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Don Quixote XIII. Dulcinea Enchanted


Don Quixote had persuaded Sancho Panza to undertake a pilgrimage to Toboso to seek a blessing for his further arduous adventures from the lady of his heart. "One glance from her, my good Sancho, will give me such strength that I shall be incomparable in courage and bravery", the knight said, his heart beating fast for joy. The knight errant and his squire reached little village of Toboso before nightfall. Rosinante, the noble warhorse, neighed loudly and Sancho's little donkey began to roar its harmonious "I-a" at the top of its voice. The villagers and animals were roused from their slumbers: The dogs barked, the donkeys roared, the pigs grunted, the horses neighed, the cats miaowed and the people in their nightcaps looked out of their windows, scolding and grumbling. - "That is a bad omen!" cried Don Quixote, now in two minds. "But yes," he contined, taking Sancho by the arm: "I think I see there in the dark the towering castle of my incomparable lady Dulcinea emerging out of the darkness!" - "Oh for goodness sake!" cried Sancho crossly, "what you see there is the church spire, Master! Your Dulcinea lives in a small humble cottage behind a wooden fence at the end of the lane." - "You idiot!" shouted Don Quixote, "since when do you find palaces behind wooden fences at the end of lanes?" So the two heroes spent the whole night searching, but they did not succeed in finding the noble lady's castle. When the first rays of the sun lit up the eastern sky, Don Quixote and his knight gave up and rode away from Toboso across an untilled field. - "You only need to raise your eyes and look straight ahead if you want to see your fair Dulcinea's countenance!" said Sancho Panza, who was really sorry for his master, "here she is on a fine horse, accompanied by two of her ladies-in-waiting, coming to bid you good morning. Ah, how noble and beautiful she is, Sir! She and her maidens are glittering with their pure gold, their jewels, pearls and brocades. Her curly hair is shimmering in the sunshine, tossed loose by the winds!" - Picture 96. Don Quixote sees Dulcinea In reality the three on the mules were peasant girls coming from their work in the fields. "What are you saying?" cried Don Quixote, overwhelmed with joy and fright. "Do not dare, Sancho, to deliberately deceive me and to seek to transform my sadness into ephemeral happiness!" "Well, I declare!" replied the squire cheekily. "Has your Lordship then no eyes in your head that you can't see the beautiful princesses?" Without waiting for his master to respond, Sancho Panza jumped off his donkey and sank to his knees before the girl he called Dulcinea and said: "High and mighty princess, queen of beauty and graciousness, may Your Highness deign to receive my master, your faithful knight and much travelled hero Don Quixote de la Mancha, the Knight of the Sad Countenance!" When the rather simple-minded, plain peasant girl with a flat nose and wide mouth saw this farce with the gaunt knight in his rusty armour, she thought it was some sort of horrible carnival trick that the devil was playing on her. She jumped off her donkey and together with her companions, fled across the field as though chased by the Furies, one screaming louder than the other: "Help, help! the devil!"

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