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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

The daughter of Andrew Perlerino


the countryman came in, and, by his looks, seemed to be a good, harmless soul. "Which is my lord governor?" quoth he. "Who but he that sits in the chair?" answered the secretary. "I humble myself to his worship's presence," quoth the fellow; and with that, falling on his knees, begged to kiss his hand, which Sancho refused, but bid him rise, and tell him what he had to say. The countryman then got up: "My lord," said he, "I am a husbandman of Miguel Turra, a town some two leagues from Ciudad-Real." "Here is another Tirteafuera," quoth Sancho; "well, go on, friend, I know the place full well; it is not far from our town." "If it please you," said the countryman, "my business is this: I was married, by Heaven's mercy, in the face of our holy mother the church, and I have two boys that take their learning at the college; the youngest studies to become a bachelor, and the eldest to be a master of arts. I am a widower, because my wife is dead; she died, if it please you, or, to speak more truly, she was killed, as one may say, by a doctor. Now, sir, I must tell you," continued the farmer, "that that son of mine, the bachelor of arts that is to be, fell in love with a maiden of our town, Clara Perlerino by name, the daughter of Andrew Perlerino, a mighty rich farmer; and Perlerino is not the right name neither; but, because the whole generation of them is troubled with the palsy, they used to be called, from the name of that complaint, Perlaticos, but now they go by that of Perlerino;
and truly it fits the young woman rarely, for she is a precious pearl for beauty, especially if you stand on her right side and view her: she looks like a flower in the fields. On the left, indeed, she does not look altogether so well; for there she wants an eye, which she lost by the small-pox, that has digged many pits somewhat deep all over her face; but those that wish her well, say that is nothing, and that those pits are so many graves to bury lovers' hearts in. I hope my lord governor will pardon me for dwelling thus on the picture, seeing it is merely out of my hearty love and affection for the girl." "Prithee, go on as long as thou wilt," said Sancho; "I am mightily taken with thy discourse; and, if I had but dined, I would not desire a better dessert." "Alas, sir, all I have said is nothing; could I set before your eyes her pretty carriage, and her shape, you would admire. But that is not to be done."

"So far so good," said Sancho; "but let us suppose you have drawn her from head to foot; what is it you would be at now? Come to the point, friend, without so many windings and turnings, and going round about the bush." "Sir," said the farmer, "I would desire your honour to do me the kindness to give me a letter of accommodation to the father of my daughter-in-law, beseeching him to be pleased to let the marriage be fulfilled, seeing we are not unlike neither in estate nor bodily concerns; for to tell you the truth, my lord governor, my son is bewitched; and having once had the ill-luck to fall into the fire, the skin of his face is shrivelled up like a piece of parchment, and his eyes are somewhat sore and full of rheum. But, when all is said, he has the temper of an angel; and were he not apt to thump and belabour himself now and then in his fits, you would take him to be a saint."

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