"I did not fall," said Sancho Panza, "but with the sudden fright I took on seeing my master fall, my body aches as if they had given me a thousand blows, and I now find myself with only a few bruises less than my master, Don Quixote."
"What is this gentleman's name?" asked Maritornes.
"Don Quixote of the Mancha," answered Sancho Panza; "and he is a knight-errant, and one of the best and strongest that have been seen in the world these many ages."
"What is a knight-errant?" asked the young woman.
"Art thou so young in the world that thou knowest it not?" answered Sancho Panza. "Know then, sister mine, that a knight-errant is a thing which in two words is found cudgelled and an emperor. To-day he is the most miserable creature in the world, and the most needy; to-morrow he will have two or three crowns of kingdoms to give to his squire."
"How is it, then," said the hostess, "that thou hast not gotten at least an earldom, seeing thou art squire to this good knight?"
"It is early yet," replied Sancho, "for it is but a month since we set out on our adventures. But believe me, if my master, Don Quixote, gets well of his wounds--or his fall, I should say--I would not sell my hopes for the best title in Spain."
To all this Don Quixote listened very attentively, and sitting up in his bed as well as he could, he took the hostess's hand and said: "Believe me, beautiful lady, that you may count yourself fortunate in having entertained me in this your castle. My squire will inform you who I am, for self-praise is no recommendation; only this I say, that I will keep eternally written in memory the service you have done to me, and I will be grateful to you as long as my life shall endure."
The hostess, her daughter, and the good Maritomes remained confounded on hearing the words of the knight-errant, which they understood as well as if he had spoken in Greek, but yet they believed they were words of compliment, and so they thanked him for his courtesy and departed, leaving Sancho and his master for the night.
There happened to be lodging in the inn that night one of the officers of the Holy Brotherhood of Toledo, whose duty it was to travel the roads and inquire into cases of highway robbery. He hearing some time later that a man was lying in the house sorely wounded must needs go and make an examination of the matter. He therefore lighted his lamp and made his way to Don Quixote's garret.
As soon as Sancho Panza saw him enter arrayed in a shirt and a nightcap with the lamp in his hand, which showed him to be a very ugly man, he asked his master: "Will this by chance be some wizard Moor come to torment us?"
"A wizard it cannot be," said Don Quixote, "for those under enchantment never let themselves be seen."
The officer could make nothing of their talk, and came up to Don Quixote, who lay face upwards encased in his plasters. "Well," said the officer roughly, "how goes it, my good fellow?"
"I would speak more politely if I were you," answered Don Quixote. "Is it the custom in this country, lout, to speak in that way to a knight-errant?"
The officer, finding himself thus rudely addressed, could not endure it, and, lifting up the lamp, oil and all, gave Don Quixote such a blow on the head with it that he broke his lamp in one or two places, and, leaving all in darkness, left the room.
"Ah!" groaned Sancho, "this is indeed the wizard Moor, and he must be keeping his treasures for others, and for us nothing but blows."
"It is ever so," replied Don Quixote; "and we must take no notice of these things of enchantment, nor must we be angry or vexed with them, for since they are invisible, there is no one on whom to take vengeance. Rise, Sancho, if thou canst, and call the constable of this fortress, and try to get him to give me a little wine, oil, salt, and rosemary to prepare the health-giving balsam, of which I have grievous need, for there comes much blood from the wound which the phantom hath given me."
Sancho arose, not without aching bones, and crept in the dark to where the innkeeper was, and said to him: "My lord constable, do us the favour and courtesy to give me a little rosemary, oil, wine, and salt to cure one of the best knights-errant in the world, who lies yonder in bed sorely wounded at the hands of a Moorish enchanter." When the innkeeper heard this he took Sancho Panza for a man out of his wits, but nevertheless gave him what he wanted, and Sancho carried it to Don Quixote. His master was lying with his hands to his head, groaning with pain from the blows of the lamp, which, however, had only raised two big lumps; what he thought was blood being only the perspiration running down his face.
