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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

The Princess Micomicona was changed to Dorothea


Cardenio,

Lucinda, and the greatest part of the company, could not command their passions, but all wept for joy: even Sancho Panza himself shed tears, though, as he afterwards confessed, it was not for downright grief, but because he found not Dorothea to be the Queen of Micomicona, as he supposed, and of whom he expected so many favours and preferments. Cardenio and Lucinda fell at Don Fernando's feet, giving him thanks with the strongest expressions which gratitude could suggest; he raised them up, and received their acknowledgments with much modesty, then begged to be informed by Dorothea how she came to that place. She related to him all she had told Cardenio, but with such a grace that what were misfortunes to her proved an inexpressible pleasure to those that heard her relation. When she had done, Don Fernando told all that had befallen him in the city after he had found the paper in Lucinda's bosom which declared Cardenio to be her husband; how he would have killed her, had not her parents prevented him; how afterwards, mad with shame and anger, he left the city to wait a more convenient opportunity of revenge; how, in a short time, he learned that Lucinda was fled to a nunnery, resolving to end her days there, if she could not spend them with Cardenio; that, having desired those three gentlemen to go with him, they went to the nunnery, and, waiting till they found the gate open, he left two of the gentlemen to secure the door, while he with the other entered the house, where they
found Lucinda talking with a nun in the cloister. They carried her thence to a village, where they disguised themselves for their more convenient flight, which they more easily brought about, the nunnery being situate in the fields, distant a good way from any town. He likewise added how Lucinda, finding herself in his power, fell into a swoon; and that after she came to herself, she continually wept and sighed, but would not speak a syllable; and that, accompanied with silence only and tears, they had travelled till they came to that inn, which proved to him as his arrival at heaven, having put a happy conclusion to all his earthly misfortunes.

CHAPTER XXIV.

_The history of the famous Princess Micomicona continued; with other pleasant adventures._

The joy of the whole company was unspeakable by the happy conclusion of this perplexed business. Dorothea, Cardenio, and Lucinda thought the sudden change of their affairs too surprising to be real; and could hardly be induced to believe their happiness. Fernando thanked Heaven a thousand times for having led him out of a labyrinth, in which his honour and virtue were like to have been lost. The curate, as he was very instrumental in the general reconciliation, had likewise no small share in the general joy; and that no discontent might sour their universal satisfaction, Cardenio and the curate engaged to see the hostess satisfied for all the damages committed by Don Quixote; only poor Sancho drooped sadly. He found his lordship and his hopes vanished into smoke; the Princess Micomicona was changed to Dorothea, and the giant to Don Fernando. Thus, very musty and melancholy, he slipt into his master's chamber, who had slept on, and was just wakened, little thinking of what had happened.


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