Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

castle, when, behold, the sorrowful and afflicted are already come in quest of you, from far distant and remote countries, and not in coaches, nor upon dromedaries, but on foot, and fasting, trusting they shall find, in that strenuous arm of yours, the remedy for their troubles and distresses: thanks to your grand exploits, which run and spread themselves over the whole face of the earth.'

'I wish, my lord duke,' answered Don Quixote, 'that the same ecclesiastic, who the other day expressed so much ill will and so great a grudge to knights-errant, were now here, that he might see with his eyes, whether or no such knights as those are necessary in the world; at least he would be made sensible, that the extraordinary afflicted and disconsolate, in great cases, and in enormous mishaps, do not fly for a remedy to the houses of scholars, nor to those of country parish priests, nor to the cavalier, who never thinks of stirring from his own town, nor to the lazy courtier, who rather inquires after news to tell again, than endeavours to perform actions and exploits for others to relate or write of him. Remedy for distress, relief in necessities, protection of damsels, and consolation of widows, are nowhere so readily to be found, as among knights-errant; and that I am one, I give infinite thanks to heaven, and shall not repine at any hardship or trouble that can befall me in so honourable an exercise. Let this matron come, and make what request she pleases: for I will commit her redress to the force of my arm, and the intrepid resolution of my courageous spirit.'


CHAPTER 37
In which is continued the famous adventure of the Afflicted Matron.

THE duke and duchess were extremely delighted to see how well Don Quixote answered their expectation; and here Sancho said:

'I should be loath that this madam duenna should lay any stumbling-block in the way of my promised government; for I have heard an apothecary of Toledo, who talked like any goldfinch, say, that, Where duennas have to do, no good thing can e'er ensue. Odds my life! what an enemy was that apothecary to them! and therefore, since all duennas are troublesome and impertinent, of what quality or condition soever they be, what must the afflicted be, as they say

-710-

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