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Part 2 Chapter 71

The vanquished and afflicted Don Quixote went along very downcast in one respect and very happy in another. His sadness arose from his defeat, and his satisfaction from the thought of the virtue that lay in Sancho, as had been proved by the resurrection of Altisidora; though it was with difficulty he could persuade himself that the love-smitten damsel had been really dead. Sancho went along anything but cheerful, for it grieved him that Altisidora had not kept her promise of giving him the smocks; and turning this over in his mind he said to his master, “Surely, senor, I’m the most unlucky doctor in the world; there’s many a physician that, after killing the sick man he had to cure, requires to be paid for his work, though it is only signing a bit of a list of medicines, that the apothecary and not he makes up, and, there, his labour is over; but with me though to cure somebody else costs me drops of blood, smacks, pinches, pinproddings, and whippings, nobody gives me a farthing. Well, I swear by all that’s good if they put another patient into my hands, they’ll have to grease them for me before I cure him; for, as they say, ‘it’s by his singing the abbot gets his dinner,’ and I’m not going to believe that heaven has bestowed upon me the virtue I have, that I should be dealing it out to others all for nothing.”

“Thou art right, Sancho my friend,” said Don Quixote, “and Altisidora has behaved very badly in not giving thee the smocks she promised; and although that virtue of thine is gratis data — as it has cost thee no study whatever, any more than such study as thy personal sufferings may be — I can say for myself that if thou wouldst have payment for the lashes on account of the disenchant of Dulcinea, I would have given it to thee freely ere this. I am not sure, however, whether payment will comport with the cure, and I would not have the reward interfere with the medicine. I think there will be nothing lost by trying it; consider how much thou wouldst have, Sancho, and whip thyself at once, and pay thyself down with thine own hand, as thou hast money of mine.”

At this proposal Sancho opened his eyes and his ears a palm’s breadth wide, and in his heart very readily acquiesced in whipping himself, and said he to his master, “Very well then, senor, I’ll hold myself in readiness to gratify your worship’s wishes if I’m to profit by it; for the love of my wife and children forces me to seem grasping. Let your worship say how much you will pay me for each lash I give myself.”

“If Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “I were to requite thee as the importance and nature of the cure deserves, the treasures of Venice, the mines of Potosi, would be insufficient to pay thee. See what thou hast of mine, and put a price on each lash.”

“Of them,” said Sancho, “there are three thousand three hundred and odd; of these I have given myself five, the rest remain; let the five go for the odd ones, and let us take the three thousand three hundred, which at a quarter real apiece (for I will not take less though the whole world should bid me) make three thousand three hundred quarter reals; the three thousand are one thousand five hundred half reals, which make seven hundred and fifty reals; and the three hundred make a hundred and fifty half reals, which come to seventy-five reals, which added to the seven hundred and fifty make eight hundred and twenty-five reals in all. These I will stop out of what I have belonging to your worship, and I’ll return home rich and content, though well whipped, for ‘there’s no taking trout’ — but I say no more.”

“O blessed Sancho! O dear Sancho!” said Don Quixote; “how we shall be bound to serve thee, Dulcinea and I, all the days of our lives that heaven may grant us! If she returns to her lost shape (and it cannot be but that she will) her misfortune will have been good fortune, and my defeat a most happy triumph. But look here, Sancho; when wilt thou begin the scourging? For if thou wilt make short work of it, I will give thee a hundred reals over and above.”

“When?” said Sancho; “this night without fail. Let your worship order it so that we pass it out of doors and in the open air, and I’ll scarify myself.”

Night, longed for by Don Quixote with the greatest anxiety in the world, came at last, though it seemed to him that the wheels of Apollo’s car had broken down, and that the day was drawing itself out longer than usual, just as is the case with lovers, who never make the reckoning of their desires agree with time. They made their way at length in among some pleasant trees that stood a little distance from the road, and there vacating Rocinante’s saddle and Dapple’s pack-saddle, they stretched themselves on the green grass and made their supper off Sancho’s stores, and he making a powerful and flexible whip out of Dapple’s halter and headstall retreated about twenty paces from his master among some beech trees. Don Quixote seeing him march off with such resolution and spirit, said to him, “Take care, my friend, not to cut thyself to pieces; allow the lashes to wait for one another, and do not be in so great a hurry as to run thyself out of breath midway; I mean, do not lay on so strenuously as to make thy life fail thee before thou hast reached the desired number; and that thou mayest not lose by a card too much or too little, I will station myself apart and count on my rosary here the lashes thou givest thyself. May heaven help thee as thy good intention deserves.”

