Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis
The Life and Exploits
of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha
By Miguel de Cervantes, Translated by Charles Jarvis, Esq.
The First Part
CHAPTER XXVIII: Which treats of the new and agreeable Adventure that befell the Priest and the Barber in the same Mountain.
Most happy and fortunate were the times in which the most daring knight Don Quixote de la Mancha was ushered into the world; since, through the so honourable resolution he took of reviving and restoring to the world the long since lost, and as it were buried, order of knight-errantry, we, in these our times, barren and unfruitful of amusing entertainments, enjoy not only the sweets of his true history, but also the stories and episodes of it, which are, in some sort, no less pleasing, artificial, and true, than the history itself; which, resuming the broken thread of the narration, relates, that, as the priest was preparing himself to comfort Cardenio, he was hindered by a voice, which, with mournful accents, spoke in this manner: --
"O Heavens! is it possible I have at last found a place that can afford a secret grave for the irksome burden of this body, which I bear about so much against my will? Yes, it is, if the solitude which these rocks promise do not deceive me. Ah, woe is me! how much more agreeable society shall I find in these crags and brakes, which will, at least, afford me leisure to communicate my miseries to Heaven by complaints than in the conversation of men, since there is no one living from whom I can expect counsel in doubts, ease in complaints, or remedy in misfortunes."
The priest, and they that were with him, heard all this very distinctly; and perceiving, as indeed it was, that the voice was near them, they rose up in quest of the speaker; and they had not gone twenty paces when, behind a rock, they espied a youth, dressed like a peasant, sitting at the foot of an ash-tree, whose face they could not then discern, because he hung down his head as he was washing his feet in a rivulet which ran by. They drew near so silently that he did not hear them; nor was he intent upon anything but washing his feet, which were such, that they seemed to be two pieces of pure crystal growing among the other pebbles of the brook. They stood in admiration at the whiteness and beauty of the feet, which did not seem to them to be made for breaking of clods or following the plough, as their owner's dress might have persuaded them they were; and finding they were not perceived, the priest, who went foremost, made signs to the other two to crouch low, or hide themselves behind some of the rocks thereabouts; which they accordingly did, and stood observing attentively, what the youth was doing. He had on a grey double-skirted jerkin, girt tight about his body with a linen towel. He wore also a pair of breeches and gamashes of grey-cloth, and a grey huntsman's cap on his head. His gamashes were now pulled up to the middle of his leg, which really seemed to be of snowy alabaster. Having made an end of washing his beautiful feet, he immediately wiped them with an handkerchief, which he pulled out from under his cap, and at the taking it from thence he lifted up his face, and the lookers-on had an opportunity of beholding an incomparable beauty; and such a beauty that Cardenio said to the priest, with a low voice, "Since this is not Lucinda, it can be no human, but must be a divine creature." The youth took off his cap, and shaking his head, there began to flow down, and spread over his shoulders, a quantity of lovely hair, that Apollo himself might envy. By this they found, that the person, who seemed to be a peasant, was in reality a woman, and a delicate one, nay, the handsomest that two of the three had ever beheld with their eyes, or even Cardenio himself, if he had never seen and known Lucinda; for as he afterwards affirmed, the beauty of Lucinda alone could come in competition with hers. Her long and golden tresses not only fell on her shoulders, but covered her whole body, except her feet. Her fingers served instead of a comb; and if her feet in the water seemed to be of crystal, her hands in her hair were like driven snow. All which excited a still greater admiration and desire in the three spectators to learn who she was. For this purpose, they resolved to show themselves; and at the rustling they made in getting upon their feet, the beautiful maiden raised her head, and, with both her hands parting her hair from before her eyes, saw those who had made the noise; and scarcely had she seen them when she rose up, and without staying to put on her shoes, or replace her hair, she hastily snatched up something like a bundle of clothes, which lay close by her, and betook herself to flight, all in confusion and surprise: but she -- had not gone six steps when, her tender feet not being able to endure the sharpness of the stones, she fell down; which the three perceiving they went up to her, and the priest was the first who said: "Stay, Madam, whoever you are; for those you see here have no other intention but that of serving you: there is no reason why you should endeavour to make so needless an escape, which neither your feet can bear nor ours permit." To all this she answered not a word, being astonished and confounded. Then the priest, taking hold of her hand, went on, saying, "What your dress, Madam, would conceal from us, your hair discovers; a manifest indication, that no slight cause has disguised your beauty in so unworthy a habit, and brought you to such a solitude as this, in which it has been our good luck to find you, if not to administer a remedy to your misfortunes, at least to assist you with our advice, since no evil, which does not destroy life itself, can afflict so much, or arrive to that extremity as to make the sufferer refuse to hearken to advice, when given with a sincere intention; and therefore, dear Madam, or dear Sir, or whatever you please to be, shake off the surprise which the sight of us has occasioned, and relate to us your good or ill fortune; for you will find us jointly or severally disposed to sympathise with you in your misfortunes."
