Don Quixote By Miguel de Cervantes Part 2: Chapter XII-XIV

"Still," returned he of the Grove, "we must fight, if it be only for half an hour."

"By no means," said Sancho; "I am not going to be so discourteous or so ungrateful as to have any quarrel, be it ever so small, with one I have eaten and drunk with; besides, who the devil could bring himself to fight in cold blood, without anger or provocation?"

"I can remedy that entirely," said he of the Grove, "and in this way: before we begin the battle, I will come up to your worship fair and softly, and give you three or four buffets, with which I shall stretch you at my feet and rouse your anger, though it were sleeping sounder than a dormouse."

"To match that plan," said Sancho, "I have another that is not a whit behind it; I will take a cudgel, and before your worship comes near enough to waken my anger I will send yours so sound to sleep with whacks, that it won't waken unless it be in the other world, where it is known that I am not a man to let my face be handled by anyone; let each look out for the arrow — though the surer way would be to let everyone's anger sleep, for nobody knows the heart of anyone, and a man may come for wool and go back shorn; God gave his blessing to peace and his curse to quarrels; if a hunted cat, surrounded and hard pressed, turns into a lion, God knows what I, who am a man, may turn into; and so from this time forth I warn you, sir squire, that all the harm and mischief that may come of our quarrel will be put down to your account."

"Very good," said he of the Grove; "God will send the dawn and we shall be all right."

And now gay-plumaged birds of all sorts began to warble in the trees, and with their varied and gladsome notes seemed to welcome and salute the fresh morn that was beginning to show the beauty of her countenance at the gates and balconies of the east, shaking from her locks a profusion of liquid pearls; in which dulcet moisture bathed, the plants, too, seemed to shed and shower down a pearly spray, the willows distilled sweet manna, the fountains laughed, the brooks babbled, the woods rejoiced, and the meadows arrayed themselves in all their glory at her coming. But hardly had the light of day made it possible to see and distinguish things, when the first object that presented itself to the eyes of Sancho Panza was the squire of the Grove's nose, which was so big that it almost overshadowed his whole body. It is, in fact, stated, that it was of enormous size, hooked in the middle, covered with warts, and of a mulberry colour like an egg-plant; it hung down two fingers' length below his mouth, and the size, the colour, the warts, and the bend of it, made his face so hideous, that Sancho, as he looked at him, began to tremble hand and foot like a child in convulsions, and he vowed in his heart to let himself be given two hundred buffets, sooner than be provoked to fight that monster. Don Quixote examined his adversary, and found that he already had his helmet on and visor lowered, so that he could not see his face; he observed, however, that he was a sturdily built man, but not very tall in stature. Over his armour he wore a surcoat or cassock of what seemed to be the finest cloth of gold, all bespangled with glittering mirrors like little moons, which gave him an extremely gallant and splendid appearance; above his helmet fluttered a great quantity of plumes, green, yellow, and white, and his lance, which was leaning against a tree, was very long and stout, and had a steel point more than a palm in length.

Don Quixote observed all, and took note of all, and from what he saw and observed he concluded that the said knight must be a man of great strength, but he did not for all that give way to fear, like Sancho Panza; on the contrary, with a composed and dauntless air, he said to the Knight of the Mirrors, "If, sir knight, your great eagerness to fight has not banished your courtesy, by it I would entreat you to raise your visor a little, in order that I may see if the comeliness of your countenance corresponds with that of your equipment."

"Whether you come victorious or vanquished out of this emprise, sir knight," replied he of the Mirrors, "you will have more than enough time and leisure to see me; and if now I do not comply with your request, it is because it seems to me I should do a serious wrong to the fair Casildea de Vandalia in wasting time while I stopped to raise my visor before compelling you to confess what you are already aware I maintain."

"Well then," said Don Quixote, "while we are mounting you can at least tell me if I am that Don Quixote whom you said you vanquished."

"To that we answer you," said he of the Mirrors, "that you are as like the very knight I vanquished as one egg is like another, but as you say enchanters persecute you, I will not venture to say positively whether you are the said person or not."

