Squire of the Forest (Tome Cecial)
Age: He is old enough to be Sancho Panza’s father.
Children: He has three children.
Physical Appearance: The Squire of the Forest wears a “lacquered paper mache” nose that scares Sancho Panza. It is “of vast size, hooked, covered in warts, purple in colour like an aubergine, hanging down a couple of inches below his mouth.”
Sancho Panza’s Neighbor: The Squire of the Forest is actually Sancho Panza’s neighbor and old mate, Tome Cecial, who wears a huge false nose to disguise his appearance.
The Squire of the Forest Meets Sancho Panza: The Squire of the Forest seizes Sancho Panza by the arm and says “‘let’s clear off, just the two of us, to somewhere we can have a nice squirely chat about whatever takes our fancy, and leave these masters of ours to their story-telling contests about the histories of their loves.” In reply, Sancho Panza exclaims he’ll “say yes to that and [he’ll] tell [the Squire of the forest] all about [him] and [he’ll] soon see whether or not [he] can hold [his] own with the most talkative squires there are.” So off the two squires go “to have a conversation as funny as their masters’ [is] grave.” In this conversation, the squires tell each other all about their lives.
The Squire of the Forest and Sancho Panza Talk About Their Difficult Lives: To begin with, the Squire of the Forest says to Sancho Panza that they lead a weary life since they “eat [their] bread in the sweat of their faces.” Here, Sancho Panza adds that they “eat in the ice of their bodies because who puts up with more heat and cold than us poor squires of knight errantry?” Sancho Panza continues that “it wouldn’t be so bad if [they] got a bite to eat, because in all kinds of grief bread brings [them] relief, but there are times when [they] go for a day or two days without ever breaking [their] fast with anything more than the wind that blows in [their] faces.” Later, the Squire of the Forest says that “‘it would be much better for [squire’s] in this accursed service to go back home and amuse [themselves] with gentler activities, [like hunting or fishing, for example]; for what squire [he asks] hasn’t got a hack, or a couple of greyhounds and a fishing rod to amuse himself with in [his] village?’”
The Squire of the Forest and Sancho Panza Talk About Their Future Rewards: But, says the Squire of the Forest, you can stand the hardships of being a squire errant, because “if the knight errant that your serving isn’t too unlucky, at least you’ll be rewarded after a few adventures with a handsome governorship of some island, or a good-looking earldom.” As for him, the Squire of the Forest says he “‘will be well satisfied with a canonry for [his] services, and [his] master has already promised him one—and what a canonry it is too [he exclaims]!’”
The Squire of the Forest Tries to Convince Sancho Panza to Go Home: To convince Sancho Panza to return to his village, the Squire of the Forest tells him that he has “made up [his] mind to turn [his] back on all these capers of these here knights, and to go back to [his] village, and to bring up [his] children.” Later, the Squire of the Forest says “‘it [would] be better for them to clear off at a good lively trot, and return to where [they] belong, because those that go in search of adventure don’t always find them to their liking.” Finally, the Squire of the Forest says that they “should stop searching for adventures and return to their own cottages.”
The Squire of the Forest and Sancho Panza Talk About Materialism: When Sancho Panza says that he has “fallen into this dangerous job as a squire for a second time, tempted and tricked by a purse with a hundred escudos in it that [he] found one day in the heart of the Sierra Morena, [the Squire of the Forest] replies that “greed breaks the sack.”
The Squire of the Forest Talks About the Knight of The Forest: The Squire of the Forest says that his “master [is] pretending to be mad for the sake of helping another knight who’s lost his reason [to] regain it.”
The Squire of the Forest and Sancho Panza Talk About Their Knights: When Sancho Panza says that the Squire of the Forest is “serving a master who’s just as stupid as his, [the Squire of the Forest says that his master is] stupid, but valiant, and even more villainous than either.” In reply, Sancho Panza says that Don Quixote “isn’t at all villainous.” Rather, he is as “innocent as the babe unborn, [since] he couldn’t hurt a fly, [and] only wants to do good to everyone, and there isn’t an ounce of malice in him.”
