Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (15471616). Don Quixote, Part 1. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
To the Right Honourable His Very Good Lord, The Lord of Walden, etc.
Mine Honourable Lord, HAVING translated some five or six years ago, the History of Don Quixote, out of the Spanish tongue into English, in the space of forty days,being thereunto more than half enforced through the importunity of a very dear friend that was desirous to understand the subject,after I had given him once a view thereof, I cast it aside, where it lay long time neglected in a corner, and so little regarded by me, as I never once set hand to review or correct thee same. Since when, at the entreaty of others my friends, I was content to let it come to light, conditionally that some one or other would peruse and amend the errors escaped, my many affairs hindering me from undergoing that labour. Now, I understand by the printer that the copy was presented to your Honour, which did, at the first, somewhat disgust me; because as it must pass, I fear much it will prove far unworthy either of your noble view or protection. Yet since it is mine, though abortive, I do humbly entreat that your Honour will lend it a favourable countenance, thereby to animate the parent thereof to produce in time some worthier subject, in your honourable name, whose many rare virtues have already rendered me so highly devoted to your service, as I will some day give very evident tokens of the same; and till then I rest,Your Honours most affectionate Servitor,