He now took the things Sancho had brought, of which he made a compound, mixing them together and boiling them a good while until they came to perfection.
Then he asked for a bottle into which to pour this precious liquor, but as there was not one to be had in the inn, he decided to pour it into a tin oil-vessel which the innkeeper had given him.
This being done, he at once made an experiment on himself of the virtue of this precious balsam, as he imagined it to be, and drank off a whole quart of what was left in the boiling-pot.
The only result of this was that it made him very sick indeed, as well it might, and, what with the sickness and the bruising and the weariness of body, he fell fast asleep for several hours, and at the end of his sleep awoke so refreshed and so much the better of his bruises that he took himself to be cured and verily believed he had hit upon the balsam of Fierabras.
Sancho Panza, to whom his master's recovery seemed little short of a miracle, begged that he might have what was left in the boiling-pot, which was no small quantity. Don Quixote consenting, he took the pot in both hands, and tossed it down, swallowing very little less than his master had done.
It happened, however, that Sancho's stomach was not so delicate as his master's and he suffered such terrible pains and misery before he was sick that he thought his last hour was come, and cursed the balsam and the thief who had given it to him.
Don Quixote, seeing him in this bad way, said: "I believe, Sancho, that all this evil befalleth thee because thou art not dubbed knight, for I am persuaded that this balsam may not benefit any one that is not."
"If your worship knew that," replied poor Sancho "bad luck to me and mine, why did you let me taste it?"
Before Don Quixote could reply to this, Sancho became so terribly sick that he could only lie groaning and moaning for two hours, at the end of which he felt so shaken and shattered that he could scarcely stand, and sadly wished that he had never become squire to a knight-errant.
HOW SANCHO PAID THE RECKONING AT THE INN
Retold by Judge Parry
Now whilst Sancho Panza lay groaning in his bed, Don Quixote, who, as we have said, felt somewhat eased and cured, made up his mind to set off in search of new adventures. And full of this desire he himself saddled Rozinante and put the pack-saddle on his squire's beast, and helped Sancho to dress and to mount his ass. Then getting a-horseback he rode over to the corner of the inn and seized hold of a pike which stood there, to make it serve him instead of a lance.
All the people that were staying at the inn, some twenty in number, stood staring at him, and among these was the innkeeper's daughter. Don Quixote kept turning his eyes towards her and sighing dolefully, which every one, or at least all who had seen him the night before, thought must be caused by the pain he was in from his bruises.
When they were both mounted and standing by the inn gate, he called to the innkeeper and said in a grave voice: "Many and great are the favours, sir constable, which I have received in this your castle, arid I shall remain deeply grateful for them all the days of my life. If I am able to repay you by avenging you on some proud miscreant that hath done you any wrong, know that it is my office to help the weak, to revenge the wronged, and to punish traitors. Ransack your memory, and if you find anything of this sort for me to do, you have but to utter it, and I promise you, by the Order of Knighthood which I have received, to procure you satisfaction to your heart's content,"
"Sir knight," replied the innkeeper with equal gravity, "I have no need that your worship should avenge me any wrong, for I know how to take what revenge I think good when an injury is done. All I want is that your worship should pay me the score you have run up this night in mine inn, both for the straw and barley of your two beasts, and your suppers and your beds."
"This then is an inn?" exclaimed Don Quixote.
"Ay, that it is, and a very respectable one, too," replied the innkeeper.
"All this time then I have been deceived," said Don Quixote, "for in truth I thought it was a castle and no mean one. But since it is indeed an inn and no castle, all that can be done now is to ask you to forgive me any payment, for I cannot break the laws of knights-errant, of whom I know for certain that they never paid for lodging or anything else in the inns where they stayed. For the good entertainment that is given them is their due reward for the sufferings they endure, seeking adventures both day and night, winter and summer, a-foot and a-horseback, in thirst and hunger, in heat and cold, being exposed to all the storms of heaven and the hardships of earth."
"All that is no business of mine," retorted the innkeeper. "Pay me what you owe me, and keep your tales of knights-errant for those who want them. My business is to earn my living."
