Don Quixote – Cervantes (2)

Man of La Mancha CD cover


Jack reads selected passages
from his favorite books

Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unedited.


The History and Adventures of the
Renowned Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes, 
London, Folio Society, 1995
(Part 2 of 3) 


Of the enchantment of Dulcinea I refuse to speak. All readers of Don Quixote must discover this final miracle for themselves.  (From the Introduction, Folio Society Limited Edition)


“How was that queen of beauty employed when you arrived?” said Don Quixote. “I daresay, you found her stringing pearls, or embroidering some device for this her captive knight, with threads of gold.”

“No, truly,” answered the squire, “I found her winnowing two bushels of wheat in the yard.”

“Then you may depend upon it,” resumed the knight, “the grains of that wheat were converted into pearls by the touch of her hand. And didst thou observe, my friend, whether it was of the finer or common sort?”

“Why neither,” said Sancho, “it seems to be as it were red wheat.”

“But since it was winnowed by her fair hands,” answered Don Quixote, “I dare affirm, it will make the whitest bread in Spain. Go on with thy information. When the letter was delivered did she not kiss it, and place it on the crown of her head, in token of respect? Did she not perform some ceremony worthy of the sender? Pray how did she receive it?”

“When I presented the letter,” answered Sancho, “she was in a main hurry, winnowing a large heap of wheat that was in her sieve; and said to me, ‘Friend, lay down the letter on that sack; for I can’t pretend to read it, until I have made an end of my work.’”

“Discrete lady!” cried the knight. “Her intention certainly was to read it at her leisure, that she might recreate herself with the contents. Proceed, Sancho, and while she was thus employed, what conversation passed between you? What questions did she ask concerning me? And what answers didst thou make? Recount the whole, without leaving one syllable untold.”

“She asked me no question,” replied the squire, “but I told her, how I had left your worship doing penance for loving of her, skipping among those rocks, naked from the waist upwards, like a mere savage, sleeping on the bare ground; neglecting to eat your food like a Christian, or to comb your beard like a decent man, and whining, and weeping, and cursing your fortune.”

“If you said I cursed my fortune, you misrepresented me,” said Don Quixote, “for I bless my fate and will bless it all the days of my life, for having made me worthy to aspire to the love of such an high lady as Dulcinea del Toboso.”

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