Don Quixote - Part II (Chapter III, page 1 of 7)


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OF THE LAUGHABLE CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE, SANCHO
PANZA, AND THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO


Don Quixote remained very deep in thought, waiting for the bachelor
Carrasco, from whom he was to hear how he himself had been put into a
book as Sancho said; and he could not persuade himself that any such
history could be in existence, for the blood of the enemies he had slain
was not yet dry on the blade of his sword, and now they wanted to make
out that his mighty achievements were going about in print. For all that,
he fancied some sage, either a friend or an enemy, might, by the aid of
magic, have given them to the press; if a friend, in order to magnify and
exalt them above the most famous ever achieved by any knight-errant; if
an enemy, to bring them to naught and degrade them below the meanest ever
recorded of any low squire, though as he said to himself, the
achievements of squires never were recorded. If, however, it were the
fact that such a history were in existence, it must necessarily, being
the story of a knight-errant, be grandiloquent, lofty, imposing, grand
and true. With this he comforted himself somewhat, though it made him
uncomfortable to think that the author was a Moor, judging by the title
of "Cide;" and that no truth was to be looked for from Moors, as they are
all impostors, cheats, and schemers. He was afraid he might have dealt
with his love affairs in some indecorous fashion, that might tend to the
discredit and prejudice of the purity of his lady Dulcinea del Toboso; he
would have had him set forth the fidelity and respect he had always
observed towards her, spurning queens, empresses, and damsels of all
sorts, and keeping in check the impetuosity of his natural impulses.
Absorbed and wrapped up in these and divers other cogitations, he was
found by Sancho and Carrasco, whom Don Quixote received with great
courtesy.

The bachelor, though he was called Samson, was of no great bodily size,
but he was a very great wag; he was of a sallow complexion, but very
sharp-witted, somewhere about four-and-twenty years of age, with a round
face, a flat nose, and a large mouth, all indications of a mischievous
disposition and a love of fun and jokes; and of this he gave a sample as
soon as he saw Don Quixote, by falling on his knees before him and
saying, "Let me kiss your mightiness's hand, Senor Don Quixote of La
Mancha, for, by the habit of St. Peter that I wear, though I have no more
than the first four orders, your worship is one of the most famous
knights-errant that have ever been, or will be, all the world over. A
blessing on Cide Hamete Benengeli, who has written the history of your
great deeds, and a double blessing on that connoisseur who took the
trouble of having it translated out of the Arabic into our Castilian
vulgar tongue for the universal entertainment of the people!"

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