Read THE PLEASANT METHOD DON QUIXOTE TOOK TO BE DUBBED A KNIGHT. of Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote , free online book, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, on

It troubled him to reflect that he was not yet a knight, feeling persuaded that he could not lawfully engage in any adventure until he had been invested with the order of knighthood.

Agitated by this idea, he abruptly finished his scanty supper, called the innkeeper, and, shutting himself up with him in the stable, he fell on his knees before him and said, “Never will I arise from this place, valorous knight, until your courtesy shall vouchsafe to grant a boon which it is my intention to request, ­a boon that will redound to your glory and to the benefit of all mankind.”  The innkeeper, seeing his guest at his feet and hearing such language, stood confounded and stared at him without knowing what to do or say; he entreated him to rise, but in vain, until he had promised to grant the boon he requested.  “I expected no less, signor, from your great magnificence,” replied Don Quixote; “know, therefore, that the boon I have demanded, and which your liberality has conceded, is that on the morrow you will confer upon me the honor of knighthood.  This night I will watch my arms in the chapel of your castle, in order that, in the morning, my earnest desire may be fulfilled and I may with propriety traverse the four quarters of the world in quest of adventures for the relief of the distressed, conformable to the duties of chivalry and of knights-errant, who, like myself, are devoted to such pursuits.”

The host, who, as we have said, was a shrewd fellow, and had already entertained some doubts respecting the wits of his guest, was now confirmed in his suspicions; and to make sport for the night, determined to follow his humor.  He told him, therefore, that his desire was very reasonable, and that such pursuits were natural and suitable to knights so illustrious as he appeared to be, and as his gallant demeanor fully testified; that he had himself in the days of his youth followed that honorable profession, and travelled over various parts of the world in search of adventures; failing not to visit the suburbs of Malaga, the isles of Riaran, the compass of Seville, the market-place of Segovia, the olive-field of Valencia, the rondilla of Grenada, the coast of St. Lucar, the fountain of Cordova, the taverns of Toledo, and divers other parts, where he had exercised the agility of his heels and the dexterity of his hands; committing sundry wrongs, soliciting widows, seducing damsels, cheating youths, ­in short, making himself known to most of the tribunals in Spain; and that, finally, he had retired to this castle, where he lived upon his revenue and that of others, entertaining therein all knights-errant of every quality and degree solely for the great affection he bore them, and that they might share their fortune with him in return for his good will.  He further told him that in his castle there was no chapel wherein he could watch his armor, for it had been pulled down in order to be rebuilt; but that, in cases of necessity, he knew it might be done wherever he pleased.  Therefore, he might watch it that night in a court of the castle, and the following morning, if it pleased God, the requisite ceremonies should be performed, and he should be dubbed so effectually that the world would not be able to produce a more perfect knight.  He then inquired if he had any money about him.  Don Quixote told him he had none, having never read in their histories that knights-errant provided themselves with money.  The innkeeper assured him he was mistaken; for, admitting that it was not mentioned in their history, the authors deeming it unnecessary to specify things so obviously requisite as money and clean shirts, yet was it not therefore to be inferred that they had none; but, on the contrary, he might consider it as an established fact that all knights-errant, of whose histories so many volumes are filled, carried their purses well provided against accidents; that they were also supplied with shirts, and a small casket of ointments to heal the wounds they might receive, for in plains and deserts, where they fought and were wounded, no aid was near unless they had some sage enchanter for their friend, who could give them immediate assistance by conveying in cloud through the air some damsel or dwarf, with a phial of water possessed of such virtue that, upon tasting a single drop of it, they should instantly become as sound as if they had received no injury.  But when the knights of former times were without such a friend, they always took care that their esquires should be provided with money and such necessary articles as lint and salves; and when they had no esquires ­which very rarely happened ­they carried these things themselves upon the crupper of their horse, in wallets so small as to be scarcely visible, that they might seem to be something of more importance; for, except in such cases, the custom of carrying wallets was not tolerated among knights-errant.  He therefore advised, though, as his godson (which he was soon to be), he might command him, never henceforth to travel without money and the aforesaid provisions, and he would find them serviceable when he least expected it.  Don Quixote promised to follow his advice with punctuality:  and an order was now given for performing the watch of the armor in a large yard adjoining the inn.  Don Quixote, having collected it together placed it on a cistern which was close to a well; then, bracing on his target and grasping his lance, with graceful demeanor he paced to and fro before the pile, beginning his parade as soon as it was dark.

