In which the narrative of our knight's mishap is continued
Finding, then, that, in fact he could not move, he thought himself of
having recourse to his usual remedy, which was to think of some passage
in his books, and his craze brought to his mind that about Baldwin and
the Marquis of Mantua, when Carloto left him wounded on the mountain
side, a story known by heart by the children, not forgotten by the young
men, and lauded and even believed by the old folk; and for all that not a
whit truer than the miracles of Mahomet. This seemed to him to fit
exactly the case in which he found himself, so, making a show of severe
suffering, he began to roll on the ground and with feeble breath repeat
the very words which the wounded knight of the wood is said to have
Where art thou, lady mine, that thou
My sorrow dost not rue?
Thou canst not know it, lady mine,
Or else thou art untrue.
And so he went on with the ballad as far as the lines:
O noble Marquis of Mantua,
My Uncle and liege lord!
As chance would have it, when he had got to this line there happened to
come by a peasant from his own village, a neighbour of his, who had been
with a load of wheat to the mill, and he, seeing the man stretched there,
came up to him and asked him who he was and what was the matter with him
that he complained so dolefully.
Don Quixote was firmly persuaded that this was the Marquis of Mantua, his
uncle, so the only answer he made was to go on with his ballad, in which
he told the tale of his misfortune, and of the loves of the Emperor's son
and his wife all exactly as the ballad sings it.
The peasant stood amazed at hearing such nonsense, and relieving him of
the visor, already battered to pieces by blows, he wiped his face, which
was covered with dust, and as soon as he had done so he recognised him
and said, "Señor Quixada" (for so he appears to have been called when he
was in his senses and had not yet changed from a quiet country gentleman
into a knight-errant), "who has brought your worship to this pass?" But
to all questions the other only went on with his ballad.
Seeing this, the good man removed as well as he could his breastplate and
backpiece to see if he had any wound, but he could perceive no blood nor
any mark whatever. He then contrived to raise him from the ground, and
with no little difficulty hoisted him upon his ass, which seemed to him
to be the easiest mount for him; and collecting the arms, even to the
splinters of the lance, he tied them on Rocinante, and leading him by the
bridle and the ass by the halter he took the road for the village, very
sad to hear what absurd stuff Don Quixote was talking.
Nor was Don Quixote less so, for what with blows and bruises he could not
sit upright on the ass, and from time to time he sent up sighs to heaven,
so that once more he drove the peasant to ask what ailed him. And it
could have been only the devil himself that put into his head tales to
match his own adventures, for now, forgetting Baldwin, he bethought
himself of the Moor Abindarráez, when the Alcaide of Antequera, Rodrigo
de Narváez, took him prisoner and carried him away to his castle; so that
when the peasant again asked him how he was and what ailed him, he gave
him for reply the same words and phrases that the captive Abindarráez
gave to Rodrigo de Narváez, just as he had read the story in the "Diana"
of Jorge de Montemayor where it is written, applying it to his own case
so aptly that the peasant went along cursing his fate that he had to
listen to such a lot of nonsense; from which, however, he came to the
conclusion that his neighbour was mad, and so made all haste to reach the
village to escape the wearisomeness of this harangue of Don Quixote's;
who, at the end of it, said, "Señor Don Rodrigo de Narváez, your worship
must know that this fair Xarifa I have mentioned is now the lovely
Dulcinea del Toboso, for whom I have done, am doing, and will do the most
famous deeds of chivalry that in this world have been seen, are to be
seen, or ever shall be seen."
To this the peasant answered, "Señor--sinner that I am!--cannot your
worship see that I am not Don Rodrigo de Narváez nor the Marquis of
Mantua, but Pedro Alonso your neighbour, and that your worship is neither
Baldwin nor Abindarráez, but the worthy gentleman Señor Quixada?"
"I know who I am," replied Don Quixote, "and I know that I may be not
only those I have named, but all the Twelve Peers of France and even all
the Nine Worthies, since my achievements surpass all that they have done
all together and each of them on his own account."
With this talk and more of the same kind they reached the village just as
night was beginning to fall, but the peasant waited until it was a little
later that the belaboured gentleman might not be seen riding in such a
miserable trim. When it was what seemed to him the proper time he entered
the village and went to Don Quixote's house, which he found all in
confusion, and there were the curate and the village barber, who were
great friends of Don Quixote, and his housekeeper was saying to them in a
loud voice, "What does your worship think can have befallen my master,
Señor Licentiate Pero Pérez?" for so the curate was called; "it is three
days now since anything has been seen of him, or the hack, or the
buckler, lance, or armour. Miserable me! I am certain of it, and it is as
true as that I was born to die, that these accursed books of chivalry he
has, and has got into the way of reading so constantly, have upset his
reason; for now I remember having often heard him saying to himself that
he would turn knight-errant and go all over the world in quest of
adventures. To the devil and Barabbas with such books, that have brought
to ruin in this way the finest understanding there was in all La Mancha!"
The niece said the same, and, more: "You must know, Master Nicholas"--for
that was the name of the barber--"it was often my uncle's way to stay two
days and nights together poring over these unholy books of misventures,
after which he would fling the book away and snatch up his sword and fall
to slashing the walls; and when he was tired out he would say he had
killed four giants like four towers; and the sweat that flowed from him
when he was weary he said was the blood of the wounds he had received in
battle; and then he would drink a great jug of cold water and become calm
and quiet, saying that this water was a most precious potion which the
sage Esquife, a great magician and friend of his, had brought him. But I
take all the blame upon myself for never having told your worships of my
uncle's vagaries, that you might put a stop to them before things had
come to this pass, and burn all these accursed books--for he has a great
number--that richly deserve to be burned like heretics."
"So say I too," said the curate, "and by my faith to-morrow shall not
pass without public judgment upon them, and may they be condemned to the
flames lest they lead those that read to behave as my good friend seems
to have behaved."
All this the peasant heard, and from it he understood at last what was
the matter with his neighbour, so he began calling aloud, "Open, your
worships, to Señor Baldwin and to Señor the Marquis of Mantua, who comes
badly wounded, and to Senor Abindarráez, the Moor, whom the valiant
Rodrigo de Narváez, the Alcaide of Antequera, brings captive."
At these words they all hurried out, and when they recognised their
friend, master, and uncle, who had not yet dismounted from the ass
because he could not, they ran to embrace him.
"Hold!" said he, "for I am badly wounded through my horse's fault; carry
me to bed, and if possible send for the wise Urganda to cure and see to
"See there! plague on it!" cried the housekeeper at this: "did not my
heart tell the truth as to which foot my master went lame of? To bed with
your worship at once, and we will contrive to cure you here without
fetching that Hurgada. A curse I say once more, and a hundred times more,
on those books of chivalry that have brought your worship to such a pass."
They carried him to bed at once, and after searching for his wounds could
find none, but he said they were all bruises from having had a severe
fall with his horse Rocinante when in combat with ten giants, the biggest
and the boldest to be found on earth.
"So, so!" said the curate, "are there giants in the dance? By the sign of
the Cross I will burn them to-morrow before the day over."
They put a host of questions to Don Quixote, but his only answer to all
was — give him something to eat, and leave him to sleep, for that was what
he needed most. They did so, and the curate questioned the peasant at
great length as to how he had found Don Quixote. He told him, and the
nonsense he had talked when found and on the way home, all which made the
licentiate the more eager to do what he did the next day, which was to
summon his friend the barber, Master Nicholas, and go with him to Don