The Squire of the Forest and Sancho Panza Eat Dinner: When, “every so often Sancho Panza [spits] out some sort of dry and sticky saliva, the charitable forestal squire says: ‘It seems to me we’ve been talking so much that our tongues are sticking to the roofs of our mouths; but that [he has] something hanging from [his] saddle-bow that will be very good at unsticking them.” Thus, a moment later the Squire of the Forest returns “with a great leather bottle full of wine and a pie half-a-yard square [made of] white rabbit.” Overjoyed, Sancho Panza asks him if “this is the sort of food [he] always carries.” In reply, the Squire of the Forest says that he “‘carries better provisions on the back of [his] horse than any general takes on his campaigns.” Sancho Panza, for his part, doesn’t “need to be asked twice” to eat. Thus, he gulps down “mouthfuls of food the size of hobble-knots, in the dark of the night.” Then, Sancho Panza says that the Squire of the Forest “isn’t a miserable wretch [like him] who hasn’t got anything in his saddle-bags except a lump of cheese that’s so hard you could split a giant’s skull with it, [or] a few dozen carob beans for company, and about the same number of hazel nuts and walnuts, [as well] thanks to [his] master’s slender means and the idea he’s got and the rule he follows that knight errants mustn’t eat anything apart from nuts and herbs.” At this the Squire of the Forest replies that he “hasn’t got a stomach for thistles or wild pears or roots [since] he carries [his] own food boxes [coupled with a] leather bottle hanging from [his] saddle bow in case [he] needs it.” After much banter, “both [squires fall asleep] clutching [their] almost empty-wine bottle with their food half chewed in their mouths.”
The Squire of The Forest and Sancho Panza Almost Fight: The Squire of the Forest tells Sancho Panza that “it’s the custom of the fighting men in Andalusia when they are seconds in some scrap, not to sit there twiddling their thumbs while the principals are swapping blows [but] to take up cudgels and smash each other to smithereens.” In reply, Sancho Panza says “that custom might hold good among those fighting men and riff-raff [he’s] talking about, but [he] can forget it as far as knight errants’ squires are concerned, since he never heard [Don Quixote] talking about any custom of that sort [even though] he’s got all the rules and regulations of knight-errantry off by heart.” Sancho Panza continues that “even if [he] grants it’s true that there’s a clear rule that squires must fight while their masters are fighting, [he is] not going to obey it.” What’s more, Sancho Panza says that “there is something else that stops him from fighting [he hasn’t] got a sword.” In reply, the Squire of the Forest says he has “two [identical] cotton bags, [so if each of them takes one they can] have a bag-fight on equal terms.” That, Sancho Panza says, he “can agree to because a fight like that is more likely to dust down [their] jackets than break [their] bones.” No, the Squire of the Forest disagrees, “it won’t be like that [at all] because in the bags [they’ll] put half a dozen nice smooth pebbles ? one lot weighing the same as the other ? so they’ll be able to wallop away without doing any harm.” This prompts Sancho Panza to say that “even if the Squire of the Forest filled the bags with “silk cocoons [he is] not going to fight.” All the same, the Squire of the Forest replies that they “must fight even if it is only for half an hour.” Certainly not, replies Sancho Panza, he is “not going to have even the tiniest quarrel with a man whose food and drink [he has just] shared.” What’s more, Sancho Panza says that he is “not feeling the tiniest bit angry, and who the devil, [he asks], can bring himself to fight in cold blood, without any anger or provocation.” The Squire of the Forest replies that “before [they] fight [he’ll] come up smartly to [Sancho Panza] and give [him] three or four wallops that’ll lay [him] flat at [his] feet, and [that’ll] rouse [his] anger.” To end the conversation, Sancho Panza says he has a better idea. That before the Squire of the Forest “can come and rise [his] anger, [he’ll] grab a cudgel” and thump him.
The Squire of the Forest’s Nose Scares Sancho Panza: As soon as the light of day allow objects to be seen and distinguished, “what first presents itself to Sancho Panza’s gaze [is] the Squire of the Forest’s nose, which [is] so large that almost all his body lay in its shadow. It is said to have been of vast size, hooked, and covered in warts, purple in colour like an aubergine, hanging down a couple of inches below his mouth.” Its’ “size, colour, warts and hook [make] the squire’s face so ugly that when Sancho [Panza sees] it his feet begin to tremble like a child with convulsions.” Later, when Sancho Panza sees Don Quixote riding off to make his charge on the Knight of the Forest, “he [doesn’t] like the idea of being left alone with the squire of the nose, fearing that just one flick of it delivered to his own nose would put an end to his fight and leave him stretched out on the ground from the force of the blow or his fear.” So he runs after Don Quixote, “clutches one of Rocinante’s leather stirrups,” and says to his knight to “kindly help him into a coark oak over there, [because he is] scared out of his wits by the squires enormous nose, and [he] daren’t stay with him all by [himself].” This prompts Don Quixote to install Sancho Panza in a coark oak.
Originally posted 2019-12-29 21:36:13.