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Don Quixote XI. The Noble Knight Is Lovesick


Once the noble Knight of la Mancha had more or less recovered from the effect of the violent hail of stones, he said in disappointment: "Those rascally convicts have treated us with the most appalling ingratitude: let us learn from this." - "Above all else, mount your steed Rocinante and let us flee; after this exploit you will soon have the king's soldiers at your heels!" Sancho Panza countered, urging departure. "Sancho, you are a coward!" replied Don Quixote. Nonetheless the knight mounted Rocinante and went his way without delay. Before the fall of night, he and his squire reached the Sierra Morena, a narrow valley surrounded by infertile rocky cliffs, quite isolated from the world. Here they decided to stop and rest. In this wild mountainous region Don Quixote remembered all the wondrous deeds and adventures he had read about errant knights who had fought battles in such wildernesses. - Picture 94. Amor in Mourning in the Sierra Morena "Sancho Panza, I am pondering on mighty plans! I shall accomplish deeds which will make me the most illustrious knight that the earth has ever carried. But before I commence my next journey of fame, I wish to send greetings to my unforgettable mistress Dulcinea of Toboso, and have her given a report of my love and veneration. Sancho Panza! Make haste, saddle my speedy Rocinante, fly back to our village and recount to my noble lady that, pining like Amadis of Gallia, my longing for her has driven me mad and like the rapturous knight Roland, I have shattered my tormented and lovesick head against a granite cliff." Don Quixote had spoken with such intensity that his voice trembled, and Sancho Panza was so touched that he wept like an old woman. - "The devil! That is an unpleasant task; I don't know how to talk to women." But he acquiesced to the renewed pleading of his master, was soon sitting in the saddle on Rocinante's back, and galopped off to serve as "postillon d'amour", as intermediary in his master's romance. Having arrived in his native village, Sancho did not dare to bring his message to the peasant Lorenzo Corchuela, whose daughter Don Quixote had chosen as his illustrious and sublime mistress "Dulcinea of Toboso". Sancho knew that the pretty and sturdy lass was very quick-witted and so he confided in his neighbour, a tailor, and sought his advice. The tailor was a bit mischievous and enjoyed a joke. He offered to follow Sancho Pansa dressed as a woman so as to entice the poor misguided knight out of his cliff cave and to bring him back to house and home and thereby save them from ruin. Two days later Sancho Pansa arrived at the knight errant's stony prison with the disguised tailor, who was sitting in front of him on the horse. They found the knight lost to the world, brooding and dreaming. "O most noble sir!" said the squire to his master, who had lept to his feet with a rattle as soon as soon he caught sight of the beautiful girl. The Princess's Plea"I have brought you the princess and heir to the throne of the kingdom of Mico-Micona. Knowing of your lordship's valour and heroism, she begs you to take revenge on a giant who has insulted her most shamefully." Don Quixote was deeply moved by the tears of the lovely girl, who lay at his feet sobbing bitterly. "Where can I find the giant who has done this injury to the noble lady?" roared the knight, his face red with anger, his rusty sword in his hand. "Yes! There is a princess and a kingdom to be won!" cried Sancho Pansa loudly, so as to drown the tailor's sobbing, which was beginning to sound more and more like giggling.

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