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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Roque held them awhile in suspense


His

armed ruffians, on hearing this, cried out, "Long live Roque Guinart, in spite of the dogs that seek his ruin!" But the officers looked chop-fallen, the lady-regent much dejected, and the pilgrims nothing pleased at witnessing this confiscation of their effects. Roque held them awhile in suspense, and, turning to the captains, he said, "Pray, gentlemen, do me the favour to lend me sixty crowns; and you, lady-regent, fourscore, as a slight perquisite which these honest gentlemen of mine expect: for 'the abbot must eat that sings for his meat;' and you may then depart, and prosecute your journey without molestation; being secured by a pass which I will give you, in case of your meeting with any other of my people, who are dispersed about this part of the country; for it is not a practice with me to molest soldiers; and I should be loath, madam, to be found wanting in respect to the fair sex--especially to ladies of your quality."

The captains were liberal in their acknowledgments to Roque for his courtesy and moderation in having generously left them a part of their money; and Donna Guiomar de Quinones would have thrown herself out of the coach to kiss the feet and hands of the great Roque, but he would not suffer it, and entreated her pardon for the injury he was forced to do them, in compliance with the duties of an office which his evil fortune had imposed on him. The lady then ordered the fourscore crowns to be immediately paid to him, as her

share of the assessment; the captains had already disbursed their quota, and the pilgrims were proceeding to offer their little all, when Roque told them to wait; then, turning to his men, he said, "Of these crowns two fall to each man's share, and twenty remain: let ten be given to these pilgrims, and the other ten to this honest squire, that, in relating his travels, he may have cause to speak well of us." Then, producing his writing implements, with which he was always provided, he gave them a pass, directed to the chiefs of his several parties; and, taking his leave, he dismissed them, all admiring his generosity, his gallantry, and extraordinary conduct, and looking upon him rather as an Alexander the Great than a notorious robber.

On the departure of the travellers, one of Roque's men seemed disposed to murmur, saying, in his Catalonian dialect, "This captain of ours is wondrous charitable, and would do better among friars than with those of our trade; but, if he must be giving, let it be with his own." The wretch spoke not so low but that Roque overheard him; and, drawing his sword, he almost cleft his head in two, saying, "Thus I chastise the mutinous." The rest were silent and overawed, such was their obedience to his authority. Roque then withdrew a little, and wrote a letter to a friend at Barcelona, to inform him that he had with him the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, of whom so much had been reported, and that, being on his way to Barcelona, he might be sure to see him there on the approaching festival of St. John the Baptist, parading the strand, armed at all points, mounted on his steed Rozinante, and attended by his squire Sancho Panza, upon an ass; adding that he had found him wonderfully sagacious and entertaining. He also desired him to give notice of this to his friends the Niarra, that they might be diverted with the knight, and enjoy a pleasure which he thought too good for his enemies the Cadells; though he feared it was impossible to prevent their coming in for a share of what all the world must know and be delighted with. He despatched this epistle by one of his troop, who, changing the habit of his vocation for that of a peasant, entered the city, and delivered it as directed.


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