Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Charles Jarvis et al. | Go to book overview

asunder; and the Biscainer expected him, with his sword also lifted up, and guarded by his cushion. All the bystanders were trembling, and in suspense what might be the event of those prodigious blows with which they threatened each other; and the lady of the coach, and her waiting-women, were making a thousand vows and promises of offerings, to all the images and places of devotion in Spain, that God would deliver them and their squire from the great peril they were in.

But the misfortune is that the author of this history, in this very crisis, leaves the combat unfinished, excusing himself, that he could find no more written of these exploits of Don Quixote than what he has already related. It is true indeed, that the second undertaker of this work could not believe, that so curious an history could be lost in oblivion, or that the wits of La Mancha should have so little curiosity, as not to preserve in their archives or their cabinets, some papers that treated of this famous knight; and upon that presumption he did not despair to find the conclusion of this delectable history: which, heaven favouring him, he has at last done, in the manner as shall be recounted in the second part.


CHAPTER 9
Wherein is concluded, and an end put to the stupendous battle between the vigorous Biscainer and the valiant Manchegan.

IN the first part of this history* we left the valiant Biscainer and the renowned Don Quixote with their swords lifted up and naked, ready to discharge two such furious and cleaving strokes, as must, if they had lighted full, at least have divided the combatants from head to heel, and split them asunder like a pomegranate: but in that critical instant this relishing history stopped short, and was left imperfect, without the author's giving us any notice where what remained of it might be found.

This grieved me extremely: and the pleasure of having read so little was turned into disgust to think what small probability there was of finding the much that, in my opinion, was yet wanting of so savoury a story. It seemed to me impossible, and quite beside all laudable custom, that so accomplished a knight should want a sage,

-66-

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