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Don Quixote IV. The Battle with the Black Enchanters


Two monks were riding along on large mules. They wore dark robes and protected themselves against the sun with big red sunshades. Behind them came a coach, accompanied by an equerry on horseback. In the coach was a Basque lady travelling to Seville to join her husband. Don Quixote said to his squire: "Look, Sancho Panza! Those dark shapes over there are beyond all doubt two enchanters bearing off an abducted princess and it is my duty to redress this heinous wrong." - "Noble master, sir, you are mistaken; they are two pious monks - we shall get into terrible trouble!" - "Silence, Sancho Panza!" replied the indignant knight. As soon as the monks had come near enough, he called out in a loud voice: "Halt, you dog's people of the devil!!" Picture 83. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza He lowered his lance, spurred Rocinante and charged at the monks with vigour and fury. One of the monks was hit with such force that he fell to the ground from his saddle; the other fled. Now Sancho Panza bravely joined the fight and was about to attack the monk who was lying on the ground. He, however, did not hesitate to accept the challenge: grabbed the squire, tore all the hair from his head and beard and thrashed him so thoroughly that Sancho Panza hollered and yelled. Before Don Quixote could turn his lance in this direction, the nimble monk had mounted his mule and made off. After this victory, the noble knight approached the coach and addressed the lady. - "Your ladyship, fair princess, I have just freed you by this strong arm of mine from the hands of the enchanters. Know that I am Don Quixote of la Mancha, a knight errant. If you wish to reward me for my good deed, send an envoy to the lady of my heart, the sublime Dulcinea of Toboso. Tell her of my heroic exploit and that I through my courage have delivered you from the hands of two vile enchanters." - "Make off, you lamentable creature!" the equerry intervened. But Don Quixote replied calmly, with solemn mien: Picture 84. The Battle with the Monks "Beware!! If you were a knight, I should challenge you to a duel, so be gone, you slavish good-for-nothing!" The equerry took up the fight. Don Quixote threw his lance down angrily, held his shield to his breast, drew his sword and rushed with determination at his antagonist. A violent struggle ensued. The equerry landed such a powerful blow on the knight's shield that the thin chevalier's ribs clattered under his armour. Due to the terrific impact, the lady's companion lost his balance, fell from his saddle and broke his leg. Don Quixote dismounted with composure from his steed Rocinante, placed his foot on his opponent's neck and said gravely: "I grant you your life!" - When Sancho Panza had tidied hair, beard and clothing, his lord and master trimphantly mounted his steed. "These victories are all very well, my noble lord", said Sancho Panza; "but where is the kingdom that I am to rule? I know I have the ability to administer it with dignity and skill." On turning away in disgust from this idle chatterer, the noble knight noticed that the coach had disappeared together with the coachman, equerry and lady.

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