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Don Quixote XX. Homecoming and End


- "I sweat like a pig whenever I think of the explosion of Wooden Peg the Swift!" Sancho Panza said ruefully. But none of his squire's remarks or jokes could bring Don Quixote to smile. Having been ridiculed and humiliated in the duke's castle, the knight became dejected and his life a misery. He began to harbour doubts about himself, and became more and more despondent. And so it happened that his desire for battle, which had always flared up like a darting flame, was not aroused at the sight of a knight on a fiery steed galloping towards him out of a wood. The knight bore a shield with a gleaming white moon on it. It was Carrasca. He had set out, this time better equipped and determined to persuade our good nobleman to return home. Picture 107. They Return Home Defeated ..."I am the Knight of the White Moon!" he said addressing his words to Don Quixote as he approached, "and I demand that you acknowledge and confess that my mistress is incomparably more beautiful than your Dulcinea of Toboso!" As Don Quixote de la Mancha refused to make any such confession, a short battle took place, which Carrasca won, because of his superior horse. The vanquished knight then had to promise on his honour as a nobleman to betake himself forthwith to his native village. When he reached home, Don Quixote was greeted with sincere joy by his niece and servants. After he had recounted his adventures, the housekeeper finally invited him to sit down and take a substantial meal. "No, my good woman, I know best what is good for me", Don Quixote replied melancholically. "Bring me to bed, for I am not at all well." At midnight the knight raised himself from his pillow, shaking with fever. Once more the sick knight stretched out his long arms as though he were in the midst of battle. He conquered everything that crossed his fevered path. Finally he bowed, his countenance transfigured, accepting a golden laurel wreath, with which he adorned himself, from the hands of beautiful women. His soul departed light as a breath while he seemed to be listenig enraptured to the sound of bells and triumphant anthems sung in his honour. They wept as they buried him, and Carrasca had the following inscription put on his gravestone:

"Here lies the valiant hero, Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, who defeated everything but death."

Der Tod Don Quixotes

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