Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

CHAPTER 49
Of what befell Sancho Panza as he was going the round of his island.

WE left the grand governor moody and out of humour at the knavish picture-drawing peasant, who, instructed by the steward, and he by the duke, played off Sancho; who, maugre his ignorance, rudeness, and insufficiency, held them all back, and said to those about him, and to doctor Pedro Recio, who, when the secret of the duke's letter was over, came back into the hall:

'I now plainly perceive, that judges and governors must or ought to be made of brass, if they would be insensible of importunities of your men of business, who, being intent upon their own affairs alone, come what will of it, at all hours, and at all times, will needs be heard and dispatched; and if the poor judge does not hear and dispatch them, either because he cannot, or because it is not the proper time for giving them audience, presently they murmur and traduce him, gnawing his very bones, and calumniating him and his family. Foolish man of business, impertinent man of business, be not in such haste; wait for the proper season and conjuncture for negotiation: come not at dinner-time, nor at bed-time; for judges are made of flesh and blood, and must give to their nature what their nature requires; except only poor I, who do not so by mine, thanks to Señor Pedro Recio Tirteafuera here present, who would have me die of hunger, and affirms that this kind of dying is in order to live: God grant the same life to him and all those of his tribe; I mean, bad physicians; for good ones deserve palms and laurels.'

All who knew Sancho Panza were in admiration to hear him talk so elegantly, and could not tell what to ascribe it to, unless that offices and weighty employments quicken and enliven some understandings, as they confound and stupefy others.

In short, doctor Pedro Recio Agüero de Tirteafuera promised he should sup that night, though it were contrary to all the aphorisms of Hippocrates. With this the governor rested satisfied, and expected with great impatience the coming of the night, and the hour of supper; and though time, to his thinking, stood stock still, yet at length the wished-for hour came, and they gave him some cow-beef, hashed with onions and calves' feet, somewhat of the stalest, boiled. However, he laid about him, with more relish, than if they had given

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