The Disciplinants' Quest: A Relaxing Read of Don Quixote's Rare Adventure Part XII Chapters 34 and 35 read by Nancy

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The Life and Achievements of Don Quixote De La Mancha is a Spanish epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Originally published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, its full title is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. A founding work of Western literature, it is often labelled as the first modern novel and one of the greatest works ever written. Don Quixote is also one of the most-translated books in the world.

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Of the quarrel between Don Quixote and the Goatherd, with the rare adventure of the Disciplinants.

The goatherd's tale amused all his auditors, especially the canon, who was struck by his manner of telling it, which was more like that of a scholar and a gentleman than an unpolished goatherd; and he was convinced that the priest was perfectly right when he affirmed that men of letters were often produced among mountains. They all offered their service to Eugenio; but the most liberal in his offers was Don Quixote, who said to him, "In truth, brother goatherd, were I in a situation to undertake any new adventure, I would immediately engage myself in your service, and release your lady from the nunnery in spite of the abbess and all opposers, then deliver her into your hands, to be disposed of at your pleasure, so far as is consistent with the laws of chivalry, which enjoin that no kind of outrage be offered to damsels. I trust, however, that the power of one malicious enchanter shall not be so prevalent over another but that a better disposed one may triumph; and then I promise you my aid and protection according to the duty of my profession, which is no other than to favour the weak and necessitous." The goatherd stared at Don Quixote, and observing his odd appearance, he whispered to the barber who sat next to him, "Pray, sir, who is that man that looks and talks so strangely?" "Who should it be," answered the barber, "but the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, the redresser of injuries, the righter of wrongs, the protector of maidens, the dread of giants, and the conqueror of armies?" "Why this is like what we hear in the stories of knights-errant," said the goatherd; "but I take it either your worship is in jest, or the apartments in this gentleman's skull are unfurnished." "You are a very great blockhead," exclaimed the knight; "it is yourself who are empty-skulled and shallow-brained;" and as he spoke, he snatched up a loaf that was near him, and threw it at the goatherd's face with so much fury that he laid his nose flat. The goatherd did not much relish the jest, so, without any respect to the tablecloth or to the company present, he leaped upon Don Quixote, and seizing him by the throat with both hands, would doubtless have strangled him, had not Sancho Panza, who came up at that moment, taken him by the shoulders and thrown him back on the tablecloth, demolishing dishes and platters, and spilling and overturning all that was upon it. Don Quixote, finding himself free, turned again upon the goatherd, who, being kicked and trampled upon by Sancho, was feeling about upon all fours for some knife or weapon to take revenge withal; but the canon and the priest prevented him. The barber, however, maliciously contrived that the goatherd should get Don Quixote under him, whom he buffeted so unmercifully that he had ample retaliation for his own sufferings. This ludicrous encounter overcame the gravity of both the churchmen; while the troopers of the holy brotherhood, enjoying the conflict, stood urging on the combatants as if it had been a dog-fight. Sancho struggled in vain to release himself from one of the canon's servants, who prevented him from going to assist his master. In the midst of this sport a trumpet was suddenly heard sounding so dismally that every face was instantly turned in the direction whence the sound proceeded. Don Quixote's attention was particularly excited, though he still lay under the goatherd in a bruised and battered condition. "Thou demon," he said to him, "for such thou must be to have this power over me, I beg that thou wilt grant a truce for one hour, as the solemn sound of that trumpet seems to call me to some new adventure." The goatherd, whose revenge was by this time sated, immediately let him go; and Don Quixote, having got upon his legs again, presently saw several people descending from a rising ground, arrayed in white, after the manner of Disciplinants.

