having been the only unfortunate person whom the impossibility of receiving consolation could not comfort, but plunged in still greater afflictions and misfortunes; for I verily believe they will not have an end even in death itself.'
Here Cardenio ended his long discourse, and his story, no less full of misfortunes than of love; and, just as the priest was preparing to say something to him, by way of consolation, he was prevented by a voice, which, in mournful accents, said what will be related in the fourth book of this history; for, at this point the wise and judicious historian Cid Hamet Ben Engeli put an end to the third.
Which treats of the new and agreeable adventure that befell the priest and the barber in the Sierra Morena.
MOST happy and fortunate were the times in which the most daring knight Don Quixote de la Mancha was ushered into the world; since, through the so honourable resolution he took of reviving and restoring to the world the long since lost, and as it were buried, order of knight-errantry, we, in these our times, barren and unfruitful of amusing entertainments, enjoy not only the sweets of his true history, but also the stories and episodes of it, which are, in some sort, no less pleasing, artificial, and true, than the history itself: which resuming the broken thread of the narration, relates, that, as the priest was preparing himself to comfort Cardenio, he was hindered by a voice, which, with mournful accents, spoke in this manner:
'O heavens! is it possible I have at last found a place that can afford a secret grave for the irksome burden of this body, which I bear about so much against my will? yes, it is, if the solitude, which these rocks promise, do not deceive me. Ah, woe is me! how much more agreeable society shall I find in these crags and brakes, which will at least afford me leisure to communicate my miseries to heaven by complaints, than in the conversation of men, since there is no one living from whom I can expect counsel in doubts, ease in complaints, or remedy in misfortunes.'
The priest, and they that were with him, heard all this very distinctly; and perceiving, as indeed it was, that the voice was near