The History of That Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quijote de la Mancha

By Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra; Burton Raffel | Go to book overview

"Galatea, by Miguel de Cervantes," said the barber.

"For years, this Cervantes has been a great friend of mine, and he certainly knows a lot more about misfortune than he does about poetry. There are good touches in his book; he starts some things, but he finishes nothing; we can only hope the second part, which he keeps promising, will set matters right and the book will earn the compassion now denied it. So keep him, my friend, locked away at home with all the others."

"That will be fine with me," answered the barber. "And here are three more, all together: Don Alonso de Ercilla's Araucana; the Austríada, by the Córdoba judge, Juan Rufo; and Monserrate, by the Valencian poet, Cristóbal de Virues."

"Now these three books," said the priest, "are the best heroic verse ever written in the Spanish language — they can compare very favorably with the most famous ever written in Italian. Keep them, as the richest jewels in all of Spanish poetry."

The priest was too tired to look at any more books, so he decided that all the rest would be labelled "contents unknown" and then burned, but then the barber picked up one called Angelica's Tears.

"I'd have been weeping myself," said the priest, hearing the title, "if I'd ordered that book to be burned, because its author [Luis Barahona de Soto] was one of the most famous poets in the whole world, not just in Spain, and did some superb translations of Ovid's tales."


Chapter Seven

— the second expedition of our good knight,
Don Quijote de La Mancha

They had just gotten to this point when, suddenly, Don Quijote began to shout:

"Now, now, brave knights! Now is when you need to show the strength of your brave arms! Or else the courtiers will win the tournament!"

Hurrying to respond to this clamorous uproar, they completely forgot about examining the rest of the books, and so it seems that Don Luis de Ávila's Carolea, and The Lion of Spain, and The Emperor's Adventures, all perished in the flames, without being seen or heard from, although they must have been among those that were left and, conceivably, if the priest had seen them, he'd not have given them such harsh punishment.

When they reached Don Quijote he had gotten out of bed and, still shouting all sorts of foolishness, was slashing back and forth in all directions, as wide awake as if he'd never been asleep. They crowded around and by sheer force got him back to bed; when he was calmer, he turned to the priest, saying:

"Clearly, my dear Archbishop Turpín, it is infinitely to our discredit, we who call ourselves the Twelve Peers, to allow the courtly knights to gain a victory in this tournament. We must exert ourselves, for it is we who have won on each of the last three days."

"Hush, your grace — my friend," said the priest. "Perhaps it will please

-34-

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