That year the heavens having failed to refresh the earth with seasonable showers, throughout all the villages of that district, processions, disciplines, and public prayers were ordered, beseeching God to shew his mercy by sending them rain. For this purpose the people of a neighbouring village were coming in procession to a holy hermitage built upon the side of a hill not far from that spot. The strange attire of the disciplinants struck Don Quixote, who, not recollecting what he must often have seen before, imagined it to be some adventure which, as a knight-errant, was reserved for him alone; and he was confirmed in his opinion on seeing an image clothed in black that they carried with them, and which he doubted not was some illustrious lady, forcibly borne away by ruffians and miscreants. With all the expedition in his power, he therefore went up to Rozinante, and, taking the bridle and buckler from the pommel of the saddle, he bridled him in a trice; and calling to Sancho for his sword, he mounted, braced his target, and, in a loud voice, said to all that were present, "Now, my worthy companions, ye shall see how important to the world is the profession of chivalry; now shall ye see, in the restoration of that captive lady to liberty, whether knights-errant are to be valued or not!" So saying, he clapped heels to Rozinante (for spurs he had none); and, on a hand-gallop (for we nowhere read, in all this faithful history, that Rozinante ever went full speed), he advanced to encounter the disciplinants. The priest, the canon, and the barber, in vain endeavoured to stop him; and in vain did Sancho cry out, "Whither go you, Sigñor Don Quixote? what possesses you to assault the catholic faith? Evil befal me! do but look--it is a procession of disciplinants, and the lady carried upon the bier is the blessed image of our Holy Virgin; take heed, for this once I am sure you know not what you are about." Sancho wearied himself to no purpose; for his master was so bent upon an encounter, that he heard not a word; nor would he have turned back though the king himself had commanded him.
Having reached the procession, he checked Rozinante, who already wanted to rest a little, and in a hoarse and agitated voice cried out, "Stop there, ye who cover your faces,-for an evil purpose I doubt not,-stop and listen to me!" The bearers of the image stood still; and one of the four ecclesiastics, who sung the litanies, observing the strange figure of Don Quixote, the leanness of Rozinante, and other ludicrous circumstances attending the knight, replied, "Friend, if you have any thing to say to us, say it quickly; for these our brethren are scourging their flesh, and we cannot stay to hear any thing that may not be said in two words." "I will say it in one," replied Don Quixote; "you must immediately release that fair lady, whose tears and sorrowful countenance clearly prove that she is carried away against her will, and that you have done her some atrocious injury. I, who was born to redress such wrongs, command you, therefore, not to proceed one step further until you have given her the liberty she desires and deserves." By these expressions they concluded that Don Quixote must be some whimsical madman, and only laughed at him; which enraged him to such a degree, that, without saying another word, he drew his sword and attacked the bearers; one of whom, leaving the burden to his comrades, stept forward brandishing the pole on which the bier had been supported; but it was quickly broken in two by a powerful stroke aimed by the knight, who, however, received instantly such a blow on the shoulder of his sword-arm, that, his buckler being of no avail against rustic strength, he was felled to the ground. Sancho, who had followed him, now called out to the man not to strike again, for he was a poor enchanted knight, who had never done any body harm in all his life. The peasant forbore, it is true, though not on account of Sancho's appeal, but because he saw his opponent without motion; and thinking he had killed him, he hastily tucked up his vest under his girdle, and fled like a deer over the field.