While the priest was saying this, the disguised maiden stood like one stupefied, her eyes fixed on them all, without moving her lips, or speaking a word; just like a country clown when he is shown of a sudden something curious, or never seen before. But the priest adding more to the same purpose, she fetched a deep sigh, and breaking silence said: "Since neither the solitude of these rocks has been sufficient to conceal me, nor the discomposure of my hair has suffered my tongue to belie my sex, it would be in vain for me now to dress up a fiction, which, if you seemed to give credit to, would be rather out of complaisance than for any other reason. This being the case, I say, gentlemen, that I take kindly the offers you have made me, which have laid me under an obligation to satisfy you in whatever you have desired of me; though I fear the relation I shall make of my misfortunes will raise in you a concern equal to your compassion; since it will not be in your power either to remedy or alleviate them. Nevertheless, that my honour may not suffer in your opinions from your having already discovered me to be a woman, and your seeing me young, and alone, in this garb, any one of which circumstances is sufficient to bring discredit on the best reputation, I must tell you what I would gladly have concealed if it were in my power." All this she, who appeared so beautiful a woman, spoke without hesitating, so readily, and with so much ease and sweetness both of tongue and voice, that her good sense surprised them no less than her beauty. And they again repeating their kind offers and entreaties to her that she would perform her promise, she, without more asking, having first modestly put on her shoes and stockings, and gathered up her hair, seated herself upon a flat stone; and the three being placed round her, after she had done some violence to herself in restraining the tears that came into her eyes, she began the history of her life, with a clear and sedate voice, in this manner:
"There is a place in this country of Andalusia from which a duke takes a title, which makes him one of those they call grandees of Spain. This duke has two sons; the elder, heir to his estate, and in appearance to his virtues; and the younger, heir to I know not what, unless it be to -- the treachery of Vellido, (71) and the deceitfulness of Galalon. (72) My parents are vassals to this nobleman: it is true, they are of low extraction, but so rich, that if the advantages of their birth had equalled those of their fortune, neither would they have had anything more to wish for, nor should I have had any reason to fear being exposed to the misfortunes I am now involved in; for, it is probable, my misfortunes arise from their not being nobly born. It is true, indeed, they are not so low that they need to be ashamed of their condition, nor so high as to hinder me from thinking that their meanness is the cause of my unhappiness. In a word, they are farmers, plain people, without mixture of bad blood, and, as they usually say, old rusty Christians; (73) but so rusty, that their wealth and handsome way of living is by degrees acquiring them the name of gentlemen, and even of cavaliers; though the riches and nobility they valued themselves most upon, were their having me for their daughter; and as they had no other child to inherit what they possessed, and were besides very affectionate parents, I was one of the most indulged girls that ever father or mother fondled. I was the mirror in which they beheld themselves, the staff of their old age, and she whose happiness was the sole object of all their wishes, under the guidance of Heaven: to which, being so good, mine were always entirely conformable. And as I was mistress of their affections, so was I of all they possessed. As I pleased, servants were hired and discharged; through my hands passed the account and management of what was sowed and reaped. The oil-mills, the winepresses, the number of herds, flocks, and bee-hives; in a word, all that so rich a farmer as my father has, or can be supposed to have, was intrusted to my care: I was both steward and mistress, with so much diligence on my part, and satisfaction on theirs, that I cannot easily enhance it to you. The hours of the day that remained, after giving directions and assigning proper tasks to the head-servants, overseers, and day-labourers, I employed in such exercises as are not only allowable but necessary to young maidens, such as in handling the needle, making lace, and sometimes spinning; and if now and then, to recreate my mind, I quitted these exercises, I entertained myself with reading some book of devotion, or touching the harp; for experience showed me that music composes the mind when it is disordered, and relieves the spirits after labour. Such was the life I led in my father's house; and if I have been so particular in recounting it, it was not out of ostentation, nor to give you to understand that I am rich, but that you may be apprized how little I deserved to fall from that state into the unhappy one I am now in. While I passed my time in so many occupations, and in a retirement which might be compared to that of a nunnery, without being seen as I imagined by anyone besides our own servants (because when I went to mass it was very early in the morning, and always in company with my mother and some of the maid servants; and I was so closely veiled and reserved, that my eyes scarcely saw more ground than the space I set my foot upon); it fell out, I say, notwithstanding all this, that the eyes of love, or rather of idleness, to which those of a lynx are not to be compared, discovered me through the industrious curiosity of Don Fernando; for that is the name of the duke's younger son, whom I told you of."
