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CHAPTER XIII. (CONT'D)
"O how little you know about compliments, sir squire," returned he of the Grove. "What! don't you know that when a horseman delivers a good lance thrust at the bull in the plaza, or when anyone does anything very well, the people are wont to say, 'Ha, whoreson rip! how well he has done it!' and that what seems to be abuse in the expression is high praise? Disown sons and daughters, senor, who don't do what deserves that compliments of this sort should be paid to their parents."
"I do disown them," replied Sancho, "and in this way, and by the same reasoning, you might call me and my children and my wife all the strumpets in the world, for all they do and say is of a kind that in the highest degree deserves the same praise; and to see them again I pray God to deliver me from mortal sin, or, what comes to the same thing, to deliver me from this perilous calling of squire into which I have fallen a second time, decayed and beguiled by a purse with a hundred ducats that I found one day in the heart of the Sierra Morena; and the devil is always putting a bag full of doubloons before my eyes, here, there, everywhere, until I fancy at every stop I am putting my hand on it, and hugging it, and carrying it home with me, and making investments, and getting interest, and living like a prince; and so long as I think of this I make light of all the hardships I endure with this simpleton of a master of mine, who, I well know, is more of a madman than a knight."
"There's why they say that 'covetousness bursts the bag,'" said he of the Grove; "but if you come to talk of that sort, there is not a greater one in the world than my master, for he is one of those of whom they say, 'the cares of others kill the ass;' for, in order that another knight may recover the senses he has lost, he makes a madman of himself and goes looking for what, when found, may, for all I know, fly in his own face." "And is he in love perchance?" asked Sancho.
"He is," said of the Grove, "with one Casildea de Vandalia, the rawest and best roasted lady the whole world could produce; but that rawness is not the only foot he limps on, for he has greater schemes rumbling in his bowels, as will be seen before many hours are over."
"There's no road so smooth but it has some hole or hindrance in it," said Sancho; "in other houses they cook beans, but in mine it's by the potful; madness will have more followers and hangers-on than sound sense; but if there be any truth in the common saying, that to have companions in trouble gives some relief, I may take consolation from you, inasmuch as you serve a master as crazy as my own."
"Crazy but valiant," replied he of the Grove, "and more roguish than crazy or valiant."
"Mine is not that," said Sancho; "I mean he has nothing of the rogue in him; on the contrary, he has the soul of a pitcher; he has no thought of doing harm to anyone, only good to all, nor has he any malice whatever in him; a child might persuade him that it is night at noonday; and for this simplicity I love him as the core of my heart, and I can't bring myself to leave him, let him do ever such foolish things."
"For all that, brother and senor," said he of the Grove, "if the blind lead the blind, both are in danger of falling into the pit. It is better for us to beat a quiet retreat and get back to our own quarters; for those who seek adventures don't always find good ones."
Sancho kept spitting from time to time, and his spittle seemed somewhat ropy and dry, observing which the compassionate squire of the Grove said, "It seems to me that with all this talk of ours our tongues are sticking to the roofs of our mouths; but I have a pretty good loosener hanging from the saddle-bow of my horse," and getting up he came back the next minute with a large bota of wine and a pasty half a yard across; and this is no exaggeration, for it was made of a house rabbit so big that Sancho, as he handled it, took it to be made of a goat, not to say a kid, and looking at it he said, "And do you carry this with you, senor?"
"Why, what are you thinking about?" said the other; "do you take me for some paltry squire? I carry a better larder on my horse's croup than a general takes with him when he goes on a march."
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