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These days past, when sending Your Excellency my plays, that had
appeared in print before being shown on the stage, I said, if I
remember well, that Don Quixote was putting on his spurs to go and
render homage to Your Excellency. Now I say that "with his spurs, he
is on his way." Should he reach destination methinks I shall have
rendered some service to Your Excellency, as from many parts I am
urged to send him off, so as to dispel the loathing and disgust caused
by another Don Quixote who, under the name of Second Part, has run
masquerading through the whole world. And he who has shown the
greatest longing for him has been the great Emperor of China, who
wrote me a letter in Chinese a month ago and sent it by a special
courier. He asked me, or to be truthful, he begged me to send him
Don Quixote, for he intended to found a college where the Spanish
tongue would be taught, and it was his wish that the book to be read
should be the History of Don Quixote. He also added that I should go
and be the rector of this college. I asked the bearer if His Majesty
had afforded a sum in aid of my travel expenses. He answered, "No, not
even in thought."

"Then, brother," I replied, "you can return to your China, post
haste or at whatever haste you are bound to go, as I am not fit for so
long a travel and, besides being ill, I am very much without money,
while Emperor for Emperor and Monarch for Monarch, I have at Naples
the great Count of Lemos, who, without so many petty titles of
colleges and rectorships, sustains me, protects me and does me more
favour than I can wish for."

Thus I gave him his leave and I beg mine from you, offering Your
Excellency the "Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda," a book I shall
finish within four months, Deo volente, and which will be either the
worst or the best that has been composed in our language, I mean of
those intended for entertainment; at which I repent of having called
it the worst, for, in the opinion of friends, it is bound to attain
the summit of possible quality. May Your Excellency return in such
health that is wished you; Persiles will be ready to kiss your hand
and I your feet, being as I am, Your Excellency's most humble servant.

From Madrid, this last day of October of the year one thousand six
hundred and fifteen.

At the service of Your Excellency:


Don Quixote by Migeul de Cervantes
Romance Literature - Spanish
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