"You are a fool and a saucy fellow," said Don Quixote angrily, and, spurring Rozinante and brandishing his lance, he swept out of the inn yard before any one could stop him, and rode on a good distance without waiting to see if his squire was following.
The innkeeper, when he saw him go without paying, ran up to get his due from Sancho Panza, who also refused to pay, and said to him: "Sir, seeing I am squire to a knight-errant, the same rule and reason for not paying at inns and taverns hold as good for me as for my master."
The innkeeper grew angry at these words, and threatened that if he did not pay speedily he would get it from him in a way he would not like.
Sancho replied that by the Order of Knighthood which his lord and master had received, he would not pay a penny though it cost him his life.
But his bad fortune so managed it, that there happened to be at the inn at this time four woolcombers of Segovia, and three needlemakers of Cordova, and two neighbours from Seville, all merry fellows, very mischievous and playsome. And as if they were all moved with one idea, they came up to Sancho, and pulling him down off his ass, one of them ran in for the innkeeper's blanket, and they flung him into it. But looking up and seeing that the ceiling was somewhat lower than they needed for their business, they determined to go out into the yard, which had no roof but the sky, and there placing Sancho in the middle of the blanket, they began to toss him aloft and to make sport with him by throwing him up and down. The outcries of the miserable be-tossed squire were so many and so loud that they reached the ears of his master, who, standing awhile to listen what it was, believed that some new adventure was at hand, until he clearly recognised the shrieks to come from poor Sancho. Immediately turning his horse, he rode back at a gallop to the inn gate, and finding it closed, rode round the wall to see if he could find any place at which he might enter. But he scarcely got to the wall of the inn yard, which was not very high, when he beheld the wicked sport they were making with his squire. He saw him go up and down with such grace and agility, that, had his anger allowed him, I make no doubt he would have burst with laughter. He tried to climb the wall from his horse, but he was so bruised and broken that he could by no means alight from his saddle, and therefore from on top of his horse he used such terrible threats against those that were tossing Sancho that one could not set them down in writing.
But in spite of his reproaches they did not cease from their laughter or labour, nor did the flying Sancho stop his lamentations, mingled now with threats and now with prayers. Thus they carried on their merry game, until at last from sheer weariness they stopped and let him be. And then they brought him his ass, and, helping him to mount it, wrapped him in his coat, and the kind-hearted Maritornes, seeing him so exhausted, gave him a pitcher of water, which, that it might be the cooler, she fetched from the well.
Just as he was going to drink he heard his master's voice calling to him, saying: "Son Sancho, drink not water, drink it not, my son, for it will kill thee. Behold, here I have that most holy balsam,"--and he showed him the can of liquor,--"two drops of which if thou drinkest thou wilt undoubtedly be cured."
At these words Sancho shuddered, and replied to his master: "You forget surely that I am no knight, or else you do not remember the pains I suffered last evening. Keep your liquor to yourself, and let me be in peace."
At the conclusion of this speech he began to drink, but finding it was only water he would not taste it, and called for wine, which Maritornes very kindly fetched for him, and likewise paid for it out of her own purse.
As soon as Sancho had finished drinking, he stuck his heels into his ass, and the inn gate being thrown wide open he rode out, highly pleased at having paid for nothing, even at the price of a tossing.
The innkeeper, however, had kept his wallet, but Sancho was so distracted when he departed that he never missed it.
When Sancho reached his master, he was almost too jaded and faint to ride his beast. Don Quixote, seeing him in this plight, said to him: "Now I am certain that yon castle or inn is without doubt enchanted, for those who made sport with thee so cruelly, what else could they be but phantoms, and beings of another world? And I am the more sure of this, because when I was by the wall of the inn yard I was not able to mount it, or to alight from Rozinante, and therefore I must have been enchanted. For if I could have moved, I would have avenged thee in a way to make those scoundrels remember the jest for ever, even although to do it I should have had to disobey the rules of knighthood."