The History of That Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quijote de la Mancha

By Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra; Burton Raffel | Go to book overview

if you've made up your mind you're going to be a governor, no matter what, then take our son Sancho with you, so you can start to teach him to be a governor, too, because it's good for children to inherit and learn how to practice their fathers' trade."

"When I get to be a governor," said Sancho, "I'll send a letter for him to come to me, and I'll send you money, because I won't be short of that: there's never any problem finding people to lend governors money, when they haven't got it handy. And you be sure to dress him up so he doesn't look like what he is, but what he's going to be."

"You send the money," said Teresa, "and I'll dress him up for you like a Christmas tree."

"So then we're agreed," said Sancho, "that our daughter has to be a countess."

"The day I see her a countess," replied Teresa, "will be like the day I bury her but let me tell you, again, you do whatever you want to, because women are born with this responsibility: we have to obey our husbands, even if they're stupid fools."

And then she began to weep so hard that it was as if she could already see her Sanchica dead and buried. Sancho comforted her, saying that even though he'd have to make the girl a countess, he'd wait to do it just as long as he could. And that finished their conversation, and Sancho went back to see Don Quijote, to make arrangements for their departure.


Chapter Six

what took place between Don Quijote and his niece and his
housekeeper: one of the most important chapters in this entire history

While Sancho Panza and his wife, Teresa Cascajo, were engaged in the aforesaid hopelessly irrelevant conversation, Don Quijote's niece and his housekeeper were not just marking time, because they saw by a thousand signals that their uncle and master was planning on running off for the third time, to resume what they thought of as the evil profession of knight errantry, so they tried in every way possible to lead him away from so wicked an idea but it was all like preaching in the wilderness and hammering on cold iron. All the same, during one of the many, many arguments they had with him, the housekeeper told him:

"I tell you, my lord, if your grace won't stay home, nice and peaceful‐ like, and you're going to let yourself wander around all those mountains and valleys like a tormented soul, looking for these things you call adventures, but I call disasters, I think I'm just going to scream and wail to God and the King to help us."

To which Don Quijote replied:

"Housekeeper, I have no idea what God will say, when you complain to Him, nor what His Majesty will say, either, because all I know is that, if I were king, I wouldn't bother replying to all the infinity of irrelevant petitions I'd receive every day indeed, one of the most serious problems kings have to deal with, and they have a lot of them, is being obliged to

-378-

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