Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

The letters caused much laughter, applause, esteem and admiration: and, to put the seal to the whole, arrived the courier, who brought that, which Sancho sent to Don Quixote; which was also publicly read, and occasioned the governor's simplicity to be matter of doubt. The duchess retired, to learn of the page what had befallen him in Sancho's village; who related the whole very particularly, without leaving a circumstance unrecited. He gave her the acorns, as also a cheese, which Teresa gave him for a very good one, and better than those of Tronchon.* The duchess received it with great satisfaction; and so we will leave them, to relate how ended the government of the great Sancho Panza, the flower and mirror of all insulary governors.


CHAPTER 53
Of the toilsome end and conclusion of Sancho Panza's government.

To think, that in this life the things thereof will continue always in the same state, is a vain expectation: the whole seems rather to be going round, I mean in a circle. The spring is succeeded by the summer, the summer by the autumn, the autumn by the winter, and the winter by the spring again; and thus time rolls round with a continual wheel. Human life only posts it to its end, swifter than time itself, without hope of renewal, unless in the next, which is limited by no bounds. This is the reflection of Cid Hamet, the Mahometan philosopher. For many, without the light of faith, and merely by natural instinct, have discovered the transitory and unstable condition of the present life, and the eternal duration of that which is to come. But here our author speaks with respect to the swiftness with which Sancho's government ended, perished, dissolved, and vanished into smoke and a shadow.

Who being in bed the seventh night of the days of his government, not satiated with bread nor wine, but with sitting in judgement, deciding causes, and making statutes and proclamations; and sleep, maugre and in despite of hunger, beginning to close his eyelids; he heard so great a noise of bells and voices, that he verily thought the whole island had been sinking. He sat up in his bed, and listened attentively, to see if he could guess at the cause of so great an

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