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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

Without the sensation of hunger


the utmost perturbation of mind,

I journeyed on the rest of the night, and at daybreak reached these mountains, over which I wandered three days more, without road or path, until I came to a valley not far hence; and inquiring of some shepherds for the most rude and solitary part, they directed me to this place; where I instantly came, determined to pass here the remainder of my life. Among these crags, my mule fell down dead through weariness and hunger; and thus was I left, extended on the ground, famished and exhausted, neither hoping nor caring for relief. How long I continued in this state I know not; but at length I got up, without the sensation of hunger, and found near me some goatherds, who had undoubtedly relieved my wants: they told me of the condition in which they found me, and of many wild and extravagant things that I had uttered, clearly proving the derangement of my intellects; and I am conscious that since then I have committed a thousand extravagances, tearing my garments, cursing my fortune, and repeating in vain the beloved name of my enemy. When my senses return, I find myself so weary and bruised that I can scarcely move. My usual abode is in the hollow of a cork-tree, large enough to enclose this wretched body. Thus I pass my miserable life, waiting until it shall please Heaven to bring it to a period, or erase from my memory the beauty and treachery of Lucinda and the perfidy of Don Fernando; otherwise, Heaven have mercy on me, for I feel no power to change my mode of life."

justify;">Here Cardenio concluded his long tale of love and sorrow; and just as the priest was preparing to say something consolatory, he was prevented by the sound of a human voice, which, in a mournful tone, was heard to say what will be related in the following chapter.

CHAPTER XVII.

_Of the new and agreeable adventure that befell the Priest and the Barber, and of the beautiful Dorothea._

"Alas, is it possible that I have at last found out a place which will afford a private grave to this miserable body, whose load I so repine to bear? Yes, if the silence and solitude of these deserts do not deceive me, here I may die concealed from human eyes. Ah me! ah wretched creature! to what extremity has affliction driven me, reduced to think these hideous woods and rocks a kind retreat! It is true, indeed, I may here freely complain to Heaven, and beg for that relief which I might ask in vain of false mankind; for it is vain, I find, to seek below either counsel, ease, or remedy."

[Illustration: DON QUIXOTE. P. 96.]

The curate and his company, hearing all this distinctly, and conceiving they must be near the person who thus expressed his grief, rose to find him out. They had not gone above twenty paces before they spied a youth in a country habit, sitting at the foot of a rock behind an ash-tree; but they could not well see his face, being bowed almost upon his knees, as he sat washing his feet in a rivulet that glided by. They approached him so softly that he did not perceive them; and as he was gently paddling in the clear water, they


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