Don Quixote - Part I (Chapter I, page 1 of 6)


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WHICH TREATS OF THE CHARACTER AND PURSUITS OF THE FAMOUS GENTLEMAN DON
QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA


In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to
mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance
in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for
coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most
nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra
on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income. The rest of it
went in a doublet of fine cloth and velvet breeches and shoes to match
for holidays, while on week-days he made a brave figure in his best
homespun. He had in his house a housekeeper past forty, a niece under
twenty, and a lad for the field and market-place, who used to saddle the
hack as well as handle the bill-hook. The age of this gentleman of ours
was bordering on fifty; he was of a hardy habit, spare, gaunt-featured, a
very early riser and a great sportsman. They will have it his surname was
Quixada or Quesada (for here there is some difference of opinion among
the authors who write on the subject), although from reasonable
conjectures it seems plain that he was called Quexana. This, however, is
of but little importance to our tale; it will be enough not to stray a
hair's breadth from the truth in the telling of it.

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