Don Quixote de la Mancha

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

certainly; for this is the business of robust fellows, tanned and bred to such employment, as it were, from their cradles and swaddling- clothes. And, of the two evils, it is better to be a knight-errant than a shepherd. Look you, sir, take my advice, which is not given by one full of bread and wine, but fasting, and with fifty years over my head: stay at home, look after your estate, go often to confession, and relieve the poor; and if any ill comes of it, let it lie at my door.'

'Peace, daughters,' answered Don Quixote; 'for I know perfectly what I have to do. Lead me to bed: for, methinks, I am not very well; and assure yourselves, that, whether I am a knight-errant, or a wandering shepherd, I will not fail to provide for you, as you shall find by experience.'

The two good women (for doubtless such they were), the housekeeper and niece, carried him to bed, where they gave him to eat, and made as much of him as possible.


CHAPTER 74
How Don Quixote fell sick, made his will, and died.

As all human things, especially the lives of men, are transitory, incessantly declining from their beginning till they arrive at their final period; and as that of Don Quixote had no peculiar privilege from heaven to exempt it from the common fate, his end and dissolution came when he least thought of it. For, whether it proceeded from the melancholy occasioned by finding himself vanquished, or from the disposition of heaven so decreeing it, he was seized with a fever, which confined him six days to his bed, in which time he was frequently visited by the priest, the bachelor, and the barber, his friends; his trusty squire Sancho Panza never stirring from his bedside.

They, supposing that his grief at being vanquished, and the disappointment of his wishes as to the restoration and disenchantment of Dulcinea, had reduced him to this state, endeavoured by all imaginable ways to revive his spirits. The bachelor bade him be of good courage, and rise from bed, to enter upon his pastoral exercise; he having already composed an eclogue to that purpose, not inferior to any written by Sannazarius;* telling him besides, that he had

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