By this time all Don Quixote's party had come up; and those in the procession, seeing among them troopers of the holy brotherhood armed with their cross-bows, began to be alarmed, and drew up in a circle round the image; then lifting up their hoods, and grasping their whips, and the ecclesiastics their tapers, they waited the assault, determined to defend themselves, or, if possible, offend their aggressors; while Sancho threw himself on the body of his master, and believing him to be really dead, poured forth the most dolorous lamentation. Sancho's cries roused Don Quixote, who faintly said, "He who lives absent from thee, sweetest Dulcinea, endures far greater miseries than this!-Help, friend Sancho, to place me upon the enchanted car; I am no longer in a condition to press the saddle of Rozinante, for this shoulder is broken to pieces." "That I will do with all my heart, dear sir," answered Sancho; "and let us return to our homes with these gentlemen, who wish you well; and there we can prepare for another sally that may turn out more profitable." "Thou sayest well, Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "and it will be highly prudent in us to wait until the evil influence of the star which now reigns is passed over." The canon, the priest, and the barber, told him they approved his resolution; and the knight being now placed in the waggon as before, they prepared to depart. The goatherd took his leave; and the troopers, not being disposed to attend them farther, were discharged. The canon also separated from them, having first obtained a promise from the priest that he would acquaint him with the future fate of Don Quixote. Thus the party now consisted only of the priest, the barber, Don Quixote, and Sancho, with good Rozinante, who bore all accidents as patiently as his master. The waggoner yoked his oxen, and having accommodated Don Quixote with a truss of hay, they jogged on in the way the priest directed, and at the end of six days reached Don Quixote's village. It was about noon when they made their entrance, and it being a holyday, all the people were standing about the market-place through which the waggon passed. Everybody ran to see who was in it, and were not a little surprised when they recognised their townsman; and a boy ran off at full speed with tidings to the housekeeper that he was coming home, lean and pale, stretched out at length in a waggon drawn by oxen. On hearing this, the two good women made the most pathetic lamentations, and renewed their curses against books of chivalry; especially when they saw the poor knight entering at the gate.
Upon the news of Don Quixote's arrival, Sancho Panza's wife repaired thither; and on meeting him, her first inquiry was whether the ass had come home well. Sancho told her that he was in a better condition than his master. "Heaven be praised," replied she, "for so great a mercy to me! But tell me, husband, what good have you got by your squireship? Have you brought a petticoat home for me, and shoes for your children?" "I have brought you nothing of that sort, dear wife," quoth Sancho; "but I have got other things of greater consequence." "I am very glad of that," answered the wife; "pray shew me your things of greater consequence, friend; for I would fain see them, to gladden my heart, which has been so sad all the long time you have been away." "You shall see them at home, wife," quoth Sancho, "so be satisfied at present; for if it please God that we make another sally in quest of adventures, you will soon see me an earl or governor of an island, and no common one neither, but one of the best that is to be had." "Grant Heaven it may be so, husband," quoth the wife; "for we have need enough of it. But pray tell me what you mean by islands; for I do not understand you." "Honey is not for the mouth of an ass," answered Sancho; "in good time, wife, you shall see, yea and admire to hear yourself styled ladyship by all your vassals." "What do you mean, Sancho, by ladyship, islands, and vassals?" answered Teresa Panza; for that was the name of Sancho's wife, though they were not of kin, but because it was the custom of La Mancha for the wife to take the husband's name. "Do not be in so much haste, Teresa," said Sancho; "it is enough that I tell you what is true, so lock up your mouth;-only take this by the way, that there is nothing in the world so pleasant as to be an honourable esquire to a knight-errant and seeker of adventures. To be sure, most of them are not so much to a man's mind as he could wish; for, as I know by experience, ninety-nine out of a hundred fall out cross and unlucky; especially when one happens to be tossed in a blanket, or well cudgelled; yet, for all that, it is a fine thing to go about in expectation of accidents, traversing mountains, searching woods, marching over rocks, visiting castles, lodging in inns, all at pleasure, and never a farthing to pay."

While this discourse was passing between Sancho Panza and his wife Teresa, the housekeeper and the niece received Don Quixote, and they laid him in his old bed, whence he looked at them with eyes askance, not knowing perfectly where he was. Often did the women raise their voices in abuse of all books of chivalry, overwhelming their authors with the bitterest maledictions. His niece was charged by the priest to take great care of him, and to keep a watchful eye that he did not again make his escape, after taking so much pains to get him home. Yet they were full of apprehensions lest they should lose him again as soon as he found himself a little better; and, indeed, the event proved that their fears were not groundless.

What passed between the Curate, the Barber, and Don Quixote, concerning his indisposition.

