Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

The conversation was at an end: Don Quixote dressed himself, dined with the duke and duchess, and departed that afternoon.


CHAPTER 71
Of what befell Don Quixote with his squire Sancho, in the way to his village.

THE vanquished and forlorn Don Quixote travelled along, exceedingly pensive on the one hand, and very joyful on the other. His defeat caused his sadness, and his joy was occasioned by considering, that the disenchantment of Dulcinea was likely to be effected by the virtue inherent in Sancho, of which he had just given a manifest proof in the resurrection of Altisidora: though he could not readily bring himself to believe, that the enamoured damsel was really dead. Sancho went on, not at all pleased to find that Altisidora had not been as good as her word, in giving him the smocks: and, revolving it in his mind, he said to his master:

'In truth, sir, I am the most unfortunate physician that is to be met with in the world, in which there are doctors, who kill the patient they have under cure, and yet are paid for their pains, which is no more than signing a little scroll of certain medicines, which the apothecary, not the doctor, makes up: while poor I, though another's cure costs me drops of blood, twitches, pinches, pin-prickings, and lashes, get not a doit. But I vow to God, if ever any sick body falls into my hands again, they shall grease them well before I perform the cure; for, The abbot must eat, that sings for his meat; and I cannot believe heaven has endued me with the virtue I have that I should communicate it to others for nothing.'

'You are in the right, friend Sancho,' answered Don Quixote, 'and Altisidora has done very ill by you, not to give you the promised smocks; though the virtue you have was given you gratis, and without any studying on your part, more than studying how to receive a little pain in your person. For myself, I can say, if you had a mind to be paid for the disenchanting Dulcinea, I would have made it good to you ere now: but I do not know whether payment will agree with the conditions of the cure, and I would by no means have the reward hinder the operation of the medicine. But, for all that, I think, there

-924-

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