She had no sooner named Don Fernando, than Cardenio's colour changed, and he began to sweat with such violent perturbation, that the priest and the barber, who perceived it, were afraid he was falling into one -- of the mad fits to which they had heard he was now and then subject. But Cardenio did nothing but sweat, and sat still, fixing his eyes most attentively on the country-maid, imagining who she must be: she taking no notice of the emotions of Cardenio, continued her story, saying:
"Scarcely had he seen me, when, as he afterwards declared, he fell desperately in love with me, as the proofs he then gave of it sufficiently evinced. But to shorten the account of my misfortunes, which are endless, I pass over in silence the diligence Don Fernando used in getting an opportunity to declare his passion to me. He bribed our whole family; he gave and offered presents, and did favours to several of my relations. Every day was a festival and day of rejoicing in our street: nobody could sleep in the night for serenades. Infinite were the billet-doux that came, I knew not how, to my hands, filled with amorous expressions and offers of kindness, with more promises and oaths in them than letters. All which was so far from softening me, that I grew the more obdurate, as if he had been my mortal enemy, and all the measures he took to bring me to his lure, had been designed for a quite contrary purpose; not that I disliked the gallantry of Don Fernando, or thought him too importunate; for it gave me I know not what secret satisfaction to see myself thus courted and respected by so considerable a cavalier, and it was not disagreeable to me to find my own praises in his letters: for let us women be never so ill-favoured, I take it we are always pleased to hear ourselves called handsome. But all this was opposed by my own virtue, together with the repeated good advice of my parents, who plainly saw through Don Fernando's design; for indeed he took no pains to hide it from the world. My parents told me that they reposed their credit and reputation in my virtue and integrity alone; they bade me consider the disproportion between me and Don Fernando, from whence I ought to conclude that his thoughts, whatever he might say to the contrary, were more intent upon his own pleasure than upon my good; and if I had a mind to throw an obstacle in the way of his designs, in order to make him desist from his unjust pretensions, they would marry me, they said, out of hand to whomsoever I pleased, either of the chief of our town, or of the whole neighbourhood around us; since their considerable wealth and my good character put it in their power easily to provide a suitable match for me. With this promise, and the truth of what they said, I fortified my virtue, and would never answer Don Fernando the least word that might afford him the most distant hope of succeeding in his design. All this reserve of mine, which he ought to have taken for disdain, served rather to quicken his lascivious appetite; for I cannot give a better name to the passion he showed for me, which had it been such as it ought, you would not now have known it, since there would have been no occasion for my giving you this account of it.
