"Then if so," said Don Quixote, "here is a case for the exercise of my office, to put down force and to succour and help the wretched."
Thus, self-deluding, and in bondage sore, And wearing out the wretched shred of life To which I am reduced by her disdain, I’ll give this soul and body to the winds, All hopeless of a crown of bliss in store.
The hard, narrow, wretched, rickety bed of Don Quixote stood first in the middle of this star-lit stable, and close beside it Sancho made his, which merely consisted of a rush mat and a blanket that looked as if it was of threadbare canvas rather than of wool.
As he said this, the wretched Durandarte cried out in a loud voice: O cousin Montesinos!
Oh, ye rural deities, whoever ye be that haunt this lone spot, give ear to the complaint of a wretched lover whom long absence and brooding jealousy have driven to bewail his fate among these wilds and complain of the hard heart of that fair and ungrateful one, the end and limit of all human beauty!
It excited fresh pity in those who had heard him to see a man of apparently sound sense, and with rational views on every subject he discussed, so hopelessly wanting in all, when his wretched unlucky chivalry was in question.
"Lift me up," said the wretched Sancho in a woebegone voice.
"Don’t open your eyes, ye murderous Polyphemes, ye blood-thirsty lions," and suchlike names with which their captors harassed the ears of the wretched master and man.
Here it was, he told me, that he saw for the first time that mortal enemy of the human race, and here, too, for the first time he declared to her his passion, as honourable as it was devoted, and here it was that at last Marcela ended by scorning and rejecting him so as to bring the tragedy of his wretched life to a close; here, in memory of misfortunes so great, he desired to be laid in the bowels of eternal oblivion.
I left home and wife and children to come and serve your worship, trusting to do better and not worse; but as covetousness bursts the bag, it has rent my hopes asunder, for just as I had them highest about getting that wretched unlucky island your worship has so often promised me, I see that instead and in lieu of it you mean to desert me now in a place so far from human reach: for God’s sake, master mine, deal not so unjustly by me, and if your worship will not entirely give up…
"I do not believe," replied Don Quixote, "that such squires were ever on wages, but were dependent on favour; and if I have now mentioned thine in the sealed will I have left at home, it was with a view to what may happen; for as yet I know not how chivalry will turn out in these wretched times of ours, and I do not wish my soul to suffer for trifles in the other world; for I would have thee know, Sancho, that in this there is no condition more hazardous than that of adventurers."
Thus do pass the wretched life that remains to me, until it be Heaven’s will to bring it to a close, or so to order my memory that I no longer recollect the beauty and treachery of Luscinda, or the wrong done me by Don Fernando; for if it will do this without depriving me of life, I will turn my thoughts into some better channel; if not, I can only implore it to have full mercy on my soul, for in myself I feel no power or strength to release my body from this strait in which I have of…
Perhaps at this moment, envious of hers, thou art regarding her, either as she paces to and fro some gallery of her sumptuous palaces, or leans over some balcony, meditating how, whilst preserving her purity and greatness, she may mitigate the tortures this wretched heart of mine endures for her sake, what glory should recompense my sufferings, what repose my toil, and lastly what death my life, and what reward my services?
"Get up, Sancho," said Don Quixote at this; "I see that fortune, ’with evil done to me unsated still,’ has taken possession of all the roads by which any comfort may reach ’this wretched soul’ that I carry in my flesh.
" ’And if that may not be,’ said the wretched Durandarte in a low and feeble voice, ’if that may not be, then, my cousin, I say "patience and shuffle;" ’ and turning over on his side, he relapsed into his former silence without uttering another word.
But the instant Ambrosio saw her he addressed her, with manifest indignation: "Art thou come, by chance, cruel basilisk of these mountains, to see if in thy presence blood will flow from the wounds of this wretched being thy cruelty has robbed of life; or is it to exult over the cruel work of thy humours that thou art come; or like another pitiless Nero to look down from that height upon the ruin of his Rome in embers; or in thy arrogance to trample on this ill-fated corpse, as the…
Nay, nay, Sancho friend, keep clear, oh, keep clear of these stumbling-blocks; for he who falls into the way of being a chatterbox and droll, drops into a wretched buffoon the first time he trips; bridle thy tongue, consider and weigh thy words before they escape thy mouth, and bear in mind we are now in quarters whence, by God’s help, and the strength of my arm, we shall come forth mightily advanced in fame and fortune."
…and removing the thin veil from her face disclosed one that seemed to all something more than exceedingly beautiful; and with a masculine freedom from embarrassment and in a voice not very like a lady’s, addressing Sancho directly, said, "Thou wretched squire, soul of a pitcher, heart of a cork tree, with bowels of flint and pebbles; if, thou impudent thief, they bade thee throw thyself down from some lofty tower; if, enemy of mankind, they asked thee to swallow a dozen of toads, two…
There are no more uses of "wretched" in the book.
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The children were taken into protective custody due to their wretched living conditions.
The photograph showed poor people in a wretched village in East Africa.