Chapter 1

InavillageofLaMancha,thenameofwhichIhavenodesiretocalltomind,therelivednotlongsinceoneofthosegentlementhatkeepalanceinthelance-rack,anoldbuckler,aleanhack,andagreyhoundforcoursing.Anollaofrathermorebeefthanmutton,asaladonmostnights,scrapsonSaturdays,lentilsonFridays,andapigeonorsoextraonSundays,madeawaywiththree-quartersofhisincome.Therestofitwentinadoubletoffineclothandvelvetbreechesandshoestomatchforholidays,whileonweek-dayshemadeabravefigureinhisbesthomespun.Hehadinhishouseahousekeeperpastforty,anieceundertwenty,andaladforthefieldandmarket-place,whousedtosaddlethehackaswellashandlethebill-hook.Theageofthisgentlemanofourswasborderingonfifty;hewasofahardyhabit,spare,gaunt-featured,averyearlyriserandagreatsportsman.TheywillhaveithissurnamewasQuixadaorQuesada(forherethereissomedifferenceofopinionamongtheauthorswhowriteonthesubject),althoughfromreasonableconjecturesitseemsplainthathewascalledQuexana.This,however,isofbutlittleimportancetoourtale;itwillbeenoughnottostrayahair’sbreadthfromthetruthinthetellingofit.

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