Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

The ecclesiastic, when he heard talk of giants, caitiffs, and enchantments, began to suspect that this must be Don Quixote de la Mancha, whose history the duke was commonly reading; and he had as frequently reproved him for so doing, telling him it was extravagance to read such extravagances: and, being assured of the truth of his suspicion, with much choler he said to the duke:

'Your excellency, sir, shall give an account to God for what this good man is doing. This Don Quixote, or Don Coxcomb, or how do you call him, I fancy, can hardly be so great an idiot as your excellency would have him, laying occasions in his way to go on in his follies and extravagances.'

And turning the discourse to Don Quixote, he said:

'And you, stupid wretch, who has thrust it into your brain that you are a knight-errant, and that you conquer giants and seize caitiffs? Be gone in a good hour, and in such this is said to you; return to your own house, and breed up your children, if you have any; mind your affairs, and cease to ramble up and down the world, sucking the wind, and making all people laugh that know you, or know you not. Where, with a mischief, have you ever found that there have been, or are, knights-errant? Where are there any giants in Spain, or caitiffs in La Mancha, or Dulcineas enchanted, or all the rabble rout of follies that are told of you?'

Don Quixote was very attentive to the words of this venerable man; and, finding that he now held his peace, without minding the respect due to the duke and duchess, with an ireful mien and disturbed countenance, he started up, and said -- But his answer deserves a chapter by itself.


CHAPTER 32
Of the answer Don Quixote gave to his reprover, with other grave and pleasant events.

DON QUIXOTE, then, standing up and trembling from head to foot, as if he had quicksilver in his joints, with precipitate and disturbed speech, said:

'The place where I am, and the presence of the personages before whom I stand, together with the respect I ever had, and have, for

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