IN WHICH SANCHO PANZA GIVES A SATISFACTORY REPLY TO THE DOUBTS AND QUESTIONS OF THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS WORTH KNOWING AND TELLING
Sancho came back to Don Quixote's house, and returning to the late subject of conversation, he said, "As to what Senor Samson said, that he would like to know by whom, or how, or when my ass was stolen, I say in reply that the same night we went into the Sierra Morena, flying from the Holy Brotherhood after that unlucky adventure of the galley slaves, and the other of the corpse that was going to Segovia, my master and I ensconced ourselves in a thicket, and there, my master leaning on his lance, and I seated on my Dapple, battered and weary with the late frays we fell asleep as if it had been on four feather mattresses; and I in particular slept so sound, that, whoever he was, he was able to come and prop me up on four stakes, which he put under the four corners of the pack-saddle in such a way that he left me mounted on it, and took away Dapple from under me without my feeling it."
"That is an easy matter," said Don Quixote, "and it is no new occurrence, for the same thing happened to Sacripante at the siege of Albracca; the famous thief, Brunello, by the same contrivance, took his horse from between his legs."
"Day came," continued Sancho, "and the moment I stirred the stakes gave way and I fell to the ground with a mighty come down; I looked about for the ass, but could not see him; the tears rushed to my eyes and I raised such a lamentation that, if the author of our history has not put it in, he may depend upon it he has left out a good thing. Some days after, I know not how many, travelling with her ladyship the Princess Micomicona, I saw my ass, and mounted upon him, in the dress of a gipsy, was that Gines de Pasamonte, the great rogue and rascal that my master and I freed from the chain."
"That is not where the mistake is," replied Samson; "it is, that before the ass has turned up, the author speaks of Sancho as being mounted on it."
"I don't know what to say to that," said Sancho, "unless that the historian made a mistake, or perhaps it might be a blunder of the printer's."
"No doubt that's it," said Samson; "but what became of the hundred crowns? Did they vanish?"
To which Sancho answered, "I spent them for my own good, and my wife's, and my children's, and it is they that have made my wife bear so patiently all my wanderings on highways and byways, in the service of my master, Don Quixote; for if after all this time I had come back to the house without a rap and without the ass, it would have been a poor look-out for me; and if anyone wants to know anything more about me, here I am, ready to answer the king himself in person; and it is no affair of anyone's whether I took or did not take, whether I spent or did not spend; for the whacks that were given me in these journeys were to be paid for in money, even if they were valued at no more than four maravedis apiece, another hundred crowns would not pay me for half of them. Let each look to himself and not try to make out white black, and black white; for each of us is as God made him, aye, and often worse."
"I will take care," said Carrasco, "to impress upon the author of the history that, if he prints it again, he must not forget what worthy Sancho has said, for it will raise it a good span higher."
"Is there anything else to correct in the history, senor bachelor?" asked Don Quixote.
"No doubt there is," replied he; "but not anything that will be of the same importance as those I have mentioned."
"Does the author promise a second part at all?" said Don Quixote.
"He does promise one," replied Samson; "but he says he has not found it, nor does he know who has got it; and we cannot say whether it will appear or not; and so, on that head, as some say that no second part has ever been good, and others that enough has been already written about Don Quixote, it is thought there will be no second part; though some, who are jovial rather than saturnine, say, 'Let us have more Quixotades, let Don Quixote charge and Sancho chatter, and no matter what it may turn out, we shall be satisfied with that.'"
"And what does the author mean to do?" said Don Quixote.
"What?" replied Samson; "why, as soon as he has found the history which he is now searching for with extraordinary diligence, he will at once give it to the press, moved more by the profit that may accrue to him from doing so than by any thought of praise."
Whereat Sancho observed, "The author looks for money and profit, does he? It will be a wonder if he succeeds, for it will be only hurry, hurry, with him, like the tailor on Easter Eve; and works done in a hurry are never finished as perfectly as they ought to be. Let master Moor, or whatever he is, pay attention to what he is doing, and I and my master will give him as much grouting ready to his hand, in the way of adventures and accidents of all sorts, as would make up not only one second part, but a hundred. The good man fancies, no doubt, that we are fast asleep in the straw here, but let him hold up our feet to be shod and he will see which foot it is we go lame on. All I say is, that if my master would take my advice, we would be now afield, redressing outrages and righting wrongs, as is the use and custom of good knights-errant."
Sancho had hardly uttered these words when the neighing of Rocinante fell upon their ears, which neighing Don Quixote accepted as a happy omen, and he resolved to make another sally in three or four days from that time. Announcing his intention to the bachelor, he asked his advice as to the quarter in which he ought to commence his expedition, and the bachelor replied that in his opinion he ought to go to the kingdom of Aragon, and the city of Saragossa, where there were to be certain solemn joustings at the festival of St. George, at which he might win renown above all the knights of Aragon, which would be winning it above all the knights of the world. He commended his very praiseworthy and gallant resolution, but admonished him to proceed with greater caution in encountering dangers, because his life did not belong to him, but to all those who had need of him to protect and aid them in their misfortunes.