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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Into which Cardenio had withdrawn


unlucky knight-errant come

into my house; I wish, for my part, I had never seen him, for he has been a dear guest to me. He and his man, his horse and his ass went away last time without paying me a cross for their supper, their bed, their litter and provender; and all, forsooth, because he was seeking adventures. What, in the wide world, have we to do with his statutes of chivalry? If they oblige him not to pay, they should oblige him not to eat neither. It was upon this score that the other fellow took away my good tail; it is clean spoiled, the hair is all torn off, and my husband can never use it again. And now to come upon me again with destroying my wine-skins, and spilling my liquor. But I will be paid, so I will, to the last maravedis, or I will disown my name, and forswear my mother." Her honest maid Maritornes seconded her fury; but Master Curate stopped their mouths by promising that he would see them satisfied for their wine and their skins, but especially for the tail which they made such a clatter about. Dorothea comforted Sancho, assuring him that whenever it appeared that his master had killed the giant, and restored her to her dominions, he should be sure of the best earldom in her disposal. With this he buckled up again, and vowed "that he himself had seen the giant's head, by the same token that it had a beard that reached down to his middle; and if it could not be found, it must be hid by witchcraft, for every thing went by enchantment in that house, as he had found to his cost when
he was there before." Dorothea answered that she believed him; and desired him to pluck up his spirits, for all things would be well.

CHAPTER XXIII.

_Containing an account of many surprising accidents in the inn._

At the same time the innkeeper, who stood at the door, seeing company coming, "More guests," cried he; "a brave jolly troop, on my word. If they stop here, we may rejoice." "What are they?" said Cardenio. "Four men," said the host, "on horseback, with black masks on their faces, and armed with lances and targets; a lady too all in white, that rides single and masked; and two running footmen." "Are they near?" said the curate. "Just at the door," replied the innkeeper. Hearing this, Dorothea veiled herself, and Cardenio had just time enough to step into the next room, where Don Quixote lay, when the strangers came into the yard. The four horsemen, who made a very genteel appearance, dismounted and went to help down the lady, whom one of them taking in his arms, carried into the house, where he seated her in a chair by the chamber-door, into which Cardenio had withdrawn. All this was done without discovering their faces, or speaking a word; only the lady, as she sat down in the chair, breathed out a deep sigh, and let her arms sink down in a weak and fainting posture. The curate, marking their odd


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