one of the real knights-errant of the Round Table.