How Don Quixote Was Enchanted While Guarding The Castle
In the course of their adventures Don Quixote and his squire found
themselves at the door of an inn which they had already visited, where
they met with many friends. The hours were passed in pleasant discourse,
and in the telling and reading of strange stories; the company parted at
night well satisfied with their entertainment.
Don Quixote, however, did not share in these joys, for he was sorely
cast down by reason of wounds he had received a few days previously in
seeking to right a wrong. So, leaving the remainder of the guests to
each other's society, he threw himself on the bed that had been made for
him, and soon fell fast asleep.
The guests below had forgotten all about him, so absorbed were they in
the interest of a tale of woeful ending, when the voice of Sancho Panza
burst upon their ears.
'Hasten! hasten! good sirs; hasten and help my master in the hardest
battle I have ever seen him fight. By my faith, he has dealt such a blow
to the giant that his head he has cut clean off.'
'What is that you say?' asked the priest, who was reading out the tale.
'Are you out of your senses, Sancho?' But his question was lost in a
furious noise from above, in which Don Quixote might be heard crying:
'Rogue, thief, villain! I have you fast, and little will your sword
avail you'; then followed loud blows against the wall.
'Quick, quick! don't stand there listening, but fly to the aid of my
master. Though, indeed, by this time there can be little need, for the
giant must be dead already, and will trouble the world no more. For I
saw his blood spurt and run all over the floor, and his head is cut off
and fallen to one side.'
'As I am alive,' exclaimed the innkeeper, 'I fear that Don Quixote has
been fighting with one of the wine-skins that I put to hang near the
bed, and it is wine not blood that is spilt on the ground.' And he ran
into the room, followed by the rest, to see what had really happened.
They all stopped short at the sight of Don Quixote, who did, in truth,
present a most strange figure. The only garments he had on were a shirt
and a little red cap; his legs were bare, and round his left arm was
rolled the bed covering, while in the right he held a sword, with which
he was cutting and thrusting at everything about him, uttering cries all
the while, as if in truth he were engaged in deadly combat with a giant.
Yet his eyes were tight shut, and it was clear to all that he was fast
asleep; but in his dream he had slashed at so many of the skins that the
whole room was full of wine. When the innkeeper perceived this, the loss
of his wine so enraged him that he in his turn flew at the knight, and
struck him such hard blows with his fists that, had not the priest and
another man pulled him off, the war with the giant would soon have
Still, curious to say, it was not until a pannikin of cold water had
been poured over him by the barber that Don Quixote awoke, and even then
he did not understand what he had been doing, and why he stood there in
such a dress.
Now the priest had caught hold of Don Quixote's hands, so that he should
not beat those who were pouring the water over him, and the knight,
having only partly come to his senses, took him for the princess, for
whose sake he had made war on the giant.
'Fair and gracious lady,' he said, falling on his knees, 'may your life
henceforth be freed from the terror of this ill-born creature!'
'Well, did I not speak truly?' asked Sancho Panza proudly. 'Has not my
master properly salted the giant? I have got my earldom safe at last.'
For Sancho never ceased to believe in the knight's promises.
Everyone was driven to laugh at the strange foolery of both master and
man, except the innkeeper, whose mind was still sore at the loss of his
wine-skins. The priest and the barber first busied themselves in getting
Don Quixote, now quite worn out with his adventure, safely into bed, and
then went to administer the best consolation they could to the poor man.
Many days passed before Don Quixote was well enough to leave the inn,
but at length he seemed to be cured of the fatigue he had undergone
during his previous adventures, and had bidden his squire get all things
ready for his departure. Maritornes, the servant at the inn, and the
innkeeper's daughter, having overheard the plans of Don Quixote,
resolved that he should not leave them before they had played him some
That night, when everyone else had gone to bed, and Don Quixote, armed,
and mounted on Rozinante, was keeping guard in front of the inn, the two
girls crept up to a loft. Nowhere in the inn was there such a thing as a
proper window, but in the loft was a hole through which the knight could
be seen, leaning on his lance uttering deep sighs and broken words about
the Lady Dulcinea.
The innkeeper's daughter, falling in with his humour, advanced to the
hole, and invited him to draw a little nearer. Nothing more was needed
than for Don Quixote to imagine that the damsel was sick of love for
him, and he told her straightway that any service he could do her short
of proclaiming her his liege lady she might command. Upon this,
Maritornes informed him that her mistress would be content were she
permitted to kiss his hand, which Don Quixote answered might be done
without wrong to the Lady Dulcinea. So, without more ado, he passed it
through the hole, when it was instantly seized by Maritornes, who
slipped a noose of rope over his wrist, and tied the other end of it
tightly to the door of the loft.
