against his king and natural lord, by acting against his lawful authority: he has, I say, disabled the galleys of their feet,* and disturbed the many years' repose of the Holy Brotherhood: in a word, he has done a deed whereby he may lose his soul, and not gain his body.'
Sancho had related to the priest and the barber the adventure of the galley-slaves, achieved with so much glory by his master; and therefore the priest laid it on thick in the relation, to see what Don Quixote would do, or say: whose colour changed at every word, and yet he durst not own, that he had been the deliverer of those worthy gentlemen.
'These,' said the priest, 'were the persons who robbed us; and God of his mercy pardon him, who prevented their being carried to the punishment they so richly deserved.'
Which treats of the pleasant and ingenious method of drawing our enamoured knight from the very rigorous penance he had imposed on himself.
SCARCE had the priest done speaking, when Sancho said:
'By my troth, seη+̑or licentiate, it was my master who did this feat; not but that I gave him fair warning and advised him to beware what he did, and that it was a sin to set them at liberty, for that they were all going to the galleys for being most notorious villains.'
'Blockhead,' said Don Quixote, 'knights-errant have nothing to do, nor does it concern them, to inquire whether the afflicted, enchained, and oppressed, whom they meet upon the road, are reduced to those circumstances, or that distress, by their faults or their misfortunes: they are bound to assist them merely as being in distress, and to regard their sufferings alone, and not their crimes. I lighted on a bead-roll and string of miserable wretches, and did by them what my profession requires of me;* and for the rest I care not: and whoever takes it amiss, saving the holy dignity of Seη+̑or the Licentiate, and his honourable person, I say, he knows little of the principles of chivalry, and lies like the base-born son of a whore: and this I will make good with my sword in the most ample manner.'