"At length Don Fernando discovered that my parents were looking out for a match for me, in order to deprive him of all hope of gaining me, or at least were resolved to have me more narrowly watched. And this news, or suspicion, put him upon doing what you shall presently hear: which was, that one night as I was in my chamber, attended only by a maid that waited upon me, the doors being fast locked, lest by any neglect my virtue might be endangered, without my knowing or imagining how, in the midst of all this care and precaution, and the solitude of this silence and recluseness, he stood before me. At seeing him I was struck blind and -- dumb, and had not power to cry out; nor do I believe he would have suffered me to have done it; for he instantly ran to me, and taking me in his arms, for, as I said, I had no power to struggle, being in such confusion, he began to say such things, that one would think it impossible that falsehood should be able to frame them with such an appearance of truth. The traitor made his tears give credit to his words, and his sighs to his designs. I, an innocent girl, bred always at home, and not at all versed in affairs of this nature, began, I know not how, to deem for true so many and so great falsities: not that his tears or sighs could move me to any criminal compassion. And so my first surprise being over, I began a little to recover my lost spirits; and with more courage than I thought I could have had, said: 'If, Sir, as I am between your arms, I were between the paws of a fierce lion, and my deliverance depended upon my doing or saying anything to the prejudice of my virtue, it would be as impossible for me to do or say it, as it is impossible for that which has been not to have been: so that, though you hold my body confined between your arms, I hold my mind restrained within the bounds of virtuous inclinations, very different from yours, as you will see, if you proceed to use violence. I am your vassal, but not your slave: the nobility of your blood neither has nor ought to have the privilege to dishonour and insult the meanness of mine; and though a country girl, and a farmer's daughter, my reputation is as dear to me as yours can be to you, who are a noble cavalier. Your employing force will do little with me: I set no value upon your riches; your words cannot deceive me, nor can your sighs and tears mollify me. If I saw any of these things in a person whom my parents should assign me for a husband, my will should conform itself to theirs, and not transgress the bounds which they prescribed it. And therefore, Sir, with the safety of my honour, though I sacrificed my private satisfaction, I might freely bestow on you what you are now endeavouring to obtain by force. I have said all this, because I would not have you think that anyone who is not my lawful husband, shall ever prevail on me.'
"'If that be all you require, most beautiful Dorothea,' for that is the name of this unhappy woman, said the treacherous cavalier, 'I here give you my hand to be yours, and let the heavens, from which nothing is hidden, and this image of our lady you have here, be witnesses to this truth.' "When Cardenio heard her call herself Dorothea, he fell again into his disorder, and was thoroughly confirmed in his first opinion; but he would not interrupt the story, being desirous to hear the event of what he partly knew already; only he said: "What! Madam, is your name Dorothea? I have heard of one of the same name, whose misfortunes very much resemble yours. But proceed; for some time or other I may tell you things that will equally move your wonder and compassion." Dorothea took notice of Cardenio's words, and of his strange and tattered dress; and desired him, if he knew anything of her affairs, to tell it presently; for if fortune had left her anything that was good, it was the courage she had to bear any disaster whatever that might befall her, secure in this, that none could possibly happen that could in the least add to those she already endured. "Madam," replied Cardenio, "I would not be the means of destroying that courage in you, by telling you what I think, if what I imagine should be true; and hitherto there is no opportunity lost, nor is it of any importance that you should know it as yet." — "Be that as it will," answered Dorothea; "I go on with my story: — Don -- Fernando, taking the image that stood in the room, and placing it for a witness of our espousals, with all the solemnity of vows and oaths, gave me his word to be my husband; although I warned him, before he had done, to consider well what he was about, and the uneasiness it must needs give his father to see him married to a farmer's daughter, and his own vassal; and therefore he ought to beware lest my beauty, such as it was, should blind him, since that would not be a sufficient excuse for his fault; and if he intended me any good, I conjured him by the love he bore me, that he would suffer my lot to fall equal to what my rank could pretend to; for such disproportionate matches are seldom happy, or continue long in that state of pleasure with which they set out.
"All these reasons here recited, and many more which I do not remember, I then urged to him; but they availed nothing towards making him desist from prosecuting his design; just as he who never intends to pay hesitates at nothing in making a bargain. Upon that occasion I briefly reasoned thus with myself! 'Well! I shall not be the first who by the way of marriage has risen from a low to an high condition, nor will Don Fernando be the first whom beauty, or rather blind affection, has induced to take a wife beneath his quality. Since then I neither make a new world nor a new custom, surely I may be allowed to accept this honour which fortune throws in my way, even though the inclination he shows for me should last no longer than the accomplishment of his will; for in short, in the sight of God, I shall be his wife. Besides, should I reject him with disdain, I see him prepared to set aside all sense of duty, and to have recourse to violence; and so I shall remain dishonoured and without excuse, when I am censured by those who do not know how innocently I came into this strait. For what reasons can be sufficient to persuade my parents and others that this cavalier got into my apartment without my consent?' All these questions and answers I revolved in my imagination in an instant. But what principally inclined and drew me, thoughtless as I was, to my ruin, was Don Fernando's oaths, the witnesses by which he swore, the tears he shed, and in short his genteel carriage and address, which together with the many tokens he gave me of unfeigned love might have captivated any heart, though before as much disengaged and as reserved as mine. I called in my waiting-maid, to be a joint witness on earth with those in heaven. Don Fernando repeated and confirmed his oaths. He attested new saints, and imprecated a thousand curses on himself, if he failed in the performance of his promise. The tears came again into his eyes; he redoubled his sighs, and pressed me closer between his arms, from which he had never once loosed me. And with this, and my maid's going again out of the room, I ceased to be one, and he became a traitor and perjured.
