Don Quixote - Part I (Chapter V, page 1 of 4)


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IN WHICH THE NARRATIVE OF OUR KNIGHT'S MISHAP IS CONTINUED


Finding, then, that, in fact he could not move, he thought himself of
having recourse to his usual remedy, which was to think of some passage
in his books, and his craze brought to his mind that about Baldwin and
the Marquis of Mantua, when Carloto left him wounded on the mountain
side, a story known by heart by the children, not forgotten by the young
men, and lauded and even believed by the old folk; and for all that not a
whit truer than the miracles of Mahomet. This seemed to him to fit
exactly the case in which he found himself, so, making a show of severe
suffering, he began to roll on the ground and with feeble breath repeat
the very words which the wounded knight of the wood is said to have
uttered:

Where art thou, lady mine, that thou
My sorrow dost not rue?
Thou canst not know it, lady mine,
Or else thou art untrue.

And so he went on with the ballad as far as the lines:

O noble Marquis of Mantua,
My Uncle and liege lord!

As chance would have it, when he had got to this line there happened to
come by a peasant from his own village, a neighbour of his, who had been
with a load of wheat to the mill, and he, seeing the man stretched there,
came up to him and asked him who he was and what was the matter with him
that he complained so dolefully.

Don Quixote was firmly persuaded that this was the Marquis of Mantua, his
uncle, so the only answer he made was to go on with his ballad, in which
he told the tale of his misfortune, and of the loves of the Emperor's son
and his wife all exactly as the ballad sings it.

The peasant stood amazed at hearing such nonsense, and relieving him of
the visor, already battered to pieces by blows, he wiped his face, which
was covered with dust, and as soon as he had done so he recognised him
and said, "Senor Quixada" (for so he appears to have been called when he
was in his senses and had not yet changed from a quiet country gentleman
into a knight-errant), "who has brought your worship to this pass?" But
to all questions the other only went on with his ballad.

Seeing this, the good man removed as well as he could his breastplate and
backpiece to see if he had any wound, but he could perceive no blood nor
any mark whatever. He then contrived to raise him from the ground, and
with no little difficulty hoisted him upon his ass, which seemed to him
to be the easiest mount for him; and collecting the arms, even to the
splinters of the lance, he tied them on Rocinante, and leading him by the
bridle and the ass by the halter he took the road for the village, very
sad to hear what absurd stuff Don Quixote was talking.

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