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Home -> Miguel de Cervantes -> Don Quixote -> Chapter 13

Don Quixote - Chapter 13

1. The Author's Preface

2. Dedication of Volume I

3. Chapter 1

4. Chapter 2

5. Chapter 3

6. Chapter 4

7. Chapter 5

8. Chapter 6

9. Chapter 7

10. Chapter 8

11. Chapter 9

12. Chapter 10

13. Chapter 11

14. Chapter 12

15. Chapter 13

16. Chapter 14

17. Chapter 15

18. Chapter 16

19. Chapter 17

20. Chapter 18

21. Chapter 19

22. Chapter 20

23. Chapter 21

24. Chapter 22

25. Chapter 23

26. Chapter 24

27. Chapter 25

28. Chapter 26

29. Chapter 27

30. Chapter 28

31. Chapter 29

32. Chapter 30

33. Chapter 31

34. Chapter 32

35. Chapter 33

36. Chapter 34

37. Chapter 35

38. Chapter 36

39. Chapter 37

40. Chapter 38

41. Chapter 39

42. Chapter 40

43. Chapter 41

44. Chapter 42

45. Chapter 43

46. Chapter 44

47. Chapter 45

48. Chapter 46

49. Chapter 47

50. Chapter 48

51. Chapter 49

52. Chapter 50

53. Chapter 51

54. Chapter 52

55. Dedication of Volume II

56. The Author's Preface

57. Chapter 1

58. Chapter 2

59. Chapter 3

60. Chapter 4

61. Chapter 5

62. Chapter 6

63. Chapter 7

64. Chapter 8

65. Chapter 9

66. Chapter 10

67. Chapter 11

68. Chapter 12

69. Chapter 13

70. Chapter 14

71. Chapter 15

72. Chapter 16

73. Chapter 17

74. Chapter 18

75. Chapter 19

76. Chapter 20

77. Chapter 21

78. Chapter 22

79. Chapter 23

80. Chapter 24

81. Chapter 25

82. Chapter 26

83. Chapter 27

84. Chapter 28

85. Chapter 29

86. Chapter 30

87. Chapter 31

88. Chapter 32

89. Chapter 33

90. Chapter 34

91. Chapter 35

92. Chapter 36

93. Chapter 37

94. Chapter 38

95. Chapter 39

96. Chapter 40

97. Chapter 41

98. Chapter 42

99. Chapter 43

100. Chapter 44

101. Chapter 45

102. Chapter 46

103. Chapter 47

104. Chapter 48

105. Chapter 49

106. Chapter 50

107. Chapter 51

108. Chapter 52

109. Chapter 53

110. Chapter 54

111. Chapter 55

112. Chapter 56

113. Chapter 57

114. Chapter 58

115. Chapter 59

116. Chapter 60

117. Chapter 61

118. Chapter 62

119. Chapter 63

120. Chapter 64

121. Chapter 65

122. Chapter 66

123. Chapter 67

124. Chapter 68

125. Chapter 69

126. Chapter 70

127. Chapter 71

128. Chapter 72

129. Chapter 73

130. Chapter 74



The knights and the squires made two parties, these telling the story of
their lives, the others the story of their loves; but the history relates
first of all the conversation of the servants, and afterwards takes up
that of the masters; and it says that, withdrawing a little from the
others, he of the Grove said to Sancho, "A hard life it is we lead and
live, senor, we that are squires to knights-errant; verily, we eat our
bread in the sweat of our faces, which is one of the curses God laid on
our first parents."

"It may be said, too," added Sancho, "that we eat it in the chill of our
bodies; for who gets more heat and cold than the miserable squires of
knight-errantry? Even so it would not be so bad if we had something to
eat, for woes are lighter if there's bread; but sometimes we go a day or
two without breaking our fast, except with the wind that blows."

"All that," said he of the Grove, "may be endured and put up with when we
have hopes of reward; for, unless the knight-errant he serves is
excessively unlucky, after a few turns the squire will at least find
himself rewarded with a fine government of some island or some fair

"I," said Sancho, "have already told my master that I shall be content
with the government of some island, and he is so noble and generous that
he has promised it to me ever so many times."

"I," said he of the Grove, "shall be satisfied with a canonry for my
services, and my master has already assigned me one."

"Your master," said Sancho, "no doubt is a knight in the Church line, and
can bestow rewards of that sort on his good squire; but mine is only a
layman; though I remember some clever, but, to my mind, designing people,
strove to persuade him to try and become an archbishop. He, however,
would not be anything but an emperor; but I was trembling all the time
lest he should take a fancy to go into the Church, not finding myself fit
to hold office in it; for I may tell you, though I seem a man, I am no
better than a beast for the Church."

"Well, then, you are wrong there," said he of the Grove; "for those
island governments are not all satisfactory; some are awkward, some are
poor, some are dull, and, in short, the highest and choicest brings with
it a heavy burden of cares and troubles which the unhappy wight to whose
lot it has fallen bears upon his shoulders. Far better would it be for us
who have adopted this accursed service to go back to our own houses, and
there employ ourselves in pleasanter occupations--in hunting or fishing,
for instance; for what squire in the world is there so poor as not to
have a hack and a couple of greyhounds and a fishingrod to amuse himself
with in his own village?"