"The day that succeeded the night of my misfortune came on, but not so fast as I believe Don Fernando wished. For, after the accomplishment of our desires, the greatest pleasure is to get away from the place of enjoyment. I say this, because Don Fernando made haste to leave me; and by the diligence of the same maid who had betrayed me, he got into the street before break of day; and at parting he said, though not with the same warmth and vehemence as at his coming, I might entirely depend upon his honour and the truth and sincerity of his oaths; and as a confirmation of his promise, he drew a ring of great value from his finger and put it on mine. In short he went away, and I remained, I know not -- whether sad or joyful: this I can truly say, that I remained confused and thoughtful, and almost distracted at what had passed; and either I had no heart, or I forgot to chide my maid for the treachery she had been guilty of, in conveying Don Fernando into my chamber; for indeed I had not yet determined with myself whether what had befallen me was to my good or harm. I told Don Fernando at parting, he might if he pleased, since I was now his own, see me on other nights by the same method he had now taken, until he should be pleased to publish what was done to the world. But he came no more after the following night, nor could I get a sight of him in the street or at church in above a month, though I tired myself with looking after him in vain; and though I knew he was in the town, and that he went almost every day to hunt, an exercise he was very fond of. Those days and those hours, I too well remember, were sad and dismal ones to me; for in them I began to doubt, and at last to disbelieve the fidelity of Don Fernando. I remember, too, that I then made my damsel hear those reproofs for her presumption, which she had escaped before. I was forced to set a watch over my tears and the air of my countenance, that I might avoid giving my parents occasion to inquire into the cause of my discontent, and laying myself under the necessity of inventing lies to deceive them. But all this was soon put an end to by an accident which bore down all respect and regard to my reputation, which deprived me of all patience, and exposed my most secret thoughts on the public stage of the world; it was this: Some few days after, a report was spread in the town that Don Fernando was married in a neighbouring city to a young lady of extreme beauty, and whose parents were of considerable quality, but not so rich that her dowry might make her aspire to so noble an alliance. Her name it was said was Lucinda, and many strange things were reported to have happened at their wedding."
Cardenio heard the name of Lucinda, but did nothing more than shrug up his shoulders, bite his lips, arch his brows, and soon after let fall two streams of tears from his eyes. Dorothea did not, however, discontinue her story, but went on, saying: "This sad news soon reached my ears; and my heart, instead of being chilled at hearing it, was so incensed and inflamed with rage and anger, that I could scarcely forbear running out into the streets, crying out and publishing aloud, how basely and treacherously I had been used. But this fury was moderated for the present, by a resolution I took, and executed that very night: which was, to put myself into this garb, which was given me by one of those who in farmers' houses are called swains, to whom I discovered my whole misfortune, and begged of him to accompany me to the city, where I was informed my enemy then was. He, finding me bent upon my design, after he had condemned the rashness of my undertaking, and blamed my resolution, offered himself to bear me company, as he expressed it, to the end of the world. I immediately put up in a pillow-case a woman's dress, with some jewels and money, to provide against whatever might happen; and in the dead of that very night, without letting my treacherous maid into the secret, I left our house accompanied only by my servant, and a thousand anxious thoughts, and took the way that led to the town on foot; the desire of getting thither adding wings to my flight, that if I could not prevent what I concluded was already done, I might at least demand of Don Fernando with what conscience he had done it. In two days and a half I arrived at the place, and going into the town, I inquired where -- Lucinda's father lived; and the first person I addressed myself to, answered me more than I desired to hear. He told me where I might find the house, and related to me the whole story of what had happened at the young lady's wedding; all which was so public in the town, that the people assembled in every street to talk of it. He told me, that on the night Don Fernando was married to Lucinda, after she had pronounced the Yes, by which she became his wedded wife, she fell into a swoon; and the bridegroom, in unclasping her bosom to give her air, found a paper written with Luanda's own hand, in which she affirmed and declared that she could not be wife to Don Fernando, because she was already Cardenio's, who, as the man told me, was a very considerable cavalier of the same town, and that she had given her consent to Don Fernando merely in obedience to her parents. In short, the paper gave them to understand, that she designed killing