Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Charles Jarvis et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 49
Of the ingenious conference between Sancho Panza and his master Don Quixote.

'HA!' quoth Sancho, 'now I have caught you: this is what I longed to know with all my heart and soul. Come on, sir, can you deny what is commonly said everywhere, when a person is in the dumps; I know not what such or such a one ails; he neither eats, nor drinks, nor sleeps, nor answers to the purpose when he is asked a question; he looks as if he were enchanted. From whence it is concluded, that they who do not eat, nor drink, nor sleep, nor perform the natural actions I speak of, such only are enchanted, and not they who have such calls as your worship has, and who eat and drink when they can get it, and answer to all that is asked them.'

'You say right, Sancho,' answered Don Quixote: 'but I have already told you, that there are sundry sorts of enchantments, and it may have so fallen out, that, in process of time, they may have been changed from one to another, and that now it may be the fashion for those who are enchanted to do as I do, though formerly they did not; so that there is no arguing, nor drawing consequences against the custom of the times. I know, and am verily persuaded, that I am enchanted; and that is sufficient for the discharge of my conscience, which would be heavily burdened if I thought I was not enchanted, and should suffer myself to lie in this cage like a coward, defrauding the necessitous and oppressed of that succour I might have afforded them, when perhaps, at this very moment, they may be in extreme want of my aid and protection.'

'But for all that,' replied Sancho, 'I say, for your greater and more abundant satisfaction, your worship would do well to endeavour to get out of this prison; which I will undertake to facilitate with all my might, and to effect it too; and then you may once more mount your trusty Rosinante, who seems as if he were enchanted too, so melancholy and dejected is he. And, when this is done, we may again try our fortune in search of adventures: and should it not succeed well, we shall have time enough to return to the cage, in which I promise, on the faith of a trusty and loyal squire, to shut myself up with your worship, if perchance you prove so unhappy, or I so simple, as to fail in the performance of what I say.'

-434-

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