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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

But only that worthy gentleman Senior Quixada


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

_A further account of our Knight's misfortunes._

Don Quixote perceiving that he was not able to stir, resolved to have recourse to his usual remedy, which was to bethink himself what passage in his books might afford him some comfort: and presently his frenzy brought to his remembrance the story of Baldwin and the Marquis of Mantua, when Charlot left the former wounded on the mountain; a story learned and known by little children, not unknown to young men and women, celebrated, and even believed, by the old, and yet not a jot more authentic than the miracles of Mahomet. This seemed to him as if made on purpose for his present circumstances, and therefore he fell a rolling and tumbling up and down, expressing the greatest pain and resentment, and breathing out, with a languishing voice, the same complaints which the wounded Knight of the Wood is said to have made!

"Alas! where are you, lady dear, That for my woe you do not moan? You little know what ails me here, Or are to me disloyal grown."

Thus he went on with the lamentations in that romance, till he came to these verses:--

"O thou, my uncle and my prince, Marquis of Mantua, noble lord!"--

When kind fortune so ordered it that a ploughman, who lived in the same

village, and near his house, happened to pass by, as he came from the mill with a sack of wheat. The fellow seeing a man lie at his full length on the ground, asked him who he was, and why he made such a sad complaint. Don Quixote, whose distempered brain presently represented to him the countryman as the Marquis of Mantua, his imaginary uncle, made him no answer, but went on with the romance. The fellow stared, much amazed to hear a man talk such unaccountable stuff; and taking off the vizor of his helmet, broken all to pieces with blows bestowed upon it by the mule-driver, he wiped off the dust that covered his face, and presently knew the gentleman. "Master Quixada!" cried he (for so he was properly called when he had the right use of his senses, and had not yet from a sober gentleman transformed himself into a wandering knight); "how came you in this condition?" But the other continued his romance, and made no answers to all the questions the countryman put to him, but what followed in course in the book: which the good man perceiving, he took off the battered adventurer's armour as well as he could, and fell a searching for his wounds; but finding no sign of blood, or any other hurt, he endeavoured to set him upon his legs; and at last with a great deal of trouble, he heaved him upon his own ass, as being the more easy and gentle carriage: he also got all the knight's arms together, not leaving behind so much as the splinters of his lance; and having tied them up, and laid them on Rozinante, which he took by the bridle, and his ass by the halter, he led them all towards the village, and trudged on foot himself, while he reflected on the extravagances which he heard Don Quixote utter. Nor was the Don himself less melancholy; for he felt himself so bruised and battered that he could hardly sit on the ass; and now and then he breathed such grievous sighs, as seemed to pierce the very skies, which moved his compassionate neighbour once more to entreat him to declare to him the cause of his grief: so he bethought himself of the Moor Abindaraez, whom Rodrigo de Narvaez, Alcade of Antequera, took and carried prisoner to his castle; so that when the husbandman asked him how he did and what ailed him, he answered word for word as the prisoner Abindaraez replied to Rodrigo de Narvaez, in the Diana of George di Montemayor, where that adventure is related; applying it so properly to his purpose, that the countryman wished himself any where than within the hearing of such strange nonsense; and being now fully convinced that his neighbour's brains were turned, he made all the haste he could to the village, to be rid of him. Don Quixote in the mean time thus went on: "You must know, Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, that this beautiful Xerifa, of whom I gave you an account, is at present the most lovely Dulcinea del Toboso, for whose sake I have done, still do, and will achieve the most famous deeds of chivalry that ever were, are, or ever shall be seen in the universe." "Good sir," replied the husbandman, "I am not Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, nor the Marquis of Mantua, but Pedro Alonzo by name, your worship's neighbour; nor are you Baldwin, nor Abindaraez, but only that worthy gentleman Senior Quixada." "I know very well who I am," answered Don Quixote; "and what's more, I know, that I may not only be the persons I have named, but also the twelve peers of France, nay and the nine worthies all in one; since my achievements will out-rival not only the famous exploits which made any of them singly illustrious, but all their mighty deeds accumulated together."


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