herself as soon as the ceremony was over, and contained likewise her reasons for so doing; all which they say was confirmed by a poignard they found about her in some part of her clothes. Don Fernando, seeing all this, and concluding himself deluded, mocked, and despised by Lucinda, made at her before she recovered from her fainting fit, and with the same poignard that was found, endeavoured to stab her; and had certainly done it, if her parents and the rest of the company had not prevented him. They said farther, that Don Fernando immediately absented himself, and that Lucinda did not come to herself until the next day, when she confessed to her parents that she was really wife to the cavalier aforesaid. I learned, moreover, it was rumoured, that Cardenio was present at the ceremony, and on seeing her married, which he could never have thought, he went out of the town in despair, leaving behind him a written paper in which he set forth at large the wrong Lucinda had done him, and his resolution of going where human eyes should never more behold him. All this was public and notorious over the town and in everybody's mouth; but the talk increased, when it was known that Lucinda also was missing from her father's house; at which her parents were almost distracted, not knowing what means to use in order to find her. This news rallied my scattered hopes, and I was better pleased not to find Don Fernando, than to have found him married, flattering myself that the door to my relief was not quite shut; and hoping that possibly heaven might have laid this impediment in the way of his second marriage, to reduce him to a sense of what he owed to the first; and to make him reflect that he was a Christian, and obliged to have more regard to his soul than to any worldly considerations. All these things I revolved in my imagination, and having no real consolation, comforted myself with framing some faint and distant hopes, in order to support a life I now abhor.
"Being then in the town, without knowing what to do with myself, since I did not find Don Fernando, I heard a public crier promising a great reward to anyone who should find me, describing my age and the very dress I wore. And as I heard, it was reported that I was run away from my father's house with the young fellow that attended me; a thing which struck me to the very soul, to see how low my credit was sunk, as if it was not enough to say that I was gone off, but it must be added with whom, and he too a person so much below me, and so unworthy of my better inclinations. At the instant I heard the crier, I went out of the town with my servant, who already began to discover some signs of -- staggering in his promised fidelity; and that night we got into the thickest of this mountain for fear of being found. But, as it is commonly said, that one evil calls upon another, and that the end of one disaster is the beginning of a greater, so it befell me; for my good servant, until then faithful and trusty, seeing me in this desert place, and incited by his own baseness rather than by any beauty of mine, resolved to lay hold of the opportunity this solitude seemed to afford him; and with little shame, and less fear of God, or respect to his mistress, began to make love to me; but finding that I answered him with such language as the impudence of his attempt deserved, he laid aside entreaties, by which, at first, he hoped to succeed, and began to use force. But just Heaven, that seldom or never fails to regard and favour righteous intentions, favoured mine in such a manner, that, with the little strength I had, and without much difficulty, I pushed him down a precipice, where I left him, I know not whether alive or dead. And then, with more nimbleness than could be expected from my surprise and weariness, I entered into this desert mountain, without any other thought or design than to hide myself here from my father and others, who, by his order, were in search after me. It is I know not how many months since, with this design, I came hither, where I met with a shepherd, who took me for his servant to a place in the very midst of these rocks. I served him all this time as a shepherd's boy, endeavouring to be always abroad in the field, the better to conceal my hair, which has now so unexpectedly discovered me. But all my care and solitude were to no purpose; for my master at length discovered that I was not a man, and the same wicked thoughts sprung up in his breast that had possessed my servant. But as fortune does not always with the difficulty present the remedy, and as I had now no rock nor precipice to rid me of the master, as before of the servant, I thought it more advisable to leave him, and hide myself once more among these brakes and cliffs, than to venture a trial of my strength or dissuasions with him. I say then, I again betook myself to these deserts, where, without molestation, I might beseech Heaven, with sighs and tears, to have pity on my disconsolate state, and either to assist me with ability to struggle through it, or to put an end to my life among these solitudes, where no memory might remain of this wretched creature, who, without any fault of hers, has ministered matter to be talked of, and censured in her own and in other countries.
Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis