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WHICH TREATS OF THE NOTABLE ALTERCATION WHICH SANCHO PANZA HAD WITH DON QUIXOTE'S NIECE, AND HOUSEKEEPER, TOGETHER WITH OTHER DROLL MATTERS
The history relates that the outcry Don Quixote, the curate, and the barber heard came from the niece and the housekeeper exclaiming to Sancho, who was striving to force his way in to see Don Quixote while they held the door against him, "What does the vagabond want in this house? Be off to your own, brother, for it is you, and no one else, that delude my master, and lead him astray, and take him tramping about the country."
To which Sancho replied, "Devil's own housekeeper! it is I who am deluded, and led astray, and taken tramping about the country, and not thy master! He has carried me all over the world, and you are mightily mistaken. He enticed me away from home by a trick, promising me an island, which I am still waiting for."
"May evil islands choke thee, thou detestable Sancho," said the niece; "What are islands? Is it something to eat, glutton and gormandiser that thou art?"
"It is not something to eat," replied Sancho, "but something to govern and rule, and better than four cities or four judgeships at court."
"For all that," said the housekeeper, "you don't enter here, you bag of mischief and sack of knavery; go govern your house and dig your seed-patch, and give over looking for islands or shylands."
The curate and the barber listened with great amusement to the words of the three; but Don Quixote, uneasy lest Sancho should blab and blurt out a whole heap of mischievous stupidities, and touch upon points that might not be altogether to his credit, called to him and made the other two hold their tongues and let him come in. Sancho entered, and the curate and the barber took their leave of Don Quixote, of whose recovery they despaired when they saw how wedded he was to his crazy ideas, and how saturated with the nonsense of his unlucky chivalry; and said the curate to the barber, "You will see, gossip, that when we are least thinking of it, our gentleman will be off once more for another flight."
"I have no doubt of it," returned the barber; "but I do not wonder so much at the madness of the knight as at the simplicity of the squire, who has such a firm belief in all that about the island, that I suppose all the exposures that could be imagined would not get it out of his head."
"God help them," said the curate; "and let us be on the look-out to see what comes of all these absurdities of the knight and squire, for it seems as if they had both been cast in the same mould, and the madness of the master without the simplicity of the man would not be worth a farthing."
"That is true," said the barber, "and I should like very much to know what the pair are talking about at this moment."
"I promise you," said the curate, "the niece or the housekeeper will tell us by-and-by, for they are not the ones to forget to listen."
Meanwhile Don Quixote shut himself up in his room with Sancho, and when they were alone he said to him, "It grieves me greatly, Sancho, that thou shouldst have said, and sayest, that I took thee out of thy cottage, when thou knowest I did not remain in my house. We sallied forth together, we took the road together, we wandered abroad together; we have had the same fortune and the same luck; if they blanketed thee once, they belaboured me a hundred times, and that is the only advantage I have of thee."
"That was only reasonable," replied Sancho, "for, by what your worship says, misfortunes belong more properly to knights-errant than to their squires."
"Thou art mistaken, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "according to the maxim quando caput dolet, etc."
"I don't understand any language but my own," said Sancho.
"I mean to say," said Don Quixote, "that when the head suffers all the members suffer; and so, being thy lord and master, I am thy head, and thou a part of me as thou art my servant; and therefore any evil that affects or shall affect me should give thee pain, and what affects thee give pain to me."
"It should be so," said Sancho; "but when I was blanketed as a member, my head was on the other side of the wall, looking on while I was flying through the air, and did not feel any pain whatever; and if the members are obliged to feel the suffering of the head, it should be obliged to feel their sufferings."
"Dost thou mean to say now, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that I did not feel when they were blanketing thee? If thou dost, thou must not say so or think so, for I felt more pain then in spirit than thou didst in body.
But let us put that aside for the present, for we shall have opportunities enough for considering and settling the point; tell me, Sancho my friend, what do they say about me in the village here? What do the common people think of me? What do the hidalgos? What do the caballeros? What do they say of my valour; of my achievements; of my courtesy? How do they treat the task I have undertaken in reviving and restoring to the world the now forgotten order of chivalry? In short, Sancho, I would have thee tell me all that has come to thine ears on this subject; and thou art to tell me, without adding anything to the good or taking away anything from the bad; for it is the duty of loyal vassals to tell the truth to their lords just as it is and in its proper shape, not allowing flattery to add to it or any idle deference to lessen it.
And I would have thee know, Sancho, that if the naked truth, undisguised by flattery, came to the ears of princes, times would be different, and other ages would be reckoned iron ages more than ours, which I hold to be the golden of these latter days. Profit by this advice, Sancho, and report to me clearly and faithfully the truth of what thou knowest touching what I have demanded of thee."
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