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“YO HE DADO EN DON QUIXOTE PASATIEMPO
AL PECHO MELANCOLICO Y MOHINO
“I'VE GIVEN IN DON QUIXOTE, TO ASSUAGE THE MELANCHOLY AND THE MOPING BREAST PASTIME FOR EVERY MOOD IN EVERY AGE.”
Viaje del Parnaso, cap. iv.
THE INGENIOUS KNIGHT,
DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA.
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA.
THE DUKE DE BÉJAR,
MARQUIS DE GIBRALEON, CONDE DE BENALCAZAR AND BANARES,
VIZCONDE DE LA PUEBLA DE ALCOZER,
A NEW TRANSLATION FROM THE ORIGINALS OF 1605 AND 1608,
BY ALEXANDER JAMES DUFFIELD, WITH SOME OF THE
POST TENEBRAS SPERO LUCEM."
IN THREE VOLUMES.
RIGHT HON. WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE, M.P.,
PRIME MINISTER AND CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER.
I dedicate to you this translation. It is a rendering of the work of one who alone knew the nature of the fight he waged, and had assurance of the victory that would follow; who, single-handed and berest of sympathy at the time he most needed it, and in a dark day of unwonted length, kept a steady light shining—the light of justice and honour—which never ceased to shine in him, and which became brighter the nearer it approached a more perfect day; whose courage grew keen and even gay as menace and danger drew near, and who had vouchsafed to him the singular grace of seeing with his mortal eyes the favourable issue of the unequal fight he fought; who, although despised, hated, and forgotten by those whose pride it should have been to cherish, honour, and uphold him, left to their children benefits which they might have inherited direct from him, but which they must now receive through the stranger's hand; whose constancy in adversity has endeared him to the noblest and best in the world, and whose purity of life and stainless honour have placed him in the foremost rank of men ; whose work will never die, while above and beyond it its author will live, as he himself believed, where, in a light that is eternal, “shall ripe the bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.”
For more than two centuries and a half the Don Quixote of Miguel de Cervantes has been regarded by the thoughtless and the vulgar as a piece of unmatched buffoonery; and perhaps he who, on