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Part 2 Chapter 28

When the brave man flees, treachery is manifest and it is for wise men to reserve themselves for better occasions. This proved to be the case with Don Quixote, who, giving way before the fury of the townsfolk and the hostile intentions of the angry troop, took to flight and, without a thought of Sancho or the danger in which he was leaving him, retreated to such a distance as he thought made him safe. Sancho, lying across his ass, followed him, as has been said, and at length came up, having by this time recovered his senses, and on joining him let himself drop off Dapple at Rocinante’s feet, sore, bruised, and belaboured. Don Quixote dismounted to examine his wounds, but finding him whole from head to foot, he said to him, angrily enough, “In an evil hour didst thou take to braying, Sancho! Where hast thou learned that it is well done to mention the rope in the house of the man that has been hanged? To the music of brays what harmonies couldst thou expect to get but cudgels? Give thanks to God, Sancho, that they signed the cross on thee just now with a stick, and did not mark thee per signum crucis with a cutlass.”

“I’m not equal to answering,” said Sancho, “for I feel as if I was speaking through my shoulders; let us mount and get away from this; I’ll keep from braying, but not from saying that knights-errant fly and leave their good squires to be pounded like privet, or made meal of at the hands of their enemies.”

“He does not fly who retires,” returned Don Quixote; “for I would have thee know, Sancho, that the valour which is not based upon a foundation of prudence is called rashness, and the exploits of the rash man are to be attributed rather to good fortune than to courage; and so I own that I retired, but not that I fled; and therein I have followed the example of many valiant men who have reserved themselves for better times; the histories are full of instances of this, but as it would not be any good to thee or pleasure to me, I will not recount them to thee now.”

Sancho was by this time mounted with the help of Don Quixote, who then himself mounted Rocinante, and at a leisurely pace they proceeded to take shelter in a grove which was in sight about a quarter of a league off. Every now and then Sancho gave vent to deep sighs and dismal groans, and on Don Quixote asking him what caused such acute suffering, he replied that, from the end of his back-bone up to the nape of his neck, he was so sore that it nearly drove him out of his senses.

“The cause of that soreness,” said Don Quixote, “will be, no doubt, that the staff wherewith they smote thee being a very long one, it caught thee all down the back, where all the parts that are sore are situated, and had it reached any further thou wouldst be sorer still.”

“By God,” said Sancho, “your worship has relieved me of a great doubt, and cleared up the point for me in elegant style! Body o’ me! is the cause of my soreness such a mystery that there’s any need to tell me I am sore everywhere the staff hit me? If it was my ankles that pained me there might be something in going divining why they did, but it is not much to divine that I’m sore where they thrashed me. By my faith, master mine, the ills of others hang by a hair; every day I am discovering more and more how little I have to hope for from keeping company with your worship; for if this time you have allowed me to be drubbed, the next time, or a hundred times more, we’ll have the blanketings of the other day over again, and all the other pranks which, if they have fallen on my shoulders now, will be thrown in my teeth by-and-by. I would do a great deal better (if I was not an ignorant brute that will never do any good all my life), I would do a great deal better, I say, to go home to my wife and children and support them and bring them up on what God may please to give me, instead of following your worship along roads that lead nowhere and paths that are none at all, with little to drink and less to eat. And then when it comes to sleeping! Measure out seven feet on the earth, brother squire, and if that’s not enough for you, take as many more, for you may have it all your own way and stretch yourself to your heart’s content. Oh that I could see burnt and turned to ashes the first man that meddled with knight-errantry or at any rate the first who chose to be squire to such fools as all the knights-errant of past times must have been! Of those of the present day I say nothing, because, as your worship is one of them, I respect them, and because I know your worship knows a point more than the devil in all you say and think.”

“I would lay a good wager with you, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “that now that you are talking on without anyone to stop you, you don’t feel a pain in your whole body. Talk away, my son, say whatever comes into your head or mouth, for so long as you feel no pain, the irritation your impertinences give me will he a pleasure to me; and if you are so anxious to go home to your wife and children, God forbid that I should prevent you; you have money of mine; see how long it is since we left our village this third time, and how much you can and ought to earn every month, and pay yourself out of your own hand.”