The innkeeper informed all who were in the inn of the frenzy of his guest, the watching of his armor, and of the intended knighting.

The host repeated to him that there was no chapel in the castle, nor was it by any means necessary for what remained to be done; that the stroke of knighting consisted in blows on the neck and shoulders, according to the ceremonial of the order, which might be effectually performed in the middle of the field; that the duty of watching his armor he had now completely fulfilled, for he had watched more than four hours, though only two were required.  All this Don Quixote believed, and said that he was there ready to obey him, requesting him, at the same time, to perform the deed as soon as possible; because, should he be assaulted again when he found himself knighted, he was resolved not to leave one person alive in the castle, excepting those whom, out of respect to him, and at his particular request, he might be induced to spare.  The constable, thus warned and alarmed, immediately brought forth a book in which he kept his account of the straw and oats he furnished to the carriers, and attended by a boy, who carried an end of candle, and the two damsels before mentioned, went towards Don Quixote, whom he commanded to kneel down; he then began reading in his manual, as if it were some devout prayer, in the course of which he raised his hand and gave him a good blow on the neck, and, after that, a handsome stroke over the shoulders, with his own sword, still muttering between his teeth, as if in prayer.  This being done, he commanded one of the ladies to gird on his sword, an office she performed with much alacrity, as well as discretion, no small portion of which was necessary to avoid bursting with laughter at every part of the ceremony; but indeed the prowess they had seen displayed by the new knight kept their mirth within bounds.

At girding on the sword, the good lady said:  “God grant you may be a fortunate knight and successful in battle.”

Don Quixote inquired her name, that he might thenceforward know to whom he was indebted for the favor received, as it was his intention to bestow upon her some share of the honor he should acquire by the valor of his arm.  She replied, with much humility, that her name was Tolosa, and that she was the daughter of a cobbler at Toledo, who lived at the stalls of Sanchobienaya; and that, wherever she was, she would serve and honor him as her lord.  Don Quixote, in reply, requested her, for his sake, to do him the favor henceforth to add to her name the title of don, and call herself Donna Tolosa, which she promised to do.  The other girl now buckled on his spur, and with her he held nearly the same conference as with the lady of the sword; having inquired her name, she told him it was Molinera, and that she was daughter to an honest miller of Antiquera:  he then requested her likewise to assume the don, and style herself Donna Molinera, renewing his proffers of service and thanks.

These never-till-then-seen ceremonies being thus speedily performed, Don Quixote was impatient to find himself on horseback, in quest of adventures.  He therefore instantly saddled Rozinante, mounted him, and, embracing his host, made his acknowledgments for the favor he had conferred by knighting him, in terms so extraordinary, that it would be in vain to attempt to repeat them.  The host, in order to get rid of him the sooner, replied, with no less flourish, but more brevity; and, without making any demand for his lodging, wished him a good journey.

  The tongue slow and the eyes quick.

  Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.

  The brave man carves out his own fortune.

Very full of pain, yet soon as he was able to stir, he began to roll himself on the ground, and to repeat, in what they affirm was said by the wounded knight of the wood: ­

  “Where art thou, mistress of my heart,
      Unconscious of thy lover’s smart? 
   Ah me! thou know’st not my distress,
      Or thou art false and pitiless.”

“I know who I am,” answered Don Quixote; “and I know, too, that I am not only capable of being those I have mentioned, but all the twelve peers of France, yea, and the nine worthies, since my exploits will far exceed all that they have jointly or separately achieved.”