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the author of Don Quixote, was born at Alcala de Henares in 1547.

, the author of Don Quixote, was born at Alcala de Henares in 1547. He was the son of Rodrigo de Cervantes and Donna Leonora de Cortinas, and baptised Sunday, Oct. 9 of that year, as appears from the parish register of Santa Maria la Mayor in Alcala. Several concurring testimonies furnished the clue for this discovery, although six other places, Seville, Madrid, Esquivias, Toledo, Lucena, and Alcazar de San Juan, called him their son, and each had their advocates to support their claims, in which respect his fame resembles that of Homer’s. His parents designed him for the profession of letters, and although he had at home the opportunity of instruction in the university, he studied Latin in Madrid. He afterwards resided there in 1568, but two years afterwards we find him at Rome in the service of cardinal Aquaviva in the capacity of chamberlain. Some time after this, pope Pius V. Philip IL of Spain, and the republic of Venice, united in a league, which was concluded May 29, 1571, against Selim the grand Turk. Cervantes, not satisfied with an idle court life, desirous of military renown, determined to commence soldier. Marco Antonio Colonna being appointed general of the pope’s galleys, Cervantes went with him, and was present in the famous battle of Lepanto, where he was so wounded in his left hand by a gun-shot as totally to lose the use of it; but he thought this such an honour, that he afterwards declared he would rather have been present in this glorious enterprise, than to be whole in his limbs, and not to have there at all. Colonna returned to Rome in the end of 1572, and it is probable that Cervantes was with him,; as he tells us that for some years he followed his conquering banners. He was ordered to join his regiment at Naples, notwithstanding his being maimed. In his “Viage del Parnaso,” he tells us that he walked its streets more than a year: and in the copy of his ransom, it appears that he was there a long time. Don J. A. Pellicer supposes that in this city he employed his leisure hours in cultivating his knowledge of the Italian tongue, and in reading of its good writers, with whom he appears conversant in his works. As he was going from Naples to Spain on board the galley of the Sun, Sept. 26, 1575, he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Moors, who carried him captive to Algiers. The several hardships he underwent in his five years’ captivity are noticed by a contemporary writer: and though the events mentioned in the story of “The Captive,” in the first part of Don Quixote, cannot strictly be applied to himself, yet they could hardly have been so feelingly described but by one who had been a spectator of such treatment as he relates. Several extraordinary and dangerous attempts were made by him and his companions to obtain their liberty, which was effected at last by the regular way of ransom, which took place Sept. 19, 1580. The price was 500 escudos; towards which his mother, a widow, contributed 250 ducats, and his sister 50.