“When I worked for Tom Carrasco, the father of the bachelor Samson Carrasco that your worship knows,” replied Sancho, “I used to earn two ducats a month besides my food; I can’t tell what I can earn with your worship, though I know a knight-errant’s squire has harder times of it than he who works for a farmer; for after all, we who work for farmers, however much we toil all day, at the worst, at night, we have our olla supper and sleep in a bed, which I have not slept in since I have been in your worship’s service, if it wasn’t the short time we were in Don Diego de Miranda’s house, and the feast I had with the skimmings I took off Camacho’s pots, and what I ate, drank, and slept in Basilio’s house; all the rest of the time I have been sleeping on the hard ground under the open sky, exposed to what they call the inclemencies of heaven, keeping life in me with scraps of cheese and crusts of bread, and drinking water either from the brooks or from the springs we come to on these by-paths we travel.”

“I own, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “that all thou sayest is true; how much, thinkest thou, ought I to give thee over and above what Tom Carrasco gave thee?”

“I think,” said Sancho, “that if your worship was to add on two reals a month I’d consider myself well paid; that is, as far as the wages of my labour go; but to make up to me for your worship’s pledge and promise to me to give me the government of an island, it would be fair to add six reals more, making thirty in all.”

“Very good,” said Don Quixote; “it is twenty-five days since we left our village, so reckon up, Sancho, according to the wages you have made out for yourself, and see how much I owe you in proportion, and pay yourself, as I said before, out of your own hand.”

“O body o’ me!” said Sancho, “but your worship is very much out in that reckoning; for when it comes to the promise of the island we must count from the day your worship promised it to me to this present hour we are at now.”

“Well, how long is it, Sancho, since I promised it to you?” said Don Quixote.

“If I remember rightly,” said Sancho, “it must be over twenty years, three days more or less.”

Don Quixote gave himself a great slap on the forehead and began to laugh heartily, and said he, “Why, I have not been wandering, either in the Sierra Morena or in the whole course of our sallies, but barely two months, and thou sayest, Sancho, that it is twenty years since I promised thee the island. I believe now thou wouldst have all the money thou hast of mine go in thy wages. If so, and if that be thy pleasure, I give it to thee now, once and for all, and much good may it do thee, for so long as I see myself rid of such a good-for-nothing squire I’ll be glad to be left a pauper without a rap. But tell me, thou perverter of the squirely rules of knight-errantry, where hast thou ever seen or read that any knight-errant’s squire made terms with his lord, ‘you must give me so much a month for serving you’? Plunge, scoundrel, rogue, monster — for such I take thee to be — plunge, I say, into the mare magnum of their histories; and if thou shalt find that any squire ever said or thought what thou hast said now, I will let thee nail it on my forehead, and give me, over and above, four sound slaps in the face. Turn the rein, or the halter, of thy Dapple, and begone home; for one single step further thou shalt not make in my company. O bread thanklessly received! O promises ill-bestowed! O man more beast than human being! Now, when I was about to raise thee to such a position, that, in spite of thy wife, they would call thee ‘my lord,’ thou art leaving me? Thou art going now when I had a firm and fixed intention of making thee lord of the best island in the world? Well, as thou thyself hast said before now, honey is not for the mouth of the ass. Ass thou art, ass thou wilt be, and ass thou wilt end when the course of thy life is run; for I know it will come to its close before thou dost perceive or discern that thou art a beast.”

Sancho regarded Don Quixote earnestly while he was giving him this rating, and was so touched by remorse that the tears came to his eyes, and in a piteous and broken voice he said to him, “Master mine, I confess that, to be a complete ass, all I want is a tail; if your worship will only fix one on to me, I’ll look on it as rightly placed, and I’ll serve you as an ass all the remaining days of my life. Forgive me and have pity on my folly, and remember I know but little, and, if I talk much, it’s more from infirmity than malice; but he who sins and mends commends himself to God.”

“I should have been surprised, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “if thou hadst not introduced some bit of a proverb into thy speech. Well, well, I forgive thee, provided thou dost mend and not show thyself in future so fond of thine own interest, but try to be of good cheer and take heart, and encourage thyself to look forward to the fulfillment of my promises, which, by being delayed, does not become impossible.”

Sancho said he would do so, and keep up his heart as best he could. They then entered the grove, and Don Quixote settled himself at the foot of an elm, and Sancho at that of a beech, for trees of this kind and others like them always have feet but no hands. Sancho passed the night in pain, for with the evening dews the blow of the staff made itself felt all the more. Don Quixote passed it in his never-failing meditations; but, for all that, they had some winks of sleep, and with the appearance of daylight they pursued their journey in quest of the banks of the famous Ebro, where that befell them which will be told in the following chapter.

