Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

'the sceptre on the head and the crown in the hand; but, perhaps, some company of strolling players is within, who frequently wear those crowns and sceptres you talk of; otherwise I do not believe, that in so small and paltry an inn, and where all is so silent, there can be lodged persons worthy to wear crowns and wield sceptres.'

'You know little of the world,' replied Don Quixote, 'if you are ignorant of the accidents which usually happen in knight-errantry.'

The querist's* comrades were tired with the dialogue between him and Don Quixote, and so they knocked again with greater violence, and in such a manner, that the innkeeper awaked, and all the rest of the people that were in the inn; and the host got up to ask who knocked.

Now it fell out, that one of the four strangers' horses came to smell at Rosinante, who, melancholy and sad, his ears hanging down, bore up his distended master without stirring; but being, in short, of flesh, though he seemed to be of wood, he could not but be sensible of it, and smell him again that came so kindly to caress him: and scarcely had he stirred a step, when Don Quixote's feet slipped, and, tumbling from the saddle, he had fallen to the ground, had he not hung by the arm: which put him to so much torture, that he fancied his wrist was cutting off, or his arm tearing from his body; yet he hung so near the ground, that he could just reach it with the tips of his toes, which turned to his prejudice; for, feeling how little he wanted to set his feet to the ground, he strove and stretched as much as he could to reach it quite: like those, who are tortured by the strappado, who, being placed at touch or not touch, are themselves the cause of increasing their own pain, by their eagerness to extend themselves, deceived by the hope, that, if they stretch never so little farther, they shall reach the ground.


CHAPTER 44
A continuation of the unheard-of adventures of the inn.

IN short, Don Quixote roared out so terribly, that the host in a fright opened the inn door hastily, to see who it was that made those outcries; nor were the strangers less surprised. Maritornes, who was also waked by the same noise, imagining what it was, went to the

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