Page:Don Quixote (Cervantes, Ormsby) Volume 2.djvu/50

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28
DON QUIXOTE.

which he might win renown above all the knights of Aragon, which would be winning it above all the knights of the world. He commended his very praiseworthy and gallant resolution, but admonished him to proceed with greater caution in encountering dangers, because his life did not belong to him, but to all those who had need of him to protect and aid them in their misfortunes. " There's where it is, what I abominate, Señor Samson," said Sancho here; " my master will attack a hundred armed men as a greedy boy would half a dozen melons. Body of the world, señor bachelor! there is a time to attack and a time to retreat, and it is not to be always 'Santiago, and close Spain!'[1] Moreover, I have heard it said (and I think by my master himself, if I remember rightly) that the mean of valor lies between the extremes of cowardice and rashness; and if that be so, I don't want him to fly without having good reason, or to attack when the odds[2] make it better not. But, above all things, I warn my master that if he is to take me with him it must be on the condition that he is to do all the fighting, and that I am not to be called upon to do anything except what concerns keeping him clean and comfortable; in this I will dance attendance on him readily; but to expect me to draw sword, even against rascally churls of the hatchet and hood, is idle. I don't set up to be a fighting man, Señor Samson, but only the best and most loyal squire that ever served knight-errant; and if my master Don Quixote, in consideration of my many faithful services, is pleased to give me some island of the many his worship says one may stumble on in these parts, I will take it as a great favor; and if he does not give it to me, I was born like every one else, and a man must not live in dependence on any one except God; and what is more, my bread will taste as well, and perhaps even better, without a government than if I were a governor; and how do I know but that in these governments the devil may have prepared some trip for me, to make me lose my footing and fall and knock my grinders out? Sancho I was born and Sancho I mean to die. But for all that, if Heaven were to make me a fair offer of an island or something else of the kind, without much trouble and without much risk, I am not such a fool as

  1. The old Spanish war-cry, Santiago y cierra España!
  2. Demasia— literally, "excess." Hartzenbusch would add "of the risk," or substitute "occasion," but I venture to think the word by itself may be taken in the sense I have given.