The curate and the barber were almost a whole month without paying Don Quixote a visit, lest, calling to mind his former extravagances, he might take occasion to renew them. However, they failed not every day to see his niece and his housekeeper, whom they charged to treat and cherish him with great care, and to give him such diet as might be most proper to cheer his heart and comfort his brain, whence, in all likelihood, his disorder wholly proceeded. They answered, that they did so, and would continue it to their utmost power; the rather because they observed that sometimes he seemed to be in his right senses. This news was very welcome to the curate and the barber, who looked on this amendment as an effect of their contrivance in bringing him home in the enchanted waggon, as already recorded. Thereupon they resolved to pay him a visit, and make trial themselves of the progress of a cure, which they thought almost impossible. They also agreed not to speak a word of knight-errantry, lest they should endanger a wound so lately closed and so tender. Don Quixote received them very civilly, and when they inquired of his health, gave them an account of his condition, expressing himself very handsomely, and with a great deal of judgment. After they had discoursed a while of several matters, they fell at last on state affairs and forms of government, correcting this grievance, and condemning that, reforming one custom, rejecting another, and establishing new laws, as if they had been the Lycurguses or Solons of the age, till they had refined and new modelled the commonwealth at such a rate, that they seemed to have clapped it into a forge, and drawn it out wholly different from what it was before. Don Quixote reasoned with so much discretion on every subject, that his two visitors now undoubtedly believed him in his right senses.

His niece and housekeeper were present at these discourses, and, hearing him give so many marks of sound understanding, thought they could never return Heaven sufficient thanks for so extraordinary a blessing. But the curate, who wondered at this strange amendment, being resolved to try whether Don Quixote was perfectly recovered, thought fit to alter the resolution he had taken to avoid entering into any discourse of knight-errantry; and therefore began to talk to him of news, and, among the rest, that it was credibly reported at court, that the Grand Seignior was advancing with a vast army, and nobody knew where the tempest would fall; that all Christendom was alarmed, as it used to be almost every year; and that the king was providing for the security of the coasts of Sicily and Naples, and the island of Malta. "His majesty," said Don Quixote, "acts the part of a most prudent warrior, in putting his dominions betimes in a posture of defence; but yet, if my counsel were to be taken in this matter, I would advise another sort of preparation, which, I fancy, his majesty little thinks of at present." Thereupon they both desired Don Quixote to communicate to them this mighty project of his; "for," said they, "who knows but, after all, it may be one of those that ought only to find a place in the list of impertinent admonitions usually given to princes?" "No, good Mr. Trimmer," answered Don Quixote, "my projects are not impertinent, but highly advisable." "I meant no harm in what I said, sir," replied the barber; "only we generally find most of those projects that are offered to the king are either impracticable or whimsical, or tend to the detriment of the king or kingdom." "But mine," said Don Quixote, "is neither impossible nor ridiculous; far from that, it is the most easy, the most thoroughly weighed, and the most concise, that ever can be devised by man." "Methinks you are too long before you let us know it, sir," said the curate. "To deal freely with you," replied Don Quixote, "I should be loath to tell it you here now, and have it reach the ear of some privy-counsellor to-morrow, and so afterwards see the fruit of my invention reaped by somebody else." "As for me," said the barber, "I give you my word here, and in the face of heaven, never to tell it, either to king, queen, or any earthly man." "Well, then," cried Don Quixote, "what has the king to do more, but to cause public proclamation to be made, enjoining all the knights-errant that are dispersed in this kingdom to make their personal appearance at court, upon a certain day? For though but half a dozen should meet, there may be some one among them who, even alone, might be able to destroy the whole united force of Turkey. For pray observe well what I say, gentlemen. Do you look upon it as a new thing for one knight-errant alone to rout an army of two hundred thousand men, with as much ease as if all of them joined together had but one throat, or were made of sugar-paste? You know how many histories are full of these wonders." "Alas!" said the niece, hearing this, "I will lay my life my uncle has still a hankering after knight-errantry." "I will die a knight-errant," cried Don Quixote; "and so let the Turks land where they please, how they please, and when they please, and with all the forces they can muster." "Gentlemen," said the barber, "I beg leave to tell you a short story of somewhat that happened at Seville; indeed it falls out as pat as if it had been made for our present purpose, and so I have a great mind to tell it." Don Quixote gave consent, the curate and the rest of the company were willing to hear; and thus the barber begun:

