It was then that Sancho Panza exclaimed, “Alack, and a-well-a-day! how unexpected are the accidents which, at every turn, befall those who live in this miserable world! who could foretell, that he who yesterday saw himself enthroned as governor of an island, giving orders to his servants and vassals, should today be buried in a dungeon, without a soul to remedy his misfortune, or a servant or vassal to hasten to his relief?”
By this time, Don Quixote thought he would do well to abandon the idle way of life which he led in the castle; for, he imagined himself much to blame in living thus buried and inactive among those infinite delicacies and entertainments with which he, as a knight-errant, was indulged by that noble pair; and he concluded that he would be obliged to give a severe account to heaven of this idleness and seclusion.
Having taken possession of the ground, he wounded the very vault of heaven with the loudness of the tone in which he pronounced these words: “O ye passengers and travelers, knights, squires, persons on horseback or a-foot, who come or are to come this way, within the space of two days, from this present hour, know that Don Quixote de la Mancha, knight-errant, is here posted to maintain that the shepherdesses who inhabit these meadows and woods, excel in beauty and courtesy all the ladies upon earth, exclusive of Dulcinea del Toboso, the mistress of my soul.”