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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Sancho was surprised at her beauty


of the island; and then the

governor, going on, "Either I shall want of my will," said he, "or I will put down these disorderly gaming-houses; for I have a fancy they are highly prejudicial." One of the officers now came holding a youth, and having brought him before the governor, "If it please your worship," said he, "this young man was coming towards us, but as soon as he perceived it was the rounds, he sheered off, and set a-running as fast as his legs would carry him--a sign he is no better than he should be." "What made you run away, friend?" said Sancho. "Sir," answered the young man, "it was only to avoid the questions one is commonly teased with by the watch." "What business do you follow?" asked Sancho. "I am a weaver by trade," answered the other. "A weaver of what?" asked the governor. "Of steel-heads for lances, with your worship's good leave," said the other. "Oh, oh," cried Sancho, "you are a wag I find, and pretend to pass your jests upon us. Very well. And pray whither are you going at this time of night?" "To take the air, if it like your worship," answered the other. "Good," said Sancho; "and where do they take the air in this island?" "Where it blows," said the youth. "A very proper answer," cried Sancho. "You are a very pretty impudent fellow, that is the truth of it. But pray make account that I am the air, or the wind, which you please, and that I will blow you to the round-house. Here, take him and carry him away thither directly; I will take care the youngster shall sleep out of the
air to-night; he might catch cold else by lying abroad." "You shall as soon make me a king," said the young man, "as make me sleep out of the air to-night." "Why, you young slip-string," said Sancho, "is it not in my power to commit thee to prison, and fetch thee out again as often as it is my will and pleasure?" "For all your power," answered the fellow, "you shall not make me sleep in prison." "Say you so!" cried Sancho; "here, away with him to prison, and let him see to his cost who is mistaken, he or I; and, lest the jailor should be greased in the fist to let him out, I will fine him in two thousand ducats if he let thee stir a foot out of prison." "All that is a jest," said the other; "for I defy all mankind to make me sleep this night in a prison." "Hast thou some angel," said Sancho, "to take off the irons which I will have thee clapped in, and get thee out?" "Well now, my good lord governor," said the young man very pleasantly, "let us talk reason, and come to the point. Suppose your lordship should send me to jail, and get me laid by the heels in the dungeon, shackled and manacled, and lay a heavy penalty on the jailor in case he let me out; and suppose your orders be strictly obeyed; yet for all that, if I have no mind to sleep, but will keep awake all night, without so much as shutting my eyes, pray can you, with all the power you have, make me sleep whether I will or no?" "No certainly," said the secretary; "and the young man has made out his meaning." "Well," said Sancho, "but I hope you mean to keep yourself awake, and only forbear sleeping to please your own fancy, and not to thwart my will?" "I mean nothing else indeed, my lord," said the lad. "Why then, go home and sleep," quoth Sancho, "and Heaven send thee good rest; I will not be thy hindrance. But have a care another time of sporting with justice; for you may meet with some in office that may chance to break your head, while you are breaking your jest." The youth went his way, and the governor continued his rounds.

A while after came two of the officers, bringing a person along with them. "My lord governor," said one of them, "we have brought here one that is dressed like a man, yet is no man, but a woman, and no ugly one neither." Thereupon they lifted up to her eyes two or three lanterns, and by their light discovered the face of a woman about sixteen years of age, beautiful to admiration, with her hair put up in a network caul of gold and green silk. Sancho was surprised at her beauty, and asked her who she was, whither she was going, and upon what account she had put on such a dress. "Sir," said she, casting her eyes on the ground with a decent bashfulness, "I cannot tell you before so many people what I have so much reason to wish may be kept a secret. Only this one thing I do assure you, I am no thief, nor evil-minded person, but an unhappy maid, whom the force of jealousy has constrained to transgress the laws of decorum." The steward hearing this, "My lord governor," said he, "be pleased to order your attendants to retire, that the gentlewoman may more freely tell her mind." The governor did accordingly; and all the company removed to a distance, except the steward, the gentleman-waiter, and the secretary; and then the young lady thus proceeded:


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