give my mind its repast, which I am going to do, by listening to this honest man's story.'
'We all do the same,' quoth the canon, and then desired the goatherd to begin the tale he had promised. The goatherd gave the goat, which he held by the horns, two slaps on the back with the palm of his hand, saying:
'Lie thee down by me, speckled fool; for we have time and to spare for returning to our fold.'
The goat seemed to understand him; for as soon as her master was seated, she laid herself close by him very quietly, and, looking up in his face, seemed to signify she was attentive to what the goatherd was going to relate, who began his story in this manner:
Which treats of what the goatherd related to all those who accompanied Don Quixote.
'THREE leagues from this valley there is a town, which, though but small, is one of the richest in all these parts; and therein dwelt a farmer, of so good a character, that, though esteem is usually annexed to riches, yet he was more respected for his virtue than for the wealth he possessed. But that which completed his happiness, as he used to say himself, was his having a daughter of such extraordinary beauty, rare discretion, gracefulness, and virtue, that whoever knew and beheld her, was in admiration, to see the surpassing endowments wherewith heaven and nature had enriched her. When a child, she was pretty, and, as she grew up, became still more and more beautiful, until, at the age of sixteen, she was beauty itself. And now the fame of her beauty began to extend itself through all the neighbouring villages: do I say, through the neighbouring villages only? It spread itself to the remotest cities, and even made its way into the palaces of kings, and reached the ears of all sorts of people, who came to see her from all parts, as if she had been some relic, or wonder-working image. Her father guarded her, and she guarded herself; for there are no padlocks, bolts, or bars, that secure a maiden better than her own reserve. The wealth of the father and the beauty of the daughter, induced many, both of the town, and strangers, to