back   TITLE PAGE   down   GERMAN   next  

Don Quixote XVI. The Battle with the Knight of the Mirrors


When the two heroes had again reached the other side of the river Ebro, they were pleased to see Rocinante and the donkey, who had been tied up there. They sat down under a cork tree, had some food and drink and were in good spirits despite their wet clothes. But they were disturbed not long after they had stretched out to sleep. Two men on horseback were riding in the direction of their camp. Don Quixote was in no doubt but that they were knights errant. "Sancho, Sancho!" whispered Don Quixote, "an adventure is approaching." - "May God grant it will be a good one," replied the squire, rubbing his eyes and yawning. An unknown knight in clanking and shining armour jumped from his horse; his squire, who had a huge blue nose, remained seated on his donkey. "Do you belong to the number of the happy or to the number of the afflicted?" the gold-gleaming knight called over to them. "The afflicted!" replied Don Quixote. "Then come to me, if you are a true man." Soon all four were sitting under the cork tree with their legs crossed telling tales about the bloody adventures and cruel fates of brave knights. The Squire of the Wood with the huge blue nose frightened Sancho Panza; nor did he like the armour of the man's master, the gold of which looked like dull, cheap bronze, and then he noticed many little mirrors which had been attached to all edges and ends of this bizarre suit of armour. Picture 100. The Knight of the Mirrors and his Squire He wanted to draw his master's attention to this, but Don Quixote was listening with the greatest interest to the extraordinary tales of the unknown knight. "I have travelled right through all the provinces of Spain challenging all knights errant to single combat, even the strongest and most noble, and I conquered them all", said the knight of the bronze-and-mirror armour with boastful pathos. "But the deed I most pride myself on," the braggart warrior continued, "is that I vanquished the famous knight Don Quixote de la Mancha and forced him to confess that my mistress is more beautiful than his Dulcinea of Toboso!" Don Quixote leapt to his feet in a great rage and cried: "You lie, unworthy creature! Let me tell you that I myself am Don Quixote de la Mancha! I challenge you here to battle, if you have the courage!" - "It is now too dark to fight," the golden Knight of the Woods countered coldly, "only robbers and rogues fight in the dark!" - "Stay, cowardly dog!" Don Quixote dealt the knight covered with mirrors a blow with his sword. At the same time Sancho Panza had jumped up and landed a mighty blow of his fist on his unpleasant squire colleague's ugly blue hooked nose. To Sancho's amazement the nose fell off the face of the Squire of the Woods: it was a badly made pasteboard nose. Sancho picked it up quickly from the ground and ran with it to his master, who had just knocked the glittering knight to the ground with a blow of his sword. Sancho cried: "Look at this nose, noble master! We have two miserable frauds here!" Don Quixote snorted in fury. The armour of the heroic golden figure lying on the ground was also made of pasteboard; the man inside it was no other than Sanson Carrasco, the shoemaker, a neighbour of Sancho Panza's from the same village.

back   DON QUIXOTE   up   CHAPTER XVII   next