"A certain person being distracted, was put into the mad-house at Seville. He had studied the civil law, and taken his degrees at Ossuna; though, had he taken them at Salamanca, many are of opinion that he would have been mad too. After some years spent in this confinement, he was pleased to fancy himself in his right senses; and, upon this, wrote to the archbishop, beseeching him, with all the colour of reason imaginable, to release him by his authority, since, by the mercy of Heaven, he was wholly freed from his disorder; only his relations, he said, kept him in, in order to enjoy his estate, designing, in spite of truth, to have him mad to his dying day. The archbishop, persuaded by many letters which he wrote to him, all penned with sense and judgment, ordered one of his chaplains to inquire into the truth of the matter, and also to discourse with the party, that he might set him at large, in case he found him of sound mind. Thereupon the chaplain went, and having asked the governor what condition the graduate was in, was answered that he was still mad; that sometimes, indeed, he would talk like a man of excellent sense, but presently after he would relapse into his former extravagances, which, at least, balanced all his rational talk, as he himself might find if he pleased to discourse with him. The chaplain, resolved to make the experiment, went to the madman, and conversed with him above an hour, and in all that time could not perceive the least disorder in his brain; far from that, he delivered himself with so much sedateness, and gave such pertinent answers to every question, that the chaplain was obliged to believe him sound in his understanding; nay, he went so far as to make a complaint against his keeper, alleging, that, for the lucre of those presents which his relations sent him, he represented him as one who was still distracted, and had only now and then lucid intervals. In short, he pleaded in such a manner, that the keeper was suspected, his relations censured as covetous and unnatural, and he himself thought master of so much sense, that the chaplain resolved to take him along with him, that the archbishop might be able to satisfy himself in person. The credulous chaplain therefore desired the governor to give the graduate the habit which he had brought with him at his first coming. The governor used every argument to dissuade the chaplain from his design, assuring him that the man was still disordered in his brain. But he could not prevail with him to leave the madman any longer, and therefore was forced to comply with the archbishop's order, and returned the man his habit, which was neat and decent.