“‘Pledges don’t distress a good payer,’” said Sancho; “I mean to lay on in such a way as without killing myself to hurt myself, for in that, no doubt, lies the essence of this miracle.”

He then stripped himself from the waist upwards, and snatching up the rope he began to lay on and Don Quixote to count the lashes. He might have given himself six or eight when he began to think the joke no trifle, and its price very low; and holding his hand for a moment, he told his master that he cried off on the score of a blind bargain, for each of those lashes ought to be paid for at the rate of half a real instead of a quarter.

“Go on, Sancho my friend, and be not disheartened,” said Don Quixote; “for I double the stakes as to price.”

“In that case,” said Sancho, “in God’s hand be it, and let it rain lashes.” But the rogue no longer laid them on his shoulders, but laid on to the trees, with such groans every now and then, that one would have thought at each of them his soul was being plucked up by the roots. Don Quixote, touched to the heart, and fearing he might make an end of himself, and that through Sancho’s imprudence he might miss his own object, said to him, “As thou livest, my friend, let the matter rest where it is, for the remedy seems to me a very rough one, and it will he well to have patience; ‘Zamora was not won in an hour.’ If I have not reckoned wrong thou hast given thyself over a thousand lashes; that is enough for the present; ‘for the ass,’ to put it in homely phrase, ‘bears the load, but not the overload.’”

“No, no, senor,” replied Sancho; “it shall never be said of me, ‘The money paid, the arms broken;’ go back a little further, your worship, and let me give myself at any rate a thousand lashes more; for in a couple of bouts like this we shall have finished off the lot, and there will be even cloth to spare.”

“As thou art in such a willing mood,” said Don Quixote, “may heaven aid thee; lay on and I’ll retire.”

Sancho returned to his task with so much resolution that he soon had the bark stripped off several trees, such was the severity with which he whipped himself; and one time, raising his voice, and giving a beech a tremendous lash, he cried out, “Here dies Samson, and all with him!”

 

At the sound of his piteous cry and of the stroke of the cruel lash, Don Quixote ran to him at once, and seizing the twisted halter that served him for a courbash, said to him, “Heaven forbid, Sancho my friend, that to please me thou shouldst lose thy life, which is needed for the support of thy wife and children; let Dulcinea wait for a better opportunity, and I will content myself with a hope soon to be realised, and have patience until thou hast gained fresh strength so as to finish off this business to the satisfaction of everybody.”

“As your worship will have it so, senor,” said Sancho, “so be it; but throw your cloak over my shoulders, for I’m sweating and I don’t want to take cold; it’s a risk that novice disciplinants run.”

Don Quixote obeyed, and stripping himself covered Sancho, who slept until the sun woke him; they then resumed their journey, which for the time being they brought to an end at a village that lay three leagues farther on. They dismounted at a hostelry which Don Quixote recognised as such and did not take to be a castle with moat, turrets, portcullis, and drawbridge; for ever since he had been vanquished he talked more rationally about everything, as will be shown presently. They quartered him in a room on the ground floor, where in place of leather hangings there were pieces of painted serge such as they commonly use in villages. On one of them was painted by some very poor hand the Rape of Helen, when the bold guest carried her off from Menelaus, and on the other was the story of Dido and AEneas, she on a high tower, as though she were making signals with a half sheet to her fugitive guest who was out at sea flying in a frigate or brigantine. He noticed in the two stories that Helen did not go very reluctantly, for she was laughing slyly and roguishly; but the fair Dido was shown dropping tears the size of walnuts from her eyes. Don Quixote as he looked at them observed, “Those two ladies were very unfortunate not to have been born in this age, and I unfortunate above all men not to have been born in theirs. Had I fallen in with those gentlemen, Troy would not have been burned or Carthage destroyed, for it would have been only for me to slay Paris, and all these misfortunes would have been avoided.”

“I’ll lay a bet,” said Sancho, “that before long there won’t be a tavern, roadside inn, hostelry, or barber’s shop where the story of our doings won’t be painted up; but I’d like it painted by the hand of a better painter than painted these.”

