If truth be told, what I eat … tastes much better to me in my corner without fancy or respectful manners

From ch 11 in Part 1 of Don Quixote, Edith Grossman’s translation. My adult self finds in Sancho here an image of anyone ineffectually resisting an unsought promotion.

“So that you may see, Sancho, the virtue contained in knight errantry, and how those who practice any portion of it always tend to be honored and esteemed in the world, I want you to sit here at my side and in the company of these good people, and be the same as I, who am your natural lord and master; eat from my plate and drink where I drink, for one may say of knight errantry what is said of love: it makes all things equal.”

“You’re too kind!” said Sancho. “But I can tell your grace that as long as I have something good to eat, I’ll eat it just as well or better standing and all alone as sitting at the height of an emperor. Besides, if truth be told, what I eat, even if it’s bread and onion, tastes much better to me in my corner without fancy or respectful manners, than a turkey would at other tables where I have to chew slowly, not drink too much, wipe my mouth a lot, not sneeze or cough if I feel like it, or do other things that come with solitude and freedom. And so, Señor, these honors that your grace wants to grant me for being a servant and follower of knight errantry, which I am, being your grace’s squire, you should turn into other things that will be of greater comfort and benefit to me; these, though I am grateful for them, I renounce now and forever.”

“Despite all that, you will sit down, for God exalts the man who humbles himself.”

And seizing him by the arm, he obliged Sancho to sit next to him.

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