free ebooks

The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Andres snatched at the provender

that I looked like St. Bartholomew

flayed alive; and at every blow he had some joke or another to laugh at you; and had he not laid on me as he did, I fancy I could not have helped laughing myself. At last he left me, in so pitiful a case that I was forced to crawl to a hospital, where I have lain ever since to get cured, so wofully the tyrant had lashed me. And now I may thank you for this; for had you rode on your journey, and neither meddled nor made, seeing nobody sent for you, and it was none of your business, my master, perhaps, had been satisfied with giving me ten or twenty lashes, and after that would have paid me what he owed me; but you was so huffy, and called him so many names, that it made him mad, and so he vented all his spite against you upon my poor back, as soon as yours was turned, inasmuch that I fear I shall never be mine own man again." "The miscarriage," answered the knight, "is only chargeable on my departure before I saw my orders executed; for I might by experience have remembered that the word of a peasant is regulated, not by honour, but by profit. But you remember, Andres, how I said, that if he disobeyed, I would return and seek him through the universe, and find him though hid in a whale's belly." "Ah, sir," answered Andres, "but that is no cure for my sore shoulders." "You shall be redressed," answered the knight, starting fiercely up, and commanding Sancho immediately to bridle Rozinante, who was baiting as fast as the rest of the company. Dorothea asked what he intended to do:
he answered, that he intended to find out the villain, and punish him severely for his crimes, then force him to pay Andres his wages to the last maravedi,[6] in spite of all the peasants in the universe. She then desired him to remember his engagements to her, which withheld him from any new achievement till that was finished; that he must therefore suspend his resentments till his return from her kingdom. "It is but just and reasonable," said the knight; "and therefore Andres must wait with patience my return; but when I do return, I do hereby ratify my former oath and promise, never to rest till he be fully satisfied and paid." "I dare not trust to that," answered Andres; "but if you will bestow on me as much money as will bear my charges to Seville, I shall thank your worship more than for all the revenge you tell me of. Give me a snap to eat, and a bit in my pocket; and so Heaven be with you and all other knights-errant, and may they prove as arrant fools in their own business as they have been in mine."

[6] Near the value of a farthing.

Sancho took a crust of bread and a slice of cheese, and reaching it to Andres, "There, friend," said he, "there is something for thee; on my word, we have all of us a share of thy mischance." "What share?" said Andres. "Why, the cursed mischance of parting with this bread and cheese to thee; for my head to a halfpenny, I may live to want it; for thou must know, friend of mine, that we, the squires of knights-errant, often pick our teeth without a dinner, and are subject to many other things which are better felt than told." Andres snatched at the provender, and seeing no likelihood of any more, he made his leg and marched off. But looking over his shoulder at Don Quixote, "Hark ye, you Sir Knight-errant," cried he, "if ever you meet me again in your travels, which I hope you never shall, though I were torn in pieces, do not trouble me with your foolish help, but mind your own business; and so fare you well, with a plague upon you and all the knights-errant that ever were born!" The knight thought to chastise him, but the lad was too nimble for any there, and his heels carried him off, leaving Don Quixote highly incensed at his story, which moved the company to hold their laughter, lest they should raise his anger to a dangerous height.

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us