Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

who could write; who wrote for her two letters, one for her husband, and the other for the duchess, and both of her inditing; and they are none of the worst recorded in this grand history, as will be seen hereafter.


CHAPTER 51
Of the progress of Sancho Panza's government, with other entertaining events.

Now appeared the day succeeding the night of the governor's round; which the sewer passed without sleeping, his thoughts being taken up with the countenance, air, and beauty of the disguised damsel; and the steward spent the remainder of it in writing to his lord and lady what Sancho Panza said and did, equally wondering at his deeds and sayings; for his words and actions were intermixed with strong indications both of discretion and folly. In short, [the] Señor Governor got up, and by the direction of doctor Pedro Recio, they gave him, to break his fast, a little conserve, and four draughts of cold water; which Sancho would gladly have exchanged for a piece of bread and a bunch of grapes. But, seeing it was more by force than goodwill, he submitted to it with sufficient grief to his soul, and toil to his stomach: Pedro Recio making him believe, that to eat but little, and that of slight things quickened the judgement, which was the properest thing that could be for persons appointed to rule, and bear offices of dignity; in which there is not so much occasion for bodily strength, as for that of the understanding. By means of this sophistry, Sancho endured hunger to a degree, that inwardly he cursed the government, and even him that gave it.

However, with his hunger and his conserve, he sat in judgement that day, and the first thing that offered, was a question proposed by a stranger; the steward and the rest of the assistants being present all the while. It was this:

'My lord; a main river divides the two parts of one lordship -- pray, my lord, be attentive, for it is a case of importance, and somewhat difficult; I say then, that upon this river stood a bridge, and at the head of it a gallows, and a kind of courthouse, for a seat of judicature, in which there were commonly four judges, whose office

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