"Having put off his madman's clothes, and finding himself in the garb of rational creatures, he begged of the chaplain, for charity's sake, to permit him to take leave of his late companions in affliction. The chaplain told him he would bear him company, having a mind to see the mad folks in the house. So they went up stairs, and with them some other people that stood by. Presently the graduate came to a kind of a cage, where lay a man that was outrageously mad, though at that instant still and quiet; and addressing himself to him, 'Brother,' said he, 'have you any service to command me? I am just going to my own house, thanks be to Heaven, which, of its infinite goodness and mercy, has restored me to my senses. Be of good comfort, and put your trust in God, who will, I hope, be equally merciful to you. I will be sure to send you some choice victuals, which I would have you eat by all means; for I must needs tell you, that I have reason to imagine from my own experience, that all our madness proceeds from keeping our stomachs empty of food, and our brains full of wind.' Just over against that room lay another madman, who, having listened with an envious attention to all this discourse, starts up from an old mat on which he lay: 'Who is that,' cried he aloud, 'that is going away so well recovered and so wise?' 'It is I, brother, that am going,' replied the graduate; 'I have now no need to stay here any longer; for which blessing I can never cease to return my humble and hearty thanks to the infinite goodness of Heaven.' 'Doctor,' quoth the madman, 'have a care what you say, and let not the devil delude you. Stir not a foot, but keep snug in your old lodging, and save yourself the vexation of being brought back to your kennel.' 'Nay,' answered the other, 'I will warrant you there will be no occasion for my coming hither again, I know I am perfectly well.' 'You well!' cried the madman; 'we shall soon see that. Farewell; but by the sovereign Jupiter, whose majesty I represent on earth, for this very crime alone that Seville has committed in setting thee at large, affirming that thou art sound in thy intellects, I will take such a severe revenge on the whole city, that it shall be remembered with terror from age to age. Dost thou not know, my poor brainless thing in a gown, that this is in my power? I, that am the thundering Jove, that grasp in my hands the red-hot bolts of heaven, with which I keep the threatened world in awe, and might reduce it all to ashes? But stay, I will commute the fiery punishment which this ignorant town deserves into another: I will only shut up the flood-gates of the skies, so that there shall not fall a drop of rain upon this city, nor on all the neighbouring country round about it, for three years together, to begin from the very moment that gives date to this my inviolable execration. Thou free! thou well, and in thy senses! and I here mad, distempered, and confined!' As every one there was attentive to these loud and frantic threats, the graduate turned to the chaplain, and taking him by the hand: 'Sir,' said he, 'let not that madman's threats trouble you. Never mind him; for if he be Jupiter, and will not let it rain, I am Neptune, the parent and god of the waters, and it shall rain as often as I please, wherever necessity shall require it.' 'However,' answered the chaplain, 'good Mr. Neptune, it is not convenient to provoke Mr. Jupiter; therefore be pleased to stay here a little longer; and some other time, at convenient leisure, I may chance to find a better opportunity to wait on you, and bring you away.' The keeper and the rest of the company could not forbear laughing, which put the chaplain almost out of countenance. In short, Mr. Neptune was disrobed again, and stayed where he was; and there is an end of my story."

