Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

helmet. Sancho hearing himself called, left the shepherds, and in all haste, pricking his Dapple, came where his master was, whom there befell a most dreadful and stupendous adventure.


CHAPTER 17
Wherein is set forth the last and highest point, at which the unheard-of courage of Don Quixote ever did, or could, arrive; with the happy conclusion of the adventure of the lions.

THE history relates, that, when Don Quixote called out to Sancho to bring him his helmet, he was buying some curds of the shepherds; and, being hurried by the violent haste his master was in, he knew not what to do with them, nor how to bestow them: and that he might not lose them, now they were paid for, he bethought him of clapping them into his master's helmet, and, with this excellent shift, back he came to learn the commands of his lord, who said to him:

'Friend, give me the helmet; for either I know little of adventures, or that, which I descry yonder, is one that does and will oblige me to have recourse to arms.'

He in the green riding-coat, hearing this, cast his eyes every way as far as he could, and discovered nothing but a car coming towards them, with two or three small flags, by which he conjectured, that the said car was bringing some of the king's money, and so he told Don Quixote. But he believed him not, always thinking and imagining that everything that befell him must be an adventure, and adventures upon adventures; and thus he replied to the gentleman:

'Preparation is half the battle, and nothing is lost by being upon one's guard. I know by experience, that I have enemies both visible and invisible, and I know not when, nor from what quarter, nor at what time, nor in what shape, they will encounter me.'

And turning about, he demanded his helmet of Sancho, who, not having time to take out the curds, was forced to give it him as it was. Don Quixote took it, and, without minding what was in it, clapped it hastily upon his head; and as the curds were squeezed and pressed, the whey began to run down the face and beard of Don Quixote; at which he was so startled, that he said to Sancho:

'What can this mean, Sancho? methinks my skull is softening, or

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