 

敌人诡计暴露,英雄不妨逃跑,伺机东山再起才算得上聪明人。唐吉诃德证实了这个真理。他激起了当地人的怒火,惹得那群愤怒的人对他不客气,他就脚下生烟,扔下了桑乔,置桑乔于危险而不顾,逃到了一个他认为足够安全的地方才止住脚步。桑乔就像刚才说的那样,横卧驴背在后面跟随。等到追上主人时,他已经清醒过来。桑乔从驴背上滚下来,落到罗西南多脚下,浑身疼痛,狼狈不堪。唐吉诃德下马察看桑乔的伤口。他见桑乔从头到脚都是好好的,不禁勃然大怒,说道:

“你偏偏在那个倒霉的时候学驴叫,桑乔!你为什么偏偏在秃子面前说灯泡亮?你学驴叫,除了招棍子打,还能招来什么?你得感谢上帝,桑乔,他们只打了你一棍子,没用刀子在你脸上划个十字。”

“我现在不想说什么,”桑乔说,“我觉得说话有些透不过气来。咱们骑上牲口走吧。我以后再也不学驴叫了,不过有句话我不能不说:有些游侠骑士只顾自己逃走,把忠实的仆人甩给敌人,任凭仆人被打得遍体鳞伤。”

“不是逃跑,是撤退。”唐吉诃德说,“你该知道,桑乔,勇敢而不谨慎,就是鲁莽,而鲁莽者成功多半靠的是运气,而不是靠勇气。所以我承认我是撤退了,但不是逃跑。在这方面,我是模仿许多勇士的做法,准备伺机东山再起。这种例子在历史上比比皆是。不过,讲这些对你没什么用处,我也没兴趣,我这会儿不想说了。”

桑乔在唐吉诃德的帮助下上了驴,唐吉诃德自己也骑上了马。他们慢慢走着,不知不觉走进了不远处的一片杨树林。桑乔不时发出痛苦的哎哟声和呻吟声。唐吉诃德问他怎么会这么难受,桑乔回答说,他从尾骨到脖子根都疼,疼得快没知觉了。

“他们用来打你的那根棍子很长,”唐吉诃德说,“打到了你的整条脊骨,所以你的脊背疼。如果打到你身上的面积更大,你会疼得更厉害。”

“我的天啊,”桑乔说,“您可帮我解释清楚了一个大问题,而且讲得这么精辟!真是的,我对疼痛的原因就那么不明白,还得您告诉我那是棍子打的!如果是我的脚踝疼,我或许还可以琢磨一下为什么会疼;可我是被打痛的,这原因还用猜吗?我的主人啊,我相信,别人是根本靠不住的。现在我越来越清楚地意识到,跟着您是别想指望得到什么了。这次您让我在那儿挨打,以后,您还会让我上百次地被人用被单扔,或者受其他捉弄。现在他们往我背上打,以后就会往我眼睛上打。我真是个笨蛋,否则我现在会混得好得多。以后除非是有好处的事,我什么也不再干了。我如果回家去照应我的老婆和孩子,靠上帝恩典,我再说一遍,我现在会混得好得多,也用不着跟着您在根本没有路的地方奔波,喝不好也吃不好。要说睡觉呢,侍从老弟呀,你就量七尺地吧,如果愿意,还可以再量七尺,随你的便,你愿意占多大地方就占多大地方。过去的所有游侠骑士都是傻瓜!谁第一个涉足游侠骑士,还有,谁第一个愿意给那些傻瓜骑士当侍从,我咒他被烧死,被烧成灰!至于现在的游侠骑士,我就什么也不说了。对现在这些游侠骑士,我得尊重,因为您就是其中的一个嘛,还因为我知道,在说话和考虑问题方面,您比魔鬼稍微强点儿。”

“我现在可以和你好好打个赌,桑乔,”唐吉诃德说,“你这会儿尽管说,没有人会阻拦你,这样你身上就一点儿也不疼了。说吧,我的宝贝,你脑子里怎么想的,都说出来。只要你不疼了,你胡说八道半天,我不但不生气,反而高兴。既然你那么愿意回家去找老婆孩子,如果我阻拦你,上帝也不容。我的钱就在你手里,你看看咱们第三次出来已经多长时间了,你每月该拿多少钱,你就自己拿吧。”