After that they both ran off, overflowing with laughter, leaving the
knight to reproach them for their ill-usage.
There the poor knight remained, mounted on Rozinante, his arm in the
hole and his hand fastened to the door, fearing lest Rozinante should
move and he should be left hanging. But in this he did wrong to his
horse, who was happy enough to stand still.
Then Don Quixote, seeing himself bound, instead of seeking to unloose
himself as many others would have tried to do, sat quietly in his
saddle, and dreamed dreams of the enchantment which had befallen him.
And thus he stayed till the day dawned.
His dreams were rudely broken into when there drew up at the inn door
four men well armed and mounted. As no one answered their knock, they
repeated it more loudly, when Don Quixote cried to them:
'Knights or squires, or whoever you may be, it is not for you to knock
at the gates of this castle; for sure, any man might tell that those
within are asleep, or else it is their custom not to open until the sun
touches the whole floor. You must wait until it is broad day, and then
it will be seen whether you can be admitted within the gates.'
'What sort of castle is this, which receives no guests without such
ceremonies?' mocked one of the men. 'If you are the innkeeper, bid your
servants open to us without delay. We are neither knights nor squires,
but honest travellers, who need corn for our horses, and that without
'Have I the air of an innkeeper?' asked Don Quixote loftily.
'I do not know of what you have the air,' answered the man, 'but this I
_do_ know, and that is that you are jesting when you call this inn a
'But it _is_ a castle,' replied Don Quixote, 'and one of the finest in
the whole country! And within are those who carry crowns on their heads
and sceptres in their hands.'
'It may well be that inside are players with crowns and sceptres both,'
answered the traveller, 'for in so small an inn no real kings and their
trains would find a place'; and, being weary of talking, he knocked at
the door with more violence than before.
Meanwhile, one of the horses had drawn near to Rozinante, wondering what
the strange creature could be, of a form like unto his own, but to all
outward seeming formed of wood. Rozinante, cheered by the presence of
one of his own kind, moved his body a little, which caused Don Quixote
to slip from his saddle, and to remain hanging by his arm, though his
feet almost touched the ground. The pain of thus being suspended from
his arm was so great that, knight though he was, he shrieked in agony,
till the people in the inn ran to the doors to see what was the matter.
Maritornes alone, fearing punishment, slipped round another way, and
unfastened the cord which bound Don Quixote, who dropped to the ground
as the travellers came up, and in answer to their questions mounted
Rozinante, and, after riding round the field, reined up suddenly in
front of them, crying:
'Whoever shall proclaim that I have suffered enchantment I give him the
lie, and challenge him to meet me in single combat.'
But instead of answering his defiance the guests merely stood and stared
at him, till the innkeeper whispered that he was a noble gentleman, a
little touched in his wits, so they took no further notice of his words.
This so enraged Don Quixote that he was only withheld from fighting them
all by remembering that nowhere in the records of chivalry was it
lawful to undertake a second adventure before the first had drawn to a
Meanwhile a new strife had begun in the inn, for two of the travellers
who had lodged there during the night were found trying to leave the inn
without paying their reckoning. But it happened that the landlord
detected their purpose and held them fast, upon which the two fellows
set on him with blows, till his daughter ran to Don Quixote and implored
'Beautiful damsel,' replied the knight slowly, 'just now I cannot listen
to your prayer, for the laws of chivalry forbid my engaging in a fresh
adventure. But tell your father to keep his assailants at bay, while I
ride to the Princess Micomicona, in whose service I already am, and ask
her leave to aid him in his trouble.'
'And long before your return,' cried Maritornes, 'my poor master will be
in another world'; but Don Quixote, not heeding her, turned his back,
and, falling on his knees before a lady present, begged that she would
grant him permission to rescue the lord of the castle.
This being given, the knight braced on his shield and drew his sword,
and hastened to the inn door, where the two men were still beating the
landlord. But the moment he reached the combatants he stopped and drew
back, in spite of the entreaties of Maritornes and of the innkeeper's
'It has come into my mind,' he said, 'that it is not lawful for me to
give battle to any except belted knights. Now there are no knights here,
and the task belongs to my squire Sancho, who I will bid to undertake it
in my stead.'
So the fight still raged, till at length the men's arms grew tired,
which, Don Quixote seeing, he persuaded them to make peace, and the two
guests to pay the sum which they rightly owed the landlord.
Next: Don Quixote's Home-coming
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