free ebooks

The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Don Quixote listened to the Tattered Knight of the mountain


Don

Quixote was surprised at what he heard; and being now still more desirous of knowing who the unfortunate madman was, he renewed his determination to search every part of the mountain until he should find him. But fortune managed better for him than he expected; for at that very instant the youth appeared, descending, and muttering to himself something which was not intelligible. The rags he wore were such as have been described; but as he drew near, Don Quixote perceived that his buff doublet, though torn to pieces, still retained the perfume of amber; whence he concluded that he could not possibly be of low condition. When he came up, he saluted them in a harsh and untuned voice, but with a civil air. Don Quixote politely returned the salute with graceful demeanour, and advanced to embrace him, and held him a considerable time clasped within his arms, as if they had been long acquainted. The other, whom we may truly call the Tattered Knight of the Woful, as Don Quixote was of the Sorrowful Figure, having suffered himself to be embraced, drew back a little, and laying his hands on Don Quixote's shoulders, stood contemplating him, as if to ascertain whether he knew him; and perhaps no less surprised at the aspect, demeanour, and habiliments of the knight than was Don Quixote at the sight of him. In short, the first who broke silence after this prelude was the Tattered Knight; and what he said shall be told in the next chapter.

justify;"> CHAPTER XIV.

_A continuation of the adventure in the Sierra Morena._

Don Quixote listened to the Tattered Knight of the mountain, who thus addressed himself to him: "Assuredly, signor, whoever you are, I am obliged to you for the courtesy you have manifested towards me; and I wish it were in my power to serve you with more than my good-will, which is all that my fate allows me to offer in return for your civility." "So great is my desire to do you service," answered Don Quixote, "that I had determined to learn from yourself whether your affliction, which is evident by the strange life you lead, may admit of any remedy, and, if so, make every possible exertion to procure it; I conjure you also by whatever in this life you love most, to tell me who you are, and what has brought you hither, to live and die like a brute beast amidst these solitudes: an abode, if I may judge from your person and attire, so unsuitable to you. And I swear," added Don Quixote, "by the order of knighthood I have received, though unworthy and a sinner, to remedy your misfortune, or assist you to bewail it, as I have already promised." The Knight of the Mountain, hearing him talk thus, could only gaze upon him, viewing him from head to foot; and, after surveying him again and again, he said to him, "If you have anything to give me to eat, for God's sake let me have it; and when I have eaten, I will do all you desire, in return for the good wishes you have expressed towards me."

Sancho immediately took from his wallet some provisions, wherewith the wretched wanderer satisfied his hunger, eating what they gave him like a distracted person, so ravenously that he made no interval between one mouthful and another. When he had finished, he made signs to them to follow him; and having conducted them to a little green plot, he there laid himself down, and the rest did the same. When the Tattered Knight had composed himself, he said, "If you desire that I should tell you the immensity of my misfortunes, you must promise not to interrupt the thread of my doleful history; for in the instant you do so, my narrative will break off." These words brought to Don Quixote's memory the tale related by his squire, which, because he had not reckoned the number of goats that had passed the river, remained unfinished. Don Quixote, in the name of all the rest, promised not to interrupt him, and upon this assurance he began in the following manner:


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us