Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

that fury you fear so much; but upon this one condition, that neither living nor dying, you shall ever tell anybody that I retired and withdrew myself from this peril out of fear, but that I did it out of mere compliance with your entreaties: for if you say otherwise, you will lie in so doing; and from this time to that, and from that time to this, I tell you, you lie, and will lie, every time you say or think it: and reply no more; for the bare thought of withdrawing and retreating from any danger, and especially from this, which seems to carry some or no appearance of fear with it, makes me, that I now stand prepared to abide here, and expect alone, not only that Holy Brotherhood you talk of and fear, but the brothers of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the seven Maccabees and Castor and Pollux, and even all the brothers and brotherhoods that are in the world.'

'Sir,' answered Sancho, 'retreating is not running away, nor is staying wisdom, when the danger overbalances the hope: and it is the part of wise men to secure themselves to-day for to-morrow, and not to venture all upon one throw. And know, though I am but a clown and a peasant, I have yet some smattering of what is called good conduct: therefore, repent not of having taken my advice, but get upon Rosinante, if you can, and if not, I will assist you; and follow me; for my noodle tells me, that for the present we have more need of heels than hands.'

Don Quixote mounted, without replying a word more; and Sancho leading the way upon his ass, they entered on one side of the Sierra Morena, which was close by, it being Sancho's intention to pass quite across it, and to get out at Viso or Almodóvar del Campo, and to hide themselves for some days among those craggy rocks, that they might not be found, if the Holy Brotherhood should come in quest of them. He was encouraged to this by seeing that the provisions carried by his ass had escaped safe from the skirmish with the galley-slaves, which he looked upon as a miracle, considering what the slaves took away, and how narrowly they searched.*

That night they got into the heart of the Sierra Morena, where Sancho thought it convenient to pass that night, and also some days, at least as long as the provisions he had with him lasted: so they took up their lodging between two great rocks, and amidst abundance of cork-trees. But destiny, which, according to the opinion of those who have not the light of the true faith, guides, fashions, and disposes all

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