The History of That Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quijote de la Mancha

By Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra; Burton Raffel | Go to book overview

bottom of my heart what had happened to my master! You just get into bed, your grace, without calling on this Hurgada [hurgada = sexually well‐ used], and we'll get you well. Curses on these chivalry books — I've said it once and I'll say it a hundred times more — for bringing your grace to this!"

They quickly got him into bed and, trying to examine his wounds, found he had none. He told them that he was bruised all over, having taken a great fall with Rocinante, his horse, while fighting ten giants — the wildest, most insolent anywhere on earth.

"Ah ha!" said the priest. "We've got giants in all this, have we? By my faith, I'll burn them all up before nightfall tomorrow."

They asked Don Quijote a thousand questions, but all he felt like answering was that he wanted something to eat and would they please go away and let him sleep, because that was the most important thing. So that was what they did, and the priest interrogated the farmer at great length as to exactly how he'd come upon Don Quijote. The farmer told him everything, including all the nonsense spouted both when he'd found Don Quijote and when he was bringing him home, which made the priest still more anxious to accomplish what he did the next day, which was to fetch the barber, Master Nicolás, and take him along to Don Quijote's house.


Chapter Six

— the entertaining and thorough inquisition into the library of
our ingenious gentleman made by the priest and the barber

The priest asked his niece for the keys to the room where her uncle, who remained asleep through this whole proceeding, kept his books, they being the true authors of all the damage, and she was delighted to hand them over. They went in together, the housekeeper along with them, and found more than a hundred large folio volumes, extremely well bound, plus a good many smaller ones as well, and as soon as the housekeeper saw them she turned and ran out of the room, coming back at once with a great bowl of holy water and a sprinkling brush, and saying to the priest:

"Take this, your grace, sir, and sprinkle the whole room, so none of the magicians who swarm in those books can enchant us, to get even for throwing them out of the world."

The priest had to laugh at the housekeeper's naiveté, and he told the barber to hand him the books, one at a time, so he could see what they were all about, because perhaps he could find some that didn't deserve to be cast into the fire.

"No, " said the niece, "none of them are worth pardoning, because they've all taken part in the damage. It would be better to just throw them out the windows, down into the patio, and stack them up and set them to burning — or else take them to the yard and start a bonfire out there, where the smoke won't bother anybody."

The housekeeper said the same thing, both of them equally eager to see the death of these innocents, but the priest wouldn't agree without at least

-29-

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