"Well, Master Barber," said Don Quixote, "and this is your tale which you said came so pat to the present purpose, that you could not forbear telling it? Ah, Mr. Cutbeard, how blind must he be that cannot see through a sieve! Is it possible your pragmatical worship should not know that the comparisons made between wit and wit, courage and courage, beauty and beauty, birth and birth, are always odious and ill taken? I am not Neptune, the god of the waters, good Master Barber; neither do I pretend to set up for a wise man when I am not so. All I aim at is only to make the world sensible how much they are to blame in not labouring to revive those most happy times, in which the order of knight-errantry was in its full glory. But, indeed, this degenerate age of ours is unworthy the enjoyment of so great a happiness, which former ages could boast, when knights-errant took upon themselves the defence of kingdoms, the protection of damsels, the relief of orphans, the punishment of pride and oppression, and the reward of humility. Most of your knights, now-a-days, keep a greater rustling with their sumptuous garments of damask, gold brocade, and other costly stuffs, than with the coats of mail, which they should glory to wear. No knight now will lie on the hard ground in the open field exposed to the injurious air, from head to foot enclosed in ponderous armour. Where are those now, who, without taking their feet out of the stirrups, and only leaning on their lances like the knights-errant of old, strive to disappoint invading sleep, rather than indulge it? Where is that knight who, having first traversed a spacious forest, climbed up a steep mountain, and journeyed over a dismal barren shore, washed by a turbulent tempestuous sea, and finding on the brink a little skiff, destitute of sails, oars, mast, or any kind of tackling, is yet so bold as to throw himself into the boat with an undaunted resolution, and resign himself to the implacable billows of the main that now mount him to the skies, and then hurry him down to the most profound recesses of the waters; till, with his insuperable courage surmounting at last the hurricane, even in its greatest fury, he finds himself above three thousand leagues from the place where he first embarked, and leaping ashore in a remote and unknown region, meets with adventures that deserve to be recorded, not only on parchment, but on Corinthian brass? But now, alas, sloth and effeminacy triumph over vigilance and labour; idleness over industry; vice over virtue; arrogance over valour; and the theory of arms over the practice, that true practice which only lived and flourished in those golden days, and among those professors of chivalry. For, where shall we hear of a knight more valiant and more honourable than the renowned Amadis de Gaul? Who more discreet than Palmerin of England? Who more affable and complaisant than Tirante the White? Who more gallant than Lisuarte of Greece? Who more cut and hacked, or a greater cutter and hacker, than Don Belianis? Who more intrepid than Perion of Gaul? Who more daring than Felixmarte of Hyrcania? Who more sincere than Esplandian? Who more courteous than Ciriongilio of Thrace? Who more brave than Rodomont? Who more prudent than King Sobrino? Who more desperate than Rinaldo? Who more invincible than Orlando? And who more agreeable or more affable than Rogero, from whom (according to Turpin in his cosmography) the Dukes of Ferrara are descended? All these champions, Master Curate, and a great many more that I could mention, were knights-errant, and the very light and glory of chivalry. Now, such as these are the men I would advise the king to employ; by which means his majesty would be effectually served, and freed from a vast expense, and the Turk would tear his very beard for madness. For my part, I do not design to stay where I am because the chaplain will not fetch me out; though if Jupiter, as Master Barber said, will send no rain, here stands one that will, and can rain when he pleases. This I say, that Goodman Basin here may know I understand his meaning." "Truly, good sir," said the barber, "I meant no ill; Heaven is my witness, my intent was good; and therefore I hope your worship will take nothing amiss." "Whether I ought to take it amiss or no," replied Don Quixote, "is best known to myself." "Well," said the curate, "I have hardly spoken a word yet; and before I go, I would gladly be eased of a scruple, which Don Quixote's words have started within me, and which grates and gnaws my conscience." "Master Curate may be free with me in greater matters," said Don Quixote, "and so may well tell his scruple; for it is no pleasure to have a burden upon one's conscience." "With your leave then, sir," said the curate, "I must tell you, that I can by no means prevail with myself to believe, that all this multitude of knights-errant, which your worship has mentioned, were ever real men of this world, and true substantial flesh and blood; but rather, that most of what is said of them is fable and fiction, lies and dreams, related by men rather half asleep than awake." "This is indeed another mistake," said Don Quixote, "into which many have been led, who do not believe there ever were any of those knights in the world. And in several companies I have many times had occasion to vindicate that manifest truth from the almost universal error that is entertained to its prejudice. Sometimes my success has not been answerable to the goodness of my cause, though at others it has; being supported on the shoulders of truth, which is so apparent, that I dare almost say I have seen Amadis de Gaul with these very eyes. He was a tall comely personage, of a good and lively complexion, his beard well ordered, though black, his aspect at once awful and affable; a man of few words, slowly provoked, and quickly pacified. And as I have given you the picture of Amadis, I fancy I could readily delineate all the knights-errant that are to be met with in history."

"Pray, good sir," quoth the barber, "how tall then might the giant Morgante be?" "Whether there ever were giants or no," answered Don Quixote, "is a point much controverted among the learned. However, Holy Writ, that cannot deviate an atom from truth, informs us there were some, of which we have an instance in the account it gives us of that huge Philistine, Goliath, who was seven cubits and a half high; which is a prodigious stature. Besides, in Sicily thigh-bones and shoulder-bones have been found of so immense a size, that from thence of necessity we must conclude, by the certain rules of geometry, that the men to whom they belonged were giants as big as huge steeples. But, for all this, I cannot positively tell you how big Morgante was, though I am apt to believe he was not very tall; and that which makes me inclinable to believe so is, that in the history which gives us a particular account of his exploits we read that he often used to lie under a roof. Now if there were any house that could hold him, it is evident he could not be of so immense a stature."
But here they were interrupted by a noise below in the yard, where the niece and the housekeeper, who had left them some time before, were very obstreperous; which made them all hasten to know what was the matter.

The Disciplinants' Quest: A Relaxing Read of Don Quixote's Rare Adventure Part XII Chapters 34 and 35 read by Nancy
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