Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Charles Jarvis et al. | Go to book overview

suspect. As to Peter of Provence's peg, and its standing close by Babieca's saddle, in the king's armoury, I confess my sin, in being so ignorant, or short-sighted, that, though I have seen the saddle, I never could discover the peg; which is somewhat strange, considering how big you say it is.'

'Yet, without all question, there it is,' replied Don Quixote, 'by the same token that they say it is kept in a leathern case, that it may not take rust.'

'It may be so,' answered the canon: 'but by the holy orders I have received, I do not remember to have seen it. But supposing I should grant you it is there, I do not therefore think myself bound to believe the stories of so many Amadises, nor those of such a rabble rout of knights as we hear of: nor is it reasonable, that a gentleman, so honourable, of such excellent parts, and endued with so good an understanding as yourself, should be persuaded that such strange follies as are written in the absurd books of chivalry are true.'


CHAPTER 50
Of the ingenious contest between Don Quixote and the canon, with other accidents.

'A GOOD jest indeed!' answered Don Quixote: 'that books, printed with the licence of kings, and the approbation of the examiners, read with general pleasure, and applauded by great and small, poor and rich, learned and ignorant, gentry and commonalty, in short, by all sorts of people, of what state or condition soever they be, should be all lies, and especially carrying such an appearance of truth! for do they not tell us the father, the mother, the country, the kindred, the age, the place, with a particular detail of every action, performed daily by such a knight or knights? Good sir, be silent, and do not utter such blasphemies; and believe me, I advise you to act in this affair like a discreet person: do but peruse them, and you will find what pleasure attends this kind of reading.

'For, pray tell me, can there be a greater satisfaction than to see, placed as it were before our eyes, a vast lake of boiling pitch, and in it a prodigious number of serpents, snakes, crocodiles, and divers other kinds of fierce and dreadful creatures, swimming up and down; and

-440-

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