Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

CHAPTER 20
Giving an account of the wedding of Camacho the Rich, with the adventure of Basilius the Poor.

SCARCE had the fair Aurora given bright Phoebus room, with the heat of his warm rays, to dry up the liquid pearls upon his golden hair, when Don Quixote, shaking off sloth from his drowsy members, got upon his feet, and called to his squire Sancho Panza, who still lay snoring; which Don Quixote perceiving, before he would awake him, he said:

'O happy thou above all that live on the face of the earth, who neither envying, nor being envied, sleepest on with tranquillity of soul! neither do enchanters persecute, nor enchantments affright thee. Sleep on, I say again, and will say a hundred times more, sleep on: for no jealousies on thy lady's account keep thee in perpetual watchings, nor do anxious thoughts of paying debts awake thee, nor is thy rest broken with the thoughts of what thou must do tomorrow, to provide for thyself and thy little family. Ambition disquiets thee not, nor does the vain pomp of the world disturb thee: for thy desires extend not beyond the limits of taking care of thy ass: for that of thy person is laid upon my shoulders, a counter-balance and burden that nature and custom have laid upon masters. The servant sleeps, and the master is waking, to consider how he is to maintain, prefer, and do him kindnesses. The pain of seeing the obdurate heaven made, as it were, of brass, and refusing convenient dews to refresh the earth, afflicts not the servant, but the master, who is bound to provide, in times of sterility and famine, for him, who served him in times of fertility and abundance.'

To all this Sancho answered not a word; for he was asleep, nor had awaked so soon as he did, but that Don Quixote jogged him with the butt-end of his lance. At last he waked drowsy and yawning; and, turning his face on all sides, he said:

'From yonder shady bower, if I mistake not, there comes a steam and smell, rather of broiled rashers of bacon, than of thyme or rushes: by my faith, weddings, that begin thus savourily, must needs be liberal and abundant.'

'Have done, glutton,' quoth Don Quixote, 'and let us go and see this wedding, and what becomes of the disdained Basilius.'

-593-

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