“您跟参孙·卡拉斯科不是很熟吗,我在为参孙·卡拉斯科的父亲托梅·卡拉斯科干活的时候,”桑乔说,“每月除了吃饭外,还挣两个杜卡多。至于在您这儿我应该挣多少钱,我就不知道了,我只知道当游侠骑士的侍从要比干农活辛苦多了。我们干农活,不管白天干多少活,不管怎么不好,至少可以围着锅吃晚饭,在床上睡觉。可是自从跟了您之后,我就没在床上睡过觉。除了咱们在迭戈·德米兰达家舒服了几天,在卡马乔的聚餐会上从锅里捞了点油水,还有,在巴西利奥家连吃带喝又睡了几天外,其余时间我都是露天睡在坚硬的土地上,忍受着各种恶劣天气,靠干奶酪和面包块充饥,喝的是野地路边的溪水或者泉水。”“我承认你说的都是真的,桑乔。”唐吉诃德说,“那么你说,我该比托梅·卡拉斯科再加多少钱呢?”

“我觉得如果您每月给我再加两个雷阿尔,”桑乔说,“就很不错了,这可以算是我的工钱。可是,若按照您答应给我一个小岛掌管的话,您应该给我再加六个雷阿尔才对,这样每月加起来就是三十个雷阿尔。”

“很好,’唐吉诃德说,“工钱就照你说的算。咱们离开村子已经二十五天了,你就按照这个数算吧,桑乔,看看我应该给你多少钱,然后就照我刚才说的,你自己拿吧。”

“我的天哪!”桑乔说,“您的帐算得太不对了。您答应给我岛屿的那份钱,应该从您答应给我岛屿之日起一直算到现在。”

“那么我答应你多长时间了,桑乔?”唐吉诃德问。

“如果我没记错的话,”桑乔回答说,“大概有二十年,再加三天左右。”

唐吉诃德拍了一下脑门,大笑起来,然后说道:

“从我在莫雷纳山那段日子到现在才将近两个月,桑乔,你怎么说我已经许给你岛屿二十年了呢?现在我告诉你,你是想用付你工钱的办法把我放在你手里的那些钱都拿走。如果真是这样,只要你愿意,我可以现在就把我的钱全部给你,但愿它能对你有用。只要能甩开如此没良心的侍从,我就是身无分文也高兴。告诉我,你这个游侠骑士侍从的叛逆,你在哪儿见过或者读过,某个游侠骑士的侍从敢在他的主人面前说‘您每月应该付我多少多少工钱’?你说,你说,你这个无赖、混蛋、妖怪!你就是一个十足的无赖、混蛋、妖怪!如果你能在那浩如烟海的骑士小说里找出哪个侍从说过,或者哪怕想过你刚才说的那些话,我就去死。还可以把我算成是傻瓜。掉转你的驴,回家去吧。从现在起,你没有必要再跟我往前走一步了,我的好心算让狗给吃了!我的诺言也算白说了!你这个人真是连猪狗都不如!我正要抬举你,让你老婆喊你‘大人’,你却要告辞了?我正打定主意要让你成为世界上最好的岛屿的总督,你却要走了?这真像你常说的那样,‘蜜不是喂驴的’。你是驴,你就是驴,你到死也只能是头驴。

依我看,你到死也不会知道你是个畜生。”

桑乔目不转睛地盯着唐吉诃德,听着主人骂自己,内疚不已。他眼里噙着泪花,声音颤抖地说道:

“我的主人,我承认除了差一条尾巴外,我真成一头驴了。如果您愿意给我安上一条尾巴,我很愿意戴上它,这一辈子每天都像驴一样侍奉您。请您原谅我不懂事。您也知道,我懂得很少。如果我说多了,那也是糊涂而决非恶意,况且,‘知错就改,上帝所爱’嘛。”

“你要是说话不带点俏皮话才怪呢,桑乔。那好,只要你改了,从今以后不再热衷于打小算盘,而是心胸宽广,振作精神,等待我的诺言实现,我就原谅你。我许的诺言尽管还没有实现,但并不是不可能的。”

桑乔强打起精神,说他一定照办。

两人说着话进入了那片杨树林。唐吉诃德躺在一棵榆树下,桑乔躺在一棵出毛榉树下,但这里的树都已经是只有根没有叶了。桑乔这一夜过得很难受,安静下来以后,棍子打的地方显得更疼了。唐吉诃德则整夜不断地思念心上人。尽管如此,两人最后都进入了梦乡。第二天天亮以后,两人又继续赶路,向著名的埃布罗河岸边走去。下一章将记述他们在那里遇到的事情。



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