"I am not in want of any of those things," said Sancho; "to be sure I
have no hack, but I have an ass that is worth my master's horse twice
over; God send me a bad Easter, and that the next one I am to see, if I
would swap, even if I got four bushels of barley to boot. You will laugh
at the value I put on my Dapple--for dapple is the colour of my beast. As
to greyhounds, I can't want for them, for there are enough and to spare
in my town; and, moreover, there is more pleasure in sport when it is at
other people's expense."

"In truth and earnest, sir squire," said he of the Grove, "I have made up
my mind and determined to have done with these drunken vagaries of these
knights, and go back to my village, and bring up my children; for I have
three, like three Oriental pearls."

"I have two," said Sancho, "that might be presented before the Pope
himself, especially a girl whom I am breeding up for a countess, please
God, though in spite of her mother."

"And how old is this lady that is being bred up for a countess?" asked he
of the Grove.

"Fifteen, a couple of years more or less," answered Sancho; "but she is
as tall as a lance, and as fresh as an April morning, and as strong as a

"Those are gifts to fit her to be not only a countess but a nymph of the
greenwood," said he of the Grove; "whoreson strumpet! what pith the rogue
must have!"

To which Sancho made answer, somewhat sulkily, "She's no strumpet, nor
was her mother, nor will either of them be, please God, while I live;
speak more civilly; for one bred up among knights-errant, who are
courtesy itself, your words don't seem to me to be very becoming."

"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."

Sancho ate without requiring to be pressed, and in the dark bolted
mouthfuls like the knots on a tether, and said he, "You are a proper
trusty squire, one of the right sort, sumptuous and grand, as this
banquet shows, which, if it has not come here by magic art, at any rate
has the look of it; not like me, unlucky beggar, that have nothing more
in my alforjas than a scrap of cheese, so hard that one might brain a
giant with it, and, to keep it company, a few dozen carobs and as many
more filberts and walnuts; thanks to the austerity of my master, and the
idea he has and the rule he follows, that knights-errant must not live or
sustain themselves on anything except dried fruits and the herbs of the

"By my faith, brother," said he of the Grove, "my stomach is not made for
thistles, or wild pears, or roots of the woods; let our masters do as
they like, with their chivalry notions and laws, and eat what those
enjoin; I carry my prog-basket and this bota hanging to the saddle-bow,
whatever they may say; and it is such an object of worship with me, and I
love it so, that there is hardly a moment but I am kissing and embracing
it over and over again;" and so saying he thrust it into Sancho's hands,
who raising it aloft pointed to his mouth, gazed at the stars for a
quarter of an hour; and when he had done drinking let his head fall on
one side, and giving a deep sigh, exclaimed, "Ah, whoreson rogue, how
catholic it is!"

"There, you see," said he of the Grove, hearing Sancho's exclamation,
"how you have called this wine whoreson by way of praise."

"Well," said Sancho, "I own it, and I grant it is no dishonour to call
anyone whoreson when it is to be understood as praise. But tell me,
senor, by what you love best, is this Ciudad Real wine?"

"O rare wine-taster!" said he of the Grove; "nowhere else indeed does it
come from, and it has some years' age too."

"Leave me alone for that," said Sancho; "never fear but I'll hit upon the
place it came from somehow. What would you say, sir squire, to my having
such a great natural instinct in judging wines that you have only to let
me smell one and I can tell positively its country, its kind, its flavour
and soundness, the changes it will undergo, and everything that
appertains to a wine? But it is no wonder, for I have had in my family,
on my father's side, the two best wine-tasters that have been known in La
Mancha for many a long year, and to prove it I'll tell you now a thing
that happened them. They gave the two of them some wine out of a cask, to
try, asking their opinion as to the condition, quality, goodness or
badness of the wine. One of them tried it with the tip of his tongue, the
other did no more than bring it to his nose. The first said the wine had
a flavour of iron, the second said it had a stronger flavour of cordovan.
The owner said the cask was clean, and that nothing had been added to the
wine from which it could have got a flavour of either iron or leather.
Nevertheless, these two great wine-tasters held to what they had said.
Time went by, the wine was sold, and when they came to clean out the
cask, they found in it a small key hanging to a thong of cordovan; see
now if one who comes of the same stock has not a right to give his
opinion in such like cases."

"Therefore, I say," said he of the Grove, "let us give up going in quest
of adventures, and as we have loaves let us not go looking for cakes, but
return to our cribs, for God will find us there if it be his will."

"Until my master reaches Saragossa," said Sancho, "I'll remain in his
service; after that we'll see."

The end of it was that the two squires talked so much and drank so much
that sleep had to tie their tongues and moderate their thirst, for to
quench it was impossible; and so the pair of them fell asleep clinging to
the now nearly empty bota and with half-chewed morsels in their mouths;
and there we will leave them for the present, to relate what passed
between the Knight of the Grove and him of the Rueful Countenance.

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