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The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

But her greatest admirer was Sancho Panza


They

were now interrupted by the voice of Sancho Panza, who, not finding them where he left them, began to call out loudly; they went instantly to meet him, and were eager in their inquiries after Don Quixote. He told them that he had found him half dead with hunger, sighing for his Lady Dulcinea; and that he positively would not appear before her beauty, until he had performed exploits that might render him worthy of her favour; so they must consider what was to be done to get him away. The licentiate begged him not to give himself any uneasiness on that account, for they should certainly contrive to get him out of his present retreat.

The priest then informed Cardenio and Dorothea of their plan for Don Quixote's cure, or at least for decoying him to his own house. Upon which Dorothea said she would undertake to act the distressed damsel better than the barber, especially as she had apparel with which she could perform it to the life; and they might have reliance upon her, as she had read many books of chivalry, and was well acquainted with the style in which distressed damsels were wont to beg their boons of knights-errant. "Let us, then, hasten to put our design into execution," exclaimed the curate; "since fortune seems to favour all our views." Dorothea immediately took from her bundle a petticoat of very rich stuff, and a mantle of fine green silk; and, out of a casket, a necklace and other jewels, with which she quickly adorned herself in such

a manner that she had all the appearance of a rich and noble lady. They were charmed with her beauty, grace, and elegance; and agreed that Don Fernando must be a man of little taste, since he could slight so much excellence. But her greatest admirer was Sancho Panza, who thought that in all his life he had never seen so beautiful a creature; and he earnestly desired the priest to tell him who that handsome lady was, and what she was looking for in those parts? "This beautiful lady, friend Sancho," answered the priest, "is, to say the least of her, heiress in the direct male line of the great kingdom of Micomicon; and she comes in quest of your master, to beg a boon of him, which is to redress a wrong or injury done her by a wicked giant; for it is the fame of your master's prowess, which is spread over all Guinea, that has brought this princess to seek him." "Now, a happy seeking and a happy finding," quoth Sancho Panza; "especially if my master is so fortunate as to redress that injury, and right that wrong, by killing the giant you mention; and kill him he certainly will if he encounters him, unless he be a goblin, for my master has no power at all over goblins."

Dorothea now having mounted the priest's mule, and the barber fitted on the ox-tail beard, they desired Sancho to conduct them to Don Quixote, cautioning him not to say that he knew the licentiate or the barber, since on that depended all his fortune. The priest would have instructed Dorothea in her part; but she would not trouble him, assuring him that she would perform it precisely according to the rules and precepts of chivalry.

Having proceeded about three quarters of a league, they discovered Don Quixote in a wild, rocky recess, at that time not armed. Dorothea now whipped on her palfrey, attended by the well-bearded squire; and having approached the knight, her squire leaped from his mule to assist his lady, who, lightly dismounting, went and threw herself at Don Quixote's feet, where, in spite of his efforts to raise her, she remained kneeling, as she thus addressed him:


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