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El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha

Quijote 1-XX,
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, 1605
The Historie of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha
Quijote 1-XX, Sancho's Distress,
Transl. by Thomas Shelton, 1612

En esto, parece ser, o que el frío de la mañana, que ya venía, o que Sancho hubiese cenado algunas cosas lenitivas, o que fuese cosa natural -que es lo que más se debe creer-, a él le vino en voluntad y deseo de hacer lo que otro no pudiera hacer por él; mas era tanto el miedo que había entrado en su corazón, que no osaba apartarse un negro de uña de su amo. Pues pensar de no hacer lo que tenía gana, tampoco era posible; y así, lo que hizo, por bien de paz, fue soltar la mano derecha, que tenía asida al arzón trasero, con la cual, bonitamente y sin rumor alguno, se soltó la lazada corrediza con que los calzones se sostenían, sin ayuda de otra alguna, y, en quitándosela, dieron luego abajo y se le quedaron como grillos. Tras esto, alzó la camisa lo mejor que pudo y echó al aire entrambas posaderas, que no eran muy pequeñas. Hecho esto -que él pensó que era lo más que tenía que hacer para salir de aquel terrible aprieto y angustia-, le sobrevino otra mayor, que fue que le pareció que no podía mudarse sin hacer estrépito y ruido, y comenzó a apretar los dientes y a encoger los hombros, recogiendo en sí el aliento todo cuanto podía; pero, con todas estas diligencias, fue tan desdichado que, al cabo al cabo, vino a hacer un poco de ruido, bien diferente de aquel que a él le ponía tanto miedo. Oyólo don Quijote y dijo:

-¿Qué rumor es ése, Sancho?

-No sé, señor -respondió él-. Alguna cosa nueva debe de ser, que las aventuras y desventuras nunca comienzan por poco.

Tornó otra vez a probar ventura, y sucedióle tan bien que, sin más ruido ni alboroto que el pasado, se halló libre de la carga que tanta pesadumbre le había dado. Mas, como don Quijote tenía el sentido del olfato tan vivo como el de los oídos, y Sancho estaba tan junto y cosido con él que casi por línea recta subían los vapores hacia arriba, no se pudo escusar de que algunos no llegasen a sus narices; y, apenas hubieron llegado, cuando él fue al socorro, apretándolas entre los dos dedos; y, con tono algo gangoso, dijo:

-Paréceme, Sancho, que tienes mucho miedo.

-Sí tengo -respondió Sancho-; mas, ¿en qué lo echa de ver vuestra merced ahora más que nunca?

-En que ahora más que nunca hueles, y no a ámbar -respondió don Quijote.

-Bien podrá ser -dijo Sancho-, mas yo no tengo la culpa, sino vuestra merced, que me trae a deshoras y por estos no acostumbrados pasos.

-Retírate tres o cuatro allá, amigo -dijo don Quijote (todo esto sin quitarse los dedos de las narices)-, y desde aquí adelante ten más cuenta con tu persona y con lo que debes a la mía; que la mucha conversación que tengo contigo ha engendrado este menosprecio.

-Apostaré -replicó Sancho- que piensa vuestra merced que yo he hecho de mi persona alguna cosa que no deba.

-Peor es meneallo, amigo Sancho -respondió don Quijote.

En estos coloquios y otros semejantes pasaron la noche amo y mozo. Mas, viendo Sancho que a más andar se venía la mañana, con mucho tiento desligó a Rocinante y se ató los calzones. Como Rocinante se vio libre, aunque él de suyo no era nada brioso, parece que se resintió, y comenzó a dar manotadas; porque corvetas -con perdón   [p. 236]   suyo- no las sabía hacer. Viendo, pues, don Quijote que ya Rocinante se movía, lo tuvo a buena señal, y creyó que lo era de que acometiese aquella temerosa aventura.

It happened about this time, that, either through the cold of the morning, or that Sancho had eaten at supper some lenitive meats, or that it was a thing natural (and that is most credible), he had a desire to do that which others could not do for him; but such was the fear that entered into his heart as he dared not depart from his lord the breadth of a straw, and to think to leave that which he had desired undone was also impossible; therefore, his resolution in that perplexed exigent (be it spoken with pardon) was this: he loosed his right hand, wherewithal he held fast the hinder part of the saddle, and therewithal very softly, and without any noise, he untied the cod-piece point wherewithal his breeches were only supported, which, that being let slip, did presently fall down about his legs like a pair of bolts; after this, lifting up his shirt the best he could, he exposed his buttocks to the air, which were not the least. This being done, which, as he thought, was the chiefest thing requisite to issue out of that terrible anguish and plunge, he was suddenly troubled with a greater, to wit, that he knew not how to disburden himself without making a noise; which to avoid, first he shut his teeth close, lifted up his shoulders, and gathered up his breath as much as he might; yet, notwithstanding all these diligences, he was so unfortunate, that he made a little noise at the end, much different from that which made him so fearful. Don Quixote heard it, and said, ‘What noise is that, Sancho?’ ‘I know it not, sir,’ quoth he; ‘I think it be some new thing for adventures; or rather, disventures never begin with a little.’ Then turned he once again to try his hap, and it succeeded so well that, without making any rumour or noise but that which he did at the first, he found himself free of the loading that troubled him so much.

But Don Quixote having the sense of smelling as perfect as that of his hearing, and Sancho stood so near, or rather joined to him, as the vapours did ascend upward, almost by a direct line, he could not excuse himself but that some of them must needs touch his nose. And scarce had they arrived, but that he occurred to the usual remedy, and stopped it very well between his fingers, and then said with a snaffling voice, ‘Methinks, Sancho, that thou art much afraid.’ ‘I am indeed,’ replied Sancho; ‘but wherein, I pray you, do you perceive it now more than ever?’ ‘In that thou smellest now more than ever,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘and that not of amber.’ ‘It may be so,’ quoth Sancho; ‘yet the fault is not mine, but yours, which bring me, at such unseasonable hours, through so desolate and fearful places.’ ‘I pray thee, friend, retire thyself two or three steps back,’ quoth Don Quixote, holding his fingers still upon his nose, ‘and from henceforth have more care of thy person, and of the respect thou owest to mine; for I see the overmuch familiarity that I use with thee hath engendered this contempt.’ ‘I dare wager,’ quoth Sancho, ‘that you think I have done somewhat with my person that I ought not.’ ‘Friend Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘it is the worse to stir it thus.’ And thus, in these and such like conversation, the master and the man passed over the night. And Sancho, seeing that the morning approach, he loosed Rozinante very warily, and tied up his hose. Rozinante, feeling himself (although he was not naturally very courageous), he seemed to rejoice, and began to beat the ground with his hoofs; for (by his leave) he could never yet curvet. Don Quixote, seeing that Rozinante could now stir, accounted it to be a good sign, and an encouragement of him to attempt that timorous adventure.