“Thou art right, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “for this painter is like Orbaneja, a painter there was at Ubeda, who when they asked him what he was painting, used to say, ‘Whatever it may turn out; and if he chanced to paint a cock he would write under it, ‘This is a cock,’ for fear they might think it was a fox. The painter or writer, for it’s all the same, who published the history of this new Don Quixote that has come out, must have been one of this sort I think, Sancho, for he painted or wrote ‘whatever it might turn out;’ or perhaps he is like a poet called Mauleon that was about the Court some years ago, who used to answer at haphazard whatever he was asked, and on one asking him what Deum de Deo meant, he replied De donde diere. But, putting this aside, tell me, Sancho, hast thou a mind to have another turn at thyself to-night, and wouldst thou rather have it indoors or in the open air?”

“Egad, senor,” said Sancho, “for what I’m going to give myself, it comes all the same to me whether it is in a house or in the fields; still I’d like it to be among trees; for I think they are company for me and help me to bear my pain wonderfully.”

“And yet it must not be, Sancho my friend,” said Don Quixote; “but, to enable thee to recover strength, we must keep it for our own village; for at the latest we shall get there the day after tomorrow.”

Sancho said he might do as he pleased; but that for his own part he would like to finish off the business quickly before his blood cooled and while he had an appetite, because “in delay there is apt to be danger” very often, and “praying to God and plying the hammer,” and “one take was better than two I’ll give thee’s ,” and “a sparrow in the hand than a vulture on the wing.”

“For God’s sake, Sancho, no more proverbs!” exclaimed Don Quixote; “it seems to me thou art becoming sicut erat again; speak in a plain, simple, straight-forward way, as I have often told thee, and thou wilt find the good of it.”

“I don’t know what bad luck it is of mine,” argument to my mind; however, I mean to mend said Sancho, “but I can’t utter a word without a proverb that is not as good as an argument to my mind; however, I mean to mend if I can;” and so for the present the conversation ended.

 

战败以后失魂落魄的唐吉诃德一方面郁郁不乐,另一方面心里又很高兴。他悲的是自己被打败了,喜的是发现了桑乔的本领居然能让阿尔蒂西多拉起死回生。不过,唐吉诃德对此仍有一点儿疑虑,他以为阿尔蒂西多拉并没有真正死去。桑乔却一点儿也不高兴,因为阿尔蒂西多拉答应给他衬衫,却并没有给他。想来想去,桑乔对唐吉诃德说:

“说实话,大人,可以说我大概是世界上最倒霉的医生了。别的医生把他看的病人治死了,还让人家掏看病钱。他们做的只不过是开个药方,在上面签个名,而且药还不是他们做的,是药房做的,让病人喝下去就算完事了。可是我呢,为了给别人治病,我得流血得让人胡噜,还得让人又掐又扎又打,我自己却什么好处也没得到。我发誓,下次若是再有人找我看病,我得先让他给我上点儿供。修道院长还得靠唱歌挣饭吃呢。我就不信老天教给我看病的本领,却让我白白地给别人看病。”

“说得对,桑乔,”唐吉诃德说,“阿尔蒂西多拉答应给你衬衫却没给,她这样做很不好。尽管你那本领是白捡的,没费什么工夫去学,可你是通过挨打受罪才掌握这个本领的。从我这方面来说,如果你原来提出为解除附在杜尔西内亚身上的魔法而要报酬,我早就付你一大笔钱了。不过,我不知道拿了钱以后再治病是否还奏效。我可不想让金钱影响疗效。尽管如此,我觉得咱们不妨试试。桑乔,你先说,你想要多少钱,然后你就鞭打自己吧,钱最后扣除,反正我的钱都在你手里呢。”

桑乔一听这话立刻睁大了眼睛,把耳朵伸出一拃长。只要能得到优厚的报酬,他打心眼里愿意自己打自己。他对唐吉诃德说:

“那么好吧,大人,我愿意满足您的愿望,那样我自己也可以得到好处。我非常爱我的孩子和老婆,而这使得我需要钱。您说吧,我每打自己一鞭子您给我多少钱?”

