Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

contrary, finding a shower of stones come thick upon him, and a thousand crossbows presented, and as many guns levelled at him, he turned Rosinante about, and, as fast as he could gallop, got out from among them, recommending himself to God with all his heart, to deliver him from this danger, fearing at every step, lest some bullet should enter at his back and come out at his breast; and at every moment he fetched his breath, to try whether it failed him or not.

But those of the squadron were satisfied with seeing him fly, and did not shoot after him. As for Sancho, they set him again upon his ass, scarce come to himself, and suffered him to follow his master; not that he had sense to guide him; but Dapple naturally followed Rosinante's steps, not enduring to be a moment from him. Don Quixote, being got a good way off, turned about his head, and saw that Sancho followed; and, finding that nobody pursued him stopped till he came up.

Those of the squadron stayed there till night, and, the enemy not coming forth to battle, they returned to their own homes, joyful and merry; and, had they known the practice of the ancient Greeks, they would have erected a trophy in that place.


CHAPTER 28
Of things which, Ben Engeli says, he, who reads them, will know, if he reads them with attention.

WHEN the valiant flies, it is plain he is overmatched; for it is the part of the wise to reserve themselves for better occasions. This truth was verified in Don Quixote, who, giving way to the fury of the people, and to the evil intentions of that resentful squadron, took to his heels, and, without bethinking him of Sancho, or of the danger in which he left him, got as far on as he deemed sufficient for his safety. Sancho followed him athwart his beast, as has been said. At last he came up to him, having recovered his senses; and, at coming up, he fell from Dapple at the feet of Rosinante, all in anguish, all bruised, and all beaten. Don Quixote alighted to examine the wounds; but finding him whole from head to foot, with much choler he said:

'In an unlucky hour, Sancho, must you needs show your skill in braying; where did you learn, that it was fitting to name a halter in

-651-

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