Don Quixote - Part I (Chapter III, page 1 of 5)


Previous Page
Next Page

WHEREIN IS RELATED THE DROLL WAY IN WHICH DON QUIXOTE HAD HIMSELF DUBBED
A KNIGHT


Harassed by this reflection, he made haste with his scanty pothouse
supper, and having finished it called the landlord, and shutting himself
into the stable with him, fell on his knees before him, saying, "From
this spot I rise not, valiant knight, until your courtesy grants me the
boon I seek, one that will redound to your praise and the benefit of the
human race." The landlord, seeing his guest at his feet and hearing a
speech of this kind, stood staring at him in bewilderment, not knowing
what to do or say, and entreating him to rise, but all to no purpose
until he had agreed to grant the boon demanded of him. "I looked for no
less, my lord, from your High Magnificence," replied Don Quixote, "and I
have to tell you that the boon I have asked and your liberality has
granted is that you shall dub me knight to-morrow morning, and that
to-night I shall watch my arms in the chapel of this your castle; thus
tomorrow, as I have said, will be accomplished what I so much desire,
enabling me lawfully to roam through all the four quarters of the world
seeking adventures on behalf of those in distress, as is the duty of
chivalry and of knights-errant like myself, whose ambition is directed to
such deeds."

The landlord, who, as has been mentioned, was something of a wag, and had
already some suspicion of his guest's want of wits, was quite convinced
of it on hearing talk of this kind from him, and to make sport for the
night he determined to fall in with his humour. So he told him he was
quite right in pursuing the object he had in view, and that such a motive
was natural and becoming in cavaliers as distinguished as he seemed and
his gallant bearing showed him to be; and that he himself in his younger
days had followed the same honourable calling, roaming in quest of
adventures in various parts of the world, among others the Curing-grounds
of Malaga, the Isles of Riaran, the Precinct of Seville, the Little
Market of Segovia, the Olivera of Valencia, the Rondilla of Granada, the
Strand of San Lucar, the Colt of Cordova, the Taverns of Toledo, and
divers other quarters, where he had proved the nimbleness of his feet and
the lightness of his fingers, doing many wrongs, cheating many widows,
ruining maids and swindling minors, and, in short, bringing himself under
the notice of almost every tribunal and court of justice in Spain; until
at last he had retired to this castle of his, where he was living upon
his property and upon that of others; and where he received all
knights-errant of whatever rank or condition they might be, all for the
great love he bore them and that they might share their substance with
him in return for his benevolence. He told him, moreover, that in this
castle of his there was no chapel in which he could watch his armour, as
it had been pulled down in order to be rebuilt, but that in a case of
necessity it might, he knew, be watched anywhere, and he might watch it
that night in a courtyard of the castle, and in the morning, God willing,
the requisite ceremonies might be performed so as to have him dubbed a
knight, and so thoroughly dubbed that nobody could be more so. He asked
if he had any money with him, to which Don Quixote replied that he had
not a farthing, as in the histories of knights-errant he had never read
of any of them carrying any. On this point the landlord told him he was
mistaken; for, though not recorded in the histories, because in the
author's opinion there was no need to mention anything so obvious and
necessary as money and clean shirts, it was not to be supposed therefore
that they did not carry them, and he might regard it as certain and
established that all knights-errant (about whom there were so many full
and unimpeachable books) carried well-furnished purses in case of
emergency, and likewise carried shirts and a little box of ointment to
cure the wounds they received. For in those plains and deserts where they
engaged in combat and came out wounded, it was not always that there was
some one to cure them, unless indeed they had for a friend some sage
magician to succour them at once by fetching through the air upon a cloud
some damsel or dwarf with a vial of water of such virtue that by tasting
one drop of it they were cured of their hurts and wounds in an instant
and left as sound as if they had not received any damage whatever. But in
case this should not occur, the knights of old took care to see that
their squires were provided with money and other requisites, such as lint
and ointments for healing purposes; and when it happened that knights had
no squires (which was rarely and seldom the case) they themselves carried
everything in cunning saddle-bags that were hardly seen on the horse's
croup, as if it were something else of more importance, because, unless
for some such reason, carrying saddle-bags was not very favourably
regarded among knights-errant. He therefore advised him (and, as his
godson so soon to be, he might even command him) never from that time
forth to travel without money and the usual requirements, and he would
find the advantage of them when he least expected it.

Previous Page
Next Page


Rate This Book

Current Rating: 2.4/5 (60 votes cast)



Review This Book or Post a Comment