Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

CHAPTER 73
Of the omens Don Quixote met with at the entrance into his village, with other accidents, which adorn and illustrate this great history.

AT the entrance into the village, as Cid Hamet reports, Don Quixote saw a couple of boys quarrelling in a threshing-floor, and one said to the other:

'Trouble not yourself, Periquillo; for you shall never see it more while you live.'

Don Quixote, hearing him, said to Sancho:

'Do you not take notice, friend, what this boy has said, You shall never see it more while you live?'

'Well,' answered Sancho, 'what signifies it if the boy did say so?'

'What,' replied Don Quixote, 'do you not perceive, that, applying these words to my purpose, the meaning is, I shall never see Dulcinea more?'

Sancho would have answered, but was prevented by seeing a hare come running across the field, pursued by abundance of dogs and sportsmen; which, frighted, came for shelter, and squatted between Dapple's feet. Sancho took her up alive, and presented her to Don Quixote, who cried,

'Malum signum, malum signum! A hare flies; dogs pursue her; Dulcinea appears not!'

'Your worship is a strange man,' quoth Sancho: 'let us suppose now, that this hare is Dulcinea del Toboso, and these dogs that pursue her, those wicked enchanters who transformed her into a country-wench: she flies, I catch her, and put her into your worship's hands, who have her in your arms, and make much of her: what bad sign is this, or what ill omen can you draw from hence?'

The two contending boys came up to look at the hare, and Sancho asked one of them, what they were quarrelling about. And answer was made him, by him who had said, 'You shall never see it more while you live'; that he had taken a cage full of crickets* from the other boy, which he never intended to restore to him while he lived. Sancho drew four quarter-maravedis out of his pocket, and gave it the boy for his cage, which he put into Don Quixote's hands, and said:

'Behold, sir, all your omens broken, and come to nothing; and they

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