Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

CHAPTER 62
Which treats of the adventure of the enchanted head, with other trifles that must not be omitted.

DON QUIXOTE'S host was called Don Antonio Moreno, a rich and discreet gentleman, and a lover of mirth in a decent and civil way. And so, having Don Quixote in his house, he began to contrive methods, how, without prejudice to his guest, he might take advantage of Don Quixote's madness; for, jests that hurt, are no jests, nor are those pastimes good for anything, which turn to the detriment of a third person. The first thing, therefore, he did, was, to cause Don Quixote to be unarmed, and exposed to view in his straight chamois doublet (as we have already described and painted it), in a balcony which looked into one of the chief streets of the city, in sight of the populace and of the boys, who stood gazing at him as if he had been a monkey. The cavaliers with the liveries began to career it afresh before him, as if for him alone, and not in honour of that day's festival they had provided them. Sancho was so highly delighted, thinking he had found, without knowing how or which way, another Camacho's wedding, another house like Don Diego de Miranda's, and another castle like the duke's.

Several of Don Antonio's friends dined with him that day, all honouring and treating Don Quixote as a knight-errant; at which he was puffed with vainglory, that he could scarce conceal the pleasure it gave him. Sancho's witty conceits were such, and so many, that all the servants of the house hung, as it were, upon his lips, and so did all that heard him. While they were at table, Don Antonio said to Sancho:

'We are told here, honest Sancho, that you are so great a lover of capons and sausages, that when you have filled your belly, you stuff your pockets with the remainder for the next day.'

'No, sir, it is not so,' answered Sancho; 'your worship is misinformed; for I am more cleanly than gluttonous; and my master Don Quixote, here present, knows very well, how he and I often live eight days upon a handful of acorns or hazel-nuts: it is true, indeed, if it so falls out that they give me a heifer, I make haste with a halter; I mean, that I eat whatever is offered me, and take the times as I find them, and, whoever has said that I am given to eat much, and am not

-870-

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