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

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

Quijote, rolling him out of his bedspread and sheets and pinching him so vigorously that he couldn't help punching out at them, in self defense — the whole affair going on in utter silence. It was a battle that lasted fully half an hour, and then the phantasmic figures rushed out, Doña Rodríguez straightened her skirts and, bemoaning her misfortune, went out the open door, not saying a word to Don Quijote, who was thus left alone, unhappy and well-pinched, bewildered and lost in thought — and there we will leave him, trying to understand which wicked enchanter, this time, had done all these things to him. But that too will be revealed, in good time, because Sancho Panza (not to mention the proper telling of our tale) is calling us elsewhere.


Chapter Forty-Nine

— what happened to Sancho Panza, as he patrolled his island

When we left our great governor, he was furious at the rascally portrait‐ painter farmer, who had been instructed by the steward, as the steward had been instructed by the duke, to make fun of Sancho, but no matter how silly and coarse and fat he might be, Sancho hadn't let anyone roll over him, informing all those around him (including Doctor Pedro Recio), who had come back into the room once the duke's confidential communication had been taken care of:

"Ha! Now I see just how smart judges and governors have to be — and maybe they ought to be made of brass — to keep from being bothered by all these pesky businessmen, who want to be listened to and waited on, in season and out, all day long, just worrying about their own affairs, come hell or high water, and if the poor judge doesn't give them a hearing, and take care of them, even if it's not something the judge can do, or it just isn't the right time for handling those things, then they curse him, and tell stories about him, and start gnawing at his bones, and even make fun of his ancestors. Well, you pigheaded idiots, you stupid fools, just you keep your pants on, and wait for the right time and the right occasion for conducting your business. Don't show up when it's dinner time, or bed time, because judges are made out of flesh and blood, and they have to yield to Nature just the way all men do — except me, that is, thanks to my lord Doctor Pedro Recio Tirteafuera, who's standing right here, who wants to starve me to death and insists his kind of dying is really living, so I hope God grants him, and all those like him, exactly that kind of life — and of course I'm talking about bad doctors, because the good ones deserve prizes and laurel wreaths."

Those who knew Sancho Panza were astonished, hearing him speak so well, and didn't know what was responsible, except perhaps that serious posts and professions can either improve the mind or utterly ruin it. In the end, Doctor Pedro Recio Agüero from Tirteafuera promised to let Sancho have his dinner, that night, even if it violated all the maxims of Hippocrates. And this promise satisfied the governor, who then began to eagerly, even somewhat desperately, anticipate the coming of night and his dinner time,

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