"That," said Don Quixote, "is enough to convince me that you are under a deception; however, entirely to relieve you of it, let our horses be brought, and in less time than it would take you to raise your visor, if God, my lady, and my arm stand me in good stead, I shall see your face, and you shall see that I am not the vanquished Don Quixote you take me to be."

With this, cutting short the colloquy, they mounted, and Don Quixote wheeled Rocinante round in order to take a proper distance to charge back upon his adversary, and he of the Mirrors did the same; but Don Quixote had not moved away twenty paces when he heard himself called by the other, and, each returning half-way, he of the Mirrors said to him, "Remember, sir knight, that the terms of our combat are, that the vanquished, as I said before, shall be at the victor's disposal."

"I am aware of it already," said Don Quixote; "provided what is commanded and imposed upon the vanquished be things that do not transgress the limits of chivalry."

"That is understood," replied he of the Mirrors.

At this moment the extraordinary nose of the squire presented itself to Don Quixote's view, and he was no less amazed than Sancho at the sight; insomuch that he set him down as a monster of some kind, or a human being of some new species or unearthly breed. Sancho, seeing his master retiring to run his course, did not like to be left alone with the nosy man, fearing that with one flap of that nose on his own the battle would be all over for him and he would be left stretched on the ground, either by the blow or with fright; so he ran after his master, holding on to Rocinante's stirrup-leather, and when it seemed to him time to turn about, he said, "I implore of your worship, senor, before you turn to charge, to help me up into this cork tree, from which I will be able to witness the gallant encounter your worship is going to have with this knight, more to my taste and better than from the ground."

"It seems to me rather, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou wouldst mount a scaffold in order to see the bulls without danger."

"To tell the truth," returned Sancho, "the monstrous nose of that squire has filled me with fear and terror, and I dare not stay near him."

"It is," said Don Quixote, "such a one that were I not what I am it would terrify me too; so, come, I will help thee up where thou wilt."

While Don Quixote waited for Sancho to mount into the cork tree he of the Mirrors took as much ground as he considered requisite, and, supposing Don Quixote to have done the same, without waiting for any sound of trumpet or other signal to direct them, he wheeled his horse, which was not more agile or better-looking than Rocinante, and at his top speed, which was an easy trot, he proceeded to charge his enemy; seeing him, however, engaged in putting Sancho up, he drew rein, and halted in mid career, for which his horse was very grateful, as he was already unable to go. Don Quixote, fancying that his foe was coming down upon him flying, drove his spurs vigorously into Rocinante's lean flanks and made him scud along in such style that the history tells us that on this occasion only was he known to make something like running, for on all others it was a simple trot with him; and with this unparalleled fury he bore down where he of the Mirrors stood digging his spurs into his horse up to buttons, without being able to make him stir a finger's length from the spot where he had come to a standstill in his course. At this lucky moment and crisis, Don Quixote came upon his adversary, in trouble with his horse, and embarrassed with his lance, which he either could not manage, or had no time to lay in rest. Don Quixote, however, paid no attention to these difficulties, and in perfect safety to himself and without any risk encountered him of the Mirrors with such force that he brought him to the ground in spite of himself over the haunches of his horse, and with so heavy a fall that he lay to all appearance dead, not stirring hand or foot. The instant Sancho saw him fall he slid down from the cork tree, and made all haste to where his master was, who, dismounting from Rocinante, went and stood over him of the Mirrors, and unlacing his helmet to see if he was dead, and to give him air if he should happen to be alive, he saw — who can say what he saw, without filling all who hear it with astonishment, wonder, and awe? He saw, the history says, the very countenance, the very face, the very look, the very physiognomy, the very effigy, the very image of the bachelor Samson Carrasco! As soon as he saw it he called out in a loud voice, "Make haste here, Sancho, and behold what thou art to see but not to believe; quick, my son, and learn what magic can do, and wizards and enchanters are capable of."

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After the misadventure with the windmills, Don Quixote