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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Of enchanting the Lady Dulcinea


style="text-align: justify;"> CHAPTER XLII.

_Wherein is related the stratagem practised by Sancho, of enchanting the Lady Dulcinea; with other events no less ludicrous than true._

The knight's frenzy appears now to be carried to an excess beyond all conception. Having retired into a grove near the city of Toboso, he despatched Sancho with orders not to return into his presence till he had spoken to his lady, beseeching her that she would be pleased to grant her captive knight permission to wait upon her, and that she would deign to bestow on him her benediction, whereby he might secure complete success in all his encounters and arduous enterprises. Sancho promised to return with an answer no less favourable than that which he had formerly brought him. "Go then, son," replied Don Quixote, "and be not in confusion when thou standest in the blaze of that sun of beauty. Happy thou above all the squires in the world! Deeply impress on thy memory the particulars of thy reception--whether she changes colour while thou art delivering thy embassy, and betrays agitation on hearing my name; whether her cushion cannot hold her, if perchance thou shouldst find her seated on the rich Estrado; or, if standing, mark whether she is not obliged to sustain herself sometimes upon one foot and sometimes upon the other; whether she repeats her answer to thee three or four times: in short, observe all her actions and motions; for

by an accurate detail of them I shall be enabled to penetrate into the secret recesses of her heart touching the affair of my love; for let me tell thee, Sancho, that with lovers the external actions and gestures are couriers, which bear authentic tidings of what is passing in the interior of the soul. Go, friend, and be thou more successful than my anxious heart will bode during the painful period of thy absence." "I will go, and return quickly," quoth Sancho. "In the mean time, good sir, cheer up, and remember the saying, that 'A good heart breaks bad luck;' and 'If there is no hook, there is no bacon;' and 'Where we least expect it, the hare starts:' this I say, because, though we could not find the castle or palace of my Lady Dulcinea in the dark, now that it is daylight I reckon I shall soon find it, and then--let me alone to deal with her." "Verily, Sancho," quoth Don Quixote, "thou dost apply thy proverbs most happily; yet Heaven grant me better luck in the attainment of my hopes!"

Sancho now switched his Dapple and set off, leaving Don Quixote on horseback, resting on his stirrups and leaning on his lance, full of melancholy and confused fancies, where we will leave him and attend Sancho Panza, who departed no less perplexed and thoughtful; insomuch that, after he had got out of the grove, and looked behind him to ascertain that his master was out of sight, he alighted, and, sitting down at the foot of a tree, he began to hold a parley with himself. "Tell me now, brother Sancho," quoth he, "whither is your


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