“桑乔,”唐吉诃德说,“你这本是件功德无量的事,我即使把威尼斯的财宝和波托西的矿藏全都给你也不为过。你估计你身上有我多少钱,开个价吧,每打一鞭子给你多少钱。”

“一共得打三千三百多下,”桑乔说,“我已经打了自己五下,其余的还没动呢。把这五鞭子算作零头去掉,还剩下三千三百鞭子。就算每鞭一个夸尔蒂约吧,如果再少,谁逼我干我也不干了,那就是三千三百个夸尔蒂约;三千夸尔蒂约就是一千五百个二分之一的雷阿尔,相当于七百五十个雷阿尔;三百个夸尔蒂约就是一百五十个二分之一的雷阿尔,相当于七十五个雷阿尔;再加上七百五十个雷阿尔就是八百二十五个雷阿尔。这钱我得从您的钱里扣出来。那么我虽然挨了鞭子,回家时毕竟有钱了,心里也高兴。要想抓到鱼……我不说了①。”

①下半句是“就得湿裤子”。

“积德行善的桑乔啊,可爱的桑乔啊,”唐吉诃德说,“我和杜尔西内亚这辈子该如何报答你呀!如果这次能成功,她肯定会恢复原貌,她的不幸就会转化为幸运,我的失败也就会转化为极大的成功。桑乔,你看你什么时候开始鞭打呀?为了让你早点儿动手,我再给你加一百个雷阿尔。”

“什么时候?”桑乔说,“就今天晚上吧。你准备好,咱们今晚露宿在野外,我一定把自己打得皮开肉绽。”

唐吉诃德急不可耐地等着夜晚到来。他觉得太阳神的车子好像车轮坏了,他就像情人期待幽会那样,觉得那天特别长,而没有意识到是自己太着急了。夜晚终于到来了。他们来到离大路不远的一片葱郁的树林中,从马背上和驴背上下来,躺在绿色的草地上吃着桑乔带来的干粮。吃完东西后,桑乔用驴的缰绳做成一根粗而有弹性的鞭子,来到离主人大约二十步远的几棵山毛榉树中间。唐吉诃德见到桑乔那副毅然决然的样子,对他说道:

“朋友,别把自己打坏了,打几下就停一停,别急着使劲打,中间歇口气儿。我是说你别打得太狠了,结果还没打够数就送了命。为了避免你计错数,我在旁边用念珠给你记着鞭数。但愿老天成全你的好意。”

“没有金刚钻,就不揽瓷器活儿。”桑乔说,“我自有办法既不把自己打死,也不把自己打疼,这样才算显出我的神通。”

桑乔说完脱光了自己上半身的衣服,抓过鞭子开始抽打自己,唐吉诃德则开始为他计数。刚打了七八下,桑乔就意识到这个玩笑开得太重了,自己开的价也太低了。他停了一下,对唐吉诃德说刚才自己吃亏了,他觉得每鞭应该付半个雷阿尔,而不是一个夸尔蒂约。”

“你接着打吧,桑乔朋友,”唐吉诃德说,“别松劲儿,我把价钱提高一倍。”

“既然这样,”桑乔说,“那就听天由命吧,让鞭子像雨点一般地打来吧!”

可是,狡滑的桑乔并没有把鞭子打在自己的背上,而是打到了树干上,而且每打一下还呻吟一下,仿佛每一下都打得非常狠似的。唐吉诃德心肠软,怕桑乔不小心把自己打死,那么他的目的也就达不到了,便对桑乔说道:

“喂,朋友,为了你的性命,咱们这次还是到这儿为止吧。我觉得这副药太厉害了,得慢慢来。一口吃不成胖子。如果我没数错的话,你已经打了自己一千多下。这次打这么多就够了,驴虽然能负重,太重了也驮不动。”唐吉诃德说话就是这么粗鲁。

“不,不,大人,”桑乔说,“我可不想让人说我拿了钱就不认帐。您让开一点儿,让我再打一千下,有这么两回就可以完事了,也许还能有富余呢。”

“既然你能受得了,”唐吉诃德说,“愿老天助你一臂之力。

你打吧,我走开一点儿。”

桑乔又继续抽下去,把好几棵树的树皮都抽得脱落了。由此可见他抽得有多狠。有一次他狠命地抽打一棵山毛榉,竟提高了嗓门喊道:

“参孙啊,我宁愿与他们同归于尽!”

