Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; E. C. Riley et al. | Go to book overview

mightily delighted with his conceits. Sancho was easily prevailed upon, and winding himself in among the three, made a fourth in the conversation, to the great satisfaction of the duke and duchess, who looked upon it as a notable piece of good fortune, to entertain in their castle such a knight-errant, and such an erred-squire.


CHAPTER 31
Which treats of many and great things.

EXCESSIVE was the joy which Sancho conceived to see himself, in his thinking, a favourite of the duchess's; expecting to find in her castle the same as at Don Diego's or Basilius's; for he was always a lover of good cheer, and consequently took every opportunity of regaling himself by the forelock, where, and whenever it presented.

Now, the history relates, that, before they came to the pleasurehouse, or castle, the duke rode on before, and gave all his servants their cue, in what manner they were to behave to Don Quixote; who arriving with the duchess at the castle gate, immediately there issued out two lackeys or grooms, clad in a kind of morning-gowns of fine crimson satin down to their heels; and taking Don Quixote in their arms, without being observed, said to him:

'Go, great sir, and take our lady the duchess off her horse.'

Don Quixote did so, and great compliments passed between them thereupon. But, in short, the duchess's positiveness got the better, and she would not alight, nor descend from her palfrey, but into the duke's arm, saying, she did not think herself worthy to charge so grand a knight with so unprofitable a burden. At length the duke came out, and took her off her horse: and at their entering into a large courtyard, two beautiful damsels came, and threw over Don Quixote's shoulders a large mantle of the finest scarlet, and, in an instant, all the galleries of the courtyard were crowded with menand women-servants belonging to the duke and duchess, crying aloud:

'Welcome the flower and cream of knights-errant!'

And all or most of them sprinkled whole bottles of sweet-scented waters upon Don Quixote, and on the duke and duchess; at all which Don Quixote wondered; and this was the first day that he was thor-

-666-

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