Señor, replied Sancho, if your worship really thinks I am not qualified for that government, I renounce it from henceforward for ever, amen. I have a greater regard for a sliver of my soul, than for my whole body; and I can subsist either as bare Sancho, upon a crust of bread and an onion, or as a governor on capons and partridges; for, while we sleep, great and small rich and poor, are all equal.
Here ended the song of the hapless Altisdora; and here began the horror of the courted Don Quixote, who, giving a heavy sigh, said to himself, “What an unfortunate errant am I, whom no damsel can behold without being enamoured of my person!”
So far had Don Quixote proceeded with his song, which was overheard by the duke and duchess, Altisodra, and almost all the people in the castle, when all of a sudden, from the top of a corridor immediately above Don Quixote’s window, came down a cord to which more than a hundred horsebells were tied; and after these was discharged a whole sackful of cats with smaller bells fastened to their tails. Such was the noise occasioned by the tinkling of these bells, and the meowing of the cats, that even the duke and duchess, who invented the joke, were terrified and confounded, and Don Quixote astonished and dismayed[.]