Wherein is continued the account of the method prescribed to Don Quixote for the disenchanting Dulcinea; with other wonderful events.
KEEPING exact time with the agreeable music, they perceived advancing towards them one of those cars they call triumphal, drawn by six grey mules, covered with white linen; and mounted upon each of them came a penitent of the light, clothed also in white, and a great wax torch lighted in his hand. The car was thrice as big as any of the former, and the sides and top were occupied by twelve other penitents as white as snow, and all carrying lighted torches; a sight, which at once caused admiration and affright. Upon an elevated throne sat a nymph, clad in a thousand veils of silver tissue, bespangled with numberless leaves of gold tinsel; which made her appear, if not very rich, yet very gorgeous. Her face was covered with a transparent delicate tiffany; so that, without any impediment from its threads or plaits, you might discover through it the face of a very beautiful damsel; and the multitude of lights gave an opportunity of distinguishing her beauty, and her age, which seemed not to reach twenty years, nor to be under seventeen.
Close by her sat a figure, arrayed in a gown of those they call robes of state, down to the feet, and his head covered with a black veil. The moment the car came up, just over against where the duke and duchess and Don Quixote stood, the music of the waits ceased, and presently after that of the harps and lutes, which played in the car; and the figure in the gown standing up, and throwing open the robe, and taking the veil from off his face, discovered plainly the very figure and skeleton of Death, so ugly that Don Quixote was startled, and Sancho affrighted at it, and the duke and duchess made a show of some timorous concern. This living Death, raised and standing up, with a voice somewhat drowsy, and a tongue not quite awake, began in the following manner:
' Merlin I am, miscall'd the devil's son
In lying annals, authoriz'd by time;
Monarch supreme and great depositary
Of magic art and Zoroastric skill;
Rival of envious ages, that would hide
The glorious deeds of errant cavaliers,