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CHAPTER II. (CONT'D)
"That I will do with all my heart, master," replied Sancho, "provided your worship will not be vexed at what I say, as you wish me to say it out in all its nakedness, without putting any more clothes on it than it came to my knowledge in."
"I will not be vexed at all," returned Don Quixote; "thou mayest speak freely, Sancho, and without any beating about the bush."
"Well then," said he, "first of all, I have to tell you that the common people consider your worship a mighty great madman, and me no less a fool. The hidalgos say that, not keeping within the bounds of your quality of gentleman, you have assumed the 'Don,' and made a knight of yourself at a jump, with four vine-stocks and a couple of acres of land, and never a shirt to your back. The caballeros say they do not want to have hidalgos setting up in opposition to them, particularly squire hidalgos who polish their own shoes and darn their black stockings with green silk."
"That," said Don Quixote, "does not apply to me, for I always go well dressed and never patched; ragged I may be, but ragged more from the wear and tear of arms than of time."
"As to your worship's valour, courtesy, accomplishments, and task, there is a variety of opinions. Some say, 'mad but droll;' others, 'valiant but unlucky;' others, 'courteous but meddling,' and then they go into such a number of things that they don't leave a whole bone either in your worship or in myself."
"Recollect, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that wherever virtue exists in an eminent degree it is persecuted. Few or none of the famous men that have lived escaped being calumniated by malice. Julius Caesar, the boldest, wisest, and bravest of captains, was charged with being ambitious, and not particularly cleanly in his dress, or pure in his morals. Of Alexander, whose deeds won him the name of Great, they say that he was somewhat of a drunkard. Of Hercules, him of the many labours, it is said that he was lewd and luxurious. Of Don Galaor, the brother of Amadis of Gaul, it was whispered that he was over quarrelsome, and of his brother that he was lachrymose. So that, O Sancho, amongst all these calumnies against good men, mine may be let pass, since they are no more than thou hast said."
"That's just where it is, body of my father!"
"Is there more, then?" asked Don Quixote.
"There's the tail to be skinned yet," said Sancho; "all so far is cakes and fancy bread; but if your worship wants to know all about the calumnies they bring against you, I will fetch you one this instant who can tell you the whole of them without missing an atom; for last night the son of Bartholomew Carrasco, who has been studying at Salamanca, came home after having been made a bachelor, and when I went to welcome him, he told me that your worship's history is already abroad in books, with the title of THE INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA; and he says they mention me in it by my own name of Sancho Panza, and the lady Dulcinea del Toboso too, and divers things that happened to us when we were alone; so that I crossed myself in my wonder how the historian who wrote them down could have known them."
"I promise thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "the author of our history will be some sage enchanter; for to such nothing that they choose to write about is hidden."
"What!" said Sancho, "a sage and an enchanter! Why, the bachelor Samson Carrasco (that is the name of him I spoke of) says the author of the history is called Cide Hamete Berengena."
"That is a Moorish name," said Don Quixote.
"May be so," replied Sancho; "for I have heard say that the Moors are mostly great lovers of berengenas."
"Thou must have mistaken the surname of this 'Cide'--which means in Arabic 'Lord'--Sancho," observed Don Quixote.
"Very likely," replied Sancho, "but if your worship wishes me to fetch the bachelor I will go for him in a twinkling."
"Thou wilt do me a great pleasure, my friend," said Don Quixote, "for what thou hast told me has amazed me, and I shall not eat a morsel that will agree with me until I have heard all about it."
"Then I am off for him," said Sancho; and leaving his master he went in quest of the bachelor, with whom he returned in a short time, and, all three together, they had a very droll colloquy.
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