Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

CHAPTER 2
Which treats of the first sally the ingenious Don Quixote made from his Village.

NOW, these dispositions being made, he would no longer defer putting his design in execution, being the more strongly excited thereto by the mischief he thought his delay occasioned in the world; such and so many were the grievances he proposed to redress, the wrongs he intended to rectify, the exorbitances to correct, the abuses to reform, and the debts to discharge. And therefore, without making any one privy to his design, or being seen by anybody, one morning before day (which was one of the hottest of the month of July) he armed himself cap-à-pie, mounted Rosinante, adjusted his illcomposed beaver, braced on his target, grasped his lance, and issued forth into the fields at a private door of his backyard, with the greatest satisfaction and joy, to find with how much ease he had given a beginning to his honourable enterprise. But scarcely was he got into the plain, when a terrible thought assaulted him and such as had well nigh made him abandon his new undertaking; for it came into his remembrance, that he was not dubbed a knight, and that according to the laws of chivalry, he neither could nor ought to enter the lists against any knight: and though he had been dubbed, still he must wear white armour, as a new knight, without any device on his shield, until he had acuired one by his prowess. These reflections staggered his resolution; but his frenzy prevailing above any reason whatever, he purposed to get himself knighted by the first person he should meet, in imitation of many others who had done the like, as he had read in the books which had occasioned his madness. As to the white armour, he proposed to scour his own, the first opportunity, in such sort that it should be whiter than ermine: and herewith quieting his mind, he went on his way, following no other road than what his horse pleased to take; believing that therein consisted the life and spirit of adventures.

Thus our flaming adventurer jogged on, talking to himself, and saying:

'Who doubts, but that, in future times, when the faithful history of my famous exploits shall come to light, the sage who writes them, when he gives a relation of this my first sally, so early in the morning,

-26-

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