Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

very shadow, and much more the presence, of any knight-errant whatever! Come hither, ye rogues in a troop, and not troopers; highwaymen with the licence of the Holy Brotherhood; tell me, who was the blockhead that signed the warrant for apprehending such a knight-errant as I am? Who was he that knew not that knights-errant are exempt from all judicial authority, that their sword is their law, their bravery their privileges, and their will their edicts? Who was the madman, I say again, that is ignorant that no patent of gentility contains so many privileges and exemptions, as are acquired by the knight-errant the day he is dubbed, and gives himself up to the rigorous exercise of chivalry? What knight-errant ever paid custom, poll-tax, subsidy, quit-rent, porterage, or ferry-boat? What tailor ever brought in a bill for making his clothes? What governor, that lodged him in his castle, ever made him pay a reckoning? What king did not seat him at his table? what damsel was not in love with him, and did not yield herself up to his whole pleasure and will? and lastly, what knight-errant has there ever been, is, or shall be, in the world, who has not courage singly to bestow four hundred bastinadoes, on four hundred troopers of the Holy Brotherhood, that shall dare to present themselves before him?'


CHAPTER 46
In which is finished the notable adventure of the troopers of the Holy Brotherhood; with the great ferocity of our good knight, Don Quixote.

WHILE Don Quixote was talking at this rate, the priest was endeavouring to persuade the troopers that Don Quixote was out of his wits, as they might easily perceive by what he did, and said that they need not give themselves any further trouble upon that subject; for, though they should apprehend and carry him away, they must soon release him, as being a madman. To which the officer that had produced the warrant answered, that it was no business of his to judge of Don Quixote's madness, but to obey the orders of his superior, and that, when he had once secured him, they might set him free three hundred times if they pleased.

'For all that,' said the priest, 'for this once you must not take him, nor do I think he will suffer himself to be taken.'

-410-

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