听到这凄厉的喊声和猛烈的抽打声,唐吉诃德赶紧跑了过来。他抓住桑乔那根用缰绳做的鞭子,对桑乔说道:

“桑乔,命运不允许你为了我的利益而牺牲你的性命。你还得养活老婆孩子呢,还是让杜尔西内亚再等个更好的机会吧。实现我的愿望已经指日可待,我知足了。你还是先养足精神,找个大家都合适的时候再了结这件事情吧。”

“我的大人,”桑乔说,“既然您愿意这样,就先打到这儿吧。您把您的外衣被到我背上吧。我出了一身汗,可千万别着凉,初次受鞭笞的人最怕着凉。”

唐吉诃德把自己的外衣脱下来给桑乔披上,自己仅穿着内衣。桑乔裹着唐吉诃德的外衣睡着了,一觉睡到了日出。两人继续赶路,走了三西里远。

他们在一个客店前下了马和驴。唐吉诃德认出那只是一个客店,而不是什么带有壕沟、瞭望塔、吊门和吊桥的城堡。自从吃了败仗以后,唐吉诃德比以前清醒多了,下面就可以证明这一点。他们被安排到楼下的一个房间里。在房间的墙壁上,按照当时农村的习惯挂着几幅旧皮雕画,其中一幅拙劣地画着海伦被特洛伊王子帕里斯从墨涅拉俄斯①,那儿拐走的情景;另一幅画的是狄多和埃涅阿斯的故事。狄多站在一座高塔上,挥舞着半条床单,向海上乘着三桅船或双桅船逃亡的远客示意。唐吉诃德发现画上的海伦并非不情愿,因为她正在偷偷地笑;而美丽的狄多脸上则淌出了胡桃般大小的泪珠。唐吉诃德说道:

①在希腊神话中,帕里斯从海伦的丈夫墨涅拉俄斯处拐走了海伦,引起了特洛伊战争。

“这两位夫人没有出生在当今的时代真是太不幸了,而我没有出生在她们那个年代也很不幸。那几个人若是遇到了我,特洛伊就不会被烧掉,伽太基也不会被毁掉,我一个人就可以把帕里斯杀掉,就可以免除这些灾难!”

“我敢打赌,”桑乔说,“不用多久,所有酒店、客店、旅馆或者理发店,都不会不把咱们的事迹画上去。我希望有比这些人更优秀的画家来画出咱们的事迹。”

“你说得对,桑乔,”唐吉诃德说,“而且,这个画家应该像乌韦达的画家奥瓦内哈那样,人家问他画的是什么东西时,他说:‘像什么就是什么。’如果他偶然画出了一只公鸡,他就会在下面注上:“这是一只公鸡。”免得别人以为他画的是一只狐狸。桑乔,绘画和写作其实是一回事,我觉得那个出版了唐吉诃德新传的家伙,大概就是这样的人,他写的像什么就算什么。他大概也像多年前宫廷的一位叫毛莱翁的诗人一样,别人问他什么他都信口乱说。别人问他Deum de Deo是什么意思,他就说是De donde diere①。不过,咱们暂且不谈这些吧。桑乔,你告诉我,你是否愿意今天晚上再打自己一顿?而且,你是愿意在屋里打呢,还是愿意在露天打?”

①前句为拉丁文“上帝啊”的意思,后句为西班牙文“无论从哪儿来”的意思。两句形相近,意义不同。

“大人呀,”桑乔说,“我觉得在屋里打和在野外打都一样,不过最好还是在树林里,这样我就会觉得有那些树同我在一起,可以神奇地同我分享痛苦。”

“那就算了,桑乔朋友,”唐吉诃德说,“你还是养精蓄锐,等咱们回到村里再打吧。最迟后天,咱们就可以到家了。”

桑乔说随唐吉诃德的便,但他愿意趁热打铁,一鼓作气,尽快把这件事了结:“‘拖拖拉拉,事情就玄’,‘板上钉钉事竟成’,‘一个在手胜过两个在望’,‘手里的鸟胜过天上的鹰’嘛。”

“看在上帝份上,你别再说俗语了。”唐吉诃德说,“我看你老毛病又犯了。你有话就直说,别绕弯说那么多乱七八糟的东西。我跟你说过多少次了,你以后会知道这对你有多大好处。”

“我也不知道这是什么毛病,”桑乔说,“不说点俗语,我就觉得没说清楚。不过,以后我尽可能改吧。”

他们这次谈话到此结束。



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