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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

The graduate turned to the chaplain


Just over against that room

lay another madman, who, having listened with an envious attention to all this discourse, starts up from an old mat on which he lay: 'Who is that,' cried he aloud, 'that is going away so well recovered and so wise?' 'It is I, brother, that am going,' replied the graduate; 'I have now no need to stay here any longer; for which blessing I can never cease to return my humble and hearty thanks to the infinite goodness of Heaven.' 'Doctor,' quoth the madman, 'have a care what you say, and let not the devil delude you. Stir not a foot, but keep snug in your old lodging, and save yourself the vexation of being brought back to your kennel.' 'Nay,' answered the other, 'I will warrant you there will be no occasion for my coming hither again, I know I am perfectly well.' 'You well!' cried the madman; 'we shall soon see that. Farewell; but by the sovereign Jupiter, whose majesty I represent on earth, for this very crime alone that Seville has committed in setting thee at large, affirming that thou art sound in thy intellects, I will take such a severe revenge on the whole city, that it shall be remembered with terror from age to age. Dost thou not know, my poor brainless thing in a gown, that this is in my power? I, that am the thundering Jove, that grasp in my hands the red-hot bolts of heaven, with which I keep the threatened world in awe, and might reduce it all to ashes? But stay, I will commute the fiery punishment which this ignorant town deserves into another: I will only shut up the
flood-gates of the skies, so that there shall not fall a drop of rain upon this city, nor on all the neighbouring country round about it, for three years together, to begin from the very moment that gives date to this my inviolable execration. Thou free! thou well, and in thy senses! and I here mad, distempered, and confined!' As every one there was attentive to these loud and frantic threats, the graduate turned to the chaplain, and taking him by the hand: 'Sir,' said he, 'let not that madman's threats trouble you. Never mind him; for if he be Jupiter, and will not let it rain, I am Neptune, the parent and god of the waters, and it shall rain as often as I please, wherever necessity shall require it.' 'However,' answered the chaplain, 'good Mr. Neptune, it is not convenient to provoke Mr. Jupiter; therefore be pleased to stay here a little longer; and some other time, at convenient leisure, I may chance to find a better opportunity to wait on you, and bring you away.' The keeper and the rest of the company could not forbear laughing, which put the chaplain almost out of countenance. In short, Mr. Neptune was disrobed again, and stayed where he was; and there is an end of my story."

"Well, Master Barber," said Don Quixote, "and this is your tale which you said came so pat to the present purpose, that you could not forbear telling it? Ah, Mr. Cutbeard, how blind must he be that cannot see through a sieve! Is it possible your pragmatical worship should not know that the comparisons made between wit and wit, courage and courage, beauty and beauty, birth and birth, are always odious and ill taken? I am not Neptune, the god of the waters, good Master Barber; neither do I pretend to set up for a wise man when I am not so. All I aim at is only to make


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